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Thinking Its PresenceForm, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry$
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Dorothy J. Wang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783651

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783651.001.0001

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Irony’s Barbarian Voices in the Poetry of Marilyn Chin

Irony’s Barbarian Voices in the Poetry of Marilyn Chin

(p.115) Four Irony’s Barbarian Voices in the Poetry of Marilyn Chin
Thinking Its Presence

Dorothy J. Wang

Stanford University Press

Chin’s use of irony is examined more thoroughly in this chapter. As a woman writing at the nexus of two patriarchal traditions and as an avowedly political poet, Chin uses the trope of irony to engage and parry the demands of Chinese and American cultural purists, both of whom view her as ’barbarian,’ and to make sharp critiques of racism and sexism in both American and Chinese cultures. This ironic voice is gendered and, variously, sassy, melancholic, sexy, and sober, but always fierce. Using a multivoiced irony allows her to mimic, express, and confront conflicting states of self-hatred, self-colonization, and erotic desire for white male domination, even as she hits hard at forms of colonialism.

Keywords:   irony, poetry, Marilyn Chin, colonialism, voice, Paul de Man, self-colonization

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