Modernism and the Nativist Resistance

Contemporary Chinese Fiction from Taiwan

Modernism and the Nativist Resistance

Book Pages: 240 Illustrations: Published: July 1993

Asian Studies > East Asia, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Theory

The first comprehensive English-language study of literary trends in the fiction of Taiwan over the last forty years, this pioneering work explores a rich tradition of literary Modernism in its shifting relationship with Chinese politics and culture.
Situating her subject in its historical context, Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang traces the connection between Taiwan's Modernists and the liberal scholars of pre-Communist China. She discusses the Modernists' ambivalent relationship with contemporary Taiwan's conservative culture, and provides a detailed critical survey of the strife between the Modernists and the socialistically inclined, anti-Western Nativists. Chang's approach is comprehensive, combining Chinese and comparative perspectives. Employing the critical insights of Raymond Williams, Peter Burger, M. M. Bahktin, and Fredric Jameson, she investigates the complex issues involved in Chinese writers' appropriation of avant-gardism, aestheticism, and various other Western literary concepts and techniques. Within this framework, Chang offers original, challenging interpretations of major works by the best-known Chinese Modernists from Taiwan.
As an intensive introduction to a literature of considerable quality and impact, and as a case study of the global spread of Western literary Modernism, this book will be of great interest to students of Chinese and comparative literature, and to those who wish to understand the broad patterns of twentieth-century literary history.


Modernism and the Nativist Resistance is a welcome addition to the short, but, one hopes, growing English-language list of critical studies of literature from Taiwan. . . . Chang has done the field an inestimable favour of recalling to its attention writers and texts that are of great importance to the history of modern Chinese literature, and she has put forth a lucid argument that should invite productive debate.” — Thomas Moran, Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs

“An important contribution to present-day Taiwanese literary studies.” — Rosemary Haddon , Modern Chinese Literature

"The most important contribution of this book is its comprehensive and judicious coverage of the major authors and the crucial movements in the occasionally tumultuous and sometimes politicized development of contemporary Chinese fiction from Taiwan. This book is the first of its kind in the West." — William Tay, University of California, San Diego

"This is the first single-author work on Taiwan fiction in English, which is rather remarkable, given the amount of literature produced, the quality and impact of that literature, and the interesting and shifting relationship of that literature with the social, political, and economic life of Taiwan. The scholarship is first-rate—meticulous, reasoned, and comprehensive." — Howard Goldblatt, University of Colorado, Boulder


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