Using José Villarreal’s Pocho, Luis Valdez’s Vietnam Campesino, Américo Paredes’s “Ichiro Kikuchi,” and Rolando Hinojosa’s Korean Love Songs as its primary examples, Sae-Saue’s essay shows that crossracial relations between Chicana/os and Asians reverberate consistently in narratives that articulate Chicana/o political identities. In these texts, Asia and Asians provoke powerful political awakenings because transnational and interracial ideas about Asia and Asians factor significantly in the political emergence of their respective Chicana/o protagonists. However, by relegating Asia and Asians to the margins of a larger narrative structure, the texts repress these transnational and cross-racial encounters after their having precipitated intense political thinking. In this manner, these important Chicana/o writings communicate a political culture in which transnational and interracial thinking about Asia and Asians exists in a complementary and conflicted relationship with a need to articulate local community problems without extra-ethnic distractions. Sae-Saue argues that the marginalization of Asia and Asians in early Chicana/o literature symbolizes the historical tensions of a political culture committed to communicating local community concerns on one hand, and the development of transnational and interracial political thinking on the other.
Jayson Gonzales Sae-Saue; Aztlán’s Asians: Forging and Forgetting Cross-Racial Relations in the Chicana/O Literary Imagination. American Literature 1 September 2013; 85 (3): 563–589. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00029831-2296677
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