Title Modernism in “Taipei Jen” and the fiction of Pai Hsien-Yung Author Mamoru Yamaguchi Professor, Department of Chinese Language and Culture, College of Humanities and Sciences, Nihon University Abstract Modernism in the Taiwanese literature of the 1960s might be characterized by its orientation toward an acquisition of its subjectivity of writing, which properly could be considered experimental to achieve modernity rather than a movement for a new style or a new concept of a literature. With a foundation on their identity crises, young writers like Pai Hsien-yung and his coterie made zealous efforts to practice a modern interpretation of Chinese classics and use Western literature as an example of imagining modernity under the censorship imposed by the Nationalist party, which essentially blocked the progress of both the May Fourth literary tradition and that of nativist Taiwanese literature carried out under Japanese rule before 1945. Modernism in Taiwan literature can be considered a form of discourse that, while undertaken during specific set of social and historical circumstances, imagined and created literary modernity in Taiwan during the post war years. As a representative writer of this movement, Pai Hsien-yung particularly reveals his own modernity in Taipei People, which is set in against the contemporary era in which the stories were written, multi-layering a space, a time, and a culture, his technique reverberates a melodious nostalgia that produces an aesthetic of loss and depravity, providing a literary elegy to the people who rot away, singing a paean to inspire people who live on. It pays true homage to the people who lived in Taiwan after the war, by means of a sincere and earnest reimagination of 1960s modernism written against the weight of history and in the shadow of an identity in crisis.
Title From Horse-Meat Rice Noodle to Soufflé: Pai Hsien-Yung Hunger Narrative Author Chen, Li-Fen Associate Professor, Division of Humanities, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Abstract Food has such a conspicuous presence throughout Pai Hsien-yung’s oeuvre that it constitutes an integral part of the signifying system of his narration. This article examines the rituality of eating and consumption, in particular, the exchangeability of the overlapping hunger and gluttony in Pai Hsien-yung’s world, to reflect on the relationship between eating and speaking in his narrative discourse. It is argued that the interplay of lack and excess in Pai Hsien-yung results in a metonymical narrative of desire in which relations of the subject and the object can never be reciprocal and thus are destined to be reenacted in an endlessly renewable cycle of appetite and anxiety in the storytelling process. Food is a site that enables Bai to explore and develop his various but thematically connected topics. Focusing on Bai’s alimentary obsession, this article traces the development of his writing career in the last three decades and attempts a new approach to some of the most studied aspects of his fiction such as cultural nostalgia, modernism, and homoeroticism.
Title Immigration, Nationalism, and Suicide: Pai Hsien-Yung and Pai Ching-Jui’s Chinese Obsessions and American Dreams Author Michael Berry Associate Professor, Contemporary Chinese cultural studies, The University of California, Santa Barbara Abstract From the “White Terror” to the threat of “Red China,” the Martial Law period in Taiwan can be seen as an age marred by a multitude of social and political anxieties. As Taiwan grew into its role as one of the four Asian Tigers and American culture flooded the island, many people began to look to the outside and foreign study or immigration to America became the aim for a new generation of Chinese living in Taiwan. In order to quench Taiwan readers’ thirst for knowledge about the country that had taken “Free China” under its wings during the Cold War period, the 1960s saw the rise of “overseas student literature” (liuxuesheng wenxue). For the next two decades the works of writers like Joseph Lau (publishing under the penname Er Can), Liu Daren, Guo Songfen, S.K. Chang, San Mao and other writers with overseas experience became a key literary site for countless readers looking to understand or even vicariously experience the West. Among this group of works portraying Chinese living overseas, some of the most reflective, powerful, and influential came from the pen of Kenneth Pai Hsien-yung, whose short stories about the challenges and dreams of this generation appeared in the collection The New Yorker (Niuyue ke). These stories, including such works as “Li T’ung: A Chinese Girl in New York” (“Zhe xian ji”) and “Death in Chicago” (“Zhijiage zhi si”) have become regarded as classics of modern Chinese fiction for their stylistic refinement and deep reflection on the human condition. At the same time, these works have played a crucial role in how America has been constructed and imagined by Taiwanese (and later mainland Chinese) readers. By the 1970s “overseas student literature” gave rise to a new phenomena – “overseas student films” (liuxuesheng dianying). However, in the films of Pai Ching-jui – one of the innovators of this new cinematic genre – the image of America portrayed is quite different. This article attempts to use readings and analysis of Pai Hsien-yung’s American fiction and Pai Ching-jui’s 1970 film Home Sweet Home (Jia zai Taibei) to explore popular representation of America in Taiwan cultural production during the 1960s and 1970s. From C.T. Hsia’s “Obsession with China” to what might be termed an “Obsession with America,” or perhaps a longing for an “American dream,” this article will explore the themes of Diaspora, nationalism, historical trauma, as well as the “suicide complex” the appears in several of the works as a window for better understanding this crucial turning point in Taiwan’s cultural imagination of America and the crisis consciousness lurking within.
Title Hatred to women? The Yin Hsueh-Yen case in Taipei People Author Su, Wei-Chen Assistant Professor, Department of Chinese Literature, National Cheng Kung University Abstract “The Eternal Snow Beauty”, as the first fiction of the collection in Taipei People, has a significant meaning, that is, the heroine Yin Hsueh- yen in this fiction was regarded as a priestess, Bodhisattva, and the fiend who fell to the earth. Then according to the heroines in Taipei people, it’s a scenario that all of them would encounter the bad fortune and never end it, for example, Verdancy Chu in “A Touch of Green”, Jolie chin in “The last Night of Taipan Chin”, then Commanderin-Chief, Baby Five and Dainty in “Love's Lone Flower” and so on. Their fate, not only to be a prostitute reluctantly and face endless difficulties, as the author Pai Hsien-Yung once said, ”women they have great sense of agony”, at this point, should they need to face the endless lovers and sufferings? Furthermore, there is no doubt that in Pai’s novels, he describes so many opposite contrast between the wonderfulness of men while ugliness of women, at this point, we may wonder can it be regarded as a hostile reflection towards women in psychology, and why? Adam Jukes, the newly coming psychology clinical therapist, develops a new field of misogyny that based on the abuse problems and dissects it from the psychoanalysis theory, as far as he’s concerned, misogyny is an universal phenomenon. Therefore, this paper would communicate with author and approach multilateral dimensions in it, then further discuss whether it’s a misogyny in Taipei people or not, and also, is Yin Hsueh- yen a only case in this novel? That is the question.
Title Semantic Structure of Pai Hsien-Yung’s Short-stories Author Táňa Dluhošová PhD Candidate, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Charles University, Prague Abstract The article focuses on distribution and usage of allusions in Pai Hsien-yung literary writing. It observes that the allusions’ source texts originate in those cultural backgrounds, where the particular short-stories take place (the American or Chinese cultural background). Such allusions distribution seems to be intentional and allusions help to construct the meaning on different semantic levels: the level of characters (the lowest semantic level), the level of short-story, and cycle. The article also observes that the constructed meaning and short-stories rooted both cultural backgrounds has cyclic character, and thus a short-stories dialog occurs. From this point of view, the meaning of last two short-stories, “Danny Boy” and “Tea for Two”, differ in comparison to previous short-stories. The article, deriving from the Homi Bhabha’s conception of “the third space of enunciation”, believes that Pai Hsien-yung while using the same literary techniques builds a “hybrid background”, where all answers to the questions and dichotomies occurring in previous works can be found.
Title The Meaning of The Outsiders Author Chen, Ru-Shou Robert Associate professor, Department of Radio-TV, National Chengchi University Abstract The Outsiders, adopted from Pai Hsien-Yung’s novel of the same name, is marked as the first gay film in the history of Taiwan cinema. Both the original novel and the film have their epoch-making significance in many respects. Both challenge rigid rulings of patriarchy and heterosexuality in Taiwan. The film, ironically made in 1986, was destined to witness the transformation of Taiwan in political system, social tolerance, and cultural diversity. The paper would like to address the meaning of The Outsiders from this perspective. This paper will also study the film from the point of view of cinematic aesthetics. Again, 1986 is an important year for Taiwan cinema, because it was the end of the New Taiwan Cinema movement. It was also the beginning of the gay cinema for the next 20 years, in which The Outsiders plays a pivotal part. Even so, it is overlooked by almost all studies of Taiwan cinema in this period. This paper would like to examine innovations of mise-en-scene and the use of self-reflexivity in this film. Finally, this paper will end with a look of the trajectory of gay film in Taiwan cinema since The Outsiders.
Title Gender Code, Representation of Heterogeneity──The Intertextuality of Pai Hsien-Yung’s novels and film adaptations Author Huang, Yi-Kuan Assistant Professor, Department of Chinese literature, National Changhua University of Education Abstract There are four films, The Last Night of Madame Chin, Madam Yu-Ching, Love’s Lone Flower, and The Crystal boys adapted from the novels of Pai Hsien-yung in 1980s. Owing to the high reputations of the novels as well as of film directors, prestigious for its social concern of the minority groups, the four films, including its production and casting, and the representation of homosexuality have gained intense attention. The numerous lectures and newspaper reports and interviews all become part of the “Literature and Film” phenomena in 1980s. By comparing and contrasting the four films and Pai Hsien-yung’s novels, this thesis explores how the concept of gender and homosexuality are reconfigured and represented in the mass media.
Title Diaspora and Identity Transformation in Pai Hsien-Yung's Homosexual Fictions (1969-1981) Author Tseng, Hsiu-Ping Doctoral Candidate, Department of Chinese Literature, National Cheng-chi University Abstract This article aims to explore the relationship between gender / sexuality, diaspora experiences, personal identities, memories, narratives and the imagined homeland in Taipei People and Crystal Boys. In recent diaspora studies, especially the racial and national issues, have become hot topics while the politics of sexuality has been more or less neglected. This article may act as a supplement in this respect. It is argued that characters in Taipei People have, through their homosexual identities, developed a new homeland identity with Taipei other than with China. Yet, it can be observed that the spatial and temporal experience described in the two homosexual short stories “ Love’s Lone Flower” and “ A Sky Full of Bright, Twinkling Star” are quite distinct in Taipei People. As the narratives moved onto the next generation, different view points among diaspora groups were revealed, serving as departures for the formation of new national identities. In Crystal Boys, complicated complexes between Taiwanese and Japanese were reflected through the diaspora experiences of the homosexual groups in the United States, Japan, China and Taiwan. These trans-lingual, trans-national, and trans-historical practices were transformed into a hybridity of cultural experiences in their daily lives, a reflection of the complicated Post-colonial context and hybridity of Taiwan. Taipei has turned into the locus of emotions and memories for characters in Pai Hsien-Yung stories during this period, also a turning point for Pai to reconsider his personal identity. We can say that, these homosexual fictions, as a supplement of Pai’s other heterosexual fictions, have offered us a new dimension to reconsider the connection between the sexual and national identities, and to explore the possibilities of multiple cultural identities and imagined homeland.