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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


The Alternative Historical Imagination in Shih Shu-ching’s Dust before the Wind

Vol. 43 No. 2   06/2013    


The Alternative Historical Imagination in Shih Shu-ching’s Dust before the Wind


Liou, Liang-ya  









Key words

Dust before the Wind, alternative historical imagination, contrapuntal writing, Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule, colonialism, national/ethnic/ gender politics  


        Historical memory fiction has flourished ever since the lifting of martial law in Taiwan. Some of these fictions excavate multi-ethnic, transnational experiences in relation to colonialisms, exploring ethnic experiences beyond stereotypes and debunking monolithic national imagination, thereby opening up possibilities for an alternative historical imagination. This article deals with the alternative historical imagination in Shih Shu-ching’s Dust before the Wind, with a special focus on its representation of issues that had rarely been dealt with before in Taiwanese literature, such as the “enterprise of governing the savages,” the Taroko Battle, the ethnic relationships in Hualien under Japanese rule, Japanese immigrant villages, and postwar Japanese legacy. I argue that the novel presents an intricate re-vision of Japanese colonialism and Taiwan’s postcoloniality by contrapuntally portraying three ethnic groups in eastern Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule and depicting post-war Japanese legacy, as well as by re-exploring the identity problems triggered by assimilation, imperialization, decolonization, and indigenization.  



Author: Liou, Liang-ya
Genre: Article
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