By re-reading one of the most important modernist works in Taiwan's post-war literary history, Wang Wen-hsing's Family Catastrophe (1972), I rethink the binary of realism and modernism articulated in Taiwan's Nativist Literary Debate (1977-1978). Taking the 1960s and 1970s as a historical reference point that Family Catastrophe identifies, responds to, and reflects on, my reading of the change in the parent-child relationships shows the connectedness between Taiwan's modernism and the island's social and economic modernization. Rather than reading modernism in Taiwan solely in terms of its formal and linguistic innovation and its investment in modern Western philosophies, I see the novel as an attempt to redefine the dynamics within and between modernism and social criticism.
- Taiwanese literature
- Wang Wen-hsing