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Date 2021-04-27


From an Imperial Adolescent to a Left-Wing Young Man: on Yeh Shih-t'ao's Fiction Writing and Thinking Transformation in the Early Period of Post-WWII (1945-1949) ln Taiwan


Chen, Cheng-Chung

Assistant Professor, The Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, National Chung Hsing University


Through the study of Yeh's case, we are able to observe how a colonized mind (as an Imperial Adolescent), in struggling against colonialism and in experiencing the stages of yielding and rethinking, eventually transformed these processes into a pursuit of his own subjectivity.

In examining Yeh's works during the early Post-WWII period as a whole, we divided them into two categories. One of them is Realist novels that deal with Taiwan's contemporary reality. Yeh, a Left-Wing young man, started from “personal” Romanticism under the influence of Nishikawa Mitsuru and transformed into “social” Heroic Romanticism that is a kind of “re-liberalized” revolutionary historic view. The other is historical novels which deal with Taiwan’s historic events in the past 400 years. Yeh employs his premature writing skills (his colonial legacy) to finish these historic novels.

At last, the “hybridity” of culture and national consciousness accomplishes Yeh’s state of mind and orientation of identity. Under the twist of history, a “tongue learner” (mimicry) and at the same time a colonial son transforms difficultly into a national self. Yeh's case represents a rare historic experience of a colonial island in the colonial history.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature