Dialogo con i generi letterari nella letteratura asiaticoamericana
Vastolo, Manuela (2011) Dialogo con i generi letterari nella letteratura asiaticoamericana. Tesi di Dottorato, Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale.
REWRITING LITERARY GENRES IN ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
My dissertation focuses on the examination of some Asian American texts and the way they critically relate to the Western literary tradition, specifically to the “question of genre” in the light of its most recent theorizations. Rather than considering the notion of genre as either a selective-descriptive criterion of classification or a rule literary texts have to conform with, these aim at highlighting a more unstable and flexible idea of genre and its “relational character”.
Because of the explicitly political roots of the Asian American community and discursive formation, until very recently Asian American criticism has read literary texts emphasizing their social and political function to highlight the historical presence of Asian Americans in the United States and their legitimate struggle against power apparatuses. Very little attention has been paid to the aesthetic dimension of their artistic production and the ideological and “constructed dimension of the literary” (S. Lee).
The first two chapters deal with the concept of genre and the issues under debate in Asian America, whereas the remaining chapters consist of a detailed close reading of Mona in the Promised Land by G. Jen, Native Speaker by C. Lee, In the Heart of the Valley of Love by C. Kadohata and The Book of Salt by M. Truong, in order to grasp the literary quality and the manifold negotiations with the traditional generic categories they refer to, respectively the comedy, the spy story, the distopic novel and the autobiography.
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