Indeterminacy in Dictee
The goal here is to connect the concept of literary indeterminacy with Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee. Describe the way in which Cha addresses reader-response in her work, and the way in which she connects identity with story-telling in her work. The three sources to use in this paper are —— 1. Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s ‘Dictee’ 2. Gerald Graff’s ‘Determinacy/indeterminacy’ 3. ‘Embodying the In-Between: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s “Dictee”‘ by Hyo K. Kim Some notes to keep in mind when writing: I think Im on board with most of whats going on here. I mean, for one thing Cha is certainly interested in the dynamics of reader-response, and she makes a whole bunch of formal choices in Dictee connected to eliciting particular reactions from readers. For another, Dictee is deeply skeptical of the idea that theres only one way to tell a story or to be a person; narrative, like identity, should not necessarily fit the parameters laid out by the dominant culture. And youve assembled what seems to me a useful critical archive. Having said that though, youll have to be way clearer in the final product about yr argumentboth at the level of the whole and at the level of the sentence. Complex ideas (which these are) require both concrete examples and the clearest possible expression, and this prospectus isnt quite there yet with either. Youll also want to be careful about defining reader: its one thing to theorize the idea of the reader (as say Barthes does in Death of the Author) but quite another to posit that theres actually is such a thing as a readers response to a text. There are as many ways of reading as there are people with the book in their hands, after all, and its important to acknowledge that complexity in an essay like this one. Mobilize Graffs Determinacy/Indeterminacy to think about the many forms of Chas novel: thats definitely the kind of thing thatd make a strong final paper. If thats the way you wanted to go, Id encourage you especially to think not just about the forms that she finds valuable (visual image; poetry; translation) but also the forms that she critiques (history; bureaucratic document). That bad stuff gets included here too, and such repurposing seems like an important part of her revisionist method.