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Psalm 137 According to Zhang Xiaofeng: The Wailing Wall in Post-1949 Taiwan Literary History

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

The aim of this essay is to analyze the first story by Zhang Xiaofeng, Taiwan writer, playwright, known in the mainland of China mainly as an excellent essayist. The Wailing Wall (Kuqiang) was written in 1968 in the atmosphere of the Six Days War in Israel, the atrocities during the first years of the Cultural Revolution in the mainland of China, and war in Vietnam. Wailing Wall is a poetic symbol of sadness and suffering mostly of the innocent people. For the author of the story it is reminiscent of the biblical Psalm 137 depicting the moods of the Hebrews in the Babylonian Captivity after 586 B.C. and the situation of her compatriots who were forced to leave their old homes in the Mainland before Oct. 1, 1949. Zhang Xiaofeng is a Christian author regarding love as the cornerstone of inter-human relations. She believes in love of God for all human beings and in the universal love. The short story consisting of one woman and her relations with two brothers between October 1949 and June 1967, against the background what happened in the world around them, and in their vicinity, brought her an unpleasant cognition: The true love is hardly possible where the human beings should live between, or behind the walls, where hate is prevailing.


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