By Xiaojing Zhou
Poetry through Asian American writers has had an important effect at the panorama of up to date American poetry, and a book-length severe therapy of Asian American poetry is lengthy late. during this groundbreaking e-book, Xiaojing Zhou demonstrates what percentage Asian American poets remodel the traditional “I” of lyric poetry—based at the conventional Western idea of the self and the Cartesian “I”—to enact a extra moral courting among the “I” and its others. Drawing on Emmanuel Levinas’s notion of the ethics of alterity—which argues that a moral relation to the opposite is person who recognizes the irreducibility of otherness—Zhou deals a reconceptualization of either self and different. Taking distinction as a resource of creativity and turning it right into a kind of resistance and a serious intervention, Asian American poets interact with broader matters than the in simple terms poetic. They confront social injustice opposed to the opposite and make contact with serious awareness to an idea of otherness which differs essentially from that underlying racism, sexism, and colonialism. via finding the moral and political questions of otherness in language, discourse, aesthetics, and daily encounters, Asian American poets support improve serious reports in race, gender, and pop culture in addition to in poetry. The Ethics and Poetics of Alterity is now not restricted, even if, to literary experiences: it truly is a useful reaction to the questions raised via more and more globalized encounters throughout many types of barriers. The Poets Marilyn Chin, Kimiko Hahn, Myung Mi Kim, Li younger Lee, Timothy Liu, David Mura, and John Yau
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Extra info for The Ethics and Poetics of Alterity in Asian American Poetry
The corporeality of the self in Lee’s poems is related to his persona’s vulnerability and impulse to investigate the otherness of the other; it also underlies his lyric speaker’s openness to and desire for the other which remains elusive. Chapter 2, “Marilyn Chin: She Walks into Exile Vowing No Return,” investigates the ways in which Chin gives voice to Asian women and working-class Chinese immigrants through a multicultural and bilingual lyric I and a hybrid poetics of otherness which enrich and rupture the idiom of Eurocentric American lyric.
At the same time, Asian American poets reclaim otherness as irreducible alterity, as a form of resistance and intervention, which entails new perspectives on self and other, and generates new possibilities for using language, image, and poetic form. Thus, Asian American poets negotiate with a different and complex otherness, including that of the immigrant, the exile, the woman, the person of color, the homosexual, the model minority and yellow peril, as well as that otherness which is unknowable and resists all categories.
In Mura “Dim Sum Poetics” 98). To counter such assumptions, Lee insists on maintaining what Levinas calls “the ethical inviolability of the Other” (TI 195) through his lyric speaker, who is enthralled by the unknowable other whose alterity appeals, fascinates, and eludes. “Your otherness exhausts me, / like looking suddenly up from above here / to impossible stars fading,” says Lee’s persona to the loved other. In fact, Lee’s persona makes no attempt to grasp the other’s alterity as knowledge: “And your otherness is perfect as my death” (City 55).