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Women, Consumption and Popular Culture (Vol. 4 No. 1); Life, Community, and Ethics (Vol. 4. No. 2)

The Making of Barbarians in Western Literature (Vol. 5 No. 1); Chaos and Fear in Contemporary British Literature (Vol. 5 No. 2)

Taiwan Cinema before Taiwan New Wave Cinema (Vol. 6 No. 1); Catastrophe and Cultural Imaginaries (Vol. 6 No. 2)

Affective Perspectives from East Asia (Vol. 9 No. 2); Longing and Belonging (Vol. 10 No. 2, produced in collaboration with the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies)

Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations, 1776 to the Present (Vol. 11 No. 2). 


As a film genre devised both to reflect social realities and to promote moral values, healthy realism was introduced into the Taiwanese cinema scene by the Central Motion Picture Corporation (CMPC) in 1963. Since then, an issue that remains an academic conundrum for the scholars of this type of film is whether and how screen adaptations of Qiong Yao’s novels by filmmakers working in the healthy realism genre fit into the model. This paper seeks to enter the debate by revisiting the generic features of healthy realism and reassess the role played by romantic love in this style of movie. The first part of this paper revisits the definition of “healthy realism,” analyzing why the genre remains within the scope of realism despite its intended use as government propaganda, and explores the effects of romantic melodrama in achieving the realist aim of the model. The second part of the paper features analyses of the plots of Oyster Girl and Four Loves with the intention of discerning the motive force of the society of which healthy realism films sought to treat, an undertaking which leads to the discovery that romantic love is an essential element of healthy realism when it serves as the affective condition for bio-power and thus supports the modernization efforts described by the film model. The reliance on melodramatic devices and the significance of romantic love to the underlying social relations pave the way for the entry of Qiong Yao’s romance into the healthy realism genre.

KEY WORDS: healthy realism, Qiong Yao’s romance, melodrama, romantic love, affective condition, bio-power, Oyster Girl, Four Loves 

摘 要

中影公司於一九六三年開始製作健康寫實電影,目標 為反映社會現實並推廣特定道德價值。研究此一電影風潮 的學者,對於如何定位一系列由知名健康寫實電影導演所 導改編自瓊瑤愛情小說的影片,卻自始至今皆未達成定 論。本論文的目的在於重啟相關討論,藉由重探「健康寫 實」的定義,思考浪漫愛在此一類型定義中的定位。論文第 一部分旨在探討,原被設計為宣達政府經濟政策所用的健 康寫實電影,究竟是否寫實又如何寫實,並思考浪漫劇情 如何輔助此一類型電影對於寫實的要求。論文第二部分則 將《蚵女》及《婉君表妹》這兩部電影(前者為中影第一部 健康寫實片;後者則為第一部以瓊瑤小說為本的電影,同 時,儘管仍有爭議,也多有人將之歸為健康寫實電影的代 表作之一)並置討論,旨在於探討健康寫實電影所欲處理的 社會現代化進程,並由此凸顯浪漫愛如何作為一種情感條 件,來啟動現代化進程中不可或缺的生命權力。本文的結 論是,浪漫劇情與健康寫實類型的關係以及浪漫愛對健康 寫實電影中生命權力圖象的重要性,即是健康寫實導演改 編瓊瑤愛情小說的重要原因之一。由此觀之,瓊瑤愛情電 影亦具備「健康寫實性」。

關鍵詞:健康寫實主義、瓊瑤愛情小說、情節劇、浪漫 愛、情感條件、生命權力、《蚵女》、《婉君表 妹》