Amongst the world’s political and social transitions in the twentieth century, the island nation of Taiwan (Republic of China) is often held up as a model example of a transition from an authoritarian state to a liberal democracy. Yet transitions are never ‘finished’ on the ground as they persist in memories, so- cial contradictions, and unfinished calls for justice. This chapter examines how the Taiwanese author Luo Yijun’s short story collection The Red Ink Gang (1993) and full-length novel An Elegy (2001) challenge and complicate the teleological narrative of Taiwan’s democratic transition by presenting generational memories and aesthetic styles as counter-narratives. I argue that Luo Yijun’s aesthetic ap- proach to the transition can be best described with the concept of dysrhythmia: a temporal disturbance in the biological clock that points to an individual or collec- tive feeling of unease, of being left behind, or the perception that a society is out of joint with its ideological and material developments. Taiwan’s conditions de- scribed by dysrhythmia, then, draws it into the spheres of kinship with other postsocialist, postcommunist, and postdictatorship locales and regions. Finally, Luo Yijun’s work positions itself as a critical corrective to the prevailing aesthetic that emerged during Taiwan’s historical moment of transition – postmodernist literature and culture. Luo’s writing can thus be seen to embody the inchoate cat- egory of ‘post-postmodernism,’ a placeholder for the yet un-periodizable and di- verse aesthetics that appeared in Taiwan and the world after the late twentieth- century transitions coasted towards its caesurae.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Remembering Transitions|
|Subtitle of host publication||Local Revisions and Global Crossings in Culture and Media|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Number of pages||22|
|ISBN (Electronic)||978-3-11-070779-3, 978-3-11-070790-8|
|State||Published - Sep 18 2023|