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postgraduate thesis: Tradition as inheritance and departure: transformation, survival, and the trickster in Love medicine, Chinamen and Illywhacker

TitleTradition as inheritance and departure: transformation, survival, and the trickster in Love medicine, Chinamen and Illywhacker
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Heim, O
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chiu, W. [趙慧芳]. (2011). Tradition as inheritance and departure : transformation, survival, and the trickster in Love medicine, China men and Illywhacker. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4785002
Abstract This dissertation examines literary representations of the trickster in contemporary literature across different cultures. The introduction traces the recent development in the studies on the trickster since Radin's influential publication, The Trickster. There are two major trends in recent scholarship. First, many theorists believe that the trickster is a cross-cultural phenomenon. Second, recent scholars have started to track modern expressions of the trickster in contemporary societies. Building upon these two observations, this dissertation further explores various forms of the modern trickster, new trickster strategies and their functions in contemporary texts. This dissertation discusses the relationship between tradition and transformation expressed through modern trickster narratives. It is argued that modern trickster stories manifest the transformation of a culture through the transformative characteristics of the trickster, as well as through a text's formal transformation. Transformation signifies the possibility of change, therefore opening mainstream representations and ideologies for re-interpretation. Chapter Two offers a reading of Louise Erdrich?s Love Medicine and demonstrates how the novel transforms a Chippewa Nanabozho myth cycle into a modern Chippewa trickster story cycle. Erdrich?s Nanabozho appears as multiple modern Native Indians. This deconstructs the stereotypical image of the "vanished tribe" by showing that the Chippewa people, culture and traditions are not dead; they have transformed to survive. The formal transformation of the text also enables Chippewa oral traditions to be passed down, preserved and to survive through this contemporary fiction. Chapter Three examines and discusses how a subaltern community uses trickster strategies to resist marginalization by focusing on Maxine Hong Kingston?s China Men. Specific to China Men's use of the trickster's transformation is its manifestation of changes and struggles experienced by Chinese American immigrants. Appropriating the genre of talk-story, Kingston transforms Chinese myths into American tales, her family stories into history writing. Stories told by China Men's characters, as well as histories retold in the transformative text, are the rhetorical acts of the trickster used to challenge dominant representations and the silencing of Chinese Americans. Chapter Four analyzes Peter Carey?s Illywhacker to further test the boundary of the trickster?s realm. In this chapter, Illywhacker is conceptualized as a trickster's Australian country show in the form of a simulated exhibition showcasing emblematic Australian mythologies. The text builds upon the bush literary traditions to oppose the Australian national culture and identity constructed and mediated through the bush metaphor. The performativity of all three texts implies a repetitiveness that takes new form every time, opening the metanarratives of Australian national history and identity for revision, subversions and re-imagination.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectTricksters in literature.
Dept/ProgramEnglish

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorHeim, O-
dc.contributor.authorChiu, Wai-fong.-
dc.contributor.author趙慧芳.-
dc.date.issued2011-
dc.identifier.citationChiu, W. [趙慧芳]. (2011). Tradition as inheritance and departure : transformation, survival, and the trickster in Love medicine, China men and Illywhacker. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4785002-
dc.description.abstract This dissertation examines literary representations of the trickster in contemporary literature across different cultures. The introduction traces the recent development in the studies on the trickster since Radin's influential publication, The Trickster. There are two major trends in recent scholarship. First, many theorists believe that the trickster is a cross-cultural phenomenon. Second, recent scholars have started to track modern expressions of the trickster in contemporary societies. Building upon these two observations, this dissertation further explores various forms of the modern trickster, new trickster strategies and their functions in contemporary texts. This dissertation discusses the relationship between tradition and transformation expressed through modern trickster narratives. It is argued that modern trickster stories manifest the transformation of a culture through the transformative characteristics of the trickster, as well as through a text's formal transformation. Transformation signifies the possibility of change, therefore opening mainstream representations and ideologies for re-interpretation. Chapter Two offers a reading of Louise Erdrich?s Love Medicine and demonstrates how the novel transforms a Chippewa Nanabozho myth cycle into a modern Chippewa trickster story cycle. Erdrich?s Nanabozho appears as multiple modern Native Indians. This deconstructs the stereotypical image of the "vanished tribe" by showing that the Chippewa people, culture and traditions are not dead; they have transformed to survive. The formal transformation of the text also enables Chippewa oral traditions to be passed down, preserved and to survive through this contemporary fiction. Chapter Three examines and discusses how a subaltern community uses trickster strategies to resist marginalization by focusing on Maxine Hong Kingston?s China Men. Specific to China Men's use of the trickster's transformation is its manifestation of changes and struggles experienced by Chinese American immigrants. Appropriating the genre of talk-story, Kingston transforms Chinese myths into American tales, her family stories into history writing. Stories told by China Men's characters, as well as histories retold in the transformative text, are the rhetorical acts of the trickster used to challenge dominant representations and the silencing of Chinese Americans. Chapter Four analyzes Peter Carey?s Illywhacker to further test the boundary of the trickster?s realm. In this chapter, Illywhacker is conceptualized as a trickster's Australian country show in the form of a simulated exhibition showcasing emblematic Australian mythologies. The text builds upon the bush literary traditions to oppose the Australian national culture and identity constructed and mediated through the bush metaphor. The performativity of all three texts implies a repetitiveness that takes new form every time, opening the metanarratives of Australian national history and identity for revision, subversions and re-imagination.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47850024-
dc.subject.lcshTricksters in literature.-
dc.titleTradition as inheritance and departure: transformation, survival, and the trickster in Love medicine, Chinamen and Illywhacker-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4785002-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEnglish-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4785002-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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