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Date 2021-04-22


Conceptions of Intellectualism, the Real and the Surreal: Surrealism in Prewar Taiwan


Lin, Chin-Li

Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Japanese, Hsing-Kuo University


Modernism in prewar Taiwan can be viewed as the result of time-space compression phenomenon. The concept of modernism was originated in the West but it had been mixed with all the elements of time and space when it reached the Taiwanese literary field and was therefore significantly altered. Thus we can no longer interpret Taiwanese modernist literature from the western point of view. While facing the same terms such as Modernism or Surrealism, it is inevitable to question how the particular concepts of Taiwanese Modernism was reconstructed, what kinds of contradictions were involved, and how this modernism enriched or limited the creation of Taiwanese literature. This discussion will start from the poetry of Yang Chih-Chang, an important member of Le Moulin Poetry Society, and compare the theories of Surrealism in France, Japan and Taiwan. Finally, by analyzing Long Yin-Zong’s poems, this paper will show how surrealism became a powerful source to express the inner self in the crisis of cultural identities.

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