Journal Articles

Summer Vol.37 No.4
Landscape, Migration, and Identity-Construction: Spiritual Quest via the Zen Path in Jack Kerouac's The Dhaarma Bums and On the Road
Author : I-chun Wang
Keywords : Korouac, migration, The Dhaarma Bums, On the Road, Zen
The 1950s was a period of political cold war and a time of suspicion when the weariness about war, moral deviance and economic depression weighed down the traditional values. Kerouac wins his celebrity by publishing a series of novels with the main characters troubled by their environment, economical parsimony and disengaged human relationship. Desolation angels, shrouded monks and dharma bums are their pseudo names; road and nomadism are the essence of their identity. Along the road, Kerouac's path-finders, obsessed with wanderlust, experience and identify with the marginality, become pilgrims when they penetrate into the core of human existence. They are on the land of America, but they have the sensation of being homesick. Exploring aimlessly and restlessly, Kerouac’s characters eventually find the elements of the world although multi-layered, multi-dimensioned, yet they still belong to each other. This recognition of the extraordinary in the ordinary, starting from migration, is based on appreciation of landscape and nature. This paper will begin with the concept of migration, its intertwining of the landscape and then proceed to the discussion of Kerouac's path of dharma in his most representative road narratives.
Stylistic Innovations and the Emergence of the Urban in Taiwan Cinema: A study of Bai Jingrui's Early Films
Author : Shiao-ying Shen
Keywords : Bai Jingrui, Taipei, urban comedy, family melodrama, Qiong Yau film, Lonely Seventeen, The Bride and I, Accidental Trio, Home Sweet Home, Goodbye Darling
This study looks into the early films of Bai Jingrui and discusses how Bai’s work can be explored in the context of a re-examination of Taiwan's Mandarin-language film. The modern aesthetics Bai experimented with in his urban films brought forth the visual emergence of Taipei as the city center of Taiwan. Bai’s early films - such as Lonely Seventeen (1968), The Bride and I (1968), Accidental Trio (1969), and Home Sweet Home (1970) - initiated the features of an emerging middle class onto the screen, affirming modern romance and an evolved sense of family in the forms of urban comedies and family melodramas. The urban sensibility Bai displayed in his early films later contributed to the middle class sense of romance in the Qiong Yau films of the 1970s. With his Goodbye Darling (1970), Bai tried to inject a realist sensibility into Taiwan’s film scene, which did not catch on in the 70s but was later given full expression in the early 1980s by a group of films we now identify as Taiwan New Cinema.
Modernism and Confucianism: Otherness as a Sitmulus to Modernity in Chinese and English Literatures
Author : Naikan Tao
Keywords : Modernism, Confucianism, renaissance, historicism, Darwinism, The Literary Revolution, Imagism, The Four Books
This paper examines a particular cultural phenomenon that occurred in the first two decades of 2th century and involved using other's culture as a stimulus to the regeneration of. one’s cultural tradition. It argues that in that particular period of history involving a great socio-political change, the conception of Confucianism signified differently and performed different effects in the construction of modernism as a literary movement owing to different interpretations of it, either as an adversity in the context of modern Chinese literature or as an ideal in the context of modern English literature. The combination of the two events in terms of modernism is based on such grounds as follows: 1) there is the proximity of occurrence of modern literature: Imagism in 1912 and the Chinese “Literary Revolution” in 1917; 2) both literary movements started with formal reform by acting against its immediate predecessor: Imagists rejected the late Victorian style, and Chinese moderns the Tongcheng style; 3) the essential drive for literary innovation was a historicist view as is seen in Hu Shi’s evolutionary historicism and Ezra Pound’s syncretic historicism; 4) the literary reforms were taken as a means for social reform in both English and Chinese cases. To clarify these points, the paper focuses on major Chinese pioneers’ remarks regarding the Literary Revolution and on Ezra Pound as a typical case through examining his attempt to use traditional Chinese culture as a stimulus for a “renaissance” in his own time and his establishing of Confucian ethics as one of the major thematic cords of The Cantos. The examination also proceeds to clarify the paradoxical relationship of Confucianism with the literary modernisms and to display a contrast in using otherness for the initiation of modernity in Chinese and English literatures.
The Poetic of X: The Xing Controversy in the Chinese Literary Tradition
Author : Ka-fai Yau
Keywords : Xing, The Odes, genre, stimulus, signification, trope, Chinese poetics, Chinese literary history
Xing is one of the most debated and elusive terms in the Chinese critical vocabulary. It is often associated with The Odes, which is widely considered the earliest anthology of songs in the Chinese literary tradition. This article discusses the ways xing, whether as a concept, a genre, a literary trope or a mode of literary thought, assimilates with the Chinese literary and cultural tradition, and at the same time unsettles the convention of meaning and signification. A conceptual definition of xing and the specific meanings of xings in The Odes may remain unknown. But that does not really matter. It is in its mobility across different signifying and conceptual schemes that xing continues to exist. The more or less 2000-year history of the xing controversy reveals that xing is not only about excavating things to be known, but also about postulating the unknown. Thus xing is constantly an X in terms of signification.
Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur as Early American Natural History Writer
Author : Lu-li Ru
Keywords : Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, natural history writing, ecological thinking, environmental concern, early American natural history writer
Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur (1735–1813) is an eighteenth—century American writer who is famous for his Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America: More Letters from an American Farmer. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, most critics regard Crèvecoeur as a patriotic and national writer because his writings frequently celebrate American freedom and prosperity and vehemently portray America as the true Paradise and the American as a veritable Adam. Completely different from the readings of most critics, this essay will focus its emphasis on Crèvecoeur’s effectiveness as a natural history writer. The aim of this paper is to establish Crèvecoeur as a natural history writer and to point out that through his natural historical discourse, Crèvecoeur celebrates his kinship with nonhuman nature and advocates environmental concern, thereby introducing a pattern of ecological thinking and proto-ecological sensibility in American culture. In this way, this essay hopes to refer the readers interested in an alternative view to the writings of Crèvecoeur.
Remembering the Ancestors and River Goddess as a Healing Process in Toni Morrison's Beloved
Author : Ru-yu Zheng
Keywords : historical trauma, identity, deep memory process, Woolger and Tomlinson, myth, the unrepresentable
Faced with the historical trauma of diaspora and slavery, black American narrative must confront the problems of silence and representation. Toni Morrison's Beloved demonstrates a powerful strategy of addressing this problem by engaging in a self-empowering recreation of myths that virtually invent the historical voice lost through slavery. This generative mythic function enables readers with an investment in the “deep memory process” (described by Woolger and Tomlinson) of historical trauma to escape the trap of silence and begin to construct elements for envisioning a new, positive future.