June 25, 2004

Came to my office and Ida had sent me in the mail "Sentimentalism, Authenticity, and Hawai'i Literature" by Wendy Motooka (from Bamboo Ridge in 1998). Read this quickly. First read it and thought it came out this year and found it a very strange article. But once I realized it came out in 1998 it made more sense. Not sure it is the fairest article in the world. It argues that the split about how to read Yamanaka and the resulting fight about race has to do with differences between reading methods of literary studies and ethnic studies. Which might be somewhat true. The two fields do read differently. But then she summarizes Candace's argument in the most reductive way possible. Candace has been clear in her discussion of the Pahala Theatre poems that she is talking about how that poem is read in the culture, not how one might read it as a literary critic. I've always read Candace's argument as saying, well we need to maybe listen to these people who read this poem and have a problem with it. Maybe they too have something to say about how literature gets used in our culture that is worth listening to.

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