Journal Articles

Spring 2006 - Vol.36/No.3
Envisioning a New Cultural Topography: Linking Chinese Global Cities
Author : Lingchei Letty Chen
Keywords : "Greater China,""Cultural China,""global city,"Hong Kong, I'objetpetit a, Taipei, cultural identity, locality, Shanghai, market economy,global aspirations, Chinese cultural topography
Situating in the theoretical framework of "Greater China," thisarticle discusses the possibilities of conceiving a new culturalgeography that will allow us to view the world in a new kind ofglobal spatial order, instead of looking at the world as composed ofa body of nations.This new inter-and cross-cultural map will showthat a global urban culture has been in the making within theproposed Chinese global cities, namely, Shanghai, Taipei, and HongKong, and that in fact they share more in common with each otherthan with the cultures of the state where these cities exist.
Looking at the (W)Hole Picture: Imagining Taipei as a Global City
Author : Kevin Lawrence
Keywords : cybercity,de- and reterritorialization,globalization,Taipei,TRTS(Taipei Rapid Transit System), Tsai Ming-liang The Hole
This paper explores various claims that are made aboutglobalization as a paradigm shift and how it is being registered in thesocial imaginary of one city, Taipei. Specifically, it seeks to look atways in which imagining Taipei as a global city is a source of anxiety,both in representations of city government projects designed toalleviate traffic congestion and then in the 199$ dystopic film byTsai Ming-liang,The Hole. The paper strategically starts in an abstracted discursive realm,turns to physical representations of how Taipei relates to other(global) cities, then to city governmental efforts to reapportioncitizens? experience of space from physical navigation to virtualinteraction in a cyber-space, and finally tries to get a picture of howby-passed citizens in this emergent topography might berepresented and imagine themselves magine themselves not only asvictims of the effects of infrastructural bypass, but also as a viable,resistant communitywith an identifiable politics, howeverrudimentary.
Revisiting a Postcolonial Global City: Hong Kong and Fruit Chan's Little Cheung'
Author : Tsung-yi Michelle Huang
Keywords : global city,postcoloniality,critical geography,Hong Kong, Fruit Chan
Opening Ecocriticism's Sino-AmericanDialogue: An Interview with Lawrence Buell
Author : Wei qingqi
Keywords : Ecocriticism, Nature Writing, Environmental lssues
Ecocriticism, a critical tide rapidly spreading worldwide fromNorth America since the last decade, brings a breath of fresh air tothe otherwise rigid world of criticism. Ecocriticism's focus--therelation between humankind and the environment -causes literarycritics to move beyond the socio-historical discourse of the text,extending the examination of structures of traditional literaryclassics and the strengths and weaknesses of current literary theoryto the vantage point of earth's biosphere, thus regaining Nature'splace long held in absentia in the literary and cultural subtext. InMay,2002,l met Lawrence Buell,Chair of Harvard University'sDepartment of English, in Beijing. Professor Buel'searlierspecialization was in American Literary Transcendentalism; his deepand penetrating studies of Emerson,Thoreau,Hawthorne,andother writers provided a solid foundation for his shift to ecocriticismin recent years. Buell currently stands as one of the representativefigures in American ecocriticism at a time of a burgeoning Chineseeco-literature.To facilitate an exchange,Professor Wang Ning ofTsing Hua University made sone arrangements.The followingarticle synthesizes an interview-discussion conducted overelectronic mail between Buell and me.
Frankenstein,Ontology, Sexual Difference
Author : Kien Ket Lin
Keywords : Jacques Derrida, deconstruction, Frankenstein, Geschlecht, gender,Martin Heidegger,metaphysics,ontology,Mary Shelley,sexualdifference, teratogeny
The project of monstrosity depicted in Mary Sheiley'sFrankenstein brings a vital clue to resolving the ontological inquiryof sexual difference first brought up by Jacques Derrida.The novel,seeking to define the monster's parenthood, involves in it a fatherand a mother, and hence sexual difference.Yet it is parthenogenesisas dominated by the scientist-father conceit that actually holdssway, leaving the family romance of monstrosity devoid of the roleof woman. When he is later demanded a female companion fromhis monster, Frankenstein must turn into a monster himself throughhis monstrous imagination of gender: he proceeds by reenacting theimago of the dead mother, without questioning the metaphysicalbinarism involved (such as form and matter, a derivative of mater,“mother"). We consider the difference in creating a he-monster anda she-monste ---who alone is molded after the dead mothe ---assexual difference.That Frankenstein chooses to abort his creation ofa she-monsterlater may hint at the metaphysical failure to incarnatethe dead mother's imago in his teratogeny. Such an abortionhastens the death of his Elizabeth however, creating an aporia forFrankenstein that hints at the monstrosity of metaphysics. WhenDerrida questions why the number of gender must stop at "two," atmetaphysics, he may not be aware that two is a monstrous number,an insight which Mary Shelley's Frankenstein alone can provide.
The Fantastic/Exotic Uncanny: Kafka's andBorges's Labyrinthine Narrative of China
Author : Jiayan Mi
Keywords : Orientalism, labyrinthinization, postcoloniasm, Franz Kafka,the fantastic, Jorge Luis Borges,the exotic, the uncanny
High modernism always proclaims the absolute sovereignty ofaesthetic purity for its artistic experimentalism.However,Western modernism,when looked at historically, is deeply rooted in itsdeathly enchantment with the "Orient" as a non-Western cultural Other. This article seeks to problematize a modernist fetishizedliterary genre--" the fantastic .---by situating modernist writers'uncanny gaze of China in a post-colonial discursive context.To takeup two modernist texts,Franz Kafka's "The Great Wall of China , and Jorge Luis Borges's "The Garden of Forking Paths," this study isthreefold: it first discusses Jackson's theoretical revision of thefantastic; it then demonstrates the fantastic narrativity of an exoticOther; and finally it reveals the fictive/deceptive ethics embedded inKafka's and Borges's imagining of China and probes theiideological slippages. Through analysis of how China was configured as an uncannyspectacle in these two short stories, l argue that the geopoliticalspectacularization of an exotic China can not be said to legitimatethe ideological sanctity of fantasy literature,but more often thannot reflects a disturbing discourse of hegemony, dominance, andOrientalism.The reification of a cultural Other, through the proces 5s of narrative strategies of allegorization,mythologization,andlabyrinthinization, ion,insidiously reveals the authors’own cultural identity crisis and obsessive mentality.
Beyond the Unconscious:"Gaze" in Peter Shaffer's Equus
Author : Shaowen Emily Su
Keywords : the unconscious,repression,Freud's psychotherapy,Lacanian“Gaze," psychoanalysis, theatricalism
This paper looks into Peter Shaffer's famous play, Equus, frc om a psychological point of view.The mysteriously unconscious hul man minds of the characters in the play and those of the audience are anatomized by an application of Lacanian "Gaze”and,wherenecessary, the theories of Freudian psychoanalysis.The main task ofthis study is to explore Lacan's algorithmic mechanism ofsignifier-signified/conscious-unconscious systems,examine therecursive shifting of the identities between subject and object of the “Gaze" as wer tse mask of the unconscioussart,and the audience,unconscious or the mask of the unconscious, so as to probe into the unconscious of the protagonists, Alan and Dysart, and the audience,and thereby to retrieve the whole textual unconscious. In retrieving prorductive creativity, adangeemingly unexplainablffashion of productive creativity,adding subtexts to the play alongside facilitating demystifying the seemingly unexplainablemystery and unraveling the repressed and unconscious state ofminds of the characters.