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|Other Titles:||The Present Absences: Reading the Novel Loveable Rivals as a Political Allegory|
Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages, and Literature, NTNU
Being acknowledged as the most iconic popular fiction in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule, Loveable Rivals is obviously a valuable text to academic research; however, there is still a large amount of political significance within Loveable Rivals waiting for further analysis after many researchers have done their work. By observing both the geopolitical and nationalist political aspects of this novel, this paper seeks to read Loveable Rivals as a political allegory, in which the male and female protagonists’ personal situation could be seen as the metaphor of Taiwan/Taiwanese’s political situation under Japanese colonial rule. In the aspect of geopolitics, this paper focuses on the question of why several letters of English alphabet serve as the substitute for the distinct geographical name “Kaohsiung” in the first part of Loveable Rivals and why such substitute is abandoned in the second half. It then reads such performing strategy as a represent of the process of constructing the sense of spatial or geographical belongingness, which is always conceived as the very lack of many individual minds under the condition of colonial rule. In the aspect of nationalist politics, this paper focuses on the question of why two of the absent characters with the word “hwa”(華) in their names are capable of influencing vitally the male and female protagonists respectively across the board, and reads these two absent characters as the political Chinese factor which has been forced to keep absent from Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule. Based on the above evidences, this paper argues that Loveable Rivals, through its literary devices, effectively speaks for a dimension of Taiwanese elite islanders’ collective consciousness which is rich in political significance.
|Appears in Collections:||台灣學誌|
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