'Your own goddamn idiom': Junot Díaz’s translingualism in The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao

Lauret, Maria (2016) 'Your own goddamn idiom': Junot Díaz’s translingualism in The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao. Studies in the Novel, 48 (4). pp. 494-512. ISSN 0039-3827

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Abstract

Whilst Bharati Mukherjee has identified Junot Díaz as a new American immigrant writer who refuses to abandon his mother tongue and “pre-migration historical inheritance,” Toni Morrison has argued that language is “the most valuable point of entry into the question of cultural (or racial) distinction.” Considering both the difference between old and new American immigrant writing and the question of cultural and racial distinction in Díaz’s writing, close analysis of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao shows the newness and the political valency of Díaz’s translingualism. It reveals how his narrator Yunior’s oral-sounding discourse is created from high literary techniques and references combined with the “tainted” languages of sci-fi and fantasy, hip hop and Spanishes of the street. It is in this cultural and linguistic miscegenation that Díaz’s originality and radical poetics reside, as they make up an original new-immigrant literary discourse that is distinctly his “own goddamn idiom.”

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Junot Diaz; translingualism; US immigrant fiction; Toni Morrison;Bharati Mukherjee; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: Maria Lauret
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 13:13
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 05:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60235

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