Artists Of The Floating World / Edition 1

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This work analyzes the fiction of four contemporary multicultural writers who render a 'floating world' in which cultures converge or collide in unexpected, exciting, and dangerous ways. The novels and short stories of Kazuo Ishiguro, Bessie Head, Bharati Mukherjee, and Salman Rushdie explore a literal and metaphorical floating world (adapted from the Japanese concept of 'ukiyo'-a still-point between briefly-held earthly pleasures and spiritual immutability) where the characters, like their authors, are poised between conflicting worlds, cultures, and traditions. The manner in which these four authors articulate such a 'floating' experience, Burton argues, enriches our understanding and appreciation of the increasingly interconnected world around us.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761835998
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 148
  • Sales rank: 1,281,051
  • Product dimensions: 0.32 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Burton is Professor of English at California State University, Chico. He received his Ph. D. in English from Indiana University, Bloomington.

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Table of Contents

Preface     v
Introduction     9
Overview     9
Beyond Binaries     12
Home and a Sense of Place     13
Migration and Displacement     15
Privilege     17
Homi Bhabha and Doubling     18
Artists of the Floating World     20
Multiculturalism and Postcolonialism: An Overview     22
The Floating World and Ukiyo     29
Borderlands, Contact Zones, In-Betweenness, Polyglossia, and Negative Capability     32
From James Joyce's Gabriel to Salman Rushdie's Gibreel     33
Narrative Tracks Across the Floating World: Kazuo Ishiguro's An Artist of the Floating World (1986) and The Remains of the Day (1989)     37
Narratives of Self and Nation     37
A Pale View of Hills (1982)     40
Paradigm Shifts     42
An Artist of the Floating World (1986)     43
The Remains of the Day (1989)     47
The Use of Narrative Tracks and the Construction of Self     51
The Construction of George Orwell     52
Recent Works by Ishiguro     54
The Construction of Kazuo Ishiguro     57
Framing the Floating World: Bessie Head's A Question of Power (1974)     61
Framing Reality     61
The Life of Bessie Head: From "No Frame of Reference" to "A Gesture of Belonging"     63
Susan Gardner and the "Truth" of Bessie Head's Life     66
Helene Cixous and "The Laugh of the Medusa"     67
A Question of Power (1973)     69
Breakdown and Dislocation     74
Recovery and Repair     75
Reframing the Floating World     76
Subalterns in the Floating World: Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine (1989) and The Holder Of The World (1993)     79
Can the Subaltern Speak?     79
The Question of Patriarchy     81
Fluidity and Assimilation     83
Two-Way Transformations     84
Jasmine (1989)     86
The Holder of the World (1993)     91
Leave It To Me (1997), Desirable Daughters (2002), and The Tree Bride (2004)     94
The Middleman and Other Stories (1988)     95
Arundhati Roy     98
Terrorism and Subaltern-speak     99
The Word Versus Words: Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses (1988)     103
Salman Rushdie as Icon and Iconoclast     103
Subalterns, Frames, and Narrative Tracks in Midnight's Children (1980)     104
Shame (1983): The Rushdie Riddle      105
The Story of the Publication of The Satanic Verses (1988)     107
The Word Versus Words     108
Freedom of Expression and Adab     111
Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990): An Allegory of Good and Evil     113
East, West (1994): Deconstructing the Sacred     114
Exuberant Secular Humanism: The Moor's Last Sigh (1995) and The Ground Beneath Her Feet (1999)     117
Stepping Across the Line: Fury (2001)     118
A Way Forward?     120
Conclusion     123
What Is the Role of the Artist in the Floating World?     123
Is Globalization a Viable Narrative for the Floating World?     125
Is English the Dominant Language of the Floating World?     126
Can Subaltern Voices Be Heard in the Floating World?     128
Is There a Dangerous Clash of Civilizations in The Floating World?     129
What Is The Responsibility of the Citizen in the Floating World?     131
Epilogue: Labor Day, 2005     132
Web Resources     136
Index     139
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