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Title: The Pathos of Patriotism: Nativism and the Nationalist "Faciality Machine" in Huang Chun-ming's Sayonara, Zaijian!
Authors: Judy, Ron S.
Keywords: Huang Chun-ming;Deleuze and Guattari;affective nationalism;visagéité;nativism
Date: 2016-06
Issue Date: 2017-10-03 11:41:15 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This article offers a new reading of Huang Chunming's nativist literature classic, Sayonara, Zaijian! My central contention is that this novella about Japanese sex tourists in Taiwan actually portrays the paradoxes and problems inherent in what Deleuze and Guattari describe as "an abstract machine of faciality (Visagéité)". Therefore this article offers a reading of Huang's novella that focuses on how "face" appears in both its personalaffective and social dimensions, the two interlocking in a way that represents the unspoken anxiety and uncertainty of being "Taiwanese." To gain some purchase in these dimensions I consider why Deleuze and Guattari speak of the "black hole" of face and the "white wall" of signification, and why faciality is like a "defendant, a subject, [who] displays an overaffected submission that turns into insolence. Or someone is too polite to be honest." As I understand the authors, the machine of faciality forever tries (but fails) to enforce conformity by judging what is fit for one's "face" (the idea of the good citizen [liang-min], the righteous man, the obedient student, etc.). The subject of the nationalist faciality machine is, moreover, equipped with a set of emotional reactions and potent affects that generate the illusion of normative "facial" identity through the fellow-feeling of being, say, a normal, patriotic Chinese subject opposed to the "face" (appearance) of the other/foreigner. In this paper I follow Deleuze and Guattari's suggestion that face always remains a fragile affective tension that always on the brink of humiliation, loss of control, and pathos; however, my suggestion goes further in claiming a history of national humiliation is satirized in this work as machine that converts individuals into mere (allegorical) "faces," representatives of one collectivity or another, showing us how it generates patriotic discourse and even unleashes patriotic pathos in bursts of "nationalistic zeal."
Relation: 文山評論:文學與文化, 9(2),73-103
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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