Sunday, November 18, 2018

Viet Nguyen on Frank Chin

(photo of Viet Nguyen comes from NBC News)

In his critique of Wesley Yang's The Souls of Yellow Folk, Pulitzer-prize winning author Viet Nguyen mentioned Frank Chin...
This Asian-American legacy in politics and art is invisible to Yang, who does not even mention Frank Chin, the writer who most forcefully dealt with the agonies of Asian-American manhood. Chin, who connected racial emasculation to the treatment of Asian-Americans as objects of “racist love” (as opposed to the “racist hate” directed against African-Americans), argued that Asian-American writing had to be a form of fighting. Yang flails rather than fights, which suggests that there is something inadequate about the Asian-American legacy for him. He may not be alone. His neglect of historical forebears and his almost exclusive focus on the personal is indicative of a generational shift in Asian-American thinking; revolution is not very fashionable today.

(HT: Calvin McMillin)

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