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Title: Appropriating Formosa
Authors: Shufelt, John
Issue Date: Jun-1998
Publisher: 國立台灣師範大學英語學系
Department of English, NTNU
Abstract: In the years following the island's brief occupation by the Dutch East India Company (1624-1661) Western travel writings of Taiwan were few and far between. Two of the principal eighteenthcentury accounts which do exist-Psalmanazar's Description of Formosa (1704-05) and the "Formosa' chapter of Benyowsky's Memoirs (1970)-are the subject of this paper. At first glance threse seem unlikely choices for those interested in the history and culture of Taiwan since Psalmanazar's "account by a native of Formosa" is entirely fraudulent while Benyowsky's account, although not a complete fabrication, is of questionable reliability. But both accounts have had an impact on the historiography of Taiwan and a noteworthy, if minor, influence on Western literature, including Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal. To maintain his preeminent position as the Formosan expert, Psalmanazar successfully displaced and discredited the Dutch missionary Candidius as a reliable authority on the island and was able to monopolize European discussion of Taiwan for the first half of the 18th century. In 1771 Benyowsky offered his services as colonial mercenary to any European power interested in getting a stake in Formosa. His account includes a detailed program of benefits, both for himself and his potential European backer.
Other Identifiers: 1C523276-FA33-52E2-7176-38DA0575549E
Appears in Collections:英語研究集刊

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