Afterlives of the Culture: Engaging with the Trans-East Asian Cultural Tradition in Modern Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese Literatures, 1880s-1940s
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CitationHashimoto, Satoru. 2014. Afterlives of the Culture: Engaging with the Trans-East Asian Cultural Tradition in Modern Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese Literatures, 1880s-1940s. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
AbstractThis dissertation examines how modern literature in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan in the late-nineteenth to the early-twentieth centuries was practiced within contexts of these countries' deeply interrelated literary traditions. Premodern East Asian literatures developed out of a millennia-long history of dynamic intra-regional cultural communication, particularly mediated by classical Chinese, the shared traditional literary language of the region. Despite this transnational history, modern East Asian literatures have thus far been examined predominantly as distinct national processes. Challenging this conventional approach, my dissertation focuses on the translational and intertextual relationships among literary works from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and argues that these countries' writers and critics, while transculturating modern Western aesthetics, actively engaged with the East Asian cultural tradition in heterogeneous ways in their creations of modern literature. I claim that this transnational tradition was fundamentally involved in the formation of national literary identities, and that it enabled East Asian literati to envision alternative forms of modern civilization beyond national particularity.
The dissertation is divided into three parts according to the region's changing linguistic conditions. Part I, "Proto-Nationalisms in Exile, 1880s-1910s," studies the Chinese literatus Liang Qichao's interrupted translation and adaptations of a Japanese political novel by the ex-samurai writer Shiba Shiro and the Korean translation and adaptations of Liang Qichao's political literature by the historian Sin Ch'aeho. While these writers created in transitional pre-vernacular styles directly deriving from classical Chinese, authors examined in Part II, "Modernism as Self-Criticism, 1900s-1930s," wrote in newly invented literary vernaculars. This part considers the critical essays and the modernist aesthetics of fiction by Lu Xun, Yi Kwangsu, and Natsume Soseki, founding figures of modern national literature in China, Korea, and Japan, respectively. Part III, "Transcolonial Resistances, 1930s-40s," addresses the wartime period, when the Japanese Empire exploited the regional civilizational tradition to fabricate the rhetoric of the legitimacy of its colonial rule. This part especially explores the semicolonial Chinese writer Zhou Zuoren, and the colonial Korean and Taiwanese writers Kim Saryang and Long Yingzong, who leveraged that same civilizational tradition and the critiques thereof, in order to deconstruct Japanese cultural imperialism outside of nationalist discourses.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13064962
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