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Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond By Chia-rong Wu

Chapter :  Introduction
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Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond

has been challenged by scholars like Sheldon H. Lu. In favor of the popular linguistic term “Chinese language,” Lu provides his personal reading of the Sinophone. The line that separates Lu from Shih is his decision to include mainland China in the Sinophone network. Whereas Shih hesitates to claim China due to a fear of China-centrism, Lu casts China not as “a single geopolitical, national entity,” but as “a collective of diverse identities and positionalities.”4 Despite the discrepancy between the two, Shih and Lu meet at the intersection of diversity and multiplicity in terms of identity politics.

As the “polyphonic” aspect is connected with complex linguistic and cultural practices within local communities, Sinophone, thus, becomes a critical notion that delivers the (trans)locality embedded in the targeted territory. While this book benefits from Shu-mei Shih’s rendition of Sinophone literature, I also include the subtle connections drawn from traditional China as a cultural entity. Under this circumstance, it is significant to consider that Sinophone literature both embodies an attachment to cultural China and encompasses vital issues of ethnicity and politics with respect to local contexts. To be more precise, Sinophone literature points to the constantly evolving changes and adaptations into a profound combination of Chineseness and local identities. In Sinophone Malaysian Literature: Not Made in China (2013), Alison M. Groppe offered a scrupulous study of Sinophone Malaysian literature, which is believed to be “incredibly rich yet remains (unjustly) marginalized.”5 E.K. Tan also analyzed the literary representation of shifting Chinese identities in Southeast Asia in his book Rethinking Chineseness: Translational Sinophone Identities in the Nanyang Literary World (2013), which provides an intriguing take on how Southeast Asia “has been and is still actively restructuring its distinctive national identities following the formation of the Federation of Malaya and the independence of Singapore.”6 Groppe’s and Tan’s works not only take into account the cross-cultural issues of regional consciousness, but their works also pave the way for the upcoming academic discussion on Sinophone literature as a whole. One may be surprised that there is no scholarly monograph focusing on the