Metamorphosis from a Korean-American Bartleby to a Whatever Being in Native Speaker
어문학 > 영문학
( Dae Joong Kim )
미국소설학회(구 한국호손학회)
미국소설 2012년, 제19권 제3호, 145~167페이지(총23페이지)
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    Chang-Rae Lee`s Native Speaker has been regarded as a preeminent, catching yet problematic narrative of globalization and ethnic cultures in the U.S. This paper aims to examine how Henry, Korean American protagonist, becomes a scribing-machine in scripture economy, how he turns into an ethnic Bartleby using his famous formula I prefer not to to finally realize his belonging to a community of unidentifiable beings such as illegal immigrants or subaltern women. For this project, I extensively use Giorgio Agamben`s such ideas as "whatever being" and "coming community" as well as Edouard Glissant`s choas-monde. This paper begins with paralleling Native Speaker with Herman Melville`s "Bartleby, the Scrivener" to find allegorical allusion. This allusion also leads to the discussion of how Henry works as an invisible man in a scripture economy and how he starts listening to voices of the dead, employing Michel de Certeau`s theory. Then, I traces how Henry gets over this Bartleby`s fate by the recognition that he is just a member of a community where unidentifiable beings live in the opacity of an abysmal archipelago of relations which Edouard Glissant calls chaos-monde. After analyzing this community of unidentifiable beings and exemplifying subaltern women, especially Ahjuhma in Native Speaker, I end this paper with Henry`s final transformation into a speech monster.
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