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From Anthropomorphism to Becoming-Animal: Animal Agency in Zhang Guixing's Nanyang Imagination

從擬人論到流變-動物:張貴興南洋想象中的動物能動性

Abstracts


Taiwan-based Malaysian Chinese writer Zhang Guixing (Chang Kueihsing 張貴興) has long devoted his literary energy to crafting various types of animals in fictional works set in the Nanyang. Conventional critique seeing Zhang's fiction as a reflection of a deep-rooted animality in human nature implies a binary mode of thinking that prioritizes humans over animals. By reconstructing the genealogy of Zhang's animal writing and excavating the potentially subversive force of animal agency, this paper instead suggests that Zhang's animal writing provides a unique non-anthropocentric vision in dealing with human-animal relationships. Zhang's animal writing has been gradually deepened and complicated as his literary career has unfolded, but he has always been thinking with animals through a range of writing techniques. In early works such as the short story "Grassland Prince" (草原王子) and the novel Siren Song (賽蓮之歌), Zhang deploys anthropomorphism as a method of humanizing animals and thereby bringing about the possibility of human-animal interaction. This boundary-breaking trajectory extends to his subsequent works which could be read in light of Deleuze's philosophical notion of "becoming-animal." In The Naughty Family (頑皮家族), Elephants (群象), Monkey Cup (猴杯), and Wild Boars Cross the River (野豬渡河), Zhang creates a fluid kaleidoscopic space in his imagination of the Borneo rainforest, where humans and animals overlap with and even transmute into each other. By closely engaging critical animal studies within Sinophone literature, this paper also uses Zhang's animal writing to rethink the existing discourses on Sinophone literary studies that have been overshadowed by human-oriented issues such as linguistic politics, ethnic difference, and national identity. In an animalized Nanyang world that enacts multiple becoming, there are no static diasporic trajectories, but only vitality and changeability.

Parallel abstracts


馬華作家張貴興在其南洋想象中呈現了蜥蜴、禽鳥、野象、野豬等眾多令人印象深刻的非人類動物。過往論者認為張貴興的小說意在批判人性中根深蒂固的獸性,此一觀點暗含人類高於動物的階序關係,落入了人類中心主義的窠臼。本文試圖重建張貴興動物書寫的脈絡,分析其刻畫動物、處理人與動物關係的獨特方法,從中挖掘潛在的批判性力量。張貴興的動物書寫隨著他的小說生涯逐步深化,塑造的動物形象也愈臻複雜,但他始終通過一系列文學技巧將人類世界向動物敞開。在早期作品〈草原王子〉、《賽蓮之歌》中,張貴興以「擬人論」的寫法將動物人化,為人與動物提供了互動的可能。這種對人與動物之間界線的打破,亦為其小說帶來了德勒茲「流變-動物」所蘊含的開放性視野。在《頑皮家族》、《群象》、《猴杯》、《野豬渡河》等後續作品中,張貴興展演出萬花筒般多重流變的婆羅洲雨林空間,人與動物彼此重疊甚至相互轉化。本文從動物研究的角度閱讀馬華文學,希望以張貴興的小說為例,在現存華語語系文學研究中關注語言、種族,及國族政治等以人為導向的議題之外,發現另一創造面向與理論潛力。在張貴興筆下的「動」物南洋中,沒有靜態的離散軌跡,只有著生生不息的活力和變化。

Parallel keywords

馬華文學 張貴興 動物 擬人論 流變-動物

References


Bachner, Andrea. “Reinventing Chinese Writing: Zhang Guixing’s Sinographic Translations.” Global Chinese Literature: Critical Essays, edited by Jing Tsu and David Der-wei Wang, Brill, 2010, pp. 177-195.
Bernards, Brian. “Plantation and Rainforest: Chang Kuei-hsing and a South Seas Discourse of Coloniality and Nature.” Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader, edited by Shu-mei Shih, Chien-hsin Tsai, and Brian Bernards, Columbia UP, 2013, pp. 325-338.
Bernards, Brian. Writing the South Seas: Imagining the Nanyang in Chinese and Southeast Asian Postcolonial Literature. U of Washington P, 2016.
Colebrook, Claire. Gilles Deleuze. Routledge, 2002.
Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. U of Minnesota P, 1983.

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