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Invisible SubjectsAsian America in Postwar Literature$
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Heidi Kim

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456252

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456252.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2022

The Foreign Faulkner

The Foreign Faulkner

The Mississippi Chinese in Faulkner’s South

Chapter:
(p.130) 4 The Foreign Faulkner
Source:
Invisible Subjects
Author(s):

Heidi Kim

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456252.003.0005

William Faulkner’s imagined small county in Mississippi has grown to represent the US South and the racial turmoil of generations imbricated in the long legacy of slavery. But in the last few decades, not only have Faulkner and Southern studies looked more at diverse and global interpretations of Faulkner, but the Mississippi Delta Chinese population has become an important part of the study of racialization in the South. This chapter particularly examines the historical and literary role that the Chinese play as parties neither black nor white. The interstitial positioning of the Chinese American population parallels the skillful use of foreignness and outsiderness in Faulkner’s works, most particularly in Light in August, in which the ambiguously raced protagonist exists as a foreigner until he irretrievably falls within the racial binary. Faulkner makes use of the Chinese at pivotal moments to discuss the intrusion and socioeconomic containment of a foreign presence, which his characters see will lead to a mixed-race future.

Keywords:   William Faulkner, Light in August, Mississippi, Mississippi Delta, Chinese Americans, US South

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