English Lecture “What We All Long For”March
- Globalization involves the movement of goods as well as people
- Pressure of globalization is moving towards a monoculture, full of similarity and sameness.
- page 67, we see this issue becoming central
- Binh and Tuyen were not Vietnamese, but Western. They were born in Canada.
- page 203
- cars are “emblems” of nationalities, not symbols. Brand knows the difference between
an emblem and a symbol
- city begins to fragment into different identities
- Tuyen loved the world cup. She went to Korean town. She is not Korean but the
Vietnamese team wasn’t winning so she “becomes” Korean.
- page 212
- “game was over. they sat drinking and feeling, looking at the rain still falling outside
and listening to the horns and clatter of forks and dishes.” clatter conveys a sense of
vitality. “as disturbing as all they were living was, they felt alive. more alive they
thought than most people around them. the water glistened on everything.” now
glistened conveys a modern city, not wordsworth’s kind of city in london where he used
all the gl sounds. “teenage boys hobbled along in too big jeans.
- transformation of street scapes is one of Brand’s great concerns.
- page 183: they had turned the hall into a liquor store by the time jackie grow up; no sign of its
past life; how does life disappear; it does all the time in the city, but disappears under constant
construction of this and that;
- page 99, 134, 133, 11 - dominant threads of the novel
- page 212: a stream of identities flowed past __ window”
- all of the goods they get come from dominantly american places (DKNY, Puma, etc.). Most
people view the US as the source of globalization.
- trying to step across the borders, but they are borderless. they are the inhabitants of a
globalized culture. Because Brand is a Marxist, she can scarcely be blamed for sprinkling the
novel with references to the negative aspects of globalization, exploitative aspects
- page 28: Carla bikes past billboards screeching with excitement, of buying this and that. There
is great pressure to buy now, satisfy needs that are not long lived.
- page 62: Tuyen sees her family as caught up in materialism “voracious” - that’s Kurtz’ word,
voracious, wanting to consume the whole world. Saw this in The Modest Proposal, Heart of
Darkness - sucking things out and exhuming them just as quickly. No real lasting happiness or
contentment can come out of this.
- Economic boom in Thailand, people are “tied to machines in American, German, Italian
factories, making DKNY, Puma” and they “stumble home with less than waht they wanted to
work for” these folks are living the death in life that Eliot talks about in the Wasteland
- Oku joined demonstrations against globalization in Quebec City in 2001. Occasionally, her
Marxism seems to be a little heavy handed, passing judgements that are just partially true
- Qui likens gangs to any conglomerate of business. Are all business men violent in this
way? Some, but not all English Lecture “What We All Long For”March
- page 122: what she says about Binh MA degree is unfair. “His education solidified his resolve
that only he mattered” true? Well if you went to work for a non profit organization that might be
offensive. Not everyone goes into the MA with these selfish intentions
- He had a small investment in an ecstacy manufacturing plant. “Binh, like all businessmen,
could pull out at anytime and invest in something else” businessmen aren’t just ripping money
off from everybody.
- With that said, Brand is above all, fascinated with transformations that occur when
globalization and materialization come together. THere are moments when this book sounds
like an ad.
- 4 Principle characters: Tuyen, Carla, Oku, Jackie are artists that chronicle life in a
multicultural globalized city, they are also surrogates for Brand. There is a lot of overlap
between her and them.
- Are they all writers and artists? They all are to some extent
- Carla keeps a diary, records her dream experiences
- Jackie is least artistic, but she assembles her memories into a new narrative of the past, a new
story about herself.
- Oku page 46, is a cool poet. Uses music as a metaphor for urban life.
- page 228: “Coleman” jazz musician associated with free jazz, where every person has a chance
to play a solo, then they are all melded together. “harmonic modulation, different instruments
with different themes” seems that brand is good at capturing patterns in everyday speech. every
horn is along but also together, crashing.
- page 230: the thing is, the music makes us seem understandable, lik