Basically, the foundation has been laid as far as the collecting and sorting out of the data in Taiwan literature are concerned.  It is enough to show some of the accomplishments since the inauguration of the Taiwan New Literature Movement in the 1920s.  Regrettably, research into this area is comparatively lacking.  The idea of targeting Taiwan literature as an academic research subject has just taken its first steps not too long ago.  This happens to be a perfect reflection of the long-standing bias against Taiwan literature (for example, a small place cannot produce great literature, and the natives do not have literature. . . etc.).  As long as everybody is willing to stand upright and firm on this land, to attentively listen to the voices of the people, to sincerely face the pluralized Taiwan culture, they will discover that the study of Taiwan literature is not a narrow field at all.

     It is, on the contrary, an entirely rich and fertile world.  Recently, in a literary series of writings by Taiwanese aborigines, the Ch'en Hsing Publishing Company has published twelve volumes of selected works by writers from each tribe of the aborigines, which demonstrate the cultural intricacies of the different peoples.  For the dominant Han, an opportunity is given to listen to the outcry of the natives by reading the works of these minority ethnic writers, and so to broaden their outlook.

     Those who embrace the "unity of body and land" and have their feet planted firmly on the land will certainly feel no emptiness of spirit or hesitancy.  Again, please remember these words:

Literature originates from the land and people.

[Selected from Wen-hsün tsa-chih (Literary News Magazine), ed., Hsiang-t'u yü wen-hsüeh:  T'ai-wan ti-ch'ü ch'u-yü wen-hsüeh hui-i shih-lu (Native Land and Literature:  Proceedings of the Conference on Regional Literature in Taiwan).   Wen-hsün ts'ung-kan 24. Taipei:  Wen-hsün Tsa-chih She, March 1994.]

Lin Jui-ming, born in 1950 at T'ai-nan, graduated from National Taiwan University with an M. A. in history.  He is now teaching at Ch'eng-kung University.

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