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From an Ethnic Writer to a Global Writer : Amy Tans Transition in Saving Fish from Drowning >

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Presentation on theme: "From an Ethnic Writer to a Global Writer : Amy Tans Transition in Saving Fish from Drowning >"— Presentation transcript:

1 From an Ethnic Writer to a Global Writer : Amy Tans Transition in Saving Fish from Drowning >

2 Who is Amy Tan? A Chinese-American-ethnic-female writer, who is addicted to Chinese culture, customs, folktales, ghost tales, Chinese mother-American daughter relationship and also a participant of the Rock Bottom Remainders

3 Saving Fish from Drowning (2005) Summary: Tan tells an adventure of twelve American tourists who are kidnapped by the Karen people, the minority group lived in the Burmese jungle. The Karen people believe that one of the tourists, Rupert, has the magic power to make them indivisible and to protect them from the brutal Burmese military government. In the end, all American tourists are rescued and the Karen people become the protagonists of a reality show, Junglemaniacs! ….

4 Whats different? New theme: global media and transnational tourism New setting: Burma New character: male characters, non-Chinese Americans

5 A Drowning Writer: the Limited Interpretations of an Ethnic Writer Possible factors related to her transition: 1. Exchanges related to her personal life 2. The socio-historical circumstances.

6 Lyme Disease: Due to the long-term fight with Lyme disease, Tan declares, I see things I dont want to take for granted ever again. I try to do more in life (Morrison 46). In 2000, Tan visited Burma, and her experience turns into precious material for Saving Fish from Drowning.

7 Daisys death Daisys death symbolizes the end of Tans Chinese inspiration and pushes her to move forward to new themes.

8 The public reception Two-edged knife Chinese heritage Critics tend to link Tans ethnic writer identity with her works, for an ethnic writers bloodlines seems to provide powerful legitimacy to their representation of their homeland. On the other hand, her Chinese heritage prescribes the subjects she can write on. If I have to label myself, I think I would call myself an American writer (The Opposite of Fate 245).

9 The Spell of the sales volume In 1980s, flourishing feminist movement and the persistent allure of Orientalism to Westerners enabled Tans success. In 2005, it is globalization saves her. Matrilineal discourses Globalization × × Orientalism

10 The Spell of the sales volume The Joy Luck Club (1989)#3,2651 title Sales Rank list Saving Fish from Drowning (2005)#4,823 2 The Kitchen God's Wife (1991)#21,2034 The Hundred Secret Senses (1995) #19,8803 The Bonesetter's Daughter (2001)#50,4385 Retrieved from

11 A Writer Saved: Amy Tan as a Global Writer Global literature 1. The transnational circulation of the work 2. the flaw of the traditional generic category 3. the content: Global fiction is fiction about globalization(Jay 2001).

12 Asian global writerEleanor Ty 1.Works that overtly thematize globalization 2. Works authored by Asian in North American, Britain, or Australia. 3. Lastly, works by Asians in the diaspora which do not feature Asians as protagonists or deal with Asian… (240)

13 Global media and transnational tourism The broadcast of global media imposes on its audience a taste of exotic culture, which, in part, leads to the flourishing transnational tourism nowadays.

14 Simulation and simulacra Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal (Baurdillard 2). Simulacrum is the outcome of the whole development of the simulation, which exists independently and generates its own reality. Ex. Disneyland in America

15 Mystery in Myanmar The significance of the show: Harry investigative documentary Western the best reality show around audience The precession of the simulacra and entertainment The disappearance of the truth and the meaning

16 Mystery in Myanmar Harry Bailley: an experienced Western TV host the spokesman of Burmese government the mass media are anti-mediatory and intransitive. They fabricate non-communication… (Simulation and Simulacra169).

17 Junglemaniacs! The role of the Third World: Due to the broadcasting of global media, the role of Third World countries in the global stage is like the provider of recreation. Tourist industry, therefore, is developed to cater Western tourists and to attract foreign investment.

18 The apparition of the Tasaday: In any case, the logical evolution of a science is to distance itself increasingly from its object, until it dispense with it entirely (7-8). In order for ethnology to live, its object must die(7). =

19 The flaw of Baurdrillards theory Being an expert of simulation, Baudrillard also neglects the significance of the real but is addicted to the lure of the simulacra. Thus, Tans depiction of the Karen people helps us to understand the fate of the real as well as the simulated. Im sorry~~~

20 The Karen people vs. the Tasaday The similarity: Both are minority ethnic group Both live in the primitive region Both appeared in front of modern people Both are sent back to the jungle Both are isolated Both are manipulated Both are taken away their voices Both disappear in front of modern people soon Both are simulated Both have their simulacra... \ Their appearance on TV turns them into icons and their life, shows.

21 The real vs. The simulacra The real Karen people Real human beings Live in the jungle concerned by none Dead unknown (later) The simulated Karen people Invented by global media Live in virtual reality (the show) concerned by audience as actors The cancellation of the show (earlier) Thus, global media accelerates the death of the real Karen people in the canyon.

22 Saving Fish from Drowning It is the turning point of Tans writing career. Her new identity as a global writer leads her to multiple issues. Global issues enable critics and readers to evaluate her book from diverse perspectives other than before.

23 New Identity and New Writing To embrace her new writer identity as a global writer while not abandoning her ethnic heritage, Tan demonstrates a new possibility for her ethnic fellow writers.

24 The End Thanks for Your Listening

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