This first piece in Soft Science quickly confused and interested me. The ideas behind dreaming stars, mouths, and ghosts, but not allowing the sea to have the same limitations, is unsettling. If the sea is often regarded as something to be dreamed about, why can’t it have it’s own dreams? Is this symbolic of Asian American confines in which they are held to a fantasy level, but struggle themselves to obtain their dreams here due to American racism and stigma? And why is mouth it’s own antonym? The duality behind speech is present, but does it have to do more with Asian femininity and queer Asian rights?

Glossary of Terms

One thought on “Glossary of Terms

  • October 7, 2019 at 11:38 am

    If I’m being honest, this is the only part of the reading that I sort of understood/enjoyed. I think it’s a really fascinating idea: defining terms using one’s own personal definition. I think the chart layout is interesting, too–Choi was intentional about using it when there are several other ways she could have formatted this.

    I think maybe what she meant with “mouth” being the antonym of “mouth” was that our own mouths/speech can be at odds, or maybe inherently are at odds, with those of other people?

    The sea thing took me a minute to figure out, but I think what she is saying is this: Everything comes from the sea (“cold ancestor”) and it holds everything (and also nothing). And it isn’t sentient in the way she makes the other objects sentient in this chart/poem. So it can only be the object of dreams.

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