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6 Planet in Print: The Scientific Imagination in Zheng Kunwu’s Fiction during Taiwan’s Colonial Period

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Chapter Summary

Science and technology became the main forces changing perceptions of the world during the late nineteenth century, revolutionizing everyday life. Technological change was breathtaking, and former ways of thinking were regarded as old-fashioned. Astronomical discoveries changed the relationships between humans, the natural universe, and distant planets. A Strange Tale of a Martian Adventure offers a case study of how Taiwanese novelists approached the scientific explorations and discoveries of the early twentieth century. Zheng's essential innovation was to use the new scientific vocabulary from newspaper reports and translated novels to create a Taiwanese novel which pushed the boundaries of literature at the time. This chapter on Zheng Kunwu's A Strange Tale of a Martian Adventure attempts to provide a starting point for future studies. Zheng Kunwu case illustrates not only the reception of foreign knowledge from various sources, but also the process of adapting and remolding it into a literary work.

Keywords: A Strange Tale; astronomical discoveries; Taiwanese novelists; Zheng Kunwu

10.1163/9789004259119_008
/content/books/b9789004259119_008
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