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Rays of the Searching Sun

The Transcultural Poetics of Yang Mu


Lisa Lai-ming Wong

Yang Mu, the recipient of the 2007 International Prize for Literature Written in Chinese, is a well-known bicultural poet. Born in Taiwan during the last phase of the Japanese occupation, his life and writing have been influenced by competing forces in the historical, political, intellectual, linguistic, and aesthetic realms. Yang Mu’s humanist sensibility has offered critical insights into the dangers of binary opposition and ideological thinking. His poetry has appealed to readers worldwide and is accessible in English, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, and Korean translations.
This study of Yang Mu’s poetics examines the writer’s literary choices from a cross-cultural perspective, highlighting the relationship between issues of international concern and modern cultural theories. Yang Mu’s dialogic lyric voice engages peoples from different eras and cultures. This is achieved by addressing contemporary crises between nations or by responding to philosophical questions about identity, memory, and time. Yang Mu’s works exhibit a true transcultural outlook that will significantly contribute to the development of 21 st century world poetry.
Contents: Comparative poetics Chinese-western – Cultural globalization – Global literary history – Cross-cultural intertextuality – Yang Mu studies – Modern Chinese poetry – Biculturalism and hybridity – Dialogism in poetry – Chinese national narratives – History plays – Post-colonial Taiwan – The Taiwan Straits issues – Taiwan cultural discourse – Identity politics – Romanticism and Chinese poetry – Modernism and Chinese poetry – Ireland-Taiwan analogy – The waterside myth – Temporality discourse.