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Article: Gendered Modernity: Female Characterization in the Works of Xu Kunquan and Wu Mansha

TitleGendered Modernity: Female Characterization in the Works of Xu Kunquan and Wu Mansha
性別化的現代性:徐坤泉與吳漫沙作品中的女性角色
Authors
KeywordsModernity (現代性)
Female characterization (女性角色)
Gendered (性別化)
Xu Kunquan (徐坤泉)
Wu Mansha (吳蔓莎)
Issue Date2014
PublisherNational Chengchi University, Dept. of Chinese Literature (國立政治大學中國文學系).
Citation
Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature, 2014, v. 25, p. 1-32 How to Cite?
台灣文學學報, 2014, v. 25, p. 1-32 How to Cite?
AbstractResearch on Taiwanese literature under Japanese rule has been fruitful over the past few years. Scholars have adopted multiple approaches, and paid substantial attention to popular narratives. Existing scholarship examines Taiwan's Chinese-language popular novels of the 1930s from various angles, including topographic imagination, market awareness, female's voice, and genre studies. Overall scholars agree that those works exhibit efforts to enlighten the people and concern for women's roles, and regard such features positively. However, the authors' gendered visions of modernity and the hyperbolic rhetoric prevalent in their writing warrant further scrutiny. This article will discuss the female characters in Xu Kunquan's Loveable Rivals and New Mencius' Mother, and Wu Mansha's Chives Flowers and Peach Blossom River. It will examine the characterization of females in those texts, and both authors' common melodramatic narrative mode. It will argue that the two novelists' views of modernity are gendered. In other words, the two male writers express their ambivalence toward modernity through highlighting the stark contrast between virtuous women and morally degraded women in their works. By offering a female-centric reading, this essay will point out those texts' patriarchal more standards and the imbalanced structure, in which moral discourses appear more dominant than sensual/erotic narratives, discount their possible implications of enlightening the people and concerns for women. Yet paradoxically, Xu's and Wu's quasi-conservative attitudes toward modernity may as well be considered modern in criticizing the 'decadent' urban life, and promoting conditional free love - and (female-focused) sensual/erotic depictions in fact not only enhance those works' stylistic charms but also endow the seemingly 'anti-modern' instruction-centric rhetoric in those novels with a 'modern' twist which reflects how authors like Xu and Qu have negotiated with and responded to Taiwan's social change at that time. 近幾年來關於台灣日治時期的文學研究日趨多元,呈現由雅至俗之傾向。對於三○年代以降的漢文長篇小說的探討已有若干成果,切入點包括地誌書寫、市場考量、女性發聲、文額特色等,各具特色。學者們對這類通俗敘事中所呈現的啟蒙意識和作家們對女性議題的關注大抵均抱持極為肯定的態度,視之為理所當然,然而,筆者認為性別論述和現代性之間的關係,以及此類文本中的修辭策略仍值得進一步深究。本文探討徐坤泉《可愛的仇人》、《新孟母》和吳漫沙《韮菜花》、《桃花江》中的女性角色。除了分析文本巾的女角型塑,也將檢視兩位作家共同的通俗劇式之書寫模式。本文論證徐、吳兩位作者作品中所呈現的現代性為性別化的視域,亦即男作家們透過對女性角色賢婦與蕩婦的兩極對比,呈現他們對當時台灣的現代性的模稜兩可態度。若從女性的角度作為詮釋的出發點,那麼其中暗含的重男輕女雙重標準,和文本中道德論述遠大於情色書寫的不對稱結構使得此類小說可能承載的啟蒙意蘊和女性關懷大打折扣。弔詭的是,這些作品裡對現代性的欲迎還拒或可被視作另類的現代。特別是文本中一方面對「墮落」的都會文明提出批判、提倡有條件的婚戀自由,但一方面又對(女性)情慾細緻描繪,此雙軌敘述之間的角力不但增添了作者的語言魅力,也使得小說裡大段近乎「反現代」的教化修辭別具一番能反映作者們如何因應時變的「現代」特色。
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/215649
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLin, PY-
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-21T13:34:03Z-
dc.date.available2015-08-21T13:34:03Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationBulletin of Taiwanese Literature, 2014, v. 25, p. 1-32-
dc.identifier.citation台灣文學學報, 2014, v. 25, p. 1-32-
dc.identifier.issn1608-1692-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/215649-
dc.description.abstractResearch on Taiwanese literature under Japanese rule has been fruitful over the past few years. Scholars have adopted multiple approaches, and paid substantial attention to popular narratives. Existing scholarship examines Taiwan's Chinese-language popular novels of the 1930s from various angles, including topographic imagination, market awareness, female's voice, and genre studies. Overall scholars agree that those works exhibit efforts to enlighten the people and concern for women's roles, and regard such features positively. However, the authors' gendered visions of modernity and the hyperbolic rhetoric prevalent in their writing warrant further scrutiny. This article will discuss the female characters in Xu Kunquan's Loveable Rivals and New Mencius' Mother, and Wu Mansha's Chives Flowers and Peach Blossom River. It will examine the characterization of females in those texts, and both authors' common melodramatic narrative mode. It will argue that the two novelists' views of modernity are gendered. In other words, the two male writers express their ambivalence toward modernity through highlighting the stark contrast between virtuous women and morally degraded women in their works. By offering a female-centric reading, this essay will point out those texts' patriarchal more standards and the imbalanced structure, in which moral discourses appear more dominant than sensual/erotic narratives, discount their possible implications of enlightening the people and concerns for women. Yet paradoxically, Xu's and Wu's quasi-conservative attitudes toward modernity may as well be considered modern in criticizing the 'decadent' urban life, and promoting conditional free love - and (female-focused) sensual/erotic depictions in fact not only enhance those works' stylistic charms but also endow the seemingly 'anti-modern' instruction-centric rhetoric in those novels with a 'modern' twist which reflects how authors like Xu and Qu have negotiated with and responded to Taiwan's social change at that time. 近幾年來關於台灣日治時期的文學研究日趨多元,呈現由雅至俗之傾向。對於三○年代以降的漢文長篇小說的探討已有若干成果,切入點包括地誌書寫、市場考量、女性發聲、文額特色等,各具特色。學者們對這類通俗敘事中所呈現的啟蒙意識和作家們對女性議題的關注大抵均抱持極為肯定的態度,視之為理所當然,然而,筆者認為性別論述和現代性之間的關係,以及此類文本中的修辭策略仍值得進一步深究。本文探討徐坤泉《可愛的仇人》、《新孟母》和吳漫沙《韮菜花》、《桃花江》中的女性角色。除了分析文本巾的女角型塑,也將檢視兩位作家共同的通俗劇式之書寫模式。本文論證徐、吳兩位作者作品中所呈現的現代性為性別化的視域,亦即男作家們透過對女性角色賢婦與蕩婦的兩極對比,呈現他們對當時台灣的現代性的模稜兩可態度。若從女性的角度作為詮釋的出發點,那麼其中暗含的重男輕女雙重標準,和文本中道德論述遠大於情色書寫的不對稱結構使得此類小說可能承載的啟蒙意蘊和女性關懷大打折扣。弔詭的是,這些作品裡對現代性的欲迎還拒或可被視作另類的現代。特別是文本中一方面對「墮落」的都會文明提出批判、提倡有條件的婚戀自由,但一方面又對(女性)情慾細緻描繪,此雙軌敘述之間的角力不但增添了作者的語言魅力,也使得小說裡大段近乎「反現代」的教化修辭別具一番能反映作者們如何因應時變的「現代」特色。-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherNational Chengchi University, Dept. of Chinese Literature (國立政治大學中國文學系).-
dc.relation.ispartofBulletin of Taiwanese Literature-
dc.relation.ispartof台灣文學學報-
dc.subjectModernity (現代性)-
dc.subjectFemale characterization (女性角色)-
dc.subjectGendered (性別化)-
dc.subjectXu Kunquan (徐坤泉)-
dc.subjectWu Mansha (吳蔓莎)-
dc.titleGendered Modernity: Female Characterization in the Works of Xu Kunquan and Wu Mansha-
dc.title性別化的現代性:徐坤泉與吳漫沙作品中的女性角色-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailLin, PY: pylin@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityLin, PY=rp01578-
dc.description.naturelink_to_OA_fulltext-
dc.identifier.hkuros249788-
dc.identifier.volume25-
dc.identifier.spage1-
dc.identifier.epage32-
dc.publisher.placeTaiwan (台灣)-

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