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An Annotated Translation of Wu Zhuoliu’s Section Chief Potsdam
Taiwanese local consciousness
Born in 1900 in colonial Taiwan, Wu Zhuoliu's life spanned more than 70 years during which he underwent a regime transfer from Japanese ruling to Taiwan's restoration to its "motherland" China. Educated in both Japanese and Chinese in his childhood, Wu Zhuoliu acquired great language proficiency in both languages, which enabled him to involve in literary creation in both Japanese and Chinese. During Japanese colonial ruling, Wu Zhuoliu devoted himself to recording the injustice and oppression of the colonial society with his novelistic creation at the risk of being targeted by the Japanese authority. With Taiwan's “return to motherland" after World War II, Taiwanese people were expectant of a new life with no more discrimination. But it was not long before Taiwanese people found themselves experiencing yet another cultural conflict and oppression as they witnessed the corruptive and plundering nature of officials from mainland China. The 228 Incident highlighted such Taiwanese-mainland contradiction, which Wu Zhuoliu incorporated in many of his novels to give a vivid portray of that era. Living in a time of turbulence, Wu Zhuoliu, throughout his life, retained the courage to keep a genuine record of history, characterizing his works with a rich sense of local consciousness. Given such pretext, this paper gives an annotated English translation of Wu Zhuoliu 's novella Section Chief Potsdam, which was written and finished not long after Taiwan's restoration to China. The purpose of this paper is to allow people of different languages and cultural backgrounds to have a glimpse at Taiwan's historical transfer from colonialto quasi-colonial system over that period through Wu Zhuoliu's literary creation.
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