Self-Referential Narrative and Creative Filiation in Chinese American Writing: Maxine Hong Kingston and Shirley Geok-lin Lim
This paper aims at discussing Shirley Geok-lin Limâ€™s 1996 memoir â€“ Among the White Moon Faces â€“ as inviting a conceptualisation and examination of lineage conceived otherwise than (only) on a biological mode. I am interested in showing that when the question of filiation is examined from a literary perspective and focuses on different possible relations to a writer and a narrative belonging to a different generation, it is also intimately related to an attitude towards cultural heritage.
Â Â Â My basic postulation is that references to The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts, a seminal and uniquely innovative work in (Chinese) American letters are visible on a double level, diegetic and extradiegetic, and weave a fruitful relationship not only with the conceptualisations of self-representation that emerge in Kingstonâ€™s first opus, but also with the narrative and discursive configurations that sustain them. By tracing and analysing these different echoes and resonances it will be evinced how in Limâ€™s and Kingstonâ€™s case, the questions of heritage or, forthat matter, the one of transmission, go beyond the simple following in someoneâ€™s footsteps or unilateralism to which they are usually reduced, weaving into the literary field other connections than those established by chronology or aesthetics.
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