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Date 2021-04-27


Inheriting the Past and Passing on the Future: Yang Kui and Taiwanese Literary Tradition in the Early Post War Period


Huang, Hui-Chen

Associate Professor,Department of Taiwan Languages and Communication, National United University


After the war, free from Japanese colonial rule, and coming out from under the shadow of the Komin literary, Taiwan's Neo-Literary movement began again. This was a crucial moment for which route the development of Taiwanese literature would take so it was unavoidable that the remnants of the literary tradition under Japanese rule were destined to be purged.

Due to his lofty status in literary circles and because of his resistance to Japan's colonial rule, Lai He's writings were quickly reintroduced when the Chinese Nationalists took control of Taiwan. The Critical Realistic literary tradition that had been cut off under Japanese rule began to develop once again.

This essay, based upon Yang Kui's literary activities in the initial stages of post-war Taiwan, explores how Yang Kui continued the process of inheriting past literary traditions and passing them on to the next generation of authors in the building and constructing of Taiwan's Native literary movement.

Yang Kui's introduction into this process of passing down tradition was through the writers Lin You-Chun and Lai He. Their literary status and achievements were equivalent to Lu Xun and his literary spirit, to which Yang Kui made comparisons with the style and spirit of their writing.

Yang Kui continued this process of entrance into the Taiwanese literary world through his guidance, support, and promotion of young up-and-coming Taiwanese authors. He was even involved in encouraging and instructing the members of the youth literary group, The Silver Bell Club.

I will further show that in post-war Taiwan the Chinese government planned to totally supplant Taiwanese culture with Chinese culture. Yang Kui's passing on of anti-colonialist literature from the time of Japanese rule not only had meaning for that time, but also spoke to the struggle in Taiwan during the early post war years, and demonstrates his personal identification with Taiwan and the independent character of Taiwanese literature.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature