Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Foreign AccentsChinese American Verse from Exclusion to Postethnicity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Steven G. Yao

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730339

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730339.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 April 2020

Chinese/American Verse in Transnational Perspective

Chinese/American Verse in Transnational Perspective

Racial Protest and the Poems of Angel Island

Chapter:
(p.63) 2 Chinese/American Verse in Transnational Perspective
Source:
Foreign Accents
Author(s):

Steven G. Yao

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730339.003.0002

This chapter examines the classical Chinese poetry written by immigrants detained on Angel Island. Composed in almost total anonymity between 1910 and 1940 by largely uneducated Chinese commoners attempting to enter the United States, the poems carved into the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station detention buildings have garnered attention almost exclusively for socio-historic, rather than literary or cultural, reasons. As a corrective to such a tendency, this chapter shows how, coinciding in an almost uncanny way with the period of traditional Anglo-American high modernism, these works at once arise from and reflect an altogether different, and still largely unremarked, dimension of the internationalism shaping “American” culture at the time. More specifically, through their very distance from canonical works of “mainstream” English-language modernism, the “Island” poems dramatize a traumatic encounter with modernity by Chinese commoners that issues in a painful discovery of the social condition of ethnicity in the United States. In doing so, they embody an expressly international version of Asian American literary production, one that bespeaks the need to develop a more complex conception of both “American” and, more particularly, “Asian American” culture that cuts across the boundaries not only between nations but also between languages.

Keywords:   Angel, Island, exclusion, Yellow, Peril, transpacific, classical, Chinese, poetry

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .