「現代」文青養成術──與美新處的超時空對話Literary Education of Modernist Youth-The U.S. Information Service and American Modernism in Taiwan
2023/08/18 - 2024/01/31
網址 https://event.culture.tw/NMTL 說明
The Story behind the Exhibition
Modernism arose during the period from the late 19th century to the early 1900s in response to ideological shifts caused by urbanization and the rapid social changes that came in its wake. Taiwan was also involved in this momentous era when beliefs and values crossed boundaries around the world. American modernism entered Taiwan via military and economic aid during the Cold War, when the world was divided into two camps. Suppressed by martial law, the trends of post-war Taiwanese literature, art, and society were led towards modernization by American modernism.
This exhibition is co-organized by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature and the National 228 Memorial Museum, highlighting the social, literary, and artistic climate which nurtured a generation, exploring how modernism shaped the worldview of the Taiwanese intellectuals, while also providing deeper insight into how modernism came to gain unique characteristics in Taiwan–through absorbing knowledge, imitation, and innovation, Western modernism in Taiwan evolved and blossomed into the new independent movement known as Taiwanese modernism.
1950年之後，臺灣開始接受美國的軍事和經濟援助。伴隨著美援而來的，是美國文化遍及臺灣社會生活的各個層面，深深影響了臺灣社會的藝術文化發展，美國新聞處（United States Information Service, USIS, 簡稱美新處）即扮演了引介歐美現代思潮進入臺灣的關鍵角色。
The Impact of Modernism and American Culture
Taiwan began receiving military and economic aid from the United States in 1950. Along with this aid came American culture, which soon spread throughout all aspects of Taiwanese society and deeply impacted the development of Taiwanese art and culture. The United States Information Service (USIS) came to play a crucial role in introducing modern European and American modernist trends to Taiwan.
Before Taiwan opened its borders for overseas tourism in 1979, information of foreign art and culture was obtainable through only two means: studying abroad or reading newspaper and magazine articles on such topics. In a time when thirsting art and culture enthusiasts pursued further in a social landscape barren of this field of knowledge, the library in the USIS thus became a significant cultural hub for the Taiwanese people.
Student Review, vol. 18, no. 2. 1969. Issued by USIS
USIS: The Literary Education of the "Modernist" Youth
In 1946, the United States established the American Consulate at Taiwan in Taipei. The USIS, initially a subsidiary of the U.S. Embassy, was tasked with promoting cultural activities to broadcast U.S. foreign policy and familiarizing the general public with the country in order to create a more favorable impression. USIS offices were later set up in Taichung, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Chiayi, and Pingtung. In 1958, USIS Taipei moved to No. 54, Nanhai Road (now the National 228 Memorial Museum). The ample collection of books in the USIS library and the establishment of the Abraham Lincoln American Center made it a fitting place to host frequent cultural events featuring American films, painting, dance, and concerts. The USIS thus became an important after-school hub of activity for many
high school and college students.
在美國國務院(U.S. Department of State)經費的挹注下，1949年《今日美國》(America Today)由香港總領事館新聞處發行，介紹美國生活方式以及各種資訊給華文讀者，而後為了因應時局瞬息萬變，欲將世界各地實況納入報導而更名為《今日世界》。1952年「今日世界社」和「今日世界出版社」在香港設立，以便生產中文出版品並宣傳至東南亞。
American Literature in Taiwan
The Founding of World Today
With funding from the U.S. Department of State, American Today was launched in 1949 by the USIS in Hong Kong to introduce American ways of living and other information to readers of Chinese. The publication was later renamed World Today in order to report global current events in a rapidly changing world. In 1952, World Today Press and World Today
Publishing (both entities, though different, have since been referred to as “World Today Press”)were established in Hong Kong to produce promotional Chinese publications for readers in Southeast Asia.
World Today, no. 241 1962. Published by World Today Press.
今日世界出版社集合了1950-60年代臺港兩地最重要的譯者，翻譯美國文學與現代主義的著作。由林以亮（宋淇）主持，夏濟安、張愛玲、余光中為主要翻譯者。譯介過的作者包括愛倫．坡（Edgar Allan Poe）、馬克．吐溫(Mark Twain)、亨利．詹姆斯(Henry James)、威廉．福克納(William Faulkner)、厄尼斯特．海明威(Ernest Hemingway)、費茲傑羅(F. Scott Fitzgerald)等，廣泛影響臺港、東南亞的創作者與普通讀者對於美國文學和美國現代主義的接受。
The American Literature of World Today
World Today Press gathered the most prominent translators in Hong Kong and Taiwan during the 1950s and 1960s to translate American literature and modernist works. The publication was presided over by Lin Yi-liang (Sung Chi); T.A.Hsia (Hsia Chi-an), Chang Ai-ling (Eileen Chang), and Yu Kuang-chung served as the main translators. Authors translated include Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Henry James, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others. These writers had an extensive impact on writers and readers in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, shaping their understanding and reception of American literature and American modernism.
Seven Modern American Novelists
1967.Edited by William Van O'Connor, ntroducing Edith Wharton, Harry Sinclair Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe and Nathan Weinstein.
USIS, Modern Literature, and Literary Review
The Golden Age of Taiwanese Literature History
The circulation of Literary Review and Modern Literature is regarded by literary historians as the golden age of Taiwanese literary history. They are considered the most important periodicals which introduced American modernist literature in post-war Taiwan. Both academic publications received support from USIS Taipei.
Hsia Chi-an, a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University, served as editor-in-chief of Literary Review (1956-1960). Hsia's declaration of the concept of modern fiction greatly influenced the development of modernist literature in Taiwan. The magazine was an unattributed monthly Chinese periodical supported by USIS Taipei. USIS Taipei would purchase 2,000 copies per issue at a "special discount" and have them sent to nine other overseas USIS offices.
Modern Literature (1960-1984) was in circulation from March 1960 and founded by students of the South North Society from the National Taiwan University Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, including Pai Hsien-yung, Wang Wen-hsing, Ouyang Tzu, and Chen Jo-hsi. The magazine systematically translated and introduced American modernist literature. Among the published works, fiction featuring stream of consciousness and existentialism greatly resonated with the younger generation.
Literary Review (1956-1960)
Modern Literature (Quarterly), no. 25
美新處對臺灣文學還有一個非常重要的貢獻，就是臺灣文學外譯。透過美國現代主義的翻譯與譯介，臺灣作家也在創作上回應美式現代主義的影響，發展出屬於自身的特色，其具體展現在Heritage Press系列叢書。Heritage Press系列是美新處譯書計畫的運作項目之一。首先以美方為計畫主持人，再由當地的作家、翻譯家形成一個聯絡網，最後交由在地出版社（臺北Heritage Press）出版。
The Cornerstone of Taiwanese Literature in Translation
The USIS made crucial contributions to Taiwanese literature by translating Taiwanese works. As they took in American modernist literature, Taiwanese writers responded by incorporating its characteristics into their own works. This can be seen in the literature featured in the Heritage Press series. The Heritage Press series was a joint operation project by the USIS Taiwan Book Translation Program involving project coordinators in the United States, a network of Taiwanese writers and translators, and local publishers (Heritage Press in Taipei).
Stream of consciousness was the most common writing technique in the Heritage Press series, so much so that it has since become a fixed writing method. By using a "present-past-present" trajectory, the protagonist's memories throw their consciousness into the past to a specific scene or experience. Writers utilized this technique to break from traditional chronological structures and instead create complex, overlapping timelines through the depiction of a character's thoughts and mental processes. The result is a more three-dimensional sense of time and space.
The Iowa Writers' Workshop advocated the analysis of student works through the lens of New Criticism (or close reading). This style of criticism went on to influence the creation, commentary, and teachings of later Taiwanese and Hong Kong writers. The simple classrooms of the Iowa Writers' Workshop built along the Iowa River were the setting for passionate discussions of student works with the names of authors being withheld temporarily and fiery debates.
"Use Western Techniques to Tell Your Own Story"
Taiwanese modernism was broadly influenced by American modernism after the mid-1950s and underwent extensive development in areas such as painting, dance, music, and other art forms. For literature, although modernist writers each pursued different sources, methods, and channels of modernism, they all exhibited innovative language and engaged in the imitation and experimentation of various writing skills.
1973 Written by Wang Wen-hsing. Wang Wen-hsing described the spiritual conflicts encountered by a modern intellectual youth during his growth through language experiments and reformed the inner structure of the novel, and touched on family and social issues.
Closing Words: Modernism and the Self-Creation of a Scholar
During the Cold War era, Taiwanese scholars drew on modernist trends from the United States and the West through the USIS. World Today Press and World Today Publishing have both greatly contributed to the dissemination and widening sphere of influence of American literature and modernist thought particularly foundational for humanities students to learn and create.
Western modernism arose from reflections on the human dilemma triggered by modernization. Through literary form and content, modernism subverted and challenged past art styles and creative content and re-examined the very basis of modern Western civilization. After World War II, modernism entered Taiwan during the martial law era and became the fodder for a generation of creatives. While different creatives pursued different techniques or topics in modernism, they all incorporated their own experiences and ideas about creation and cultivated a modernist literature that was unique to Taiwan.
Taiwanese modernism did not emerge from a highly modernized society, but rather from the modernism that arose during the Cold War in response to communism. They used Western (largly American) techniques to tell the stories of Taiwan, and in a sense, the story of Taiwanese modernism.