By Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson
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Additional resources for A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America
United States, which itself became something of a national drama. Indeed, media outlets turned to the rhetoric and narrative form of dramatic melodrama to report on the case, demonstrating the powerful role that aesthetic conventions play in mediating legal knowledge about Asian immigrants. The New York Times, writing about Chae Chan Ping’s deportation in 1889, described him thus: “The name of Chae Chan Ping is now familiar to American ears. ”35 Demonstrating the ways in which legal spectacles take on the conventions of fictional narrative forms, his legal battle is framed with 40 / “that may be japanese law, but not in my cou ntry” the language of literary or theatrical melodrama.
A Race So Different distinguishes itself from previous interdisciplinary approaches to law and aesthetics that commonly note that the primary difference between the two is that the law has a “real” impact on the world, while aesthetics registers as less impactful. Put succinctly, literary criticism and legal treatises are both involved with constructing credible subjects, narratives, and readings. ”75 Rodríguez correctly observes that the events that inspire legal cases are drawn from realworld events.
In London, the narrative architecture of Long’s story was once more kept in place, and most of the expansions aimed to give the characters increased psychological heft or to give audiences more of the exciting design elements that made the production a hit in New York. 20 Opera composer Giacomo Puccini sat in one of the audiences of the London production and soon after attained Belasco’s permission to adapt the story/play into an opera. Madama Butterfly debuted to a mixed reception at La Scala on February 17, 1904, with a libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa.
A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America by Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson