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Towards a Poetics of Parentheses
|Other Titles:||A Reading of Pai Hsien-yung's "Youyuan jingmeng" in Light of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway|
This paper is a humble attempt to interpret Pai Hsien-yung's "Youyuan Jingmeng"(Wandering in the Garden, Waking from a Dream), a story in the collection Taibeiren (Taipei People), in light of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. I was motivated to write the present paper when I heard Pai's response to a question I asked at a talk he gave in 2003 at the Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica: When he wrote "Youyuan jingmeng," his most famous and technically successful story When he wrote "Youyuan jingmeng," his most famous and technically influenced, he said, characterized by "the stream of consciousness," he was partially influenced, he said, by Virginia Woolf, who employs the same technique throughout her Mrs. Dalloway. In this paper, I discuss the similarities and disparities between Pai's and Woolf's texts in terms of plot development, symbolism, and characterization. I also advance the view that, to a certain degree, Pai's use of "parentheses" in his story as one of the means by which his narrator penetrates the psychology of the main character, Mrs. Qian, parallels and draws upon Woolf's use of a similar technique. Having analyzed the formation of this "poetics" under the lens of literary scrutiny, I close the paper with a short discussion of Pai's understanding of, in his own words, "psychological realism." I hope that this discussion can pave the way to a better understanding of the development of prose fiction in Taiwan in the 1960.
|Appears in Collections:||教師著作|
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