Writing Taiwan: A New Literary History

Writing Taiwan: A New Literary History

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Writing Taiwan is the first volume in English to examine the entire span of modern Taiwan literature, from the first decades of the twentieth century to the present. In this collection, leading literary scholars based in Taiwan and the United States consider prominent Taiwanese authors and works in genres including poetry, travel writing, and realist, modernist, and postmodern fiction. The diversity of Taiwan literature is signaled by the range of authors treated, including Yang Chichang, who studied Japanese literature in Tokyo in the early 1930s and wrote all of his own poetry and fiction in Japanese; Li Yongping, an ethnic Chinese born in Malaysia and educated in Taiwan and the United States; and Liu Daren, who was born in mainland China and effectively exiled from Taiwan in the 1970s on account of his political activism.

Because the island of Taiwan spent the first half of the century as a colony of Japan and the second half in an umbilical relationship to China, its literature challenges basic assumptions about what constitutes a “national literature.” Several contributors directly address the methodological and epistemological issues involved in writing about “Taiwan literature.” Other contributors investigate the cultural and political grounds from which specific genres and literary movements emerged. Still others explore themes of history and memory in Taiwan literature and tropes of space and geography, looking at representations of boundaries as well as the boundary-crossing global flows of commodities and capital. Like Taiwan’s history, modern Taiwan literature is rife with conflicting legacies and impulses. Writing Taiwan reveals a sense of its richness and diversity to English-language readers.

Contributors. Yomi Braester, Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang, Fangming Chen, Lingchei Letty Chen, Chaoyang Liao, Ping-hui Liao, Joyce C. H. Liu, Kim-chu Ng, Carlos Rojas, Xiaobing Tang, Ban Wang, David Der-wei Wang, Gang Gary Xu, Michelle Yeh, Fenghuang Ying

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822388579
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 01/24/2007
Series: Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 424
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

David Der-wei Wang is Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Monster That Is History: History, Violence, and Fictional Writing in Twentieth-Century China.

Carlos Rojas is Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Literature and Film at the University of Florida.

Table of Contents

Preface / David Der-wei Wang vii

Introduction / Carlos Rojas 1

Part One: The Limits of Taiwan Literature

1. Representing Taiwan: Shifting Geopolitical Frameworks / Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang 17

2. Postmodern or Postcolonial? An Inquiry into Postwar Taiwanese Literary History / Fangming Chen 26

3. On the Concept of Taiwan Literature / Xiaobing Tang 51

Part Two: Cultural Politics

4. The Importance of Being Perverse: China and Taiwan, 1931–1937 / Joyce C. H. Liu 93

5. “On Our Destitute Dinner Table”: Modern Poetry Quarterly in the 1950s / Michelle Yeh 113

6. The Literary Development of Zhong Lihe and Postcolonial Discourse in Taiwan / Fenghuang Ying 140

7. Wang Wenxing’s Backed against the Sea, Parts I and II: The Meaning of Modernism in Taiwan’s Contemporary Literature / Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang 156

Part Three: History, Truth, and Textual Artifice

8. The Monster That Is History: Jiang Gui’s A Tale of Modern Monsters / David Der-wei Wang 181

9. Taiwanese Identity and the Crisis of Memory: Post-Chiang Mystery / Yomi Braester 213

10. Doubled Configuration: Reading Su Weizhen’s Theatricality / Gang Gary Xu 233

11. Techniques behind Lies and the Artistry of Truth: Writing about the Writings of Zhang Dachun / Kim-chu Ng 253

Part Four: Spectral Topographies and Circuits of Desire

12. Travel in Early-Twentieth-Century Asia: On Wu Zhuoliu’s “Nanking Journals” and His Notion of Taiwan’s Alternative Modernity / Ping-hui Liao 285

13. Mapping Identity in a Postcolonial City: Intertextuality and Cultural Hybridity in Zhu Tianxin’s Ancient Capital / Lingchei Letty Chen 301

14. Li Yongping and Spectral Cartography / Carlos Rojas 324

15. History, Exchange, and the Object Voice: Reading Li Ang’s The Strange Garden and All Sticks Are Welcome in the Censer of Beigang / Chaoyang Liao 348

16. Reenchanting the Image in Global Culture: Reification and Nostalgia in Zhu Tianwen’s Fiction / Ban Wang 370

Appendix: Chinese Characters for Authors’ Names and Titles of Works 389

Contributors 395

Index 397

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