“Each of Them Thin and Barely Opaque”: Ruth Ozeki’s Truth Approximations

  • Serena Fusco Università degli Studi di Napoli "L'Orientale"
Keywords: Narrative, Real, Paratext, Autofiction, Transmediality

Abstract

This essay focuses on the work of Japanese American writer Ruth Ozeki (b. 1956). Mainly discussing her novels My Year of Meats (1998) and A Tale for the Time Being (2013), I suggest that, through a sophisticated usage of paratextual, transmedial, and autofictional strategies, Ozeki claims for her work a ‘truth power’ that operates at the dialogical border between the textual world and the real world. Ozeki implements, in my view, a ‘truth search’ in which bare facts can be known, and told, only through the fictive, ‘magical’ power of the imagination; this collaboration between factuality and invention, in turn, makes narrative a performative object that can intervene, and foster practical intervention, in the real world.

Author Biography

Serena Fusco, Università degli Studi di Napoli "L'Orientale"
Dipartimento di Studi Letterari, Linguistici e Comparati

References

Cornyetz, Nina, “The Meat Manifesto: Ruth Ozeki’s Performative Poetics”, Women and Performance: A Journalist of Feminist Theory, 12.1 (2001): 207-224.

Davis, Rocío G., “Fictional Transits and Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being”, Biography, 38.1 (Winter 2015): 87-103.

Frangipane, Nicholas, “Freeways and Fog: The Shift in Attitude between Postmodernism and Post-Postmodernism from The Crying of Lot 49 to Inherent Vice”, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 57.5 (2016): 521-532.

Genette, Gérard, Seuils, Paris, Seuils, 1987.

Lee, Rachel C., The Exquisite Corpse of Asian America: Biopolitics, Biosociality, and Posthuman Ecologies, New York-London, New York University Press, 2014. Kindle Edition.

Ozeki, Ruth, A Tale for the Time Being, Edinburgh-London, Canongate, 2013. Kindle Edition.

Id., “The Seeds of Our Stories”, Moebius, 6.1 (2008): 13-25.

Id., My Year of Meat, London, Pan Books, 1999.

Palumbo-Liu, David, “Rational and Irrational Choices: Form, Affect, and Ethics”, Minor Transnationalism, Eds. Françoise Lionnet - Shu-mei Shih, Durham-London, Duke University Press, 2005, 41-72.

Id., Ed., The Ethnic Canon: Histories, Institutions, and Interventions, Minneapolis-London, University of Minnesota Press, 1995.

Petrovich Njegosh, Tatiana, “Introduzione. La ‘realtà’ e ‘verità’ transnazionale della razza”, Iperstoria: Rivista di Studi di Americanistica e di Anglistica, 6 (Fall 2015): 1-7.

Ryan, Marie-Laure, “Narrative/Science Entanglements: On the Thousand and One Literary Lives of Schrödinger’s Cat”, Narrative, 19.1 (2011): 171-186.

Id., “From Parallel Universes to Possible Worlds: Ontological Pluralism in Physics, Narratology, and Narrative”, Poetics Today, 24.7 (2006): 633-674.

Sarnelli, Fulvia, “When the Transpacific Encounter Becomes a Contagious Fluke: Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being”, Harbors, Flows, and Migrations: The USA in/and the World, Eds. Vincenzo Bavaro - Gianna Fusco - Serena Fusco - Donatella Izzo, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, 397-412.

Ty, Eleanor, “‘A Universe of Many Worlds’: An Interview with Ruth Ozeki”, MELUS, 38.3 (Fall 2013): 160-171.

Id., Unfastened: Globality and Asian North American Narratives, Minneapolis-London, University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Worthington, Marjorie, “Fiction in the ‘Post-Truth’ Era: The Ironic Effects of Autofiction”, Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 58.5 (2017): 471-483.

Published
2020-02-23
How to Cite
Fusco, S. (2020). “Each of Them Thin and Barely Opaque”: Ruth Ozeki’s Truth Approximations. Between, 9(18). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/3755