Xia Ji'an's Critical Bridge to Modernism in Taiwan

  • Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Literature of the 1950s in Taiwan was decidedly ideological in nature and dominated by mainland Chinese emigres to the island whose work tended to focus on their previous experiences in mainland China as narrated through the lens of the Cold War. The decade saw a surfeit of long novels that I term "historical romanticism," loosely structured and often rambling. Beginning in the late 1950s, the Taiwan University-based critic and scholar TA Hsia (Pinyin: Xia Ji'an), grew impatient with this trend and in the journal Wenxue Zazhi, which he founded, spoke out against this style and advocated for more tightly constructed works that were free of ideology. In a pivotal article, Xia applied a thorough, imminent critique to a novel entitled Setting Moon by one of the most prominent authors of the time, Peng Ge. In this article, Xia both critiqued Peng Ge's novel and put forth some principles for how fiction should be written. Thus, it stands as one of the most important manifestos for Modernist literature in Taiwan going forward and wielded great impact on the next generation of authors, which included Bai Xianyong, Chen Ruoxi, Chen Yingzhen, Huang Chunming, Wang Wenxing, and Wang Zhenhe.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International