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The Republic of Love
Double Effacement and Absence�
This paper attempts to study Six Dreams by using the theories and methods of structural functional analysis and semiotics. Six Dreams is an early book of Qiong Yao, the most famous romance writer in Taiwan. This book contains six stories and one appendix. These stories unfold with the evolving historical events of the Republic of China, such as the Sino-Japanese War. The vagueness of historical events and sites are not considered by this paper as a shortcoming. On the contrary, the historical narrative becomes parallel to the romantic narrative, and both are empty and floating signifiers referring to absence of both historical reality and romantic love. I point out Qiong Yao's works as "not-quite-not-modern," in the sense that the romance fiction as a genre must be an exploration of modernity-the institutional integration of love and marriage. Qiong Yao deals with the encounter with modernity, and her characters are after all traditional. They are frozen in kinship and childhood memory, unable to enter the adult and modern world of marriage with love. This book is, as terms used by Freud, a "family romance."
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