The Study of Li-yu’s Fictions
Chinese Literature & College of Liberal Arts
As a representative of modernistic writers and art critic, Li Yu has crossed the literary and artistic boundaries to represent in her literature work with her excellent observation about creation and art and with the aesthetic skill, “Duō chóng dù yǐn (multi-weaving).” My paper is about to observe how literature and art interweave in her fictions and show the difference and similarity. This paper will also analyze her works to observe how she practice her ideology of aesthetics.
Keyword: Li Yu, Multi-weaving, durée, melancholy, cross-art intertextuality, nostalgia, répétition
First of all, Chapter One probes melancholy in Li Yu’s text. Since Li Yu analyzes the work of Chao Wu Chi and attempts to reconstruct the Chinese art history of “melancholy.” When the melancholy penetrates life to be symptom, Li Yu transfers the emotion into strength and embody in her creation.
Secondly, as for the issue of sense of time, this paper states the escaping routing which takes love as the outlet of life in the martial law period with the idea of Henri Bergson’s “durée.”
Third, Li Yu uses the skill of inter-art intertextuality to apply the knowledge of art history and to present a nostalgic phenomenon in contemporary fiction.
Based on Svetlana Boym’s two ideas, “Restorative” nostalgia and “Reflective” nostalgia, this chapter regards Li Yu belongs to the type of “Reflective” nostalgia.
In the end, take Li Yu’s novel, The Story of A Golden Monkey, as the main core of narration. This fiction is composed of her main topics, narrating the stories that before and after the previous generation came to Taiwan.
This chapter explores how the author remembers those old days and repeats the similar stories again and again. Most importantly, it probes the necessity and inevitability of repetition of stories.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This research aims to detect how literature and art influence each other in Li Yu's fiction, based on the below procedures:
First of all, collect all of her published work.
Second: emphasize on the vision of textual analysis, inclusive of Li Yu’s fictions and art critics: Story of Wen Zhou Street, Homeland’s Answer, Wandering in the Summer Day), Bougainvillea and Beautiful Yout,, The Wise Era, Ren Bo-Nian - The Citizen of Painter at the Late Qing Dynast, Ethnic Consciousness and Excellent Style – Li Yu’s Art Critical Essays, Artists in Action: Art critical essays, Records of Pick Up Flower Into The Dream – Criticize the Dream of Red Mansions by Li Yu.
The last one is said chapter will analyze Li Yu’s aesthetics from her text in terms of Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze and Svetlana Boym’s theory. In doing so, her life and her work will inter-weave themselves, which will re-locate her work in contemporary literature history.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Melancholy, Sentimental Moments
Inspired by the research of Zheng Ying’s The Face of Melancholy, I re-consider the reason why Li Yu re-construct the Chineses History of Melancholy, attempting to find out the core of melancholy in her work and analyzing her melancholic aesthetics which is extended from individual life to the country. I believe Li Yu searchs for inspiration from Chinese traditional aesthetics and blends with western art, which enables her to develop a very individual melancholic vision. Her melancholic writing is for rebirth.
Trembling Love: Love, Memory and Time in the Era of War
This chapter interprets life philosophy of Henri Bergson to analyze Li Yu’s texts. She embodies the internal duration of time in the text through memory. She develops multi-weaving with a strong sense of visualization to transform the visual into a contiguous sense of time. I will focus on durée of Henri Bergson to review Li Yu’s fictions, including Night Piano, Trumpeter, Wandering in the Valley, Nighttime, No Shore for River, and She Wore Red Dresses.
Cross-art Intertextuality for Nostalgia: from Snow to the Return of Crane
Said chapter probes the nostalgia of cross-art intertextuality in Li Yu’s text and her originality. In the first section, I will investigate how she enriches fiction with art history, visualize time and transform time into visual mind in art history. Secondly, the scenario and habit of bird echoes her aesthetics for multi-weaving.
“Recherché” and “Répétition:” Double Versions of The Story of A Golden Monkey
This chapter focuses on her fiction, The Story of A Golden Monkey, which is the collection theme of her writing, such as war, love and nostalgia. I aim to comprehend the cause of the repetition of the theme for her writing. In my analysis, the repetition is for the re-examination of creation, not for simple re-production. Besides, time in her text is for the representation for the construction and reminiscence of father generation.
This paper indicates the possibility of Li Yu’s fiction research and observes four sections about melancholy in her text, love story during war, nostalgia, reminiscence and repetition of cross-art intertextuality. It makes her stand out from other modernistic writers.
In her text, characters’ melancholy reflects her life suffering from melancholia. As for love in war, it provides a different vision and angle for the readers to enter the life during war. The repetition of storyline is the pursuit of the splendid things in memory. For the eternal idealism, she reflects herself for good, till the end of life.