Title Critical Subjectivity and Critique of Subjectivity: Intellectual Resistance and Compliance Author Yang, Xiao-Bin Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica／Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, National Chengchi University Abstract 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.
Title A Primary Survey of Post-Regional Literature Author Fan, Ming-Ju Professor, Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, National Chengchi University Abstract Since the mid-1990s, the number of fiction with Taiwanese regional landscape and rural custom has been increasing. Obviously, the literary trend has been shifting from the descriptive and experimental fiction centering on modernity and metropolitan culture in the 1980s and 1990s to the genre of regional literature. We can almost smell the ripeness of this first type of Taiwanese literature in the new era. I use the term “post-regional literature” to define those texts. Although the grant narrative of nativization promoted by the national and local bureaus serves as the hotbed for post-regional literature, the transformation of aesthetics and culture that combines the discourses on globalization has, to a certain degree, changed the pre-determined aims of the former. The significance of the country represented by the texts has also changed. The visions of the countryside have been multiplying, interchanging and mutating at a constant rate to become unprecedentedly rich and prosperous. At the same time, this literature also faces underlying concerns about questions, contradictions or disintegration amid such excessive expansion. This paper explores the paradox between post-regional literature and the contemporary cultural discourse in Taiwan. I am going to reveal that it is not a return to the past or a nostalgic yearning to resume humanistic traditions. Rather, these texts are the product of a reorganization that sums up Taiwan’s structural adjustments in politics, society, culture and ecology and the impact of globalization outside Taiwan.
Title Taiwanese Novels in the 1990s and Trend toward “Quasi-Elite” Culture Author Liu, Nai-Tzu Assistant Professor, General Education Center, Ching Yun University Abstract Reading Taiwanese novel from the last decade of the 20th century is like reading an encyclopedia. As we sort through the complex maze of the narrative, we are engaged in an engineering project involving a search for hidden meanings and associations word by word, line by line and sentence by sentence. In this era of information explosion, the contents of fiction convey knowledge and information in a way much like encyclopedias. In addition, the elegance of the writing style transforms the experience into both a refinement of knowledge and stimulation of the senses. To a great extent, new trends in attitudes, discourse and fashion are infused the writing of these texts. This not only provides contemporary literature in Taiwan a position on elite culture, but also enables the act of writing to resemble artistic packaging in an increasingly boastful manner. It seems that highlighting the author’s distinctive and unique personal style is far more important than presenting the elements, content and theme of the story. These rather self-conscious attempts to achieve high culture and even the artistic perform that follows careful calculation not only show the significance of these repetitive creations by contemporary authors in their writing. Furthermore, they highlight the fact that fine literature can create symbolic capital that differentiates oneself from others. With the lift of martial law in Taiwan, local society has become thriving and liberal, and cultural life has become diverse and rich. All these factors have allowed contemporary society to pursue high culture tastes and styles. The transformation of artistic form in contemporary fiction is fully realized in the interaction between the internal artistic characteristics of literature and the external environment of the culture reproduction. Generally speaking, contemporary writers are expert in the use of signs arising from new knowledge in order to create and elevate the symbolic capital and literary rank of their works. This sort of “distinction” (expressing one’s superiority and separation from others) is the main factor that drives literature in the 1990s toward a quasi-elite aesthetic style.
Title Burning and Flying: Surrealists in Taiwan in the 1930s Author Michelle Yeh Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of California, Davis Abstract The paper offers an in-depth study of two surrealist poets in Taiwan: Yang Chi-Chang (1909-1994) and Lin Xiu-Er (1914-1944). With five other poets, they co-founded the Windmill Poetry Society in Tainan in 1933 and published a journal under the same name. Although the Poetry Society only lasted two years and the journal only published four issues, the Windmill represents the earliest conscious appropriation and promotion of Surrealism not only in Taiwan but also in the Chinese-speaking world. Both Yang and Lin studied in Japan, where they were first exposed to French Surrealism. Yang was not only a talented poet but also an important literary critic who introduced French and Japanese Surrealism to Taiwan. Lin died young, but he left behind an oeuvre of great originality and beauty. This essay examines the historical and transcultural context in which Yang and Lin wrote, provides detailed analyses of their literary positions and artistic expressions, and addresses the characterization, by some critics, of Yang’s work as “postcolonial.” Finally, the essay compares Yang and Lin with mainland Chinese poets who were also influenced by Surrealism in the 1930s-1940s, thus affirming the historical and literary significance of the Taiwanese Surrealists.
Title The Freedom and People’s Rights Movement in Japan and the Inaugurating National Diet Movement in Colonial Taiwan: Along the Biography of Saigo Nanshu in Jiang Wei-Sui’s Diary in Jail Author Wu, Pei-Chen Assistant Professor, Department of Japanese Language and Culture, Shoochow University／Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature, National Chengchi University Abstract The turning point of Taiwan’s independence movement in colonial period from armed resistance to non-armed resistance is the Ta-pa-ni Incident, the last great armed revolution resisting Japanese colonial ruling from 1915 to 1916. Afterward the Inaugurating National Diet Movement in colonial Taiwan began as non-armed resistance movement against the Japanese ruling power. One of the most important leaders in the Inaugurating National Diet Movement is Jiang Wei-Sui who was arrested in June 6th 1923 when Taiwan’s government-general decided to exercise the strict control over the movement. He described his impressions in his diary at the day he was arrested: “This is must be the beginning of a crackdown, Taiwan’s Lion (Shi-shi) hunting just begins.” Jiang’s description reflects how he was influenced by the radical activists’ thoughts from both the Meiji Restoration and the Freedom and People's Rights Movement. Jiang Wei-Sui’s Diary in Jail includes his few reading records, such as Japanese literature the Biography of Saigo Nanshu, ect. Most these Japanese literary works are based on the stories of the activities in the Freedom and People's Rights Movement in the early Meiji or related with this movement. Through examining the Japanese literary works indicating at Jiang’s Diary in Jail, we will have a clear picture about the relations between the Inaugurating National Diet Movement in colonial Taiwan and the Freedom and People's Rights Movement. From the comparative perspectives of modern Japanese and Taiwanese colonial literature, I hope this paper will shed light on the relationship between the Inaugurating National Diet Movement in colonial Taiwan and how the Freedom and the People’s Rights movement in Meiji period influences Jiang.
Title The Rise of the Modernist Trend in Taiwan Author Sung-Sheng Yvonne Chang Professor, Chinese and Comparative Literature, The University of Texas at Austin Abstract The English original of this essay was written in the late 1980s. Through discussing works by two generations of writers active in Taiwan between the 1950s and the 1970s, it explores the implications of the Modernist literary movement in contemporary Taiwanese literary history. The first half of the essay deals with the ways writings of the “older” generation of writers were constrained by the politically instituted dominant culture at the time, while the second half describes key features in the new artistic forms introduced by the Modernist fiction writers. The purpose of the essay is to argue that a meaningful and far-reaching aesthetic reorientation occurred as a result of the Modernist literary trend. A solid understanding of how this “aesthetic revolution” took place at the level of textual production ought to serve as basis for more ambitious explorations of diverse, complex issues pertaining to “modernity.”
Title The Modernity of Taiwanese Literature in 60s: From the Perspective of Modern Poetry Polemic Author Chu, Fong-Ling Associate Professor, Center for General Education, Chang Gung Institue of Technology Abstract In Depressed modernity: New Discussion of Late-Qing Novels, Wang Te-Wei reorganized the literature pedigree of the beginning of the century and unearthed clues of “depressed multiple modernity” in Late-Qing novels. He re-positioned the status of Late-Qing culture and explained the model of new literature “origin” to discover another modernity for Chinese literature and to construct a new modernity discussion of Chinese literature. In light of Wang Te-Wei re-examination of the modernity of Chinese literature, the investigation of Late-Qing literature “Depressed Modernity” and the deliberation of construction, this paper intends to explore concealed modernity clues, sketch the complicated trails of modernity development in Taiwanese literature, and construct a Taiwan-based literature modernity discussion from the interpretation of three aspects of Taiwanese modernity in a modern poetry polemic in 50s-60s.