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BooksHumanities Research SeriesThe Historical Records of Chiang Kai-shek (1926-1949)

Cities of the Colony
Cities of the Colony

The born of a city is the most concrete display of modernity. These cities, such as Tokyo, Japan, Shanghai, China, Seoul, South Korea, and Taipei, Taiwan, all play the important roles in the interpretation of cultures. In eastern Asia the spirit and content of modernity that each city shows are distinguished different. Take the above cities as an example. Japan stands for the modernity of an empire, Shanghai represents the modernity of a leased territory, while Seoul and Taipei are on behalf of the modernity of a colony. The greatest disparity between the imperial literature and the colonial literature consists in the early and the late modernity. And this phenomenon is the reason that in the early 20 century the considerably mature works of modernism appeared in Japan, while not until 1930’s did they appear in Taiwan and just for a short time. The aesthetics of modernism that Taiwanese writers learned forced themselves to leave for Tokyo or Shanghai to see the view of the metropolises and to absorb the nutrient of literature. A sense of speed, a sense of alienation and a symptom of schizophrenia that expressed in modernism literature could only be found in the cities with highly developed culture of metropolis like Tokyo and Shanghai.

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