World Literature Today

May 2016 Issue

Table of Contents

  • Editor’s Note
  • To have access to literature, world literature, was to escape the prison of national vanity, of philistinism, of compulsory provincialism, of inane schooling, of imperfect destinies and bad luck. Literature was the passport to enter a larger life; that is, the zone of freedom. – Susan Sontag, “Literature Is Freedom” (2003)

    In a 2000 article surveying Malaysian fiction in English, Wong Ming Yook writes that “much of Malaysian literature has dealt with the problem of psychic displacement of migrant communities settling in a new land. . . . The complexity involved is intensified by the fact that English is an acquired second language, rather than the first language, of the writers themselves.” Although the “migrant consciousness” of such writers often leads to a sense of dispossession and fragmenting identity, Wong sees “movement toward a healing resolution” in many of these authors’ fictions. Writers who “grapple hard with the willingness to lose cultural boundedness,” she writes, ultimately strive for an “assimilating and encompassing consciousness” that compensates for other losses (“Traversing Boundaries,” WLT, Spring 2000). For the writers showcased in this issue’s “Four Asian Voices” cover feature—Han Kang (South Korea), Wang Ping (China/US), Ming Di (China/US), and Bernice Chauly (Malaysia)—a “migrant consciousness” is embedded in their work, even when not precipitated by physical displacement. 【Read the rest here


About 诗东西 Poetry East West

Chinese-English bilingual magazine (will include more languages), published in Los Angeles USA, printed in Beijing China. ISSN 2159-2772

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