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Title: Trans-generational Daughterly Haunting and Contemporary Ethnic Women's Writing
Authors: Chang, Shu-li
Date: 2003-09
Issue Date: 2016-09-06 15:38:24 (UTC+8)
Abstract: In this paper, I want to critically study the literary phenomenon of “cultural haunting,” while examining the “haunting” of ethnic women writers by specific catastrophic historical events. In recent years, some ethnic women writers zoom in on a traumatic past, which is neither of their making nor of their choice, both to articulate the impossibility of nationalism and to work through historical traumas so that they can “return” to a feasible future that is not simply a repetition of the past. In this sense, their writing captures and registers many different forms of trans-generation haunting—forms of remembrance of hidden and shameful family and communal secrets. More importantly, however, in such narratives, it is usually the mother/daughter who becomes the textual site of a hidden trauma which is experienced firsthand by the mother but then finds its way into the unconscious of the daughter. With the daughter, this haunting presence of a catastrophic event from a familial past becomes re-imagined into an allegory of a collective trauma. When women writers adopt trans-generational “haunting” between mother and daughter as a literary strategy, not only are they pleading for an identification politics that begin with the “rememory” of a traumatic past to facilitate the empathetic connection between mothers and daughters across generations, and even between cultures, but they are also warning us about the difficulty of mother-daughter dialogue, and, in extension, about the necessity of forging and embracing new forms of affinity and recognition across generational and cultural divides.
Relation: 臺灣英美文學期刊, 1(1), 63-82
Taiwan journal of English literature
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[文山評論:文學與文化 THCI Core] 期刊論文

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