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.

Photo: Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times

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.”





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.


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.


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.




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