Based on the author’s whole collection of works and her history of exile, this study attempts to explicate the unique spatial elements in Xiao Hong’s works and her exceptional literary world which these elements constitute.
Since 1942, there have been a great number of books and essays published regarding Xiao Hong’s works. However, as far as the quantity and quality of academic theses is concerned, apparently the academic circle in Mainland China has constantly devoted to the study of her works, winning acclaims either in depth or in width. To those who set their eyes on studying the author’s works, these comprehensive research materials are of great reference value. As a consequence, the research materials from Mainland China are compiled in Appendix I as reference.
As for the studies of Xiao Hong here in Taiwan, for one thing, some previous materials are hard to obtain; for another, most scholars in Taiwan are absorbed in the researches of Taiwanese literature and accordingly pay little attention to literature of Mainland China. For the reasons mentioned above, the author of this study feels that there is still great room for the research of Xiao Hong’s works in Taiwan and compiled the research materials of Taiwanese scholars as Appendix II.
The focus of Hong Kong academic circle has been on Xiao Hong’s life stories, especially the period when she lived in Hong Kong and the post-mortem transfer of her tomb there. The research materials of scholars from Hong Kong, the U.S. and Japan are incorporated into Appendix Ⅲ.
III. Research Method
The two spatial imageries in Xiao Hong’s life – “Backyard” and “Hulan River” – are employed in this research as the guiding symbol with a view to sheding light on her literary creation and her particular homeland consciousness and complex. Furthermore, by means of text analysis, this research also explores the notable narrative structure in her works which is constructed by her “spatial imageries”. In this way, the unique style of Xiao Hong and the literary meaning represented by the spatial imagery can be clarified and made comprehensible.
In this research, the two concrete and yet abstract concepts – the drifting backyard and the meandering Hulan River – are adopted to interpret the four spatial imageries in Xiao Hong’s works, resulting in a point different from all the others in the past. By categorizing Xiao Hong as a autobiographical writer and a lyrical female writer, or her works as native literature and anti-Japan literature, the author of this research sincerely hopes that among the current stereotypical interpretations of Xiao Hong, there can be a different one that is more systematic and truer to the writer. Hence, in the concentric circle composed of the four imageries of mind, home, native land and nation, the author has demonstrated Xiao Hong’s distinguishing style and feature through the spatial imageries manifested in her works.