Three Aspects of Wang Tuoh - A Contemporary Taiwanese Intellectual
Morrison, J. B. (2004). Three Aspects of Wang Tuoh - A Contemporary Taiwanese Intellectual (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11779
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11779
This thesis presents English translations of three pieces of work by the Taiwanese intellectual Wang Tuoh. Wang Tuoh’s works range from short stories and novels to literary criticism, moral essays and newspaper opinion pieces. The exact form of his writings varied according to the political conditions in Taiwan at the time he wrote them. The first piece is Wang’s novella Auntie Jinshui, considered the centrepiece of Wang’s Badouzi series of stories. Wang’s writing was associated with the Nativist school of writers, which was to form part of the first organised cultural opposition to the rule of the authoritarian KMT in Taiwan. The second piece is Wang’s essay “It’s ‘Literature of the Present Reality’, not ‘Nativist’ Literature”, which was written in response to criticism of Nativist writers by KMT supporters. In this essay Wang supplies an important definition of the Nativist school, and broadens the scope of Nativism from being merely of the countryside, to including all of Taiwan’s ‘Present Reality’. The third piece is Wang’s moral essay “Finding the Basis of Success out of the Experience of Failure” which sums up much of Wang’s personal philosophy. In the essay part of the thesis, a description is given of the historical background that lead to the complex society of 1970s Taiwan when Wang began writing. Taiwan’s history as a geographic crossroads between the interests of China, Japan and the West means that Taiwan society, and its intellectuals, can call upon a socio-cultural heritage that draws upon Chinese, Japanese and Western influences in addition to the local Taiwanese culture. Wang’s works are analysed within a conceptual framework that shows how these multiple influences interact within Taiwan’s social, cultural and intellectual worlds. Wang’s roles as writer, literary critic, and moral essayist are all simply aspects of his larger role as an intellectual in Taiwan. In exploring Wang’s biography and relating it to larger historical events, it can be shown that Wang’s writings and his role as an intellectual changed in response to the changing degree of political freedom in Taiwan. The thesis concludes that Wang has consistently regarded his primary role as being an intellectual commentator, and that he has consistently called upon his countrymen to reflect upon the importance of social justice and democracy in Taiwan.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses