Politics of Food, the Culinary and Ethnicity in Ruth Ozeki’ My Year of Meat: An Ecocritical Reading

Saeed Kalejahi

Abstract


The Canadian-American-Japanese writer and filmmaker Ruth Ozeki’ My year of Meat is built around one major nutritional source—protein or meat or, more exactly, beef. Applying an ecocritical method, but at the same time trying to not fall into the trap of mere ideology, the present article explores the question of authenticity and representation of politics of food, culinary and ethnicity in the aforementioned novel. In the following essay I will argue that in her novels, Ruth Ozeki employs a three-step narrative strategy: invocation, subversion, and redefinition.  The problem Ozeki addresses in this novel is that of disclosing the invisible reality behind the visible surface of that which poses as the real. In doing so she moves the problem of authenticity beyond the realm of ethnic and culinary culture. Rather than examining it as a form of ethnic “self-exoticization” or treating it merely as a fiction about cultural purity, she presents the authentic as an indispensable attribute of an ecologically viable culture and as a marker of representational sincerity in a globalized media economy.


Keywords


ethnicity, ethics, hybridity, the culinary, representation, authenticity, inauthenticity intranarrative, resignification

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.1p.82

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