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Date 2021-03-18


Looking for a Deserted Island Urban Memory and Island Image in Qi Deng-Sheng’s Work


Chiu, Ya-Fang

Assistant Professor, Department of Taiwan Language and Communication, National United University


By means of his craft of modernism, Qi Deng-Sheng repeatedly goes through the conflict between self and reality in his work. We may speak that most characters in Qi Deng-Sheng’s stories are the hermits failed in the modern society. He writes the desire, morbidity, immorality, and absurdity of humanity, displaying the notable feature of the writing of the negative. These symptoms are related to the modern city. In his viewpoint, the city is the land on which rogues of all kinds running wild. It not only lets people indulge themselves, but also makes them insane. The force of modernization is dreadful, and the mind of the civilized man is an absurd and desolate land. How to be fitted better in the modern society becomes the everlasting theme in Qi Deng-Sheng’s writings. Only by means of writing can he free his soul and leave away from the unbearable of life. However, since he has not achieved his secular responsibility yet, his body still traps in the city. In his short story “A Tale of Going-out-of-the-City” (Li Chen Chi), going-out-of-the-city is the best description for his helpless frame of mind. Hence, he chooses to exile his mind to a deserted island, and even makes himself become an isolated island. The island image in Qi Deng-Sheng’s work is his way to resist the modern civilization, and the eternal Sa River in his work also signifies his nostalgia which motivates him to keep writing. In this regard, this paper intends to clarify the modernistic figure which Qi Deng-Sheng continues to look after, and examines the urban memory and the island image in his work. In his words, the river and the shore, the woods and the fields, the country and the city, all display the specific landscapes. By the examination of these landscapes, we may explore Qi Deng-Sheng’s life map and his insistence upon the craft of aesthetics.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature