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"What of the Partition": Dictee's Boundaries and the American Epic

"What of the Partition": Dictee's Boundaries and the American Epic J O S E P H I N E N O C K - H E E PA R K "What of the Partition": Dictée's Boundaries and the American Epic ear the end of its nine meditations, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's experimental epic Dictée (1982) recounts a simple story: a young girl, in search of a cure for her ailing mother, meets a woman at a well who gives her ten packets of medicine.1 Nine packets are for her mother, but the tenth is a gift for her. Dictée's nine sections are named after the classical muses and shaped into a novena; this tale unfolds in the final section, "Polymnia/Sacred Poetry." In adding the tenth packet, Cha signals the completion of the text's ritual. The story ends with the child about to enter the house where her mother awaits her: Already the sun was in the west and she saw her village coming into view. As she came nearer to the house she became aware of the weight of the bundles and the warmth in her palms where she had held them. Through the paper screen door, dusk had entered and the shadow of a small candle was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

"What of the Partition": Dictee's Boundaries and the American Epic

Contemporary Literature , Volume 46 (2) – Aug 29, 2005

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin.
ISSN
1548-9949
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

J O S E P H I N E N O C K - H E E PA R K "What of the Partition": Dictée's Boundaries and the American Epic ear the end of its nine meditations, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's experimental epic Dictée (1982) recounts a simple story: a young girl, in search of a cure for her ailing mother, meets a woman at a well who gives her ten packets of medicine.1 Nine packets are for her mother, but the tenth is a gift for her. Dictée's nine sections are named after the classical muses and shaped into a novena; this tale unfolds in the final section, "Polymnia/Sacred Poetry." In adding the tenth packet, Cha signals the completion of the text's ritual. The story ends with the child about to enter the house where her mother awaits her: Already the sun was in the west and she saw her village coming into view. As she came nearer to the house she became aware of the weight of the bundles and the warmth in her palms where she had held them. Through the paper screen door, dusk had entered and the shadow of a small candle was

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Aug 29, 2005

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