Amid recent debates on large-scale literary studies (world, planetary, Sinophone, etc.), it is often missed how the smaller players have already been siphoning political capital away from the usual literary and linguistic centers, reforging the terms of discussion even as they are being challenged. Taiwan literature, and how its critics and writers are redefining its relationship to its complicated linguistic past and contemporary allies, marks one such important regional interface where this particular process of literary governance is unfolding. This essay places Taiwan in the regional matrix of Macau and Hong Kong as comparable yet not always compatible allies and reexamines the methodological need to reroot ourselves in renewed discussions of area studies, scale, and comparative literary studies, given the changing—yet ever relevant—conditions of place and language.
1 August 2018