Show/Hide Right Push Menu   
Go to Content Area

Article Summary

::: :::
Date 2021-04-27


Critical Subjectivity and Critique of Subjectivity: Intellectual Resistance and Compliance


Yang, Xiao-Bin

Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia SinicaAssociate Professor, Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, National Chengchi University


Contemporary Taiwan intellectuals appear to be full of contradictions and ambiguities. This paper investigates how they establish an illusion of subjectivity in their resistant or compliant relationship with the central power. The puzzling questions include: Why do dissident intellectuals, such as Chen Ying-Zhen and Li Ao, offer friendship or even flattery to another hegemonic power in China? The paper analyzes how modern intellectual leftists, represented by Chen Ying-Zhen, and premodern-style liberal literati, represented by Li Ao, both abhorring literary modernism, lack critical complexities and aspire to homogeneous ideals, due to their aesthetic conservatism. The paper attempts to demonstrate that the presumably self-sufficient critical subject is doomed to be an illusory subject stipulated and captured by the symbolic order of the Lacanian big Other. The paper continues to discuss whether, or to what extent, such intellectuals as Lung Ying-Tai and Chen Fang-Ming, who have been trained in aesthetic modernism, may bring pluralized, hybridized and ironized subjectivity into culturo-political thinking, and combine the critical subject and the subjective (self-) critique into a culturo-political discourse with heterogeneous positions.

back to top
Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature