label r shifted
Session C6
“Conversation” with Chiu Miao-Chin: Multidirectional Practices in Taiwan Homosexual Writing in the Early 21th Century
鄭媛 Yuan Zheng
School of Chinese, The University of Hong Kong, China

In the 1990s, as democratization and liberalization proceeded rapidly during the first decade after martial law lifted in Taiwan, repressed sexual desires were released on a collective scale. With feminism and other social movements calling for equal human rights breaking out, as well as postmodernism as ideological trend dispersed into the field of literary, homosexual writing followed by queer writing did set off a boom in the 1990s. Since the 21th century, though LGBT campaigns still attracted tons of public attention, homosexual writing, however, has decreased in its output. Even so, we can not assert that homosexual writing has come to its end, but to the contrast, homosexual writing in the early 21th century actually achieved a degree of “reflection” and “conversation” with those in the 1990s. Among these literature works, what should be paid close attention to includes those cross-spatiotemporal “conversations” with the late writer Chiu Miao-chin, which means they responds to what Chiu demonstrated in her homosexual writings in the 1990s, such as 遣悲懷 by Luo Yi-jyun (駱以軍), 永別書:在我不在的時代 by Nathalie Chang (張亦絢), and其後それから by Lai Hsiang-yin (賴香吟). “Conversations” with Chiu, from the literature perspective, also builds up “conversations” with the trend of homosexual writing in the 1990s, and manifests realistic exploration of the “sexual utopia” established in the 1990s. What’s more, cross-spatiotemporal “conversations” also reveals some possibilities or potential directions for homosexual writing in the new century. As represented by永別書:在我不在的時代 by Nathalie Chang, same-sex desire was further involved in the public history as the gender identity and homosexual subjectivity could be structured as homogeneous expression of national imagination of Taiwanese. Compared with the public historical vision shown in Chang’s writing, 遣悲懷by Luo Yi-jyun demonstrated another reflective perspective on homosexual writing. Luo interpreted Chiu’s tragic homosexual revolutions as a torment on human being’s life essence, which guided homosexual writing to retreat into a more individual living space. Besides developing homosexual writing into a more “public” or a more “individual” discussion, 其後それから by Lai Hsiang-yin conducted a self-censorship on the current dilemma of homosexual writing by giving a review of what happened after Chiu committed a suicide in 1995. The work was a reflective narration on the validity of homosexual subjectivity construction during the last decade, and essentially resisted the unfriendly social environment for homosexual. After Chiu led an upsurge in Taiwan homosexual writing in the 1990s, writers since the 21th century have extended the topic in different directions, including the more “public” and the more “individual” narration. Besides applying additional illustration possibilities to homosexual writing, attention is still paid to whether current homosexual writing did get rid of the heterosexual-centralized social structure.  Therefore, the research paper will be focused on the mentioned three literature works, all of which demonstrated a purpose of “conversation” with Chiu Miao-chin and her writings in the 1990s, and discussed about the multidirectional practices in Taiwan homosexual writing in the early 21th century.


Keywords: homosexual writing, Chiu Miao-chin, Lai Hsiang-yin, Luo Yi-jyun, Nathalie Chang