AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 348

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Session 348: Transnational Literature II

Reinventing a literary tradition. Aesthetics of haiku, poetics of seduction and annihilation in Aki Shimazaki.
Janusz Przychodzen, York University, Canada

Reınventıng lıterary tradıtıon. Aesthetıcs of haıku, poetıcs of seductıon and annihilation in Akı Shımazakı. In this paper, first of all, I will examine how Aki Shimazaki, French-Canadian writer born in Japan is inspired by the haiku poetry (poem's structure, rhythm, lexicality, vision of reality) in order to demonstrate that her minimalistic prose is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Our study fıll focalıze on the pentalogy Le poıds des secrets (Tsubakı, Hamagurı Tsubame, Wasurenagusa , Hotaru) publıshed ın Canada (Quebec) and France at the beggınıng of 21st century. However this creative transposition of the poetic language implies also - in an almost dialectic move - a critical reading and transformation of a whole literary tradition from Man'yōshū , fırst poetıc anthology , up to today 's forms of popular culture ın Japan, aiming to revise its common places in a moral – ındıvıdualy-- and hıstorıcal --refferıng to the atomıc tragedy-- perspective. Reinventing a literary tradition means ın thıs context shaping fundatıon of a better world by lookıng to promote a fresh ımagınary but stıll connected to the past.

‘Who’s afraid of Arundhati Roy: A reading of Roy’s activism and position within postcolonial debates in India’.
Rina Ramdev, University of Delhi, India

Since the writing of her controversial essay ‘The End of Imagination’, Arundhati Roy has become the bête noir of the Indian postcolonial state. Her sociopolitical critiques, unsavoury as they might be to a majoritarian, pro establishment lobby, are important in the creation of a strong intellectual capital even as they are critically instrumental in revitalizing democracy and its many debates. In my paper I shall attempt to see the solidarities and constituencies that a writer and critic like Roy both speaks through and creates and how her outspoken dissent and face off with the Indian state separates her from others of her ilk, like Amitav Ghosh and Shashi Deshpande. In this I would locate the growing/waning influence of writers within spaces of apathy, inertia and collusion that the postcolonial state seeks to forge. Roy’s activism on dam building, nuclear proliferation and separatist militancy is sometimes rather strategically used by the Indian state to showcase its democratic acceptance of dissenters and critics. In recent interviews and essays Roy has spoken on issues of state violence in Kashmir and her seemingly unambivalent support of separatist causes and political groups like the Maoists/Naxals has had a vitriolic media and public demand that she state her affiliations in a manner of the Bush-ian ‘either/or’ injunction (“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”). Of particular interest then would be questions of violence and her theorizing of its mandate in the hands of the state as well as in that of resurgent political groups like the Naxals in India.

Transnationalism, Memory and new Malaysian Diasporic Writings
Shanthini Pillai, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia

The focal point of this paper is the concept of the transnational and the blurred and fluctuating boundaries of ties with the nation that was once home as depicted in the works of the eemerging community of new Malaysian diasporic writers. New Malaysian diasporic writers in the context of this paper are taken to refer to writers who were born in Malaysia and who are now settled elsewhere in the globe, and yet are recognisably transnational in that their writings focus on the older country and memories of family, community and a nation that once was. Notably this transnational community of writers exists within the intersections of an outsider-insider perspective of the nation and their writings draw largely from recollections that are often rooted in folk memory and most significantly in the stories inherited from family. This paper will present a discussion of selected new Malaysian Diasporic writings by analyzing the notion of home and its attendant associative experiences as collated in the form of memories of the Malaysian past as relayed by the narrative voices. It will then proceed with the impact of these depictions on a group of readers comprising of Malaysians and diasporic. The ultimate aim of this paper is to investigate the role that Malaysia plays in the lives of transnational new Malaysian Diasporic writers and the impact of such writings on transnational readers.

Taking a Left Turn: Sino-Malay Novels in the Late Colonial Period
Elizabeth Chandra, Keio University, Japan

Sino-Malay literature has generally been identified as pulp fiction of sensational and commercial nature. This characterization is more appropriate for novels published in the first quarter of the twentieth century. From the middle of the 1920s however, thematic representations in Sino-Malay literature became quite diverse – from highly imaginative fantasy stories, detective fiction, ethnographic novels, to novels featuring socio-economic issues. This paper focuses in particular on the novels written by Liem Khing Hoo and Njoo Cheong Seng, two prolific Chinese-Indonesian authors, on the plight of factory workers and the attendant exile of labor activists to the Dutch penal colony, Boven Digoel. Published between the 1930s and 1950, these novels in different ways are social commentaries on the problem of class and the limits of (social and political) activism in colonial Indonesia. This paper asks: Where does the socialist rhetoric come from? What does it say about Indonesia and the “Chinese” self that produced them?

Lilia Q. Santiago, University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA

This presentation will be a study of the literary cultural production of Filipinas who migrated and lived in Hawaii over the past fifty years. Using three different languages, these writers' voices and visions contribute to understanding the social and historical formation of the Filipino/Filipino American community in Hawaii and the United States. These writers are: Ilokano writers Pacita Cabulera Saludes, founding President of GUMIL Hawaii (Gunglo Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano or Association of Ilokano writers) Gladys Menor, President of GUMIL Oahu, Lourdes Nedic and Perlita Sadorra, Tagalog writer and UH Professor, Ruth Elynia Mabanglo and Fil-Am writers, Amalia Bueno, Bernadette "Gigi" Miranda, Christy Anne Passion and Darlene Rodrigues. The analysis will proceed from a socio-historical perspective of Filipino migration to Hawaii and will tackle texts with gender and culture-sensitivity. The presenter hopes to invite some of these writers themselves to read their works. Ilokano and Tagalog texts will be translated by the presenter.