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Multiple Narratives of Taiwan History：On Early Western Explorers’ Taiwan Writings and Contemporary Historical Novels
Charles W. Le Gendre,William A. Pickering,the Rover Incident,Taiwan history,historical novel,historical writing,
|Publication Year :||2018|
This thesis attempts to question the monotonous narrative of history. I believe that the context of historical writing or interpretation of historical material is not only one way of 'objective reality', but also the possibility of multiple narratives. The consciousness of this thesis derived from the different descriptions of the Rover Incident, including the Taiwan writings of the 19th-century Western explorers and contemporary historical novels. Charles W. Le Gendre and William A. Pickering were two of the Western explorers in 19th-century Taiwan. In addition to being participants in the Rover Incident, Le Gendre and Pickering were the recorders of the incident. However, Le Gendre and Pickering adopted different strategies of writing to make their works present different effects. On the other hand, contemporary historical novelists tried to reconstruct the Taiwan history, which been ignored in long time, with literature. In order to make the history in the novel conform to the objective criteria of science, novelists coded historical materials in a specific way.
To discuss the topics above, this thesis studies the documentary writing within the context of natural history writing, the romantic narrative that emphasizing emotional expression, and the historical writing in contemporary literature. In addition to placing everything in a trim order and forming knowledge of the world, natural history regarded as a writing strategy by these explorers. Le Gendre and some Western explorers' writings of natural-history style formed the objective effect with the narrator's separation, but objective representation still contained the author's political consciousness. Romantic writing had more emotional expressions and descriptions of incredible experiences, especially the heroic character of the protagonist. Explorers such as Pickering had created another aspect of Taiwan's historical writing with romantic writings. In the other hand, the writers of contemporary historical novels, such as Yao-chang Chen, took the mission of constructing Taiwan history with literature. Thought, in the range of scientific discourse, presenting real history turned into the core concern of the novelist. The historical materials left by Western explorers had become an important basis for novelists to tell stories. However, when the novelist working on his works, it also a special phenomenon of using historical materials. This was the scientific concept of history that framed the interpretation of history. At last, I consider that contemporary historical writing must transcend the single thought of 'real history' and enrich the narrative of Taiwan history with different writing methods.
|Appears in Collections:||臺灣文學研究所|
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