Presentation on theme: "Postwar Taiwan Fiction: 2 nd Introductory Lecture Unit 2 From Nativist-realism to the Writers of the 80s, and Beyond Richard Rong-bin Chen, PhD of Comparative."— Presentation transcript:
Postwar Taiwan Fiction: 2 nd Introductory Lecture Unit 2 From Nativist-realism to the Writers of the 80s, and Beyond 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
Modernism and Modern Literature Pai Hsien-yung [ ], Wang Wen-hsing [ ], Ou-yang Tzu [ ], and Chen Jo-hsi [ ]. Unsatisfied with the 50s: Experiments in and explorations and creations of new artistic forms and styles. Against amateurism. [Self-trained vs. well-trained.] Introduce systematically the movements, trends, criticism, and thoughts of contemporary Western arts. Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Sartre, and Camus.
Modernism vs. Nativist-realism Westernized vs. localized Anti-tradition vs. anti-hegemonic Individualism vs. the concern about the grass roots. Innovations in forms and styles vs. the themes about the lives of local Taiwanese people. Politically disengaged vs. politically engaged. Urban life vs. country life.
Nativist-realism [ ] : literally means Native Soil [hsiang-tu]. Realism: not only a reflection of reality, but also a criticism of the problems in reality. The nativists (the people from the countryside) usually tend to be exploited by oppressors like government officials, businessmen, and city people. [good vs. evil; naïve vs. sophisticated] It proposed a local Nationalism to replace to Westernized elitist individualism of the 60s.
The opposition between Modernism of the 60s and Nativist-realism in the 70s culminated in the Debate of Taiwan Nativist Literature from 1977 to 1978 [ ]. Wang Tuo [ ] and Chen Ying-chen vs. Peng Ko [ ], Chu Hsi-ning [ ], and Yu Kuang-chung [ ]. Wang Tuo and Yang Ching-chu [ ] were arrested and indicted in 1979 for their involvement with the Formosa Incident, but it did not silence the Nativist-realists.
Against the background of Taiwans being isolated in the international community since the 70s, the discourse of Nativist-realism implied the problem of subjectivity, which inevitably led to the literary and cultural movement of localization [bentuhua]. Actually Nativist-realism can be traced back to its prewar period, with its representative writers like Lü Heruo [ ], Lai He [ ], and Yang Kui [ ]. The anthology: Oxcart: Nativist Stories from Taiwan: 1934 - 1977. Translated and introduced by Rosemary M. Haddon, and published by a German publisher named Projekt Verlag in 1996.
Chen Ying-chen [ ] Exiles at Home: Short Stories by Chen Ying- chen. Translated by Lucien Miller, and published by Center for Chinese Studies, the University of Michigan, 1986. A Break in the Chain: The Short Stories of Chen Ying-chen by Lucien Miller, collected in Chinese Fiction from Taiwan: Critical Perspectives, edited by Jeannette L. Faurot, publish by Idiana University Press in 1980.
A Couple of Generals Love Story. A 40-year-old mainlander and a skinny teenage Taiwanese girl. Girl from Taitung. It implies that the girl might be aboriginal, which is the reason why she was sold by her parents to a brothel for 25 thousand dollars. Suicide. After the girl ran away from home, she met the mainlander in a funeral band, where musicians all had to wear uniforms like generals. The mainlander gave her money to buy her freedom, but she became a prostitute anyway. Five years later, after their reunion, they committed suicide together.
Roses in June War victim. Chen wrote a lot about the tragic lives of conscripted soldiers, like this one and The Country Village Teacher. Love story. It is a love story between a Taiwanese bar girl and an African-American sergeant. Psychological breakdown. Mental illness seems to be a common feature of Chens soldiers. After an ambush, the sergeant named Barney was able to escape, but he killed innocent Vietnamese girl later and this experience traumatized him greatly. Barney died in the end, left the pregnant bar girl behind.
One Day in the Life of a White-Collar Worker Oppressed Workers. From 1978 to 1982, Chen used his Washington Building series [ ] to depict the lives of Taiwanese workers oppressed by both their foreign and local supervisors. Love story. On this day, Huang Jing-hsiung didnt get the promotion he deserved, so he decided to quit. Ideal and reality. Huang was a capable Taiwanese, and had a dream of making a movie. He planned to fulfill the dream on the day after his resignation, but eventually he went back to his work.
Huang Chun-ming [ ] The Taste of Apples. Translated by Howard Goldblatt, and published by Columbia University Press in 2001. The Rural Stories of Hwang Chun-ming by Howard Goldblatt, collected in Chinese Fiction from Taiwan: Critical Perspectives, edited by Jeannette L. Faurot, publish by Idiana University Press in 1980. The contribution to the New Cinema of Taiwan in the 80s and 90s.
The Drowning of an Old Cat A village invaded by people in the city. The swimming pool. The old cat: Uncle Ah-sheng. Uncle Ah-sheng drowned himself.
His Sons Big Doll The sandwichman. The makeup of a clown. The family. The son.
The Two Sign Painters Two aboriginal young men from Hua- lien. Unsatisfied with the job, but couldnt come back home. People in the city vs. the aboriginal young men. The adapted version.
A Flower in the Rainy Night The prostitute. Discrimination on the train. The baby. Back to her native village, where villagers showed her due respect and support, and didnt discriminate her. The baby changed her life. [The final train scene.]
Wang Chen-ho [ ] An Oxcart for Dowry [ ] Rose, Rose, I Love You. [ ] Translated by Howard Goldblatt, and published by Columbia University Press in 2000. Form and Tone in Wang Chen-hos Satires by Robert Yi Yang, collected in Chinese Fiction from Taiwan: Critical Perspectives, edited by Jeannette L. Faurot, publish by Idiana University Press in 1980.
An Oxcart for Dowry Lu Heruo: Oxcart (1935). There are moments in our life when even Schubert has nothing to say to us... (a quotation from The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James) The oxcart The dowry Not about wedding, but about adultery Under what circumstances would you trade your wife for an oxcart?
Yang Ching-chu [ ] Selected Stories of Yang Ching-chu. Translated by Thomas B. Gold, and published by First Publishing Co., Kaohsiung, 1983. The Modernization of Taiwan as Reflected in the Stories of Yang Ching-chu by Thomas B. Gold, the introduction of Selected Stories of Yang Ching-chu. Twilight in the Fields [ ] Crossing Love River [ ] Promotion [ ] Dance Party [ ]
Twilight in the Fields. How peoples values changes in a society transforming from the agricultural to industrial phase. The love between a farmers son and a public servants daughter. A farmers job is not considered to be a real job. In the end, the farmers son chose to start his own businesses of a factory and fishpond. Is the value twisted? For some, farmers are considered to be on the lower end of a social hierarchy, or even the disadvantaged.
Crossing Love River [ ] The name is both geographical and symbolic. From a virgin boy to a man. Love between a bar girl and a tailors apprentice. The boys visit to a brothel. Promotion [ ] Discrimination in workplace. A temporary worker for 16 years. Wanted to bribe to get his promotion done. Didnt succeed.
Dance Party [ ] From 1966 to 1969, three export-processing zones [ ] were established, two in Kaohsiung, one in Taichung. Across Taiwan, more and more industrial parks were established. More and more women were attracted from country villages to factories in the suburbs in order to fulfill an enormous need in human resources. In the story first published in 1977, a regular dance party was held to entertain the female factory workers.
But some of them did not think this way. They thought it would offer a chance for the male workers and staffers to take advantage of them. Different seats for the staffers and workers: discrimination in the factory. [College graduates vs. high school graduates; male vs. female.] In 1980, Chen Ying-chen also published a novella entitled Clouds [ ] which concerns the factory life of female workers and is a part of his Washington Building series (1978-1982), four novellas about international companies in Taiwan.
Postwar Female Writers Bamboo Shoots after the Rain. Edited by Ann C. Carver and Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang, and published by the Feminist Press, the City University of New York, 1990. Three Generations of Taiwans Contemporary Women Writers: A Critical Introduction by Sung- sheng Yvonne Chang, the introduction of Bamboo Shoots after the Rain. The First Generation: Eileen Chang [ ], Lin Hai-yin [ ], and Pan Jen-mu [ ]. The Second Generation: Chen Jo-hsi (Chen Ruoxi) [ ], Ou-yang Tzu [ ], Shih Shu-ching [ ], and Li Ang [ ] (b. 1952). The Young Generation: Yüan Chiung-chiung [ ] (b. 1950), Hsiao Sa [ ] (b. 1953).
Female Writers after the 70s Hsiao Sa: My Son Han-sheng [ ] (1978) Yüan Chiung-chiung: A Place of Ones Own [ ] (1980) Li Ang: A Love Letter Never Sent [ ] (1984) All the three stories are selected from Worlds of Modern Chinese Fiction: Short Stories and Novellas from the Peoples Republic, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, edited by Michael S. Duke, and published in 1991.
Before the 60s, few women in Taiwan had a formal job outside their families. From the 60s to 1982, less than 40% women in Taiwan worked. Despite the oil shock from 1973 to 1974, Taiwans economy continued to prosper. By around 1980, agricultures share of the labor force in Taiwan had fallen to 20%, industry claimed 40%, while service and commerce employed 38 percent of the work force in Taiwan. [ A Short History of Taiwan by Gary Marvin Davison, 2003.]
It is against the background stated above that we can read the three stories. Education. First of all, in Hsiao Sas and Li Angs stories, the female protagonists are both intellectuals: the former an expert on teenagers problems, and the latter a journalist. Extra-marital affair. Second, both female protagonists in Lis and Yuans stories are cheated on by their husbands, and latter on become mistresses themselves. Love became more complicated than ever.
Female participation in workplaces. With the development of the service and commerce sectors in the late 70s and the early 80s, women had more options for their jobs. Cf: Homeward Bound [ ] by Meng Yao [ ]. The female protagonist could not get into college or fit into her jobs, so she chose to get married. On the contrary, in A Place of Ones Own, the female protagonist, surprising everyone else in the story, chose to file for divorce, and she first open a handicraft shop with her alimony, and then became an insurance broker.
Writers after the 80s Huang Fan: A History of Condo Sales [ ] Huang Fan: Everybody Needs Chin Te-fu [ ] Chang Ta-chun: A Guided Tour of the Apartment Complex [ ] Chu Tien-wen: A City of Hot Summer [ ] Chu Tien-hsin: In Rememberance of My Buddies from the Military Compound [ ]
The Translations All of the four writers above have been included in the Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan series of Columbia University Press. Huang Fan: Zero and Other Fictions [ ]; Chang Ta-chun: Wild Kids: Two Novels about Growing up [ ]; Chu Tien- wen: Notes of a Desolate Man [ ] ; Chu Tien-hsin: The Old Capital: A Novel of Taipei [ ].
Voices from the Margins Mahua Writers Li Yung-pings Retribution: The Jiling Chronicles. [ ] Translated by Howard Goldblatt, and published by Columbia University Press in 2003. Zhang Guixings My South Seas Sleeping Beauty: A Tale of Memory and Longing. [ ] Translated by Valerie Jaffee, and published by Columbia University Press in 2007. Indigenous Writers Indigenous Writers from Taiwan: An Anthology of Stories, Essays, and Poems. Translated by John Balcom, and published by Columbia University Press in 2005.
Queer Fiction (Gay Writing) Angelwings: Contemporary Queer Fiction from Taiwan. Translated by Fran Martin, and published by Hawaii University Press in 2003. Crystal Boys [ ] by Pai Hsien-yung (translated by Howard Goldblatt in 1990): the first Asian gay novel. Gay community in Taipei New Park. The development of Taipei: from the West District to the East District. Father-son relationships.
An Overview of Postwar Taiwan FictionBooks and Articles Chinese Fiction from Taiwan: Critical Perspectives. Jeannette L. Faurot ed. 1980. Chang, Sung-shengYvonne. Modernism and the Nativist Resistance: Contemporary Chinese Fiction from Taiwan. Durham: Duke UP, 1993. Chang, Yvonne Sung-sheng. Literature in Post- 1949 Taiwan, 1950 to 1980s. in Murray A. Rubinstein ed. Taiwan: A New History. 2006. Wang, Der-wei and Carlos Rojas, ed. Writing Taiwan: A New Literary History. Durham: Duke UP, 2007.
An Overview of Useful Books and Articles Mair, Victor H, ed. The Columbia History of Chinese Literature. New York: Columbia UP, 2002. Martin, Helmut, and Jeffrey Kinkley, ed. Modern Chinese Writers: Self-portrayals. Amonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1992. Mostow, Joshua S., ed. The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature. New York: Columbia UP, 2003. [The Modernists, the Nativists, and the Chu sisters.] Chi, Pang-yuan and David Der-wei Wang, ed. Chinese Literature in the Second Half of a Modern Century: A Critical Survey. Bloomington: U of Indiana P, 2000.
Chinese Literature in the Second Half of a Modern Century: A Critical Survey Taiwan Literature: 1945-1999, Pang-yuan Chi Reinventing National History: Communist and Anti- communist Fiction of the Mid-Twentieth Century, David Der-wei Wang Modernism and Its Discontents: Taiwanese Literature in the 1960s, Ko Ching-ming Beyond Nativist Realism: Taiwan Fiction in the 1970s and 1980s, Yang Chao Feminism and Female Taiwan Novelists in the 1980s and 1990s, Chung Ling Appendix: A Bibliographical Survey of Publications on Chinese Literature from 1949 to 1999, Jeffrey C. Kinkley
An Overview of Useful Anthologies and Journals Anthologies sponsored by the United States Information Service [ ]: New Chinese Stories: Twelve Short Stories by Contemporary Chinese Writers (1961) Lucian Wu ed. New Voices: Stories and Poems by Young Chinese Writers (1961) Nancy Ing ed. New Chinese Writing (1962) Lucian Wu ed. Eight Stories by Chinese Women (1962) Nancy Ing ed. Chi, Pang-yuang et al., ed. An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese LiteratureTaiwan: 1949-1974. Taipei: National Institute for Compilation and Translation, 1975. Vol. 2. (Might be the first collection of Taiwan fiction published by the government of ROC.)
An Overview of Useful Anthologies and Journals Lau, Joseph S. M. and Timothy A. Ross, ed. Chinese Stories from Taiwan: 1960-1970. New York: Columbia UP, 1976. (Might be the first collection of Taiwan fiction published by a foreign university press.) Lau, Joseph S., ed. The Unbroken Chain: An Anthology of Taiwan Fiction since 1926. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1983. (Both prewar and postwar Taiwan fiction.) Lau, Joseph S. M. and Howard Goldblatt, ed. The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature. New York: Columbia UP, 2007.
An Overview of Useful Anthologies and Journals Ing, Nancy Chang, ed. Winter Plum: Contemporary Chinese Fiction. Taipei: Chinese Materials Center, 1982. (A collection of the stories from The Chinese PEN: Contemporary Chinese Literature from Taiwan) Renditions [ ], a journal published by Research Centre for Translation, the Chinese University of Hong Kong since 1973. Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series, a journal published by the Center for Taiwan Studies, UC Santa Barbara since 1996, with the sponsorship from the Council for Cultural Affairs, ROC. [26 issues, might not be in print.]