Diasporic Studies have boomed since the 1990’s, and turned into a complicated critical category. Different from current mainstream studies that focus on ‘Diaspora’ as historical events, this thesis approaches Disapora from the entry point of Chinese diasporic literary writing....[ Read more ]
Diasporic Studies have boomed since the 1990’s, and turned into a complicated critical category. Different from current mainstream studies that focus on ‘Diaspora’ as historical events, this thesis approaches Disapora from the entry point of Chinese diasporic literary writing.
Among current influential post-colonialist critiques, Homi Bhabha’s works have paid more attention to diaspora-related issues such as minorities from the third-world, the cultural identity of diaspora and the narration of nation. This thesis aims to reinterpret contemporary Chinese diasporic writing in terms of Bhabha’s “liminal theory” as its central methodology and try to find out the subtle relationship between theory and writing as well. The flourishing Chinese diasporic writing not only plays a dual part of both supplement and challenge to western dominant culture, but also imports some novel inspirations to Chinese literature, which are all attributed to the “in-betweenness” it contains. It embodies “in-betweenness” in two main aspects. First, these writings inspire people to rethink and reconstruct the concepts of ‘cultural identity’ and ‘nation narration’, both of which have grown more complicated in diaspora’s ‘double vision’. Second, through the liminality and hybridity of the literary language, these writings bring substantial impacts to contemporary literary expressions, including works written in foreign languages as well as in Chinese. In order to substantiate the above claims, this thesis takes Ha Jin’s War Trash and Hong Ying’s Shanghai Magician as the chief examples.
Compared with previous generations, Chinese diaspora writers at present have applied different literary aesthetics and writing strategies to their works during the past half century, which probably has much to do with the overwhelming influence stemming from the post-colonialist paradigm.