Show/Hide Right Push Menu   
Go to Content Area

Article Summary

::: :::
Date 2021-03-17


The Popular Writing of Xie Xue–yu and Transcultural Identity Editing: Exploring Gender and National Allegory in The Heroines of Japan and China


Lin, Fang-Mei

Professor, Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, National Taiwan Normal University


This paper examines the popular fiction written by Xie Xue-yu, The Heroines of Japan and China, by focusing on three aspects: women’s images, imagination of Chinese and Japanese culture, and the way the author advocates national policies in the novel. This paper withholds the issue of constant and stable identity and whether or not the author is pro-Japan. Instead I raise the concept of transcultural identity editing to show how Xie Xue-yu moves across in-between spaces of Japan/China, tradition/modernity, East/West.

This paper explores transcultural flows, which is different from multiculturalism. The latter assumes that there exist many kinds of cultures within a nation, and each of these cultures is homogeneous within itself and differentiates itself from other cultures through external comparison. But transculturality proposes that each culture has built within itself internal differences and interacts with other cultures to form a dynamic network. To construct personal identity is more like choosing, deleting, and arranging elements from various cultures to build up a configuration that attends to the needs at the moment.

I also attempt to revisit the thesis of national allegory as proposed by Fredric Jameson. I think the term “national” as used by Jameson does not mean “national identity.” Instead, the term refers to a problematic regarding politics, society, and history in the conditions of modernity. And contemporary allegory can be characterized by the fracture between the signifier and the signified, as well as the ambiguity and heterogeneity of meanings. This paper does not regard the fiction as a mouthpiece of Japanese imperialism and nationalism; instead, I emphasize how the internal textual differences evade a single national position in order to re-arrange multiple positions under the surface of conforming to official policies.

back to top
Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature