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Undoing Discrimination with Discretion: Marianne Moore's Use of East Asian Motif in ''Nine Nectarines"

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Authors
Jang, Mi-Jung
Issue Date
2009
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.32 No.1, pp. 117-144
Keywords
RacismEugenicsMercantilism (or Commercialism)the ExoticEssentializationNaturalizationthe East Asia
Abstract
This essay analyzes the uniqueness in the use of East Asian motif in Marianne Moore's "Nine Nectarines. It presupposes that when a considerable amount of cultural, material, and human contact with East Asia had already been amassed in the US since 1856, it was natural that young American poets in the early twentieth centuries frequently showed. East Asian themes and motifs in their poetry, and tried to relate those themes and motifs to various contemporary issues. However, East Asian themes and motifs were essentially exotic in many poems because their poetic efficacy arouse from their foreigness. Therefore, the themes and motifs bad to look always foreign and curious in order for the poem to seize readers' eyes, In an effort to secure the distance between the East Asian themes and motifs and the American context Also. a process of essentializating the race was also often involved.: to define a race on the basis of a partial set of characteristics. In contrast, in "Nine Nectarines." Marianne Moore picks up from the ordinary American life a three-fold-Chinese motif, a nectarine porcelain plate from China, and weaves it in conversation with contemporary American issues such as eugenics. racism. aDd conunercialism. The Chinese motif reveals the limit of and makes a clear contrast with some radico.l ideas on those issues, yet the poem does not fall in idealiZing the race on partial grounds. As a conclusion, this essay shows Marianne Moore's use of the Chinese motif in "Nine Nectarines- as anticipating the later turn of the American poetry: to naturalize the foreign in the American poetry.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88636
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 32 Number 1/2 (2009)
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