Don Lee’s prose is not pretty, or even particularly effortless in his novel. He tends towards wordy, didactic passages and heavy-handed, eye-rolling dialogue—one racist bar customer calls Eric a “Chinese wonton” (297). His characters remain characters, never fully embodying the human beings they wish to represent, and many seem to step in only to move the plot along or provoke an epiphany from the myopic narrator. But in failing to write movingly about ethnicity and/in art, Lee has also managed to succeed.
* Airea D. Matthews * We sat in my car for a short while before I turned the ignition. We needed to gather ourselves, to make some dumb sense of what just happened. We needed a moment, or a long lifetime, to figure out how beings think and move.
Here are the things about me that you could glean from a quick glimpse at my search history:
I hurt my calf kickboxing and I want to do something about it. I have a crush on my kickboxing instructor and I maybe want to do something about it. I am learning how to cook quinoa. I have finished only a fraction of my taxes. I don’t know if I have health insurance. I am still learning how to cook quinoa.
I genuflect at Mass, stealing fleeting glances of my sons’ hands in prayer—tender, unburdened by veins or violence, unscathed. I redirected my attention, prayed that whoever feared their black bodies would soon unlearn myth and space and threat.
Since Tractatus suggests that language mirrors states of affairs in which objects are engaged, questions arise: if the object is invisible, does the object even exist? What if the object is the Black body?