Lost and Found in Translation: Contemporary Ethnic American Writing and the Politics of Language Diversity

By Martha J. Cutter | Go to book overview
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1
An Impossible Necessity
Translation and the Re-creation of Linguistic
and Cultural Identities in the Works
of David Wong Louie, Fae Myenne Ng,
and Maxine Hong Kingston

The transformations that take shape in print, that take the formal
name of “translation,” become their own beings, set out on their
own wanderings. Some live long, and some don't. What kind
of creatures are they? Eliot Weinberger and Octavio Paz,
Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei

IN THE TITLE story of David Wong Louie's collection Pangs of Love, the English-speaking narrator tries to communicate with his mother, who speaks mostly Chinese and has learned only a few English phrases from the television she watches constantly. But the protagonist fails: “I know what I want to say in English. My mind's stuffed full with the words. I pull one sentence at a time from the elegant little speech and try to piece together a word-for-word

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Lost and Found in Translation: Contemporary Ethnic American Writing and the Politics of Language Diversity
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