JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 284
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13. Sturken's chapter in Tangled Memory, "The Wall and the Screen
Memory," offers a brilliant analysis of the politics of national memory at work
in the reception in the short and longer term of the wall.
14. CaoDai is a combination of Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christian-
ity, Geniism, and Taoism-a religious practice established in South Vietnam in
15. In her splendid book, A Different War.: Vietnam in Art, Lucy Lippard
locates Kearns' image in an American cultural context: "Kim Phuc's torso is
imposed like a burning mask or tattoo ... in a multifaceted commentary on the
'60s, on our creation of heroines, fantasy 'material girls,' the victimization of
idolized women, popular culture, the golden gloss of the American dream (in life
and art), and the reality of the Third World" (106-07).
16. Lippard reads the painting as a "complex global palimpsest" in which the
juxtaposition of Kim's image with the Nicaraguan children offers a comment on
the political bridge between the two contexts: "the same people who conducted
the 'pacification' programs in Vietnam were supporting the counterrevolution-
ary mercenaries killing Central American civilians" (106).
17. John Lucaites and Robert Hariman document the continued recirculation
of the photograph in an amazingly wide range of popular venues, including
18. After explaining the derivation of monument from the Latin monere,
Charles Griswold comments on the Mall's rhetoric as a whole: "It follows that
the Mall says a great deal about how Americans wish to think of themselves. In
still another formulation: the Mall is a sort of political mandala expressing our
communal aspirations toward wholeness" (83).
19. When asked in an interview whether she thought the memorial has a
female sensibility, Lin replied, "In a world of phallic memorials that rise
upwards, it certainly does. I didn't set out to conquer the earth, or overpower it,
the way Western man usually does. I don't think I've made a passive piece [she
added], but neither is it a memorial to the idea ofwar" (Hess 272). Sturken acutely
summarizes the sexual and psychoanalytic associations of the conflict: "To its
critics, this antiphallus symbolized the open wound of this country's castration
in an unsuccessful war, a war that 'emasculated' the United States. The 'healing'
of this wound would therefore require a memorial that revived the narrative of
the United States as a technologically superior military power and rehabilitated
the masculinity of the American soldier" (53). (On the crisis of masculinity
figured by the war, see Susan Jeffords's analysis 168-69; also Sturken 70). For
some diehard critics of Maya Lin's aesthetic, this is exactly what the memorial
does: "The VVM is the most prominent national monument of/to our uncon-
scious imperialistic sublime. That it was designed by an Asian-American female
also indicates that the IMPUNC is not an exclusively gendered or racial
category" (Morris 688). For a sane counter to this cynical invective, see Louis
Menand's reading of the monument's politics, "The Reluctant Memorialist:
Maya Lin": "TheVietnam Memorial is a piece about death for a culture in which
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