Diasporic Writerâ€™s Self-Orientalisation or Self-Reflexivity: American Orientalist Discourse and the Rejection of Eileen Changâ€™s <i>The Rouge of the North</i>
AbstractBy adopting the rules of exclusion in the Foucauldian idea of discourse, this paper explores why The Rouge of the North by Eileen Chang, a diasporic writer, was rejected for publication in the United States. During the early years of the Cold War, a â€œpositiveâ€ stereotypical image of Chinese Americans as assimilable was constructed in the American Orientalist discourse, to win over Asian and American minds. Because the more negative image of the characters in the novel did not comply with this image, it was excluded from circulation. This invalidates some current accusations of Chang as self-orientalising. This paper contends that labelling diasporic writers like Chang as self-orientalisng dismisses the ambivalence of the construction of the stereotypes of Orientals in Orientalist discourse. Besides, the label ignores Chang's conscious refusal to contribute to the epistemic production desired by American hegemonic power to facilitate its function. Her refusal demonstrates her self-reflexivity as an intellectual, rather than self-orientalisation.
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