Reading Chen Yingzhen, why and how
CHAO Kang (Translated by JIANG Yajoo)
Abstract Since 2009, there has been a renewed trend in Taiwan’s intellectual circle to explore Chen Yingzhen. In it lies a strong and unprecedented inclination to explore in Chen Yingzhen’s literary works the enormous resources he provides as a thinker. As one of the researchers who undertake such approach, I intend to address three issues in this article: firstly, his relation with people of my generation and the reason to re-read him at this moment; secondly, how I as an amateur in terms of literary works or literary criticism read literary texts. I address this issue in terms of methodology and theory, and propose a reading method consists of a triple inter-piercing process among the text, the author and the history. Thirdly and perhaps the most importantly, I address the issue of “why do we have to read Chen Yingzhen now” from three levels: history, thinking and literature in order to explore the particular situation his literary works have in contemporary literature, as well as its intellectual meaning in the contemporary world.
Keywords: Chen Yingzhen, literature, thought, history, the Third World, China, Taiwan
Chao Kang teaches in Department of Sociology, Tunghai University. His publications in Chinese include Haku, the Tomuk (2005); Despairing Enquiries: Chen Yingzhen’s Literature (2011); The Evening Star in a Tint of Red: Revisiting Taiwan the 1960s via Chen Yingzhen’s Literature (2013).
Jiang Yajoo, a PhD student of Tsing-hua University in Beijing, and the major is contemporary Chinese literature.