By now, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s DICTEE has become a postmodern classic. What makes DICTEE idiosyncratic, unforgettable,is its variance, its slipperiness. Dictee is the best-known work of the versatile and important artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (). A classic work of autobiography that transcends the self . Best Book of Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Eleanor Chandler. ‘It murmurs inside. It murmurs. Inside is the pain of speech the pain to.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The elements that unite these women are suffering and the transcendence of suffering. Xictee book is divided into nine parts structured around the Greek Muses. Cha deploys a variety of texts, documents, images, and forms of address and inquiry to explore issues of dislocation and the fragmentation of memory.

The result is a work of power, complexity, and enduring beauty.

Paperbackpages. Published September 28th by University of California Press dictde published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Lists with This Book. Nov 19, Nathan “N. Dictee enlarges the notion of what a book is That’s how I find the books I want to read. To name just one extreme example. My favorite kind of criticism is probably what which woul Dictee enlarges the notion of what a book is For instance, you’ve got LeClair’s important study of excess in a certain direction of fiction writing in the Usofa:: The Art of Excess: Mastery in Contemporary American Fiction.

Or you’ve got this recent one, The Cruft of Fiction: She seems to be of the few who dictwe knowledgeable of the kind of fiction for which the likes of Danielewski and Federman et al are only the tip of the iceberg ; a kind of fiction which, generally, “looks like 21st century fiction” to paraphr. There’s her The Body of Dicyee But what is the novel like?

But it is not conceptual and therefore I’d prefer to remain mute in the face of its experience, not render it into concepts. Let it live and breath and please to encourage you to pick it up for a fine afternoon and see what writing really can be like and has been like. View all 7 comments. Jan 03, Ellie rated it really liked it Shelves: GR has this book marked by me as read.

I’m sure I haven’t read it because I’ve tried several times unsuccessfully in the past to read it. Well, this time I finished it. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. The language was mesmerizing and what I was able to understand was intriguing. However, I was frustrated by the fact that there was so much I didn’t understand. So, even though I finished it this time, it’s clearly a first reading. So it’s difficult for me to review this. The book is, about other things, her struggle with identity as a Korean-American.


This is demonstrated in part through a series of mock language lessons. The book is also about Korea’s struggle for independence, recounting the story of young Korean woman’s brief life as a revolutionary. Again, language is key as the Japanese forbid Koreans to speak their language.

As always with Imperial states, language is a primary site of struggle. The English did it in their colonies, the U. The author also recounts her own mother’s painful struggle with the effort to keep her language alive, even at the risk of imprisonment. The book is political but also socio-political. I always am interested in where the two intersect and Hak Kyung Cha was certainly formed in that cauldron.

The book is a mix of autobiography and history, poetry and narrative. It is endless interesting and beautiful. Tragically, Kyung Cha was murdered by a stranger shortly after the publication of this, her major work. Often the language in this book is fractured, vividly demonstrating the effect displacement and war has had on language.

I was able to detect themes even when I was not able to really understand what was taking place. For me, the language in this book was amazing and the narrative passages I understood of great interest. It left me wanting to read this book that clearly contained levels I was not able to access in a first reading.

A challenging but exceptional read that will, I think, stay with me. I know it shall be experimental, political, and grotesque.

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I see myself gougin 4. I see myself gouging any and all that pertains ch of university dictwe and sitting amidst the booty, taxidermied with stuffed in papers and mayhaps bulleted with the post-its, I’ve grown fonder of the flitting graffitis during the course of my current occupation. I see myself rejecting the exigencies of tact, universality, and New Critcism, for to discuss that line comprising Dictee and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha one idctee a haunting and a hell to pay that neither commercializes for profit nor solipsizes into dichee tower onanism can convey.

Four stars, five stars, a star of doom that struck a woman of color writer down in the streets and blows wide the best suppression of literature and of life. What dreams I have I rarely remember, what nightmares comprise is memorial insertion, and horror’s this fact of history to which I will give all that is required. Some will not dicete age. Time will stop for some. Time fixes for some. Their image, the memory of them is not given to deterioration, unlike the captured image that extracts from the soul precisely by reproducing, multiplying itself.

Their countenance evokes not the hallowed beauty, beauty from seasonal decay, evokes not the inevitable, not death, but the dy-ing. Male martyrdom is accomplished, female martyrdom is assumed. How many authors are you aware of who were snatched up by their memento mori material just as said material was being revealed beyond the page.

We could argue against gender dichotomy, postcolonialism, what was she doing existing without a chaperone, how was she dressed, etc, etc, etc, but analyses that ignores the origins is worse than useless. Chinese, epiglottis, the Roman Catholic Church, revolutionary sacrifice, cinematic framing, violence, ownership, blood, stone, voice.


We could argue each of these concepts into oblivion so long as we subsequently committed to never engaging with each of them ever again.

We could pass off this experiment as too obsessed with silence, with rhythm of breath, with lies and religion and history, too angry, too eerie, too vague and too difficult. Something embodied by a sundering and a void, laid out in images both cited and not, communication enacting an imprint if not understanding.

ditcee The marrow of the matter is we cannot argue into oblivion death. We cannot argue into the void execution. Talk, is cheap, life is short, and no matter how many papers I write I am alive, and Cha is not. A knife thrust in the canon, and look how it defended. There is no surrendering you are chosen to fail to be martyred to shed blood to be set and example one who has chosen to defy and was set to be set an example to be martyred an animal useless betrayer to the cause to the welfare to peace to harmony to progress.

The muses are female because they exist to be used. Circumstance rendered yet another name tied to the stake of the archive that happens to be strung on tenterhooks over Korea, Japan, France, the United States, womanhood, the New Testament, words on a screen, writing on a page, ghosts chx the shell, girl in the well.

Lies have power, but extinction does it better. Interest has wonders, but dictee is best. Suffice more than that. Refuses to become discard decomposed oblivion. From its memory dust dicete the particles still material still respiration move. Dead air stagnant water still exhales mist. Pure hazard igniting flaming itself with the slightest of friction like firefly. The loss that dictes burn.

Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha – Paperback – University of California Press

Yet it loses not. First the whole name. Then syllable chaa syllable counting each inside the mouth. Make them rise they rise repeatedly without ever making visible lips never open to utter them. Mere names only names without the image not hers hers alone not the whole of diictee and even the image would not be the entire her fraction her invalid that inhabits that rise voluntarily like flint pure hazard dead substance to fire.

Others anonymous her detachments take her place.

Dictee – Theresa Hak Kyung Cha – Google Books

Suffice that should be nation against nation suffice that should have been divided into two which once was whole. Suffice that should diminish human breaths only too quickly. Nation against nation multiplied nations against nations against themselves.

Repels her cna her expels her from her own.