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Colonial Taiwan

Negotiating Identities and Modernity through Literature

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Pei-yin Lin

This book offers a thorough and thought-provoking study on the impact of Japanese colonialism on Taiwan’s literary production from the 1920s to 1945. It redresses the previous nationalist and Japan-centric interpretations of works from Taiwan’s Japanese period, and eschews a colonizer/colonized dichotomy. Through a highly sensitive textual analysis and contextual reading, this chronologically structured book paints a multi-layered picture of colonial Taiwan’s literature, particularly its multi-styled articulations of identities and diverse visions of modernity. By engaging critically with current scholarship, Lin has written with great sentiment the most complete history of the colonial Taiwanese literary development in English.

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Edited by Theo D'haen and Patricia Krüs

Over the last two decades, the experiences of colonization and decolonization, once safely relegated to the margins of what occupied students of history and literature, have shifted into the latter's center of attention, in the West as elsewhere. This attention does not restrict itself to the historical dimension of colonization and decolonization, but also focuses upon their impact upon the present, for both colonizers and colonized. The nearly fifty essays here gathered examine how literature, now and in the past, keeps and has kept alive the experiences - both individual and collective - of colonization and decolonization. The contributors to this volume hail from the four corners of the earth, East and West, North and South. The authors discussed range from international luminaries past and present such as Aphra Behn, Racine, Blaise Cendrars, Salman Rushdie, Graham Greene, Derek Walcott, Guimarães Rosa, J.M. Coetzee, André Brink, and Assia Djebar, to less known but certainly not lesser authors like Gioconda Belli, René Depestre, Amadou Koné, Elisa Chimenti, Sapho, Arthur Nortje, Es'kia Mphahlele, Mark Behr, Viktor Paskov, Evelyn Wilwert, and Leïla Houari. Issues addressed include the role of travel writing in forging images of foreign lands for domestic consumption, the reception and translation of Western classics in the East, the impact of contemporary Chinese cinema upon both native and Western audiences, and the use of Western generic novel conventions in modern Egyptian literature.

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Edited by Hua Meng and Sukehiro Hirakawa

The present volume is the product of a joint effort made by scholars from across China (including Hong Kong), Japan and Europe. The book gathers sixteen papers devoted to literary and cultural criticism from a comparative point of view.
A perspective prominent in this volume is imagology, an approach first developed by Daniel-Henry Pageaux, and which focuses on specific images in literary and other texts. The study of the image of the “foreign” in national literary traditions, for instance, belongs to the traditional purview of comparative literature. Pageaux did more than uphold this tradition. He practically reinvented it using new theoretical concepts and perspectives (in particular, semiotics and reception aesthetics). On this basis, he was able to develop a theory and a methodology that are both usable and in tune with contemporary concerns.
The present book covers a wide range of topics in the study of images of Westerners in Chinese and Japanese literature. Individual contributions deal with issues such as the genesis of the Chinese term Foreign Devil, the occurrence of Westerners in modern Chinese and Japanese literature, and the Chinese and Japanese reception of indiviual western authors and artists such as, amongst others, Oscar Wilde, Vincent Van Gogh, and Madame Roland. Some papers examine individual authors such as Lu Xun and Takeyama Michio. Others examine historical periods or literary movements. The approaches followed range from historical investigations of linguistic practices to detailed literary analyses.

Oriental Prospects

Western Literature and the Lure of the East

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Edited by C.C. Barfoot and Theo D'haen

A great deal of stimulating and valuable discussion (as well as some indignation and hot air) has been stimulated by Edward Said, whose provocative study of Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient appeared twenty years ago. This present book will, we believe, be recognized as a worthy addition to the many attempts that have since been made to sift the intrinsic and ingrained attitudes of West to East. The fifteen articles in Oriental Prospects: Western Literature and the Lure of the East cover literature from the Renaissance through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the modern period, some in pragmatic accounts of responses to and uses of experiences of the Orient and its cultural attitudes and artefacts, others contending more theoretically with issues that Edward Said has raised. Despite all the misunderstanding, prejudice and propaganda in the scholarly and literary depiction of the Orient still today as in the past, what emerges from this wide-range of articles is that no species of literary text or academic study can appear without risking the accusation of escapist exoticism or cultural and economic exploitation; and thus regrettably masking the essential and vital significance of the political and the real and imaginative trading between East and West.