The Romantic Skylark in Taiwanese Literature: Shelleyan Religious Scepticism in Xu Zhimo and Yang Mu
Terence H.W. Shih’s essay explores how the Taiwanese writer Yang Mu was inspired by Xu Zhimo and influenced by Shelley’s religious scepticism. English Romanticism was introduced to Taiwan by early Chinese intellectuals who launched the May Fourth Movement (1919). Using the concept of “Romantic legacies”, Shih’s essay demonstrates the subtle relation between English Romantic literature and Taiwanese literature. The Chinese poet Xu Zhimo’s famous respect for Shelley led him to be regarded as “the Chinese Shelley”: in Taiwanese literature, Yang Mu’s Romantic ideas are shaped both by Shelley and through the indirect influence of Xu. Shelley’s unconventional philosophy and religious scepticism appealed to Yang in his later life, shaping in particular his Yi Shen (The Sceptic: Notes on Poetical Discrepancies), which is now considered his representative work against religious views.
KeywordsYang Mu Xu Zhimo Percy Bysshe Shelley Romanticism Taiwanese literature Translation Religious scepticism
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