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By now, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s DICTEE has become a postmodern classic. What makes DICTEE idiosyncratic, unforgettable,is its variance, its slipperiness. Dictee is the best-known work of the versatile and important artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (). A classic work of autobiography that transcends the self . Best Book of Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. Eleanor Chandler. ‘It murmurs inside. It murmurs. Inside is the pain of speech the pain to.

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Dictee is a book, by author Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.

Considered to be the magnum opus of Cha, the book focuses dicctee several women: The book was first published inthe same year Cha was murdered, but since audiences struggled to connect to the experimental writing style, the book went out of print. In a collection of scholarly essays, Writing Self, Writing NationCha’s work began to receive critical attention.

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Dkctee though Dictee is widely known as a novel, the genre is not clearly definable. Due to its polyphonic aspect, Dictee can not be classified into specific category.


Dictee has an unorthodox structure, and consists of descriptions of the struggle to speak, uncaptioned photographs, tellings of the lives of saints and patriots, and mysterious letters that seem not to relate to the other material. Dictee is organized into nine parts, a structure that arises from chs nine Greek muses. In this work, as well as her other works, interaction of language is one of the most important themes.

She visually manipulate letters and texts in her own ways. The sizes and placement of letters on the page are graphically transformed and reconstructed, which was unusual and considered as an experimental approach at that time.

Dictee consists of various languages such as Sictee, English, Korean and even Chinese characteristics.

These languages are mingled with each other without any dominant ca even in a same paragraph or on the same page. They form a kind of visual image and sound or uncertain impression.

The Link and the Chain: The Individual and Communal Self in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee | fiar

As a result, words or phrases itself do not contain any significant meaning. However, its sounds and visual variation newly construct significant meaning as itself. Most of the phrases are compared to a babbling of enfant, which does not have any meaning but expose a desire for speaking.


This way of writing causes readers to think about the arbitrary on language and writing, bringing our a question on the social requirements of good speech and correct grammar.

Reviews for Dictee have been rather positive, with Carole Maso quoted in Spin Magazine commenting, ” Dictee enlarges the notion of what a book is From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Cah of The Audience: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha University of California Press. Retrieved 10 July The Melancholy of Race.

Dictee – Wikipedia

Writing Self, Writing Nation: Retrieved 25 February Retrieved from ” https: Pages to import images to Wikidata. Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 6 Septemberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.