The Precision of Persimmons

Steven G. Yao

in Foreign Accents

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199730339
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866540 | DOI:

Series: Global Asias

The Precision of Persimmons

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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Chapter 4 examines the work and successful career of one of the writers who has come to represent the field of “Asian American poetry” within the wider sphere of contemporary American culture, Li-Young Lee. Employing a testimonial mode that has come to dominate both the production and reception of Asian American poetic expression, Lee has garnered several awards and even a measure of mainstream popular attention. Yet his poetry displays, and indeed self-consciously plays upon, an incomplete knowledge of the cultural traditions to which he lays claim in his attempts to define his own ethnicity. Consequently, his work reveals the limitations of a poetic, as well as a critical, practice that rests upon the conceptual foundation of a unified subjectivity giving affective voice to individual experience.

Keywords: lyric; testimony; essentialism; affect; subjectivity; ethnic; assimilation; representative

Chapter.  17548 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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