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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides concluding comments for this book, which presents an assessment of the links between Japanese and Taiwanese fiction during the period 1960-1990. The book constitutes the first extended attempt to apply notions of an intraregional episteme to the discipline of contemporary East Asian comparative literature. In one sense, of course, the oppositional thrust that informs so much fictional writing from postwar Japan and Taiwan is scarcely novel. An antagonistic relationship between literature and authority is one of the hallmarks of modernity everywhere, and of all the parallels that could be cited, the literatures of disenchantment explored here share perhaps their closest fellowship with the rebellions of Euroamerican modernism. The book demonstrates how, in text after text, writers from postwar Japan and Taiwan use the city and sexuality to create narrative canvasses in which dark tones predominate, and the liberatory potential of both is painted out.

Keywords: East Asian comparative literature; Euroamerican modernism; fictional writing; intraregional episteme; postwar Japan; postwar Taiwan; sexuality



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