Tue, Jan 17, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Chiang Hsun’s Taiwan as a Young Man redefines Taiwan’s spirit
重新定義台灣精神 蔣勳出版《少年台灣》

Chiang Hsun’s new book Taiwan as a Young Man.
蔣勳新書《少年台灣》。

Photo: Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times
照片:台北時報記者林亞蒂

In his new book, Taiwan as a Young Man, Chiang Hsun says, “Everyone’s sense of national identity on this island needs to be redefined.” He writes from his experience growing up in Taiwan, recording his feelings about Taiwan’s vitality. The book, part novel, part essay, somewhere between fact and fiction, tells of people and events that left a deep impression on the author during his youth.

Asked why he wrote the book, Chiang said that he first put pen to paper in 1999 when he wrote a few essays that were published in the features section of the Liberty Times. His pen then became idle, as he took up his backpack and traveled around the island to get a better understanding of the untold stories of ordinary people living here. The warmth and hospitality of Taiwan are gradually revealed by Chiang Hsun’s prose.

“Taiwan’s history really should be redefined. For example, Cheng Chih-lung (Koxinga’s father) was essentially a pirate, he was full of life,” said Chiang. According to Chiang, when Cheng went to the lighthouse on the Matsu islands he found that there were Russian, British, Danish, and Dutch guards manning the lighthouse. In other words, since the 16th century these crews from all over the world have trod on this island and left traces of their experiences and lives, “Taiwan is fundamentally a youthful, multi-ethnic culture,” said Chiang. This is Chiang’s redefinition of “Taiwan as a Young Man.”

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY LIN YA-TI)

蔣勳在新書《少年台灣》寫道:「大家認同的是這座島嶼,台灣,應該被重新定義。」作家蔣勳從土地出發,記錄他從小到大感受到的台灣生命力。新書文體介於小說跟散文,虛構與真實之間,書中有許多都是他年輕時印象深刻的人與事。

會書寫這本書,蔣勳說,早就動筆的時刻是一九九九年,書寫幾篇,就發表在《自由時報》副刊,後來停筆,蔣勳開始背起行囊,去看一看島嶼上其他沉默生活的人,讓這些台灣土地上的溫度,隨著蔣勳的文字,逐漸釋放開來。

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. leave a deep impression on somebody

v. phr.

留下深刻印象 (liu2 xia4 shen1 ke4 yin4 xiang4)

例: Vicky’s first trip to Guilin in China left a deep impression on her.

(維琪首次到訪中國桂林,就對當地留下深刻印象。)

2. idle adj.

空閒的 (kong4 xian2 de5)

例: As you can see, I haven’t been idle. I’ve written 3000 words today.

(如你所見,我都沒閒著。我今天已寫了三千字了。)

3. crew n.

全體船員 (quan2 ti3 chuan2 yuan2)

例: The ship’s crew obeyed the order because they feared punishment if they did not.

(全體船員聽從指令因為若不這麼做他們擔心會被處罰。)


「台灣的歷史真的應該重新定義,好比鄭芝龍(鄭成功之父),他根本就是個海盜,充滿生命力。」蔣勳說,他去看馬祖的燈塔,守燈塔的,竟然還有俄羅斯人、英國人、丹麥人、荷蘭人,換句話說,把十六世紀後這些世界船隊,在島嶼上踏過足跡的經驗和生命留下來,「台灣根本就是年輕的混血文化。」這就是蔣勳所重新定義的「少年台灣」。

(自由時報記者趙靜瑜)

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