Representing Atrocity in Taiwan: The 2/28 Incident and White Terror in Fiction and Film

Representing Atrocity in Taiwan: The 2/28 Incident and White Terror in Fiction and Film

by Sylvia Lin , Ph.D.

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In 1945, Taiwan was placed under the administrative control of the Republic of China, and after two years, accusations of corruption and a failing economy sparked a local protest that was brutally quashed by the Kuomintang government. The February Twenty-Eighth (or 2/28) Incident led to four decades of martial law that became known as the White Terror. During this period, talk of 2/28 was forbidden and all dissent violently suppressed, but since the lifting of martial law in 1987, this long-buried history has been revisited through commemoration and narrative, cinema and remembrance.

Drawing on a wealth of secondary theoretical material as well as her own original research, Sylvia Li-chun Lin conducts a close analysis of the political, narrative, and ideological structures involved in the fictional and cinematic representations of the 2/28 Incident and White Terror. She assesses the role of individual and collective memory and institutionalized forgetting, while underscoring the dangers of re-creating a historical past and the risks of trivialization. She also compares her findings with scholarly works on the Holocaust and the aftermath of the atomic bombings of Japan, questioning the politics of forming public and personal memories and the political teleology of "closure." This is the first book to be published in English on the 2/28 Incident and White Terror and offers a valuable matrix of comparison for studying the portrayal of atrocity in a specific locale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231512817
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 11/30/2007
Series: Global Chinese Culture
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Sylvia Li-chun Lin is the Notre Dame Assistant Professor of Chinese at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include Republican culture and literary journals, language and identity in Taiwan, and commemoration of atrocity.

Table of Contents

Note on Chinese Words and Names
Prologue: Looking Backward
Part I. Literary Representation
1. Ethnicity and Atrocity
2. Documenting the Past
3. Engendering Victimhood
Part II. Cinematic Re-creation
4. Past Versus Present
5. Screening Atrocity
6. Memory as Redemption
Epilogue: Looking Forward

What People are Saying About This

Jeffrey C. Kinkley

Representing Atrocity in Taiwan opens a new and brilliant chapter in our understanding of the White Terror in Taiwan. Sylvia Li-chun Lin examines how Taiwanese novels and films both elucidate and evade the hidden atrocities of the Chiang Kai-shek/Chiang Ching-kuo era. Her uncompromising critical approach is a rare virtue, well suited for uncovering false pieties and misguided claims to authenticity based on ethnicity.

Jeffrey C. Kinkley, professor of history, St. John's University

William Tay

A landmark destined to be the standard reference for many years to come.

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Representing Atrocity in Taiwan: The 2/28 Incident and White Terror in Fiction and Film 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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