Special issues:

Literature and Linguistics (Vol. 1 No. 2); Literature and Violence (Vol. 3 Nos. 1-2)

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). 


Taiwan’s travel writers have run the gamut of narrative themes and forms, metaphorically addressing the interplay between space and mood. Writers tend to weave novel storylines into their travel writings, creating an artistic effect that transcends the literary form itself via traveler movement and scenery change. In her book Two Frida Kahlos (2001), Taiwanese writer Shi Shuqing, amid a narrative of travel around Spain and Portugal, presents a dialogue with the Mexican  painter Frida Kahlo, in which the writer contemplates topics  such as identity and writing. Taiwan and Mexico were greatly affected by proxy wars during the Age of Discovery, and both experienced colonization by Spain. After the Tiananmen Incident, Shi Shuqing responded to her anxieties over identity  by removing herself from the familiar and taking leave of a repressive atmosphere, thus Two Frida Kahlos is a dialogue between her home Taiwan and the away-from-home. Another one of her works, Exorcism (2005), finds form in notes  on Italian tourist spots threaded into a novel, manifesting in an intersecting structure of fact and fiction. The characters in the book pursue youth and desires of days gone by, and by employing a meta-writing strategy the female author undergoes exorcism and self-actualization. Through the writings about her journeys abroad, Shi not only exchanges opinions and develops intimacy with the characters, she also reflects upon the unique histories and destinies of a nation’s people. Through two major aspects—Shi’s perspective from abroad and the writing strategies —this paper aims to analyze different narratives in the books, ranging from more serious issues like a nation’s history to a more personal experience of diaspora and the history of creation, so as to present the writing characteristic employed by the author.

KEYWORDS: travel novel, diaspora, identity, Two Frida Kahlos, Exorcism




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