Mythopoesis in Frank Chin’s Donald Duk and Gunga Din Highway: an Adoption of Heroic Martial Posture to Counteract American Commodity Fetishism

Zeineb Abbassi


The Chinese American writer Frank Chin dramatizes the predicaments faced by all U.S twentieth-century minority cultures, whether oriented around ethnicity or around sexuality and how to transform themselves from marginal cultures into emergent cultures capable of challenging the mainstream one. This transformation depends in large on a shift in perspective. Part of what it means to be emergent is to associate yourself with the idea of the new. This newness, however, is a matter of perspective: what is new is what looks new from the vantage point of the dominant. So, it should not surprise us to discover that some cultural forms that we might designate as emergent are, in fact, hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years old. In this context, Frank Chin deals with mythopoesis whereby he adopts myths which have seized the imagination of classical writers. Mythopoesis adopts the ancient stories and transposes them to a symbolic meaning. Indeed, the mythopoetic dimension examined in Frank Chin’s writings arises because of the cultural conflict between Chinese Americans and American mainstream culture. Accordingly, focus in this paper is going to be on how Frank Chin adopts the mythopetic dimension in his novels Donald Duck and Gunga Din Highway and the way he adapts this dimension to counteract American hegemonic culture and commodity fetishism in late capitalist America.


Mythopoesis, Adoption, Adptation, American Hegemonic Culture, Commodity Fetishism.

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