Asian-American Literature and a Lacanian Reading of Maxine Hong Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey
In his paper, "Asian-American Literature and a Lacanian Reading of Maxine Hong Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey," Fu-jen Chen explores the protagonist's subjective progression into the post-Symbolic Real in Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey -- from subject as Demand, through subject as Desire, to subject as jouissance. Tripmaster Monkey records Ah Sing's transformation from a racial paranoiac at the beginning of the novel through a subject as demand to a subject as desire who is learning to target new desires via his engaging in real myth and staging real theater, and finally to a subject as jouissance -- one who is oriented to his own cause of desire and is able to enjoy. As a subject as jouissance, Ah Sing signifies a "New Man" whose racial identity as Asian-American is free from the grip of the nostalgic other (Chinese) or the racist Other (American) but subjected to the hyphen, the rupture as well as the joint that functions as the thing, cause of desire, and object petit a. At the end, Ah Sing finally can act as cause and subjectify the cause of his existence as an Asian-American.
"Asian-American Literature and a Lacanian Reading of Maxine Hong Kingston's Tripmaster Monkey."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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