“The Negative Capability of Camouflage”: Fleeing Diaspora in Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill
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How to Cite

Sugars, C. (2001). “The Negative Capability of Camouflage”: Fleeing Diaspora in Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill. Studies in Canadian Literature / Études En littérature Canadienne, 26(1). Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/SCL/article/view/12871

Abstract

If an articulation of diasporic identity threatens to embroil one in a reductive essentialism, a number of recent writers and theorists have attempted to deconstruct this delimiting configuration by applying a non-paradoxical vision of resistance and reconciliation to the diasporic experience itself. Fred Wah's Diamond Grill is one such text, striving to articulate a non-paradoxical vision of identity and evade the restricting designations of a narrow-identity politics. Wah effects a "de-diasporization" by which the traditional colonialist insistence on spatializing other worlds is reclaimed in the postcolonial emphasis on that space as the locus of newly asserted and shifting hybridized identities. This de-diasporization is undertaken in three ways: through the mixed ancestral inscriptions on the "diasporic body," through the narrator's ontological introjections of Canada as it was experienced by his displaced ancestors, and through the de-ontologized locale of the Diamond Grill itself. Wah shows how diasporic locations can be viewed as sites of radical reorientation — of language, subjectivity, emplacement, identity, and inheritance.
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