The Deathly Embrace: Orientalism and Asian American Identity

By Sheng-Mei Ma | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
Kazuo Ishiguro's Persistent Dream
for Postethnicity

Performance in Whiteface

“Why, Mr. Stevens, why, why, why do you always have to pretend ?”

— Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day 154

Although some critics may find it devilishly inappropriate, even unprofessional, to confuse fictitious characters and the fiction writer, surely no one would dispute the simple fact that being figments of the imagination, characters could be viewed as a novelist's projections of his or her unique conditions of existence, ethnicity being one of them. Therefore, just as a desperate Miss Kenton poses the question above to Stevens, who has managed to ignore her love for years, I ask Kazuo Ishiguro the same question concerning his own performance, a career that barely touches on his Anglo-Japanese ethnicity. This is to assume, in an essentialist manner, that there is such a thing — a particular kind of ethnicity — to be represented. But to assume otherwise is a luxury enjoyed by “the haves, ” who have moved beyond the basic struggles for civil rights, whose ethnicity is no longer an impediment to success, whose ethnicity, in an ironic twist, is the key to success in a West fond of tokenized minorities. Moreover, though there appears to be only one Anglo-Japanese character in Ishiguro's corpus of four novels, he may very well be dealing with his own ethnicity all along. That he never locates the central consciousness of his novels in Anglo-Japanese but vacillates between Japanese and English characters testifies to the intangible subject position of minorities in the West, a position so laden with minority dis-ease that one rushes to join seemingly wholesome, well-integrated,

-147-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Deathly Embrace: Orientalism and Asian American Identity
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 185

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.