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“Let Me Confess”: Confession, Complicity, and #MeToo in Junot Díaz's This is How You Lose Her and “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma”
MELUS Pub Date : 2021-02-21 , DOI: 10.1093/melus/mlaa064
McHugh-Dillon R.

Abstract
Confession plays a crucial yet ambivalent role in Junot Díaz’s fiction and paratexts. While scholarship has emphasized confession as a powerful means of witnessing male misbehavior, the #MeToo era urges readers to question who or what, beyond mere representation, confession serves. I suggest that protagonist Yunior’s compulsive confessions of lying, cheating and womanizing in This is How You Lose Her (2012) expose how his sense of self is split between an authoritarian Dominican past and an oppressive US present. Yunior’s macho behavior conjures the historical specter of Dominican strongman dictator, Trujillo, while his confessions make readers complicit in his immorality, echoing Trujillo’s manipulation of information for control. Forging this uneasy textual intimacy between reader and narrator further underscores mainstream expectations, in the US present, that minority writers “confess” their intimate lives for entertainment, conscribing how and what they express. Yet Yunior’s narrative also conscribes female representation by centering—and then absolving—male misbehavior through a confession that looks like a dialogue (addressing “you”) but in fact functions as a monologue. I also interrogate Díaz’s authorial interviews and apply Lili Loofbourow’s idea of the “male self-pardon” to Díaz’s autobiographical essay “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma” (2018), in which he reveals surviving childhood sexual assault and confesses that he subsequently “hurt” intimate female partners. I argue that confession—whether Yunior’s or Díaz’s—perpetuates a masculine monologue that marginalizes women’s voices. Masculine confessions reach for intimacy but fail when they cannot imagine women as fully as men.


中文翻译:

“让我坦白”:朱诺·迪亚斯的《这就是你失去她的方式》中的坦白,同谋和#MeToo,以及“沉默:童年的创伤的遗产”

摘要
自白在朱诺特·迪亚兹(JunotDíaz)的小说和超文本中扮演着至关重要但矛盾的角色。虽然学术一直强调认罪是见证男性不当行为的有力手段,但#MeToo时代敦促读者质疑,除了单纯的表象之外,认罪是由谁或什么服务的。我建议主角尤尼奥尔(Yunior)在《这就是你失去她的方式》中强迫自己撒谎,作弊和女性化的自白(2012)揭示了他的自我意识如何在威权主义的多米尼加历史和压迫性的美国现在之间分裂。尤尼尔(Yunior)的大男子主义行为使人联想起多米尼加强人独裁者特鲁希略(Trujillo)的历史幽灵,而他的供词则使读者对他的不道德行为同情,呼应特鲁希略(Trujillo)为控制信息而操纵的行为。在阅读者和叙述者之间形成这种不安的文本亲密关系,进一步突出了主流期望,即在美国目前,少数族裔作家“承认”自己的私密生活用于娱乐,并表达了自己的表达方式。然而,尤尼奥尔的叙述还通过集中于男性的不当行为,然后通过坦白的坦白承认男性的不当行为来征服女性的表象,这种坦白看起来像是一个对话(称呼“你”),但实际上却是一个独白。我还询问了迪亚兹(Díaz)的专访,并将莉莉·洛夫布尔(Lili Loofbourow)关于“男性自赦”的想法运用到了迪亚兹(Díaz)的自传文章《沉默:童年创伤的遗产》(The Silence:The Legacy of Childhood Trauma)(2018)中,他揭示了尚存的童年性攻击,并坦言自己后来“伤害”亲密的女性伴侣。我认为,无论是尤尼尔(Yunior)还是迪亚兹(Díaz)的坦白,都是一种男性独白,这种独白使妇女的声音处于边缘地位。男性认罪可以达到亲密感,但是当他们无法想象女性像男性一样失败时,他们就会失败。我认为,无论是尤尼尔(Yunior)还是迪亚兹(Díaz)的坦白,都是一种男性独白,这种独白使妇女的声音处于边缘地位。男性认罪可以达到亲密感,但是当他们无法想象女性像男性一样失败时,他们就会失败。我认为,无论是尤尼尔(Yunior)还是迪亚兹(Díaz)的坦白,都是一种男性独白,这种独白使妇女的声音处于边缘地位。男性认罪可以达到亲密感,但是当他们无法想象女性像男性一样失败时,他们就会失败。
更新日期:2021-04-08
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