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Spatial Narrative and Diasporic Conscious in Kingston’s China Men and I Love a Broad Margin to My L

时间:2020-06-29 21:49:54  来源:  作者:Dong Xiaoye
Spatial Narrative and Diasporic Conscious in Kingstons
China Men and I Love a Broad Margin to My Life
Dong Xiaoye
(东北林业大学外国语学院,副教授/英语系主任)
Abstract: As a contemporary influential Chinese American writer, Kingston takes issues with the diasporic identity and consciousness regarding her family and her own commuting physical and psychological experiences between homeland and hostland, which are necessarily defined by specific arrangements of spatial form and spatial content. A literary work is no doubt a dynamic mechanism ignited by the writer’s creative motivation, the textual narrative design and the readers response and the motif must be reflected in the textual expression. Kingston contributes a lot to the formation of modern Chinese American narrative modes and then focuses more on poetic writing in her late career. Her new poetic collection, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life published in 2011 is an inheritance of her early diasporic advocacy in a new age. This paper explores Kingston’s diasporic conscious in the perspective of spatial narrative in her China Men and I Love a Broad Margin to My Life to research Kingston’s changes of diasporic conscious from “claim(ing) America” to transnationalism.
Key Words: Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life, diasporic conscious, spatial narrative
Maxine Hong Kingston is sometimes considered essentially as an indisputably leading writer and one of the most important representatives in Contemporary Chinese American literature whose works greatly influence and transform Asian American literary creations and studies and signify that contemporary Asian American literature reaches new height in its development and begins to form composite of main stream American literature. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the increase of appreciation of Chinese American literature attributes a lot to Kingston’s fabulous literary achievements brought by her first three works——The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts(1976),China Men(1980)and Tripmaster Monkey(1989with their high evaluation and broad attention.”(Zhang 1998: 4)
The very first publication of The Woman Warrior is regarded as a milestone in the procession of Asian American literature and as “the first major Asian American ‘crossover hit’”(Wong 1993: 214) and “a book that changed forever the face and status of contemporary Asian American literature.”(Li 1998: 44)The work has won great acclamation since the inception of its publication and its reception of National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976. China Men, the serial of The Woman Warrior continued to gain passionate response with the National Book Awards and was also nominated for the American Library Associating Notable Books List (in 1980), National Book Critics Circle Award and Pulitzer Award respectively. Tripmaster Monkey won the PEN USA Fiction Award and Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1990. That is why we contend that Kingston staked Chinese American literature increasingly contested claim to significance and Asian American literature to a peak and indeed “established a new tradition for Chinese American literature artistically.” (Zhang 2004: 12)Furthermore, Kingston’s influence in Chinese and Asian American literature has not been outrun by other present-day writers so far and her books are welcomed both in consumptive markets and in critical fields. Her writing was imitated by ensuing Asian American writers in diverse aspects. Kingston’s achievements make her considered not only as an ethnic writer but a representative and typical American author as well. Her fictions are studied rather in literary and aesthetic perspectives “than in anthropological, entertaining and exotic point of view”.(He and Shan 1996: 221)
Kingston’s late works draw no attention and discussion as broadly as her early ground-breaking writings do and as a matter of fact, it is not uncommon that some of her books are ignored. Readers may not know that Kingston has also created some other excellent works including Hawai’i One Summer (1987), Through the Black Curtain (1987), To Be the Poet (2002), The Fifth Book of Peace(2003), I Love a Broad Margin to My Life (2011)and so forth. In the above-mentioned late works, only The Fifth Book of Peace won bit of attention and other works seem to lose charm to readers. It is true in China. If we put in different titles of Kingston’s works as keywords in CNKI, a Chinese authorized academic website on July 28, 2015, we will get 1111 academic papers on
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