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Toward the Planetary Hospitality Beyond the Phallic Jouissance: David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly and Trying to Find Chinatown

Authors
Kim, Jiyun
Issue Date
Apr-2021
Publisher
한국현대영미드라마학회
Citation
현대영미드라마, v.34, no.1, pp.233 - 259
Journal Title
현대영미드라마
Volume
34
Number
1
Start Page
233
End Page
259
URI
https://yscholarhub.yonsei.ac.kr/handle/2021.sw.yonsei/5337
DOI
10.29163/jmed.2021.4.34.1.233
ISSN
1226-3397
Abstract
Toward the Planetary Hospitality Beyond the Phallic Jouissance: David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly and Trying to Find Chinatown Abstract Kim,Jiyun(YonseiUniv.) This paper delves into the ever-present issue of ‘how can a subject genuinely interact with others,’ through David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly (1988) and Trying to Find Chinatown (1996). Starting from the Lacanian psychoanalytic analysis on M. Butterfly, the paper investigates the tropes of phallic jouissance among different racial and cultural subjects. In the process, it is revealed that we cannot authentically communicate with others if we keep the western dichotomic perception of the world, which divides the ego and the non-ego. As the paper further explores the shift in Hwang’s identity politics within Trying to Find Chinatown, identity is disclosed as a matter of individual choice, and people are shown to be all connected within a universal network, notably in this cosmopolitan era. That is, each subject is inseparable from one another in infinite cultural hybridity and thus holds an ambiguous and mixed medley of sense of self. Thus, the paper ultimately attempts to find an ethical direction of identity politics that will allow a sincere encounter with cultural others from several gems of postcolonial theories: Gayatri Spivak’s planetarity, Sara Suleri’s radical inseparability, Homi Bhabha’s cultural hybridity, and Jacques Derrida’s absolute hospitality. Such trace of thinking begets the final imperative that we should create our distinct compound of plural identities while accepting others as part of ourselves to commune in planetary hospitality.
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