chapter  9
22 Pages

A Geomantic Reading of Asian Diasporic Literature

BySTEPHEN L. FIELD

Fengshui , sometimes known as geomancy , is an example of Chinese wisdom whose ethos has entered the American psyche to join the likes of kungfu even though no cinematic blockbuster has appeared to popularize its mystique. 1 Scarcely evident outside of East Asia until the last decades of the twentieth century, there are now numerous accounts of its practice in Asian diasporic literature. For example, many Western readers are familiar with such “pop” fengshui warnings as the following, articulated in Amy Tan’s novel, The Joy Luck Club : “ ‘Wah!’ cried the mother upon seeing the mirrored armoire in the master suite of her daughter’s new condominium. ‘You cannot put mirrors at the foot of the bed.’ ” 2 Yet, most tend not to understand the cosmological world view that lies behind such behavior.