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Introduction to Postwar Taiwan Fiction Unit 8: Re-inventing the History of the Republic Lecturer: Richard Rong-bin Chen, PhD of Comparative Literature.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Postwar Taiwan Fiction Unit 8: Re-inventing the History of the Republic Lecturer: Richard Rong-bin Chen, PhD of Comparative Literature."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Postwar Taiwan Fiction Unit 8: Re-inventing the History of the Republic Lecturer: Richard Rong-bin Chen, PhD of Comparative Literature. Unless noted, the course materials are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 TaiwanAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Taiwan (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Taiwan 1

2 2 Many of the works by the two writers today should be put into a broader context of history and humanity. In the first work, Lin posed a critical question: What it means to be republican?

3 3 In the second work, Chu explored the dividing lines between humanity and animality, between good and evil. In this sense, the two works this week are more than diasporic and nostalgic, and it is especially important to note that they are not mere regional literature.

4 4 Gold Carps Pleated Skirt (1963) Whats in the title? Gold Carp: what kind of name is it? Pleated Skirt: what kind of skirt is it?

5 Story in the story vs. Frame Story. Italy: The Decameron (middle of the 14 th century) The days spent in a suburban villa outside Florence vs. the stories told by the survivors of the Black Death England: The Canterbury Tales (end of the 14 th century) The trip to Canterbury vs. the stories told by the pilgrims. 5

6 6 National Taiwan University Richard Rong-bin Chen

7 What it means to be republican? Before and after, whats the difference? Foot-binding. Opium-smoking. Queue. Servitude. 7

8 8 Concubine. According to OED, concubine came from: con cubare Appeared for the first time during the 14 th century.

9 9 concubine an instrument of torture women Therefore, in ancient China, one of the main sources of concubine was slave girls. In Gold Carps case, shes a slave girl sold twice before entering the family.

10 The Concubinage System in Imperial China 10 Chinese concubines were recognized sexual partners who lived in their mates household and whose offspring were legitimate. Legally a Chinese men could have only one wife (chi), and a concubine therefore had a lower social status than the wife. In contrast to wives, concubines were not endowed with property when they moved to their consorts household; their families received no betrothal gifts and the concubines themselves received no dowries. (p.236) Source: Rubie Sharon Watson. (1991). Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society, University of California Press

11 11 Perpetuating the male line was the only respectable reason for taking a concubine, although this stricture was often ignored among the wealthy. Concubines continued to have a legal status well into the Republican period on the Chinese mainland, and in Hong Kong they enjoyed legal protection until 1971, when laws were written forbidding unions with concubines. (p.236-237) From Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society by Rubie Sharon Watson, 236-7. Source: Rubie Sharon Watson. (1991). Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society, University of California Press

12 12 First: the frame story The past history of the embroidered crimson pleated skirt is brought out on the occasion of Shan-shans costume show. The skirt belonged to her grandmother, a concubine living in the turn of the Late Qing period and the Republic.

13 Second: Entering the Hsü Family at the Age of Six Because of Mrs. Hsüs inability to have a son of her own, Gold Carp, originally only a bondmaid of the Hsüs, was made a concubine of Mr. Hsü, a former magistrate of the Qing Dynasty. Gold Carp gave birth to Chen-feng, Shan- shans father, who would be arranged to get married at the age of 18. 13

14 14 Third: Magpies on a Flowering Plum Gold Carp had a plan of wearing the pleated skirt on her sons wedding day, though shes not in a position to wear it publicly. Mrs. Hsü, her husbands first wife, was informed of the plan, without even questioning Gold Carp, and simply gave an order that every woman in the family should wear chi-pao [ ] on that day.

15 Chi-pao Chi means flag, a caste system of the Manchu people who established the Qing Dynasty. (So the Manchu people are also called Chi People [ ].) In English, the official term for it is cheongsam. Cheongsam means literally long robe ( ). During the 1920s, cheongsam became the symbol of the most cutting-edge fashion among female socialites and movie stars. 15

16 16 Women in cheongsam playing golf in a soap advertisement.

17 17 The Last Emperor and Empress

18 18 Song Mei-ling (1897- 2003), Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and the First Lady of ROC. Wikipeida: Author Unknown

19 19 Zhou Xuan (1918- 1957), one of the most famous Chinese movie stars in the 30s and 40s in Shanghai.

20 Fourth: A Ten Years Absence Feeling the pressure of his mothers being a laughingstock in the Hsü family, Chen-feng decided to go to Japan to study. After a span of 10 years, he returned to see his dying mother. In the end, though deprived of the chance of wearing the pleated skirt, with her sons insistence and fighting for her sake, Gold Carp was able to break the convention: her body in the coffin was allowed to go out from the front door, with his sons being one of her pallbearers. 20

21 Fifth: The Thing Doesnt Matter Much Now Chen-feng decided that Shan-shan can be allowed to wear the skirt in the high school costume show, because the thing doesnt matter much now. 21

22 22 Contrasts of Characters Mrs. Hsü vs. Gold Carp Gold Carp vs. Shan-shan Gold Carp vs. Chen-feng

23 23 Gold Carp felt too that she herself was lucky, but when she heard people say such things in her presence, she only smiled, and her smile had been interpreted as an expression of agreement and satisfaction. Actually, it was not so and she did not mean that. She was lucky, she thought, not because she had met Mrs. Hsu, but because she had a womb that did not fail her, a womb that could produced a son. So she smiled, but said nothing to commit herself. (15) Source: Lin Hai-yin. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

24 24 This quotation has a double significance. On the one hand, Gold Carp knew very clearly her own function in the family. On the other, in her heart, Gold Carp did not thank the mistress, but thanked her own womb, which foreshadows her self-awareness of subjectivity.

25 Tradition vs. Modernity The rigid conventionality of Chinese society: for example, one has to have at least one son. (There are three undutifulnesses, and the first one is having no son at all. [ ]) In the first place, after Chen-feng was born, nobody came to congratulate Gold Carp; instead, they congratulated Mrs. Hsü. From this perspective, a concubine is indeed only functional in a household. 25

26 Also, Gold Carp was not allowed to wear her pleated skirt due to her identity as a concubine. Her coffin was not supposed to pass through the front door for the same reason. The saddest truth is that not even the skirt was allowed to be buried in the coffin with her. 26

27 27 The main theme: the significance of the Republic and overcoming oppression Gold Carp as a Symbol, not an oppressed woman, but rather an oppressed person: They were now living in a republic, and she knew what the word republic meant: it meant I, too, can wear a crimson pleated skirt. (p. 18) Source: Lin Hai-yin.(2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

28 28 It had never occurred to her that she would encounter such a trick, and she felt a gnawing pain in her heart. She felt as if she were bound with iron chains and could not break free, no matter what she did. (19) It turned out that, even in the 10 th year of the Republic, freedom was more a concept than a reality. Source: Lin Hai-yin. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

29 Chu Hsi-ning [ ] (1927-1998): a native of Shan-tung Province, went with the Republican army to Taiwan during the Great Retreat. Father of Chu Tien-wen [ ] and Chu Tien-hsin [ ], together they have built of the most respectable literary families in Taiwan. 29

30 More than an anti-Communist army writer. His Molten Iron (, 1963) can be seen as a work of Modernism, and his The Man Who Smelt Gold (, 1970) can even be considered to be a pioneering work of Post-modernism due to the fact Chu explores the possible forms of fiction with this work. 30

31 The 1st Connection between the wolf and the aunt 31 For my part I had no wish to sleep with them in the same bed. During the short while after my mothers brother left, I had had enough of Aunties eyes, which, in displeasure, would wrinkle triangularly. (p.79) Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

32 The effect of narration 32 Is he so big after all? Second Uncle asked weakly, like a sick man. We should at least wait until next spring when it becomes warm before we send him to sleep in the hammock. (p.79) Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

33 The 2nd Connection between the wolf and the aunt 33 Im a turtles egg if I dont want to quit right away! Little Stay protested, grieved by all this teasing. But he was still slow and unhurried about it, not at all swearing as the other boys would. Thirty and shes like a she-wolf, forty and shes like a tigress. A woman of the she-wolf-tigress years is the sexiest! (p.82) Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

34 The way Big Wheel was depicted Big Wheel had the ruddy face of a Buddhist monk ready for Nirvana, craggy and angular as though rough-chiseled. His jawbones, as broad as a bulls, protruded prominently at both ends. All believed that he could bend a pitchfork if only he would open his mouth and bite. They said he must have been brought up on metal, or how could he be as strong as a mountain? And his name was appropriate, too. (p.84) 34 Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

35 Big Wheel of an oxcart that would take two bullocks to pull. In contrast, Second Uncle was thin and tall just like the axle of Big Wheels wheel, for the latter was at least twice as big as the former. Now I had more reason to be afraid that the discarded knotty rope on my hammock would snap. (p.84) 35 Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

36 36 The Relationship between Big Wheel and the narrator He toyed with the double-barreled flintlock in his hands and, suddenly inspired, he said, Let me teach you how to shoot the thing, It may be too heavy for me. I regretted these words as soon as I had spoken them. I had often enough dreamed of shooting the flintlock, and it was quite possible that he would impart some secret way of lightening the weight.(p.84) Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

37 37 Big Wheel gave the narrator the tips for shooting a wolf. When you learn all this, your Second Uncle wont need to look for help next year. You think so? Next year? My eyes at once lit up as though next year meant the same thing as next day.(p.84) Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

38 The 3rd Connection between the wolf and the aunt Perhaps I should not have allowed such an idea to present itself, but how I wished that, some day, the thing strung up would be Auntie and the man going for the knife. Second Uncle! (p.92) 38 Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

39 Silently, I drank my gruel without daring to look at Auntie, for I was afraid something in my face could offend her. Didnt Second Uncle always bring something back for her each time he went up to town, something that she was sure to love? There had been things for eating, for wearing, and for decking herself out. Why, then, did she lie so blatantly to Big Wheel? (p.94) 39 The effect of Narration Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

40 The Fourth Connection between the wolf and Aunt I had no idea to or for whom Big Wheel did it, but, hem-hem- he, sneered through his nose and leaned to one side to fill his pipe again. If you dont have a son, thats how youre destined! he resumed abruptly, without preamble, slapping his thighs. Im no beast, I, Big Wheel, am not a beast!(p.97) 40 Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

41 The Fifth Connection between the wolf and Aunt Relating the Wolf to the Woman You see it? Big Wheel opened his mouth in a mysterious way as if to shout but not a sound came out. He again glanced at the thick column on his left. Look how It stands there on its hind legs, just like a man!(p.109) 41 Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

42 42 He knocked on the lattice: Its morning now, and both the male and the female have been caught! (p.111) The Sixth Connection between the wolf and Aunt Relating the Wolf to the Woman Source: Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). Chi Pang-yuan(Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co

43 The contrast among characters: Members of the Ou Family The Narrator: observer and learner. Second Uncle: sheep owner or sheep? Second Aunt: she-wolf and tigress. 43

44 The structure of the story: three episodes of the shepherds. Both Little Stay and Big Wheel quit for obscure reasons, Big Wealth complied with Second Aunt. The Shepherds Little Stay: he was ridiculed by the shepherds during the card playing scene; he quit his job and left the Ou family, though the Second Uncle wanted to give him a raise. 44

45 Big Wheel: after he killed the she-wolf, he was flirted by Second Aunt at the dining table. Refused by Big Wheel, Second Aunt slandered him, so he left. Big Wealth: after he was hired, the lambs were started to be snatched by the wolf. In another dining table scene, we see Big Wealth and Second Aunt flirted with each other. The narrator was too innocent to understand. 45

46 Though her father a native of Maio-li County, Taiwan, Lin was born in Osaka, grew up and became a journalist in Peking, and her most famous work, Memories of Peking: South Side Stories (1960) [ ], was written on the basis of her childhood life. 46

47 About Lin Hai-yin Though her father a native of Maio-li County, Taiwan, Lin was born in Osaka, grew up and became a journalist in Peking, and her most famous work, Memories of Peking: South Side Stories (1960) [ ], was written on the basis of her childhood life. 47

48 48 Lin returned Taiwan in 1948, became in 1953 an editor of the supplement to The United Daily News [ ], a position enabling her to discover many of the most famous local Taiwan novelists, such as Huang Chun-ming [ ] and Chi-teng-sheng [ ]. And she also kept close connections with senior Taiwanese writers like Chung Li-ho [ ] and Wu Chuo-liu [ ].

49 Another of her most representative work in English is Seaweed and Salted Eggs (1963) [ ], a collection of stories translated by Nancy Ing [ ]. After leaving The United Daily News, Lin founded Pure Literature Monthly [ ] in 1967, and then went on to establish Pure Literature Publishing House [ ] in the following year. Both of them were important literary institutions in the history of Taiwan literature. 49

50 Copyright Declaration PageWork LicensingAuthor/Source 10 Chinese concubines were recognized … themselves received no dowries. Rubie Sharon Watson. (1991). Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society, (p.236)University of California Press It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 11 Perpetuating the male line was …forbidding unions with concubines. Rubie Sharon Watson. (1991). Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society, (pp.236-237)University of California Press It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 16 Wikipeida: Author Unknown http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Qipao.jpg 2012/04/26 visited 17 Wikipedia http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:%E6%BA%A5%E4%BB%AA%E5%92% 8C%E5%A9%89%E5%AE%B9.jpg 2012/04/26 visited 18 Wikipeida: Author Unknown http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Songmayling.jpg 2012/04/26 visited 19 Wikipeida: Author Unknown http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Zhou_Xuan_by_C.H.Wong_Photo_Studio. jpg 2012/04/26 visited 50

51 Copyright Declaration PageWork LicensingAuthor/Source 23 Gold Carp felt too that she …but said nothing to commit herself. Lin Hai-yin. (2004). Gold Carps Pleated Skirt. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.15 ) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 27 They were now living in a republic, and she knew what … I, too, can wear a crimson pleated skirt. Lin Hai-yin. (2004). Gold Carps Pleated Skirt. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.18 ) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 28 It had never occurred to her… and could not break free, no matter what she did. Lin Hai-yin. (2004). Gold Carps Pleated Skirt. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.19 ) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 31 For my part I had no wish …which, in displeasure, would wrinkle triangularly. Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.79) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 32 Is he so big after all? Second …before we send him to sleep in the hammock. Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.79) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 33 Im a turtles egg if I dont want … A woman of the she-wolf-tigress years is the sexiest! Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.82) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 51

52 Copyright Declaration PageWork LicensingAuthor/Source 34 Big Wheel had the ruddy face …And his name was appropriate, too. Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.84) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 35 Big Wheel of an oxcart … knotty rope on my hammock would snap. Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.84) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 36 He toyed with the double-barreled...impart some secret way of lightening the weight. Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.84) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 37 When you learn all this, your… meant the same thing as next day. Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.84) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 38 Perhaps I should not have allowed …man going for the knife. Second Uncle! Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.92) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 39 Silently, I drank my gruel without …Why, then, did she lie so blatantly to Big Wheel? Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf. Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.94) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 52

53 Copyright Declaration PageWork LicensingAuthor/Source 40 You see it? Big Wheel opened …there on its hind legs, just like a man! Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.97) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 41 You see it? Big Wheel opened …It stands there on its hind legs, just like a man! Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.79) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 42 He knocked on the lattice: Its …the male and the female have been caught! Chu Hsi-ning. (2004). The wolf Chi Pang-yuan (Ed.), An Anthology of contemporary Chinese literature, (p.111) Taipei : National Institute for Compilation and Translation : Hung Yeh Publishing Co It is used subject to the fair use doctrine of: Articles 52 & 65 of Taiwan Copyright Act. 6 National Taiwan University Richard Rong-bin Chen 53


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