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Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond By Chia-rong Wu

Chapter :  Introduction
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Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond


A Strange Beginning

In recent years, the field of Sinophone studies has introduced multiple ways of examining Chineseness, ones which are beyond the traditional China-centered view. A number of scholars, notably Shu-mei Shih, David Der-wei Wang, and Sheldon H. Lu, have engaged in debates over this heated topic. Despite varied mappings, the idea about the Sinophone usually engages with overseas communities such as Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore. Hong Kong, Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Tibet can also be included in the Sinophone category when it comes to the minority discourse in contrast to a hegemonic Chinese state. Whereas a Sinophone product, whether fiction or film, reflects on the close relationship between language and place, a localist agenda from “the margins of China and Chineseness”1 is brought to the fore. Take, for example, Sinophone literature. Given its “multitongued” and “polyphonic” attributes, Sinophone literature is supposed to be translated in Mandarin as “huayu yuxi wenxue, literatures of the Sinitic language family,” in the words of Shu-mei Shih.2 Shih continues to relate the “objects” of Sinophone studies to “the Sinitic-language communities and cultures outside China as well as ethnic minority communities and cultures within China where Mandarin is adopted or imposed.”3 Shu-mei Shih’s interpretation of the Sinophone