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Reality or Fiction? News or Novel? Understanding the Process of Reproduction of Novels from "Shun Pao" by Newspapers and Magazines in Taiwan under Japanese Rule



Parallel abstracts

This essay focuses on novels in newspaper and magazine form which arose and caught on in "Taiwan Daily Newspaper" from 1920s onwards. This is when new Taiwanese literature began to become mature, novels written in vernacular Chinese getting more and more popular. However, "Taiwan Daily Newspaper" decided to reprint novels in newspaper and magazine form and written in classical Chinese, sometimes even reproducing news articles word by word, without adapting the original text. Novels written in classical Chinese typically do not have love stories, crimes or other social topics as their main theme. The transformation of classical novels into novels in newspaper and magazine form is supposed to be based on strategic considerations of Japanese rule. Compared to other newspapers and magazines which also reprinted novels from Shun Pao, "Taiwan Daily Newspaper", financially aided by the official, reprinted only novels which still retain forms of classical Chinese. The intention behind this behavior is to manipulate Chinese language in order to know more about Mainland China-which was the policy at that time. In addition, after analyzing how these novels were reprinted and adapted, we find that the spirit of unearthing the reality inherent in the original text was replaced by an emphasis on the mixture of news and novel. These "news", after propagation and adaptation, had at that time already become old news. Therefore, novels in newspaper and magazine form reprinted on "Taiwan Daily Newspaper" constitute a strange kind of combination. Are they news, or novels? Do they tell the truth, or only a world of fiction? This is a very special landscape in the history of Taiwanese literature which cannot be ignored.


(2001)。南方 南方詩集。133-190