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Zhang Xiguo’s writing world Zhu, Li 1993

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ZHANG XIGUO'S WRITING WORLDbyLi ZhuB.A., Peking University, 1987A THESIS SUBMI11ED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Asian Studies)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1993@ Li Zhu, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department ofThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate DE-6 (2/88)AbstractIn the beginning of my thesis, I give a brief introduction to Zhang Xiguo's life and hiswriting and a brief summary of Zhang Xiguo's humanistic concern: he writes for people.Chapter One discusses that Zhang Xiguo has focused his writing on the physical andspiritual exile of Chinese people. He thinks that Chinese people are in a stage of change. Whenthey cannot find their spiritual home, they become wanderers. In different situations Chinesepeople are suffering a similar sense of losing their identity. The image of the wanderers is relatedto Zhang Xiguo's other major themes, such as the issue of money and the relationships betweenmen and women.Chapter Two discusses the issue of money. Taiwan's economic situation has changeddramatically in the past forty years. In Zhang Xiguo's writing, both intellectuals and commonpeople have to face the issue of money.Chapter Three discusses peoples' compromise and action in the face of invisible power.People seek different ways to fulfil their life goals. Some of them compromise with reality; otherstry to achieve their purpose by manipulating others. And still others realize that the meaning of lifeis in action not only in achievement. Those people who have no power to act against reality and donot want to compromise become bystanders.Chapter Four discusses the patterns of male/female relationship in Zhang Xiguo's writing.The relationship between man and woman is unstable. The conquerors, men finally are conqueredby their subjects, women. Men and women have to seek a new type of relationship.Chapter Five discusses Zhang Xiguo's writing skills.11Table of ContentsAbstractTable of Contents^ IllAcknowledgement ivIntroduction^ 1Chapter One^The Souls of Wanders^ 7Chapter Two^On the Issue of Money 31Chapter Three^Compromise Or Action In The Face of Invisible Power^47Chapter Four^The Conquerors Are Conquered^ 72Chapter Five^Zhang Xiguo's Writing Skill 100Conclusion 119Bibliography 124Glossary of Chinese names^ 128AcknowledgementFirst of all, I would like to thank God; thank Jesus Christ through whose sacrifice Iam saved. God brought me over from China when I was in depression and danger. Hehas supplied everything I need. He has also helped me finish this thesis. For what He hasdone in my life, I would be forever grateful.I would like to thank Professor K. Tsuruta who helped me go through the processof obtaining student visa. I want to thank my adviser, Professor M. S. Duke whosepatience and instruction benefit me in my study.I would like to thank Colin Howes who has done his best to correct my English. Iwould like to thank Shaun Chin who has been with me through my whole process of doingthesis. He has driven me many times between the computer lab and my home and has donelots of correcting and typing.ivZhu LiIntroductionZhang Xiguo is an interesting figure among Chinese writers: he is a scientist. Hehas acted as chairman and professor of Computer Departments of several universities in theUnited States while simultaneously being a prolific writer in Chinese. As Lee Ou-fanwrites in his preface to Zhang Xiguo's Xing yun zu qu (The Suite of Nebula): "AmongChinese Intellectuals, people who know both science and literature are very rare, andZhang Xiguo is probably the only one scientist who is able to write fiction."1 Here, wewill not discuss his scientific achievements but rather his literature. He has been writingwithout a break for over twenty-seven years: a scientist with a passion for literature, and awriter with a clear consciousness. His involvement in science does not hinder hiscommitment to literature; on the contrary, it has enhanced his belief in the value andstrength of literature.Zhang Xiguo was born on July 17, 1944 in Chongqing, Sichuan Province,mainland China during the Sino-Japanese war. He belongs to the generation born inwartime and growing up in a new land, thus witnessing many dramatic changes in politicaland economic circumstances.After the war, his family moved to Taiwan. Zhang grew up in Xinzhu, a smalltown close to Taipei. Most of his stories use Xinzhu as a part of their background. In hislast year of high school, he was recommended (baosong) for admission to university. Thisrecommendation was a great honor for a high school student: it meant that he could go touniversity without taking the college-entrance examinations. Since Zhang Xiguo did nothave to prepare for the examinations, he spent the rest of his time in high school watchingwestern movies.iLee Ou-fan, "Shenqi de luchen-- xingyu zuqu xuqu" (An Amazing Trip--A Brief Introduction of The Suiteof Nebula), Zhang Xiguo, The Suite of Nebula (Taipei, Hongfan Co., 1980), p.1.1Thu LiIn 1962, he went to Taipei and enroled in the Department of Electrical Engineeringof National Taiwan University, the best university in Taiwan. During his university years,he finished his first long novel, Pi Mushi zhengzhuan (The Biography of Pastor Pi), and ashort story collection: Kong Fuzi zhi si (The Death of Confucius); he translated some ofJean Paul Sartre's writings, and edited and published a booklet Sate de zhexue sixiang(Sartre's philosophy). The writing completed during his early years does not have toomany distinguishing merits. But we can see that he sought to differ from others in hisselection of subject matter, for example: the life of a pastor in The Biography of Pastor Pi.The topic seems too serious and mature for an eighteen year old in the second year ofuniversity. He did not write any love stories during his early stage ( a popular topic forwriters of his generation). Instead, he preferred to deal with the agony of an orphan, in hisshort story "Da feng chui" (The Wind Blows), or an insignificant person's hesitation tocompromise with reality in "Diao" (Fishing). Right from the beginning of his writingcareer, he was very concerned with peoples' loneliness and agony. He has all along been arealistic writer and remains one in his later works (though his science fiction is anexception). Another aspect of his life, his sense of humour, first revealed in TheBiography of Pastor Pi, has continued to surface throughout most of his later works.He graduated with a B.S. degree in 1966. Though he had pursued so manyactivities unrelated to his science major, he still passed the examination for students tostudy abroad and obtained a science scholarship from St.Mary's University in the UnitedStates. According to Zhang's own confession, his reason for going abroad was closelyrelated to his passion for literature: "After graduation I went overseas for the sake ofliterature. I wanted to have a master's degree and find a good job. Then I would not needto worry about life, and I could write."22 Zhang Xiguo, "Yige zhujia de xinli licheng"(The Spiritual Course of A Writer), United Daily (Lianhebao,Taibei), April 29, 1987.1Zhu LiIn 1966, Zhang Xiguo arrived in Berkeley, California, U.S.A. At that time theAmerican student movement against the Vietnam War was at its peak. Zhang was soattracted to its excitement that he gave up his scholarship at St. Mary's University andstayed at Berkeley. He enroled in the Department of Computer Science at the University ofCalifornia at Berkeley. A short time later, possibly triggered by the American studentmovement, the overseas Chinese student Baodiao (Protect Diaoyudai Island) Movementbegan. Zhang became involved in this movement, progressing from great expectations todisillusionment. The end of the movement saw the various Chinese political units split intodifferent groups fighting against each other. His long novel Zuo ri zhi nu (Yesterday'sAnger) and a short story "Hong Haiter" (Red Child) deal with that period of history.These two works are the ones concerned directly with political issues. Maybe because ofhis disillusionment with the Baodiao Movement, he does not declare any political opinionsin his subsequent fiction. Moreover, even when writing about political movements, hefocuses on peoples' disillusionment and suffering as a result of their commitments, withoutgiving a clear judgement on their political beliefs. Though Zhang himself might have hadpolitical interests (as shown by his participation in the aforementioned movement to thepossible detriment of his scholarship), he does not mingle his political views with hiswriting of literature unlike many Chinese writers during the sixties. When he is writingabout a political issue, he is concentrated on peoples' search for fulfilment instead of thepolitical issue itself. He does not force readers to accept any kind of political opinion bymaking emotional appeals to them. This makes his works out last the political storm whichhas long since passed into history. Many other Chinese writers did not survive the test ofwriting about political issues; they became carried away by temporary political zeal in theirliterary works. Their fiction is virtually unreadable now that the political turmoil has diedaway.In 1969, Zhang graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with bothMaster's and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science. Since then, he has lectured at Cornell3Thu LiUniversity, later becoming Professor and Chairman of the Department of Electrical andComputer Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. At present, he isChairman of the Department of Computer Science of the University of Pittsburgh. In hisscientific field, he has published five books and over seventy-five papers. Though acomputer scientist by profession, he has also established a name for himself in the literaryfield. He has published five long novels, four short story collections, two science fictioncollections, four collections of prose and literary criticism, and a collection of his Chinesetranslations of English fiction. His writings include novels, social commentaries andscience fiction, all of which are quite highly regarded.His life experiences in some ways give the basis of his writing. He writes aboutChinese peoples' lives in small towns like his hometown Xinzhu, in Taipei, where he spenthis university years, as well as in the United States, where he studied and immigrated.Perhaps because of his science background, his science fiction writings are among the bestof Chinese science fiction.Basically he writes to a Chinese audience. He wrote some of his scientific papersin English but he did all his literary works in Chinese. In his fiction, the English speakingpeople speak Chinese in conversation. He does not supply any English words in hiswriting, maybe because he keeps it in his mind that he is writing for a Chinese audience.He is not a cynical or cold-blooded critic. He is compassionate and warm-heartedtowards people, especially the weak and victimized. The sources of his character can betraced back to his childhood experiences. According to Zhang, his interest in literaturegrew out of the unstable moods of his childhood. When he was in elementary school, hewas often mocked and insulted by other fellow students in the class because of his chubbyappearance and timidity. He felt lonely and humiliated, and could only find comfort inreading fiction. Zhang recollects that his habit of writing was likewise related to hisunhappy childhood. He only felt comfortable and secure when alone, and would ratherstay by himself and write than physically communicate with others. Even in his adulthood,4Thu Limemories of the past still affect his reactions today. He always feels indignant when hesees the strong suppressing the weak. He can not help siding with the weak and givingthem his sympathy and support.3 So in his writing, there is more sympathy andunderstanding than condemnation of his characters. He is a compassionate writer. As YuGuangzhong puts it:"What Zhang Xiguo wishes to focus on is human being's weaknessnot their sin. To his characters, Zhang Xiguo always gives more sympathy thanjudgement. He is a generous moralist; a satirical writer with a touch of humorous irony atthe tip of his pen. He is mild tempered; pointing out painful areas without seeking to hurtpeople deliberately."4His tone is usually mild, easy and humorous. On the one hand, he has a generousattitude towards people, thus he is compassionate and his writing does not contain anyhatred and anger of his own. On the other hand, he has a realistic view of life. He doesnot lose his mind over certain ideals. He attempts to observe reality with a careful eye anda clear mind. He writes about peoples' daily life in a realistic way untainted by fantasy.He tells his story step by step following a tightly ordered plot scheme, rather thansuccumbing to uncontrolled waves of emotion. Even when the story reaches its climax, hedoes not lose his calm controlled writing manner.In general, he is concerned more with peoples' struggle to survive in this changingworld than with pure artistic pursuits. He writes in his postscript to The Banana Boar "Tome, if there is no life, no peoples' struggle, there is no fiction. Some people write purelyfor art's sake, and that is up to them. They are lucky. I do not write for art's sake, I writefor people."53 Zhang Xiguo, "Xiangjiao chuan houji"(Postscript to The Banana Boat), The Banana Boat (Hongfan,1976), p.148.4 Yu Guangzhong, "Tianji yukui hua qiwang" (Preface to Chess King), Qi Wang (Chess King), p.9.5 Zhang Xiguo, "Postscript to The Banana Boat,"The Banana Boat, p.148.5Thu LiIn this thesis, I will discuss Zhang Xigou's writings on the themes of peoples'search for their spiritual home, their attitude towards money, their moral principles indealing with reality and male/female relationships.6Thu LiChapter OneThe Souls of WanderersZhang Xiguo's writing mainly deals with the lives of contemporary Chinese people( his science fiction being an exception). Most of his short stories are collected under thetitle: "The Souls of Wanderers." Zhang Xiguo has clear opinions on the content of his ownwriting. We can demonstrate this by first relating his understanding of the life ofcontemporary Chinese people, and then analyzing his works on the physical and spiritualexile of Chinese people.We have to ask: what is the core of contemporary Chinese peoples'experience? Contemporary Chinese people are going through a dramatic period ofchange. In both Taiwan and mainland China, there are great social reforms goingon. The success or failure of these reforms will have a crucial impact on the futureof millions Chinese people. . . . Contemporary Chinese peoples' life experience ismainly about change. So "to change" is the most important archetype for today'sChinese people.(163)6Zhang Xiguo focuses his writing on the lives of particular Chinese people duringthis period of change. He reiterates again and again in his article that he considers the mostimportant experience to be change.Our society does not stay still, it is always advancing. For this reason, theexperience of contemporary Chinese people is about changing. . . . If we considerthe situation, and we can see that the experience of contemporary Chinese people isone of "changing" and "moving." The frequency and wide range of change areevident both in the adoption of different political systems and in the development ofindividual lives, their joys and sorrows, partings and reunions, in times of wartimes of peace. The essence of these rich experiences is "changing" not"standstill." (164)What Zhang Xiguo means by "changing" is both geographical and spiritual. Fromthe geographical aspect, Zhang Xiguo considers all the changes faced by those movingfrom mainland China to Taiwan and from both of these areas to the West. During theirmove, they must deal with strange circumstances and learn to handle unfamiliar things.6 Zhang Xiguo, "Shitan minzu wenxue de neirong he xingshi" (About the Content and Styles of NationalLiterature, Zhang Xiguo zi xuan ji (Zhang Xiguo's Self-Selected Collection), Taipei, Liming Co., 1982.Page numbers in text.7Zliu LiFrom the spiritual viewpoint, even those who do not have to move from one place toanother still face changes in their lives, because society itself is changing. Those peoplewho stayed in Taiwan have been through numerous political and economical developments.Zhang Xiguo thus believes that most contemporary Chinese peoples' life experience is oneof change no matter whether or not they have moved away from home.Having summarized the life of contemporary Chinese people as consistent change,Zhang Xiguo then points out that their attitude towards these changes tends to be morepositive than negative. Nevertheless, he believes that Chinese people struggle in a time ofchange not only to survive but also to seek some meaning in life.If we consider their "trying to survive" to be simply "trying to stay alivewhatever," such a conclusion would not apply to most Chinese peoples' lifeexperience. But if instead we treat their "trying to survive" as "trying to change," inparticular, seeking to march into a brighter world from their dark past, it wouldbetter sum up most Chinese peoples' life experience.(164)Zhang Xiguo has an affirmative belief in Chinese peoples' struggle during a time ofmany changes. On the one hand, he admits that people might become confused anddepressed in their search for a new future. Perhaps they do not seek change, but achanging world gives them many trials in any case. They have to make choices in orderjust to survive. They must change even though they may lose a sense of direction in life.As a person, one may not know what hinders the better life, . . . He isfacing a greatly changing world, no matter whether he wants to or not, he has tochange to keep up with the pace of time. In general Chinese people are like this:either they seek to change or they are forced to change. Most of the time, aparticular person is an ordinary member of society and hence cannot jump out ofthis changing world. He has his agonies and his doubts. "How to struggle withthis changing world?" This is the biggest psychological crux for Chinese people.He may not want to seek change, but since everything is changing, of course hewants to change things for the better. But which direction is better? How can hefind a more ideal life? He cannot help feeling perplexed and miserable.(165-166)On the other hand, Zhang Xiguo does not consider such change necessarily to betragic. He is an optimist about the future. He does not think that a nation going throughpainful changes will thereby lose its strength and spirit. Rather, he considers Chinesepeople to have a courageous attitude towards the changes in their lives. Only by struggling8Thu Lithrough change will they be able to fulfil their ideals. Hence in his view Chinese peoplewill actually become stronger as they search for a new future.Most Chinese people are striving to find a more ideal life. Their struggle isnot only for existence but for higher ideals. .. . For Chinese, this century has beenone of change, an era in which to march towards a new future. . . . We have toadmit that most Chinese people are forward-looking. Even though they may feelconfused and uncertain about the future, and the political issues seem moreobscure; they still struggle forward with great determination.(165)Zhang Xiguo also makes another point clear, namely, that his discussion ofChinese peoples' ideals and their struggles in a time of change is not merely a political one.He is concerned more with peoples' painful quest for a better life and a brighter future thanwith particular political issues.Those ideals may not in fact be political ideals, they may be just trivialpersonal ideals. . . . What I mean by "seeking change" is not necessarily seekingpolitical change. Ordinary Chinese people may not be concerned about politics, butthey still long for a more ideal life.(165)We should not interpret his writing from a political point of view. As I have notedin the introduction, Zhang Xiguo does not mix up his own political opinions with hisfiction. Even when a political issue emerges in the story, he emphasizes the character'ssuffering and searching, avoiding open declaration of particular political ideas.Let's compare his theoretical summary to his fiction on the issue of the lives ofordinary Chinese people during times of change.The content of his stories shows a close correlation to his summary. Thus in hisstories, people clearly face both geographic and spiritual changes. For instance, whenthose from mainland China have settled in Taiwan, they must begin a new life, suffusedthough it is with lingering memories of the past. They are facing the incompetence of theirtraditional belief when they get involved in the economic development in Taiwan ("Earth").Likewise, those who have gone overseas must also deal with a strange country and adifferent culture (Yesterday's Anger). Some of them suffer disillusionment. They all faceboth geographic and psychological changes in their lives. Even people who stay all their9Thu Lilives in Taiwan cannot avoid change. Taiwan's economic condition has changed sodramatically during these past forty years that people cannot escape being affected (YellowRiver Water, short story "Flute"). People who are struggling in poverty are frustrated bytheir powerless nature ("The Banana Boat"). People who are in a conflict between westerneconomic power and traditional cultural pride are caught by anger and fear ("OurCompany").The tone adopted in most of his stories is rather sad. Similarly, the ending of mostof his stories is tragic. Though he has very positive hopes about peoples' destiny in a timeof change and he believes that they are ultimately struggling for a better future, thecharacters in most of his stories do not survive the changes. They become lost anddefeated. Maybe that is why he collects most of his writings under the general heading"The Souls Of Wanderers."People inevitably become lost during a time of change. Some must leave theirhomeland, others move far away from their history and tradition, and still others havebecome alienated from their culture without moving anywhere. These Chinese people areall faced with physical or spiritual exile. They wander in confusion and agony; they longfor a better future but cannot even find their own stability in a changing life, let aloneconsider society as a whole. The old world has faded and they have difficulty adapting tothe new one. They become confused about their own identity. Either they struggle tomaintain their old identity by strictly adhering to the traditional way of life, or they mustseek endlessly a new identity in order to just to survive. According to Roland Robertsonand Burkart Holzner's Identity and Authority—Explorations in the Theory of Society:We speak of something as having an 'identity' when it can be determinedthat it is the same with itself over time, or in a context of different relations.77 Roland Robertson and Burkart Holzner, Identity and Authority--Explorations in the Theory of Society(Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1980), p.8.10Thu LiDuring a time of change, people have to adjust themselves to the newly emerging world,and having done so, can never return to their former selves. The change or loss of their oldidentity is inevitable.Zhang Xiguo describes their sense of loss. His characters wander around thespiritual and real world without finding a true home. Nevertheless, although Zhang doesnot give many happy endings to his stories, yet neither does he consider his characters tobe just sad losers in the world. They may lose particular battles , but they maintain acertain amount of courage and beliefs. Even when admitting defeat at the hands of life, andeven if their search ends in emptiness and tragedy, they always reveal some kind ofdecency and merit in their characters. Zhang Xiguo's positive belief in the Chinesepeoples' struggle in a time of change is not reflected in his conclusions to stories but ratherin his portrayal of the merits of individual characters. When we are analyzing the tragicside of his stories, we should always keep his positive attitude in mind and draw attentionto the bright spots in those tragic characters.Most of Zhang Xiguo's "The Souls of Wanderers" stories are tragic ones. Hisstories depict people wandering in many different situations. Wandering because they arelost.There are two basic threads in Zhang Xiguo's stories: One, people cannot find theplace they belong to. They usually believe that they belong to a certain place, a plot ofland, a city, even a career, but later they find that they do not belong there, or this does notbelong to them. Two, people usually believe certain ideas which give a fixed, securemeaning to life. They have faith that what they believe is true. Those ideas can be themeaning of land, the meaning of freedom, the meaning of political movement, the meaningof journalism or technology, and so on. But then they find that those ideas are notnecessarily true or effective. In facing a changing life, they find in fact those ideas cannot1 1Thu Lialways bring them peace and comfort, and those ideas can even let them down. They losefaith in their old ideas and become spiritually homeless."Earth," finished in 1967, is an important short story of Zhang Xiguo's earlyperiod. This story should be considered as the unacknowledged beginning of his "Soulsof Wanderers" series. In the story, Li Ming's father, Li Zhengzhi, is a retired militarycompany commander who has come to Taiwan after the defeat of the KMT. His life hasalready undergone geographical displacement. Now he has to face a growing spiritualvacuum in a developing economic world.Li Ming's father has always wanted to possess land of his own. "Earth" has aspecial meaning for him. His desire to own a plot of land is rooted in traditional Chinesethought. Even until recent times, China has always been an agricultural country. Deep inpeoples' consciousness, land represents stability and fulfilment in life. Those who don'town land therefore feel homeless and insecure. Since Li Ming's father originates from thecountryside of China, he believes in the traditional idea that land can give one a sense ofsecurity and bring one real wealth. So when a chance comes, he spends all his savings tobuy a plot of land on a hill. His friend Zhao, a person of the same generation, agrees withhis opinion: "With land of one's own, what need is there to worry about anything?"Similarly Li Ming's father, still called "captain" by his friends, declares his desires andbeliefs in life to his friends:As for me, I have been a soldier for the greater part of my life, and althoughI have a family, my wife and children have been on the move with me everywhere,so all this time we've never really known a settled, peaceful life. And it is I, LiZhengzhi, whose ancestors, for generations, had farmed the land. Farming is ahard life, but after a while, a person seems to grow roots, which bind him to thevery earth itself. And that's what makes him feel secure and that he belongs. Ihave been drudging away these many years, so now I really want to have a plot ofland where I can settle down, even if it means extra work and extra sacrifice.(151)88 Zhang Xiguo, "Earth," Unbroken Chain. Page numbers in text.1 2Thu LiIn his speech, he recalls the changes in life he had suffered in the past and indicateshis longing for a peaceful and settled life. He does not want any further changes. He hasfaith in the traditional idea that land will "make him feel secure," and so the earth is what helongs for. As a result he does not miss the chance to fulfil his beliefs and his longing.At the beginning, everything seems all right. Li Ming, though representing a newgeneration, also agrees with his father's opinion about the meaning of land and thenecessarity of a peaceful life. He too wants to quit wandering around the world and accepthis father's advice to settle down on the land in favour of stability. He even considersgiving up his job where he is an apprentice on board an oceangoing freighter. He tells hisgirl friend that "the beautiful cities and ports that I'd been to did not strike me as places Icould belong to at all, much less settle down for the rest of my life. My real home is there,in that small ordinary town. Back there, I feel so comfortable, so completely relaxed. Ican never feel like this in any other place ... " He continues: "I am going to the countrysideto take up farming."(157)The strength of his desire to belong somewhere comes out of his talk. Li Ming andhis father both have a desire for a life in which they can settle somewhere they belong. Togive this idea its modern expression, the writer portrays a conversation between Li Mingand his young friend Xiao Yu regarding the meaning of land."Li Ming," Hsiao-yu said. "I am very much with you for coming to thesehills to start a farm. There's no doubt in my mind that we are rooted in the earth. Ifwe are away from the soil, it is impossible for us to take roots. Modern man'sconstant feelings of loss, frustration, and anguish can, I think, be traced to hisalienation from the soil.""That's the way my father feels. . . Of course, he can't put it the way you do,but he has lived those experiences of confusion and rootlessness that you'rereferring to; that's exactly the way he feels."(180)In the story, Li Ming and his father believe that they belong to the land they nowown and that finally they will have a settled life. They believe in the meaning of the landwhich is supposed to bring stability to their lives. At the end of the story, both their sense13Thu Liof belonging and their dreams of the happiness the land should bring are destroyed. WhenLi Ming returns half a year later, his father has already gone bankrupt.Times have changed. It is not like the old days back in China when they justneeded to work hard without worrying about any other circumstances such as the potentialof the market, the price of labour, the cost of transportation, etc. A friend of Li Ming'sfather, Dong, tells Li Ming:"We didn't have the experience, and we didn't have enough help. Everytime we had to do the picking, we couldn't finish the job, and of what we didmanage to pick, half would have rotted before we were finished with the packing.This is for the kumquats. As for the tea, it was worse. We had to pay hired handsto help with the picking, and even then it was hopeless. The tea too, was of lowquality and didn't fetch much in the market. We never made any profit. It was lossall the way."(184)The world has changed; the traditional belief that the land itself can give peoplesecurity and happiness is proven false. They have the land, but in the new circumstances,they don't know the best strategies to manage it. So, they lose it. They have no strength tomaintain stability in their life. As Dong and Li Ming's father get drunk together, Donggives his interpretation of their loss. He feels the reason is that their outdated experiencecannot serve them well and they have passed the stage when they could learn somethingnew."Cap. . . Captain." Lao Tung spoke with a heavy slur. "I'll be frank withyou. When the farm went broke and I moved down from the hill, a lot of thingssuddenly became clear to me. We are like, you know what, like the monkey who'slearned to play a lot of tricks. You teach the little monkey a trick and he won't takea minute to pick it up. He plays his tricks all his life, you can bet on that, but whenyou try to teach the old monkey--that's what he's become--a new bag of tricks, hecan't, he just can't learn any more!" (Li Ming's father answered:)"We're old, that'swhat we are, old."(190)They are not young any more. Worse than that, their experience of the past doesnot help them in this changing world. Their methods of overcoming obstacles are defeatedby new conditions and they do not know how to survive successfully in modern society.They are lost, their hearts full of sorrow and despair. They speak for a whole generation ofpeople who came to Taiwan with their beliefs and dreams of a bright future. They have1 4Zhu Ligone through many changes already and try to settle down in this new place. But in theend they still cannot find peace in their life. When they seek to fulfil the dreams rooted intheir traditional beliefs, they only find defeat. Something they formerly considered real andtrue becomes a mere fantasy shattered by reality.Li Ming realizes through his father's failure that the meaning of land and thepossibility of a stable life are not real. He perceives that there is no stability in life to begained by staying in his hometown, so he starts wandering around the world again. Hereturns back to his ship, a symbol of the wandering life. When his old friend Xiao Yusends him a letter discussing the meaning of security and its connection with land again, LiMing writes in a bitter tone:"Hsiao-yu, I am very happy to have received your letter. Unfortunately, Ihave this piece of bad news for you. We have sold our land already, ... For peoplelike us, a life of wandering and estrangement is our lot, we are not worthy to inheritthe earth."(193)The story indicates their loss both of the sense of belonging and their belief incertain ideals for life. Physically, Li Ming wanders about the world. He no longer feels hebelongs to his hometown. Spiritually, he and his father along with his father's friendshave all received a blow to their hopes in the meaning of land. They cannot keep the land,and the land does not belong to them by right. Losing the land not only brings themphysical but also spiritual homelessness. They have not only lost a plot of land where theycan settle down but also a belief which might have brought spiritual comfort and peace.Similar to those who have left mainland China forty years ago, the young peoplewho have just escaped out of mainland China are also facing the loss of their physical andspiritual home. Their old dreams and belief are destroyed by the realities of the new place.The new place used to be their dream land.An extreme example is in the story "Lan se duo nao he-- you zi hun zhi er" (TheBlue Danube -- The Souls of Wanderers II). The main character has fled to Hong Kong15Thu Lifrom mainland China because of its political pressure and poverty. However, even inHong Kong, she does not find salvation. While working in a bookstore, she contributesher memories of the Cultural Revolution to a German scholar doing Chinese research. Toearn money, she becomes a model for a pornographic magazine. She knows that she hassold herself physically and spiritually to this new world. She comes to Hong Kong to seekfreedom but ends up losing herself.The German scholar offers her a chance to go to Germany, which is represented bythe blue Danube. Her memories of the past are full of poverty and desperation; herconsciousness of the present gives her shame and disillusionment, and her hope of a futureseems uncertain and dreamy. She cannot go back to mainland China, and she does notwant to stay in Hong Kong where she has already paid a great price for staying. It seemsshe can only go to Germany. But she knows that if she goes to Germany, she will stillhave to contribute her memories in return for money. She realizes that Germany could beanother Hong Kong in which she cannot find herself a position to live decently withoutselling herself spiritually or physically. As the last hope seems futile, she resolveseverything by cutting her wrists to commit suicide, as it seems her only way out. The blueDanube is the last comforting vision before her death.In "The Blue Danube," the protagonist has left mainland China where she grew up.First, she has lost her physical home. She cannot go back to mainland China, but she doesnot belong to Hong Kong. Second from the spiritual point of view, she comes to HongKong to seek freedom and a better life. But the idea of a brighter future which she used tobelieve in is smashed by reality. The new world does not satisfy her search; instead, itbreaks her dreams and gives her shame. She becomes spiritually homeless as well. UnlikeLi Ming's resuming his wandering around the world, she finishes her hopeless wanderingby choosing death.People who have gone overseas face a similar situation. They have left theirhomeland, Taiwan or China, to start a better future in a place where they think they can find1 6Zhu Lifreedom and happiness. They feel disillusioned. They cannot find themselves adistinguished and stable position in the new society, and they must endure their loneliness.They also have to suffer the doubts about the worthy of their tradition and culture. Theycannot find a place they belong to and a spiritual home.In Yesterday's Anger, from the narrator Cheng Zexong's eyes, we see a successfulbut depressed Chinese engineer Jin Lihe:He (Cheng) felt that Jin Lihe had changed a lot. Jin Lihe had become acynical person who would criticize everything. He could not understand why Jinhad so many complaints. He thought Jin Lihe was a successful person of whommany people would feel envious. Jin Lihe had a Ph.D degree and had found agood paying job, but he looked depressed. . . . Jin Lihe, lying in a sofa in front ofhim, did not have any sign of happiness on his face. . . . Jin did not look like ayoung engineer who had just graduated from university and started a career in hisgolden age.(42-43)9There is a difference between Jin Lihe and Li Ming's father in "Earth" or the girl in"The Blue Danube." Jin Lihe is not a loser in life. He has achieved what he was goingfor. He does not suffer any financial blow, on the contrary, he is living a quite goodmaterial life according to most peoples' judgement. But he is also a wanderer in the world.In terms of searching for an objective home, he does not find one. He used to think thatthe United States would be his dream land, but after he has been there for many years, hehas not found what he was looking for. The narrator, Cheng, describes Jin Lihe'ssituation through a fairy tale:The United States was a strange place. He (Cheng) remembered a fairy tale:a tired young traveller entered a cave. Inside there was a beautiful girl spinning.She asked the traveller to allow her to put threads around him, the traveller agreed.Then he fell a sleep to the girl's singing. When he woke up, the threads around hisbody had become ropes. He was bound tightly. The girl became an ugly witch,grinning at him.(42)The cave represents an objective home. The young traveller, of course, indicates Jin. Jincomes to the United States to find a place where he can belong and settle down, but this9 Zhang Xiguo, Yesterday's Anger (Hongfan 1978). Page numbers in text.17Zhu Lianticipation is proven to be false. The narrator compares Jin Lihe's old longing for theUnited States and Jin's present depression.fin Lihe was longing to go to the United States just like him (Cheng), butJin Lihe was luckier than him. Jin passed the going abroad examination and wentto the United States right after his graduation, while Chen had struggled in Taipeifor seven years before he got the chance to go to the States. But the United Statedin fin Lihe's eyes now was like a beautiful girl changed into an ugly witch. finLihe's mind was full of resentment and he found no way out. Why had Jin Lihebecome such a different person? Whose fault is it? Was it Jin Lihe's personalproblem? Or did every overseas student have the similar experience?(43)Jin Lihe has suffered disillusionment; he is lost in disappointment. He cannot seeany happiness in his success. He cannot name his disillusionment. Even though he mightbe lucky and successful in other peoples' eyes, he is still not satisfied. He might have agood life in a material sense, but because he is lost spiritually, he is depressed andmiserable. The writer does not give much details to explain Jin Lihe's disillusion, but hesomewhat indicates that this kind of disillusion is not uncommon among overseas students.In the same book, Shi Ping is also a young Chinese working in the United States.He graduates from a university in the United States. The education he has received in theStates does not change his devotion of Chinese culture and tradition. After he hasgraduated from an English Literature major, he is working for a small Chinese newspaperin New York. From the geographic view, he has relocated his life from Taiwan to theUnited States; from the spiritual view, he is facing the doubt of his faith of Chinesetradition and the challenge of his proud cultural self-esteem.Unlike Jin Lihe, Shi Ping has strong spiritual goals in life. He tries to find hisposition in this foreign country by doing something meaningful. In this foreign country,he wants to achieve certain things related to his home culture. He does not want to forgethis roots and he does not want be lost spiritually. But the real world does not give himenough opportunity to fulfil his desire. Chinese people born in this country do not have thesame passion as he does for Chinese tradition and culture. "The Chinese culture, whichShi Ping treasured, in their (the young Chinese peoples') eyes might as well be1 8Zhu Linonexistent."(72) His culture defmes him as a person who cannot totally melt into thisforeign culture. Yet if he wishes to fulfil his achievement as a journalist in this foreigncountry, he has to give up his cultural dignity, the dignity which is exactly what he wantsto propagate here. There is a contradiction between his goals and the sacrifices required forachieving them. Finally he realizes that all his efforts might be futile.He thought it over and over, and finally figured out that it was the burden ofChinese culture (which separated him from others). But how could he get rid of hiscultural burden? How could he give up that cultural dignity which he treasured somuch? How could he just become a Chinese-American? He could not fmd anyanswer. So working for this Chinese newspaper made him feel both happy anddepressed. (73)Gradually, Shi Ping starts losing faith in his spiritual commitment. He realizes thatthe spiritual home into which he has put all his heart and passion might be just a temporaryshelter. The changing times will finally shatter his efforts to spread Chinese culture in thisforeign country. He is doomed to achieve nothing in his quest to fulfil his spiritual goals.After thirty years, not only the Chinese newspaper but also he himselfwould be eliminated by time. . . . Sometimes Shi Ping tried to encourage himselfthat even during this short period of time, if he could at least do somethingmeaningful, the effort would still be worthy. So he tried to teach young peopleChinese, but when he saw how hard it was for kids to learn Chinese, he felt thatthis kind of effort had no hope ^ Shi Ping still taught Chinese, still wrotearticles for the newspaper, and was concerned about Chinatown welfare. But at thebottom of his heart, he held to a kind of fatalism; he felt almost pessimistic andhopeless.(73)Shi Ping cannot decide whether he should stay in the United states and work forthis small Chinese newspaper or go back to Taiwan. He cannot accept the society inTaiwan, but neither can he give up his Chinese cultural dignity as the price for staying inthe United States. He wants to maintain his Chinese culture in a foreign country, while atthe same time his homeland seems a foreign country to him. Though he is not spirituallyhomeless, he realizes that he does not belong anywhere in this world. In some ways, thisis precisely because he wishes to keep his spiritual commitment.1 9Thu LiZhang Xiguo has written several very short stories to describe peoples' lonelinessand isolation in a foreign country. In "Dong ye sha shou-- you zi hun zhi san" (Killers inA Winter's Night -- The Souls of Wanderers III), an old Chinese couple who live in theStates are murdered by black criminals. They die in total isolation. In contrast to hisglorious past, the husband dies an unworthy death. He does not die like a hero but as aperson abandoned by the world. Even though they die in their own home, by showingtheir isolation the writer implies that they too are wanderers in the world who have lost theirpast glory and present security.The story "Shui yan Lu-er Men-- you zi hun zhi wu" (Flood Over the Lu-er Gate --The Souls of Wanderers V) tells of a group of Polish immigrants. A Chinese student, LinXin, is a witness to their lives. Among those Polish immigrants, there is one called Tony.Despite being an alcoholic, he is a skilful car mechanic. He is full of contradictions. Whenhe is drunk, he beats his wife; when sober, on the other hand, he helps others. Forinstance, he repairs Lin's car window for only five dollars. One day he dies on the street:suddenly he is gone without any warning. His wife cries for him the whole night thengoes off somewhere. Another character is a retired professor, old and grumpy. Yet suchan irritable person offers help to Tony's wife when Tony dies. Later on he is sent to a resthome against his will and loses his sanity there. These are also people who belongnowhere; they live and die in loneliness. Perhaps Zhang Xiguo wants to use these peoplesas a parallel for those Chinese immigrants in foreign countries.Sometimes people seek their identity through political movements. Many youngstudents overseas took part in the Chinese student Baodiao Movement in the hope that theycould find their spiritual home in certain political ideals. Zhang Xiguo's short story "HongHai'er -- you zi hun zhi liu" (Red Child -- The Souls of Wanderers VI) describes a Chinesestudent Gao Qiang's failed spiritual search.20Zhu Li"Red Child" "reveals the confusion and sorrow which overseas Chinese studentshave suffered for nearly ten years"(8)1° over political issues. The story is a collection ofletters and political declarations from Gao Qiang's parents, brother, friends and his politicalenemies. Gao Qiang never appears before us directly. We only know some parts of hislife through other peoples' writing. We find out that his parents expect him to become ascientist to honour his family. But in spite of his loving parents' opposition, he stillinvolves himself in a Chinese student political struggle: the "Baodiao Movement." GaoQiang has his political zeal and ideology. He wants to raise students' politicalconsciousness in order to construct a better society in the future. He becomes a leftist,perhaps hoping to change society in a drastic way. But soon he is condemned by otherleftists for being a rightist and suffers many political insults and denunciations. He breaksup with the left wing, and then he simply disappears. Nobody knows where he is gone.The title, "Red Child," has a double meaning. One aspect indicates Gao Qiang'spolitical colour: red usually means communist of course; the other meaning refers to afamous character in Chinese legend. "Red Child" was a rebellious individual. He caused alot of trouble in the Palace of the Dragon (long gong) and fought with the King of Dragons(long wang) several times, falling out with his father. Finally only the Buddha could tamehim. So "Red Child" represents a rebel. In the story, the disappearance of Gao Qiang, the"Red Child," indicates not only the failure of the leftist movement but also the desperationof rebellious political search. Gao Qiang has become lost in the political turmoil. Not onlyhas he lost his spiritual home when the ideology he believes in become blurred by variousdistortions, but he has also clearly lost his physical home. He cannot find anywhere tobelong. "Gao Qiang suffers the heaviest mortification; his soul is buried in a distortedmovement."(8)10 Yang Mu, "Zhang Xiguo de guan xin he yi shu" (The Art and Though of Zhang Xiguo ---Preface to TheBanana Boat), The Banana Boat (Hongfan, 1976). Page numbers in text.21Thu LiGao Qiang's friends seek different ways out of this bind. For instance Chen Jigangearly on becomes disillusioned about the student movement. Later on, however, he doesnot pass the qualifying exam for his Ph.D. degree. In his confusion and hesitation, hegoes to mainland China to "serve the people." The Communist ideology motivates hischoice of life, and he chooses mainland China as his place to settle. Nobody knows whathappens to him from then on. Another friend Zhong Gui at first wants to convertChristians into Communists, but he himself is converted into a Christian and later onmarries a Christian girl he has met in a Bible study group. He is full of gratitude towardsJesus Christ and God, because he has found his spiritual home in Christianity and managedto settle in the United States.In "Red Child," Gao Qiang's brother, Gao Wei, represents another group ofwandering people. They are caught in complicated value standards, full of inner conflicts.On the one hand, they accept Western economic power and respect the Western socialsystem; on the other hand, they retain their traditional rejection and distrust of foreignersand their national pride.Gao Wei is working for a company in the States. His company is laying offpeople; he feels very insecure working for a foreign company. "Our company has just laidoff several tens of people. A whole research department has been dismissed. People whohave worked for the company for more than ten years still have to go. Everyone feels veryinsecure. Working in the States, I have no sense of security. If they lay me off, I will goback to Taiwan to find a job. I don't want to stay here to let them oppress me."(93)11 Butlater on, things change for the better and he forgets his complaints about insecurity andoppression: "The condition of our company is getting better. We have all receivedpromotions and mine is the best. It is a good thing to stay in the States: if you have ability,you will get reward for it. I like America, because of its fair democratic system."(96)11 Zhang Xiguo, "Hong Hai'er" (Red Child), The Banana Boat. Page numbers in text.22Zhu LiHis spiritual home lies between two conflicting ideas. He uses a double standard injudging his situation. Because he has been wavering between two conflicting judgements,he cannot make up his mind about where his permanent physical home is. He cannot bevery sure to which place he really belongs: is it Taiwan or the United States?A similar but more vivid character is the narrator in "Ben gongsi -- you zi hun zhiSi" (Our Company --The Souls of Wanderers IV). At first, we hear him boasting about hiscompany, which is a U.S. corporation branch company based in Taiwan. But when hecloses the door, we hear him complaining about how hard he has been working and howlittle he has gained the trust of the U.S. corporation. He is proud of his company whichrepresents the summit of technical development, but he also feels that he is under thecontrol of foreigners even in his own country. He is annoyed to see that his achievementhas been used as a ladder for the promotion of the American president of this localcompany.He recalls that Lao Song, Song Zijia his friend, first asked him to come back toTaiwan to start a new branch company for this American corporation. They had workedtogether, opened a new market, and made a great profit for the parent corporation. Afterhis friend Song had returned to the United States, the narrator sets his sights on becomingpresident of the branch company, but never succeeded. When Song once again comesback to Taiwan to reorganize the company, Song tells him: "I know you want to bepresident of this branch company and I want to help you. But the parent company in theUnited States has a rule that local Chinese cannot be appointed as president of this branchcompany. . . . After I clear the accounts, I have to go back. Before they needed us, nowthey don't. We are useless to them. We have to surrender to our fate. "(56)12He does not believe Song's explanation. Only after Song dies in an accident andthe parent corporation sends another American who is worse than the previous ones to be12 Zhang Xiguo, "Ben Gongsi" (Our Company), The Banana Boat. Page numbers in text.23Zhu Lipresident of the branch company, does he realize how vain his efforts are. He has beenworking hard, but his work does not bring him happiness or fulfilment, only bitterness andresentment. As he tells his assistant:The president of the East Asian Section of the corporation told me clearlythat the corporation won't appoint local personnel as president of any branchcompany. Of course, he used his special way to say it, with one of those high-sounding excuses. But in a word, they just don't trust us. I understand now thatmy dream should have followed the dong liu shui (east flowing water) a long timeago. What a pity that Lao Song and I have worked so hard for them for so manyyears. We have worked for nothing, and Lao Song even sacrificed his life. Ah, hehas really given his all till his heart stopped beating. Working for a foreigncompany is just like this, I tell you, don't work too hard, everything we do is justfor 'others' dowry."(56)He realizes that they cannot become the real owners or rulers of their company eventhough they have worked so hard to establish and expand it. They are not "foreigners" andthis foreign company will not trust local Chinese.At the end of the story, when he is speaking to an audience that has come to buy hiscompany's products, he acts like he did at the beginning of the story. He proudly declaresthe power of "his" company:Our company has been expanding since it was established in 1901. Wehave a well developed system and great capital. Our company has 5000 differentproducts; its branch companies cover the whole world ^ Someday ourcompany will become the biggest in the world. (60)Bitter irony flows through his boasting. He does not belong to "our company."He cannot be trusted by this foreign company but at the same time he identifies himselfwith this company. Where does he belong? His admiration for technology does not bringhim a spiritual home. He does not belong to what he has been working for. He too is awanderer."(Zhang's) writing is about those wandering or disintegrating souls, aboutcontemporary Chinese peoples struggles in the U.S.A., in Hong Kong and in Taiwan,24Thu Liabout their blood and tears."(8)13 Not only do people who leave their homeland face thepossibility of losing their identity and self-esteem in an unfamiliar world, but also thosewho have never left their country puzzle over their position in contemporary life. "Flute" isa story about such "wanderers" in Taiwan.The story is related in a series of letters from the narrator, Chu. Chu is anewspaper journalist. He used to work in Taipei, but after getting into trouble, he is sent towork in a smaller city. Chu has his own ideology. Especially, he wants to use journalismto bring about social justice and self-achievement. We will see how he loses his faith injournalism, and later how his search for a girl's identity is also a search for himself.On the surface, the story is an accumulation of social problems. Those problemschange Chu's perception of society and his approach towards fulfilment of his goal. Hebecomes involved in a series of incidents. In a gang fight, a young man suffers nine stabwounds, but because the assailant is the son of local governor, the news is covered up.Chu takes up the cudgel on behalf of victim and reveals the news. Later, he goes to visit afake prodigy, the daughter of a local leader. He cannot help mocking her even though hehas to write an article about her. For these two things, he is scorned by his boss. Herealizes that journalists have to surrender to the authorities when it involves lying.Since he cannot fulfil his goals through writing articles, he tries to do somethingmore direct to gain social justice. He arranges for several young people to ambush andseverely beat up two Japanese who have accidentally killed a thirteen year old prostitute.Similarly he mails photographs of one person seeing prostitutes to his family in the Statesin order to reveal this person's lust for immoral sexual pleasures.Chu wants to reveal ugly realities to bring about justice. He maintains his view ofwhat is right or wrong and he has a strong desire to correct wrongs. We might say that he13 Yang Mu, "Preface to The Banana Boat," The Banana Boat.25Zhu Lihas an idealistic opinion of life, and he is acting to secure his position and usefulness in thissociety.Gradually, the focus of the story shifts from Chu's involvement in different socialproblems to his search for the identity of a dead girl. Chu sees this dead girl's body at thescene of the accident accompanied by police. The police give a verdict of suicide for love,but Chu feels there are a lot of unanswered questions about this case. He goes toinvestigate by himself. Later on he finds the girl's small suitcase, and inside it he finds herpicture. The girl in the picture is only around seventeen years old; she has bright eyes,short hair, and wears a necklace. The picture makes a strong impact on Chu, since the girlseems so young and pure. Written on the page of a song book he finds in the suitcase isthe name "Luo Dai." He does not know whether it is her name or an assumed name, but hecalls her Luo Dai from then on. He is filled with great curiosity about her life, and themore he thinks about her, the closer he feels to her:Which tribe did she belong to? Where did she live? Why did she die? Itbecomes more and more interesting, especially when I realize that in the wholeworld I am the only one who may grasp the secret of Luo Dai's life. Nobodyknows about her life; nobody cares about her death. Only I can check everythingout. So I feel I hold a strange responsibility for her. The secret of her life is waitingthere for me to reveal.(130)14Chu wishes to find the girl's real identity. He does not know her, and he is noteven sure of her name. But because her picture represents something which Chu hasalways desired in his life, he develops an attraction to her more.Along the way as he tries to find Luo Dai's identity (the proof of her existence), hebecomes spiritually more and more close to her. He visits the singing group she used towork with and hears that she was a lonely girl, isolated from the others. She left the groupto live with a trumpeter. Later on she left him too and lived instead with a business man.Finally Chu arrives at her hometown. From her elementary school teacher, he hears thatLuo Dai liked to sing even since childhood, and that she was raped by her alcoholic father14 Zhang Xiguo, "Di" (Flute), The Banana Boat, page numbers in text.26Thu Liwhen he was dead drunk; after which she left home to join the singing group. Chu doesnot want to know any further information like this. He believes that Luo Dai is a pure girlno matter how much she has suffered in this society.The relevance of his closeness to Luo Dai is that he starts identifying himself withher. He and Luo Dai are the same; they are both lonely in this world; they have both gonethrough the hurts and the disillusionments of life. They do not belong to this world, onefull of disappointment: they belong to another world, a world represented by the sound of aflute and Luo Dai's picture.Now, I hear the sound of a flute.I feel my chest exploding, I cannot stay here any more, I want to melt intothis ocean of music. I want to go, I must go.I don't know why I care so much about Luo Dai's life. I feel responsiblefor her life. . . . I have no way to withdraw, I have to face Luo Dai's life. Her lifehas combined with my life, I cannot forget her. Less and less do I remember thetwo dead bodies in the valley. Her bright eyes in the photo give me the sensation ofa real world.(139-140)His mind moves far away from the real world; deeper and deeper he sinks into hisspiritual search for an ideal person in this changing world. Hence he does not listen to anymore stories about Luo Dais wandering life after he has talked with the school teacher:I suddenly realize that I have found out too much. The Luo Dai I know is aseventeen year old girl, she has bright eyes, short hair and wears a necklace.Besides these, anything, even if it is real, is irrelevant. I don't even care whether Iknow her real name or not.(140)Luo Dai becomes his ideal person. He even refuses to accept her death, because herefuses to admit the death of his spiritual ideal. He does not accept her objective death; hedoes not accept a world without his ideal light. He does not want to admit that the spirit ofpurity and freedom is dead in this world.He believes that she is strong and nothing can defile her; this symbolizes his ownstrong ideals which cannot be destroyed by the injustice of society.She is stronger than any of them, she belongs to the world of strong people.Luo Dai can wander from one side of the world to the other side, but there is2 7Zhu Linobody, nothing which can defile her. I totally understand her, I have more rightthan any one in the world to understand her.(141)He wants to keep searching for Luo Dai. He does not believe that his ideal personis already dead. He believes that physical death cannot provide the answer to his spiritualsearch.I plan to maintain my pursuit of Luo Dai's whereabouts. According tosome kind logic, she has already died. ^ But it is only a logical assumption, andI believe Luo Dai is still alive. There is no reason for this, I just believe that she isstill alive. ^ Maybe she is singing in another city.(141)Chu and Luo Dai are wanderers in the world. Through finding Luo Dai's identity,Chu becomes aware of his own life. He realizes that the world is filthy, that both he andLuo Dai have to cope with the ugliness of the world and personal loneliness. Heencounters unfair social restrictions, just as Luo suffered her father's abuse and socialisolation. They both must struggle to maintain their own conscience. He wants to declarejustice even though it opposes him against authority, whereas she wants to be free frombondage no matter how much she has to sacrifice. He tries different ways to fulfil hisgoals, some of them even dishonest; she goes from man to man to maintain herindependence. They are wanderers in this world; they want to find a place to which theycan belong. Luo Dai moved from one city to another and Chu moves from Taipei to thesmall town. They are searching for their place in this changing world.They all refuse to surrender, and refuse to admit defeat. That is another reason whyChu does not accept her death. She is alive in his heart, and so his idea of peoples' beingpure and free in this filthy world can also remain alive in his heart.I believe I can find her; for sure I can find Luo Dai. Beside a lake, I willmeet her, a girl seventeen years old, with short hair, shining eyes, and wearing anecklace. (142)The difference between "Flute" and other stories of wanderers is that "Flute"emphasizes peoples' search for identity while the other stories tend to focus on how peoplelose their identity, or how confused they feel when they have lost their old beliefs. Fromthe spiritual point of view, Chu has become disillusioned with his original belief in2 8Thu Lijournalism and social justice. But his faith in the existence of a ideal person in this world isstrengthened through his search for Luo Dai. Through his failure in his career, he realizesthat he does not belong any where in the real world. But he still upholds his faith in anidealistic world. Though he is wandering, he is not lost. No matter how vain is the basisof his faith (a dead girl, or an unattainable dream), he does not want to give up his spiritualcommitment.Zhang Xiguo gives a systematic description of the physical and spiritual exileChinese people have suffered in this half century. People who move from mainland Chinato Taiwan, or from China overseas, or who remain in fast-developing Taiwan, must allstruggle through changes in their life and try to relocate their place in this unfamiliar world,to re-evaluate their beliefs and experiences, to distinguish their identity in a changingsociety. Some of them, like Li Ming's father in "Earth," have failed in their efforts to liveout old ideas in a new society; some, like the girl in "The Blue Danube" and the professorin "Flood Over the Lu-er Gate," have buried forever their dreams and disillusionment bytheir deaths; others, like Gao Qiang in "Red Child," have lost themselves in politicalstruggles; still others, like Chu in "Flute," are searching for their place in society andhoping to find confirmation of their ideals.All have suffered disillusionment of their old beliefs, and all have had troublefinding a place to which they truly belong. Zhang's writing about wanderers records indetail the disappointment, disillusionment, confusion, loneliness and desperation of suchpeople in the face of a changing world.Nevertheless, we should not forget to look at the bright spots of the characters inthese sad stories. As I have mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, Zhang Xiguo hasstated a positive attitude towards peoples' struggle in a changing world. Thus they do notgive up the search even in their bitterness. Though they are defeated, they do not surrendercompletely. It is true that they are fighting something beyond their strength. Times have2 9Zhu Lichanged; so, too, has the world; they must try to follow suit. Their loss and wanderingapparently is fated. Yet, surely their life is not in vain, since even their death acts as a signof free will and decision. Their life may be a tragedy, but in their behaviour during difficulttimes they still maintain some human dignity and conscience. For example, in "Earth," LiMing's father tries to help his old friends even when he is bankrupt. The girl in "The BlueDanube" wishes to give money to a friend to start an anti-communist magazine. Gao Qiangin "Red Child" wants to awaken young peoples' concerns about China's future. Chu inThe "Flute" strives to gain justice for the weak. The old couple in "The Killer On AWinter's Night," before they are fatally wounded, fight with the strong black criminals.And even when they are dying, the old woman still urges her husband not to give up hislife. Finally the man in "Our Company" gives extra money to a fired worker and helpsTaiwanese customers behind the back of his foreign boss.The image of wanderers runs right through Zhang Xiguo's writing. In fact, "TheSouls of Wanderers Series" contains only the clearest examples of this important aspect ofhis work. The shadow of this image falls over the other two major themes of his writing:the effect of money, and the relationship between men and women. Put another way, themelody of wanderers provides the underlying theme of several variations. Subsequently,we will notice the inner link between peoples' wandering souls and their spiritual struggles,their search for a new type of male/female relationship, and their attitudes towards achanging life.3 0Thu LiChapter TwoOn The Issue of MoneyTaiwan's economic situation has dramatically changed in the past forty years. Theisland has accomplished one of the most rapid and sustained rates of economic growth inthe world, producing an average annual increase of 6.2 percent in GNP per capital between1953 and 1988. Consequently, it has been transformed from a poor agricultural economyto an industrial and urban one with per capital income jumping from $100 to $7,500. Apartfrom a short period of import substitution in the 1950s, Taiwan's development has beenbased on export-led growth and a gradual movement up the "international product cycle"from labour intensive goods to more sophisticated and more profitable production.15Under such economic conditions, traditional values and life styles are inevitablyfacing challenges. Among the obvious clashes between the effects of dramatic economicdevelopment and traditional standards which prevailed over the past two thousand years,the issue of money provides the main focus.In Zhang Xiguo's writing, both intellectuals and common people deal with the issueof money. He describes how the power of money has changed the lives of someintellectuals. In his stories, a few older intellectuals still keep their traditional world viewand academic lifestyle, but many give up their careers in academics and becomebusinessmen, or combine academic and business pursuits.In some ways, we should note that the conversion from intellectual to merchant isnot a totally new phenomenon in Chinese society. The famous Chinese scholar Yu Ying-shi traces the emergence of the Chinese merchant class to the Qin-Han dynasties and duringthe Ming-Qing dynasties tradesmen become more and more prevalent. The merchant classdeveloped their own ideology and changed the class hierarchy from "gentlemen, peasants,15"Economic Growth and Popular Well-being in Taiwan," The Western Political Quarterly (September,1991), p. 561.31Zhu Liworkers and merchants" into "gentlemen, merchants, peasants and workers." During thefifteenth and sixteenth centuries, even some famous Chinese scholars became spokesmenfor merchants. For instance, Wang Yangming and Li Mengyang wrote favourable epitaphsfor merchants whom they knew. The root of the phenomenon of intellectuals giving uptheir studies and becoming merchants lies here.16Though it is not new for intellectuals to become merchants, the position of merchantnever surpassed the honoured status of the scholar. Neither was money regarded as very.important in one's life as an intellectual. From the traditional point of view, fu (richness,wealth and gui^(nobility, honourable status) are not necessarily found together.Expressed in another sentence, being noble and respectable is not necessarily equated withbeing rich. One's class was not merely dependent on the amount of money one possessed.The orthodox traditional principle of being a true intellectual is junzi zhongyi qingli"The gentleman emphasizes righteousness but despises profit." Other sayingswarn intellectuals not to jian Ii wang yi xg,t..)^"forget righteousness when seeingprofit." and that dazhangfu fugui buneng yin^.0-j:tint "the true man should notbe defiled by riches and honour," and finally shen cun fugui, shi ging huangjin *113443-46-^ts. "- If you are rich in your spiritual life, you will look down on gold." Many classicalpoems and stories praise intellectuals who are qinggao AA (aloof from politics andmaterial pursuits) and have qijie -"tt^(unyielding integrity to political or materialsolicitations). The traditional intellectuals' attitude towards money is to strive for spiritualintegrity and reject material solicitation. Money should not be in a dominant position inintellectual life. Ii ij (profit) is directly related to money and hence should be steadfastlyignored. Intellectuals should emphasize yi^, the way of justice and nobility which doesnot expect any rewards or profits.16 Yu Yingshi, "Shi Hun Shang Cai," (The Soul of a Gentleman and The Talent of a Merchant),Twentieth Century Magazine, Vol. 5, June, 1991.32Thu LiTo do business, people need to be shrewd and tactical. But the Confucian worldview which emphasizes moral righteousness and persistent self-cultivation by learning andfaithfulness to principles, is not supportive of people being shrewd or cunning. Thus, thebasic principles of intellectual morality are wen hang gong jian rang(gentleness, kindness, humbleness, thrift and tolerance ) which are directly opposed tobeing shrewd. The traditional teaching also continually warned people to watch out foranything related to business. In the saying wu jian bu shang tikt 27Z ill; "No craftiness,no business:" jiankf- (craftiness) and shang 11 (business or merchant) are connected.The traditional view is also very suspicious of wealth because, it said: wei fu bu ren1:- "The rich have no benevolence:" fu IT (wealth) is the opposite of ren(benevolence). This kind of thinking has its corollaries in social policies. The famouszhong ben yi mo^iit (emphasize the main body and suppress the extremities) wasmainly a caution against business development and in favour of agriculture.Thus, even though the phenomenon of intellectuals giving up their careers tobecome merchants, now in modern term "businessmen," may not be new, this kind ofconversion was never very common and well-received until recent times. Yet the merchantclass has finally surpassed the scholar class. Not only are merchants treated morefavourably but even money has gained a position of great respect in society. The power ofmoney has shaken the basic confidence of intellectuals who were supposed to be beyondthe reach of petty material attractions. Spiritual and intellectual life has been overshadowedby financial concerns. Intellectuals, in Zhang Xiguo's stories, commonly abandon theirstudies and research to become merchants or businessmen due to their material needs. Themotive behind their actions is not yi^(justice, righteousness) but Ii "f;-.11 (interest, profit),in a word: money. Another important fact to note is that Ii is no longer a negative wordwhich indicates dirty business and low character; Ii *fj has become a newly respectableideology.33Zhu LiAmong the intellectuals in Zhang Xiguo's stories, there are a few older intellectualswho still maintain the traditional intellectual way of life. They do not care or worry aboutmoney. They are still stuck in traditional thought patterns, believing in cultural dignity andthe purity of idealistic knowledge. They are concerned more about their spiritual pursuitssuch as writing books or discussing philosophical topics than about how much money theyshould make or have. By contrast, the younger group of intellectuals mainly includesprofessors who are not satisfied with their financial situation and young people who havereceived a university education and are struggling to begin their careers. They are moresensitive to the issue of money than the older intellectuals. Some of them feel quitecomfortable in adjusting themselves to this new materialistic world. Others can sensefriction between the attractions of money and the traditional rejection in involvement of "li"(profit). They either seek to juggle the need for spiritual freedom with the need for moneyor try to find a new way to free themselves from bondage to money and to pursue true art.Intellectuals who remain faithful to the old style intellectual life are very few, butthey still emerge in Zhang Xiguo's writing. They tend to concentrate on their research,ignoring the attractions of money, and refusing to involve themselves in any businesswhich could distract them from their academic thinking.Professor Ying in Yesterday's Anger is such an old style intellectual. He is shortand skinny; his hair is completely white; he has stomach trouble. Physically he is alwaysweak and sick, but as a professor of philosophy, he is full of energy especially whendiscussing philosophical issues. The main character in Yesterday's Anger Ge Rixin saysof him:Lao Ying (Professor Ying) is different from the others. He has gutou(moral integrity). He dares to speak his true heart and never compromises. I admiresuch a person.(101)1717 Zhang Xiguo, Yesterday's Anger. Page numbers in text.34Zhu LiLater Professor Ying contracts stomach cancer and is sent to hospital. Ge Rixin goes tovisit him. When he returns and talks to a friend about Professor Ying, he becomes soexcited that he hits the table with his fist and says:Last Sunday, I went back to Taipei to visit him. He still talked to me aboutphilosophy! He is so sick, but he still cares about philosophy, about the future ofChina. I was so ashamed that I nearly cried.(102)He then continues:Lao Ying is our real model. Sometimes I think he would still si de qi suo(die a worthy death) even if there were no one to sympathise with him,. At least hewill uphold his beliefs to the end.(103)Mr. Fang in Chess King is a similar character. At a party, Feng Wei-min, a historyprofessor and business man, talks about Mr.Fang with the main character Cheng Ling:I asked him what he was going to do when he retired. He said he wouldwrite. He wants to rewrite his History of Qin Thought. The guy is more than sixtyyears old, and he's planning a book! . . . We all make fun of the old style scholars:they're too conservative, they've read all the Classics, but they have no idea as tohow to apply them. Well, maybe that's right. But you have to hand it to them forsticking it out. I couldn't keep up that pace, could you?""Times change," Cheng Ling said. "I bet Mr Feng never worries aboutmoney. He doesn't know how to make money, and he doesn't want to. That's theolder generation for you. Their values are different. We have got to makemoney."(112)18In order to make money, one has to struggle. One has to expend a lot of energy inbusiness or other money making schemes rather than taking part in pure academic research,which cannot bring that much profit. It is natural that he cannot concentrate on hisintellectual pursuit. Professor Feng Wei-min compares his situation to Mr. Fang's:If I ever live to be sixty, I'll be completely washed out by then. I won'teven be able to read books, much less write them. I'm already too distracted toread: too much petty business, you know. By the time I get home, I'm exhausted.My brain is obsessed with business, I can't calm down ... writing somethingwould be even more impossible. It's as if my pen weighs a thousand pounds.Then Feng recites a famous classical Chinese poem written by Tao Yuanming, whoabandoned his humiliating job in order to maintain the intellectual integrity.18 Zhang Xiguo, Qi wang (Chess King), Hong Kong, A JPC Publication Co., 1986, translated by IvanDavid Zimmerman. Page numbers in text.3 5Thu LiOur lifespan in this world isn't long.Why not then follow the inclinations of the heart?Why be so agitated?Where would we go?The conflict between the modern concern with money and traditional standards of spiritualfreedom is revealed in his speech. The old generation does not need to worry aboutmaking money and in any case old style scholars have no desire to make themselves richeither. But intellectuals like Feng Wei-min and Cheng Ling realize that they cannot live thatkind of intellectual life any more. They have to make money.Just as Cheng puts it: "Times change," and the intellectuals who face changingtimes must likewise undergo change. New values emerge along with economicdevelopments, and traditional standards are challenged or betrayed. The issue of moneybecomes highlighted, and everyone has to give it the respect it deserves. Intellectualscannot hide behind traditional opinions which ignore the importance of money. Moneybecomes appealing and dominant, with the result some intellectuals give their hearts awayto it. Even though they may remain professors or scholars on the surface, they are alreadymerchants inside. Their traditional intellectual identity has changed.Wu Hanshan and Hong Xianzu in Yesterday's Anger are intellectuals who actuallyincline more towards the business life.Wu Hanshan is a professor of Chinese history in an American university. Whenhis relative Chen Zexiong, a businessman from Taiwan, asks him:"Mr.Wu, you are teaching in such a famous university. From theTaiwanese' view, you are a real scholar. What do you want to do now?""Do business! ... Just like you, do business.""Do business?" Chen laugh "People like us who cannot read books go todo business. Why you?""Now it is no longer true that only learning is noble and all otheroccupations base." (208)He explains the importance of money in academic life. He needs it to live a happy life. Hehopes to move to a big city like Detroit where there are a lot of chances to develop one'sinterests. "If a good position comes up, it would be easy for me to change careers. At36Mu Lileast, I can open my own business. For example, open a Chinese restaurant. That wouldnot be bad."(210) He then describes the kind of restaurant he would like to open:luxurious, comfortable and fancy in order to attract customers and make plenty of money.Professor Wu is a scholar of Chinese history with a mind full of concerns aboutmoney. A similar character in the same novel is Dr. Hong Xianzu. He is a talented scholarbut also a shrewd businessman. He is a scientist, involved in research, but he also runsfactories, does trading, plays the market and gets involved in real estate business. Heknows how to obtain money, how to take advantage of people and how to manipulate themin order to reach his goals. He is more like a successful businessman than a scholar.Likewise, in The Yellow River Water, Li Haiwen gives up his professorial positionto become a businessman. His father is a financial magnate, and Li Haiwen also desiressuccess in business. When he is with a group of friends who happen to be children ofhigh level governors, he realizes:The family of great wealth is not so well liked as the aristocratic family. Butnow, except for Lan Qi, every one has become a businessman. If you are in themerchant class, you have to yield to the rules of business. Who can make the mostmoney. Who is the big brother. 19In his heart, Li Haiwen promises himself that he must rise head and shoulders aboveeveryone else in business, and then he can feel proud and elated. He must not let himselffall short of others. He is not ashamed to identify himself as a businessman. There is noshadow of doubt about the value of money in his mind. He is confident about his future inthis new field. He wants to be the "big brother."Some intellectuals choose to do business at first as an option to ease the financialburden, but at last business becomes their life interest and deepest commitment. Thehistory professor Feng in Chess King whom we mentioned previously at first callsbusiness his "latest game." He is still teaching in school. He feels that business is "terribly19 Zhang Xiguo, Iluanghe zhi slzui (The Yellow River Water), p.61.37Thu Lidull." By the end, however, as he is going to Europe because he has made lots of moneyin business, he changes his tune, declaring: "Business certainly is interesting.-20Zhang Xiguo says: "From 1972 to 1973, invited by the Academia Sinica, I wentback to Taiwan and stayed more than one year. I found that many friends who originallyhad cultural ideals became petty merchants due to the changed social environment. Ithought a lot about this problem, and as a result I wrote Chess King."21 In Chess King,he describes different intellectuals coping in the face of change. There is the olderintellectual, Mr. Fang, whom as we have mentioned maintains his traditional way of living,yet there is also Professor Feng who finally finds business is really his vocation in life.Thirdly there is Professor Liu, who declares that "money can buy freedom." He wants tobalance the traditional intellectual concern for spiritual freedom with the practical need formoney. He thinks that after one has made enough money, one can gain freedom andpursue one's true goal in life.Professor Michael S. Duke has given a sophisticated summary of Professor Liu inhis paper "Two Chess Masters: One Chinese Way: A Comparison of Chang Hsi-kuo's andChung Ah-ch'eng's Ch'i Wang." Professor Duke believes that Professor Liu's character"best illustrates the theme of pluralism and spontaneous association in a Chinese context."Liu Lo-yi is a self-made man, a college science professor, an entrepreneurwho owns and manages several export factories, a woman chaser of sorts, andsomething of a bragart. He is also a gracious loser and a man who decided veryearly on what he wanted from life - the freedom that money brings with it - and iswell on his way to achieving his every goal.We have already discussed intellectuals who have no trouble becoming merchantsor involving themselves in business. There is another group of intellectuals who are awareof their changing identity. They must seek spiritual peace as they switch from theirintellectual pursuit to business manoeuvres. The main character in Chess King ChengLing can represent this group of people.20 Zhang Xiguo, Chess King, p. 153.21 Zhang Xiguo, "The Spiritual Course of A Writer."38Thu LiIn Chess King Cheng Ling provides a central figure around whom a ring ofdifferent young intellectuals swim in the murky waters of business. In fact, all of Cheng'sfriends are doing business of some kind. History professor Feng is trying to exportsilverware to the Europeans; Gao Yuebai, a talented artist, is painting one hundred and onepairs of female legs because there is a market for this kind of painting. Gao Pei is playingthe stock market. When they find that a wonder child can tell the future, all they want to dois use the boy to make money. Cheng Ling is no better than his friends. In spite of hiswish to protect the boy, it is he who forces the boy to challenge Professor Liu, and he alsoleaks the secret of the Wonder Child to others. Yet the interesting thing is that ultimately hecannot forsake his artistic commitments no matter how hard he tries to neglect them andenter a world full of greed.Cheng Ling well knows the important role which money plays in daily life. He hasalready accepted the real world which emphasizes peoples' materialistic needs. As he says:"Artists have to eat, too." He expresses this in a cynical way in his art: he jokes to hold anexhibition showing paintings of money."I've got a subject, too," Cheng Ling said. "Paintings of money. Paint whateveryone likes: currency bills. All kinds of bills. You can buy whichever paintingsyou like with the money you have. Therefore, I consider cash as real as life itself.Money is the most real thing. Money is freedom."(108)We can hear an echo of Professor Liu's declaration, the intention to combine the desire forspiritual freedom with acceptance of the power of money. But things are not that easy.Surrender to the power of money does not dim the passion of the artist. Thus, when hehas half abandoned his artistic career by compromising the standards of art for financialgain, he is no longer satisfied spiritually. He has thrown away all his painting supplieswhen he decides to become a commercial agent. But he cannot totally forsake his desire ofpainting, he buys back his painting supplies.He could still paint. In fact, he still wanted to. That sudden urge, that wildhappiness, would now and then come and enthral him. (95)3 9Thu LiThe desire to pursue artistic happiness juxtaposed with the need for money leadshim into contradictory behaviour. This is manifested, too, in his treatment of the boy in thestory. At the beginning, Cheng Ling thinks of the boy's thin figure, his big bumpy head.He is confused. "The boy is certainly extraordinary. We ought to figure out a way toprotect him, to make sure no one takes advantage of him."(43) But when he finds out forcertain that the boy can predict the future, first of all he uses him to challenge Professor Liuin order to release personal hostility: "since Professor Liu wanted to put on such animpressive front, if the boy won a few games of chess from him and made him lose face onTV, that might just chop him down to size. "(69) This is just the beginning, for he thenasks the boy to predict the stock market figures for him. "I just want a general idea of theprospects. I won't be greedy. It's just that I need a little cash."(81)Hence, Cheng Ling is the first one to take advantage of the boy both spiritually andmaterially. And that is not the end of the matter. He cannot help telling others the secret ofthe Wonder Kid; finally all his friends find out that the boy is clairvoyant and are eager tomake money out of it too. Yet in final analysis, he is not a greedy person who has the puregoal of making money. After he has bought the stocks and knows he will earn largequantities of money, he thinks again about his painting. Cheng Ling said: "I just want topaint. I can still paint." He counts up the shares and profit they can yield. It isn't much,but it will be enough to last the company a couple of years. So he can paint.(86)On the one hand, he agrees with Professor Liu: "Professor Liu was right. Moneyis freedom. When you have money you don't get pushed around."(69) On the other hand,he wants to paint only according to artistic principles, not drawn by the lure of money.During a conversation with his brother, Cheng Ling says:"All I want to do is to paint. I only wish I could still paint.""Of course you can still paint." His brother laughed. "As long as you arewilling to paint ads, you can paint to your heart's content. What's the difference toyou?""There's still a difference.""There's no difference. You ought to understand that. There is absolutelyno difference."4 0Thu Li"There's still a difference."Cheng Ling's voice was very soft. He was almost talking to himself.(77)Cheng Ling has sensed that artistic principles must remain independent fromjudgement of financial worth. Art is not a tool for making money. Painting ads is differentfrom truly artistic work.In conclusion, money has had a distinct impact on intellectuals' thinking. Manyintellectuals have been forced to adjust their traditional ideals in order to survive in thischanging world. Intellectuals have always believed that they belong to a higher class insociety. So when their society becomes embedded more and more with materialism, theyhave to accept the domination of money in order to maintain a decent standard of living andsocial status. The traditional emphasis on spiritual life has become mixed up withacceptance of the importance of money. Nevertheless, Zhang Xiguo still depictsintellectuals who do not admit that material needs can completely replace the values of art,and he stresses the differences between being an artist and being a businessman.If money can change the lives of intellectuals, shielded as they were from itsinfluence, then certainly it can work even more powerfully in the lives of non-intellectuals.According to the traditional idea: junzi zhong yi, xiaoren zhong Ii;g:4.7 I^, "gentlemen emphasize righteousness, common people or lowclass people chase after profits." In other words, gentlemen, who are mostly intellectuals,have to distinguish yi^and /i^, but it is tolerable for common people, "xiaoren"to chase after material gains. Thus it is not surprising that non-intellectuals have all alongpursued money. But Zhang Xiguo does not treat their efforts to gain money as any kinddishonourable behaviour; he does not condemn them from the stand-point of tradition.Instead, in his writing he shows sympathy for and understanding of their struggles. Hethinks the common peoples' desire for money comes not because they are greedy but4 1Thu Libecause they want to lead their families and themselves towards a happier life. Money isnot their actual goal, but they pursue money because it helps them to survive.Hence, on the issue of money, Zhang Xiguo has a tougher attitude towardsintellectuals. He never shows respect for those intellectuals who forsake academic life togo after profit, and instead high-lights those who are faithful to their goals or who finallygrasp the meaning of life, which is not provided by money. Probably there is still a traceof traditional thinking in his mind: he still feels that intellectuals should focus on yi , thespiritual quest, and that there should be a difference between intellectuals and merchants.By contrast, when he deals with the common peoples' concerns about money, heemphasizes their sacrifice and loyalty to their families and friends. He does not treat themas xiaoren , low class people, according to a traditional viewpoint, but rather shows hisdeep sympathy for their desperate struggle.To give some examples, in "The Banana Boat," the narrator Huang Guoquan meetsa sailor on an airplane trip from the United States to Taiwan. The sailor has been expelledby the US immigration office because he has illegally entered and worked in the UnitedStates. The policemen who escort the sailor to the airplane ask the narrator to take care ofhim and accompany him back to Taiwan. After the airplane takes off, they start talking.The sailor tells the narrator the reason for his illegal entry and employment:the salary for sailors is too low. It is only seventy-five US dollars a month.So when ships arrive in New York, sailors all try to leave ships as soon as they hada chance. There is a case where two third of the sailors in one ship have left.(8)22Through his speech we can see that the main reason the sailor wants to workillegally in New York is not to make a big fortune but only to survive. The low salary ofsailors combined with the rising prices of goods push him to choose this embarrassingpath. His ideal in life is just to open a grocery store when he has enough money. Hispurpose is not only to make himself comfortable but also to give his family a better life.22 Zhang Xiguo, "The Banana Boat," The Banana Boat. Page numbers in text.42Thu LiWhen they arrive in Tokyo, they have to switch airlines. The Japaneseimmigration officers who are supposed to accompany the sailor on the airplane to Taiwandoesn't show up. The sailor decides to stay in Tokyo because he knows somebody there,and later on he might even manage go back to the States to work there again. He givesHuang a wad of dollar-bills and the address of his family: "This money, please give it tomy wife." After he hands over the money, he disappears in the crowd. The narrator neversees him again.(13)Later on the narrator receives a letter from a shipping company. The letter tells himthat there was an accident in a banana cargo ship: a sailor fell into a deep tank while he wasloading bananas. He had been killed instantly. The company denies any responsibility forhis death because he was working there illegally. They could not find out his name oridentity. All they discovered was the narrator's name in the sailor's notebook, so theyinform him of the latter's death.If we only look at the surface details of the sailor's death, we could say that he diedfor money, as in the Chinese idiom: People die for money , birds die for grain. But thesailor's purpose is to give his family and himself a better life. It is not greed which sendsthe sailor to his death but the struggle for a better life. He has sacrificed his life for hisideal. Zhang Xiguo's sympathetic treatment shows his understanding of the sailor'sdesperate efforts to survive in this changing world.Zhang Xiguo considers common peoples' efforts, even those might appear trivial,as a decent struggle to fulfil their ideals in life. He even shows great respect for theirsacrifice and suffering.I recall some sailors who escaped from their ships, some educated youthwho fled to Hong Kong from mainland China, an old woman in New York'sChinatown-- they are all in exile but their ideals of life touch me and make me feelashamed. Of course their ideals of life are not to save the country or to save thenation, but who is living to save the country and the nation these days? They liveso that their wives and children can have enough to eat, to keep warm, or to gaintheir personal freedom, or for their children and grandchildren's future happiness.Though their ideals of life are trivial, they dare to sacrifice their own lives to attainthese ideals.43Thu LiHere we can see the issue of money also related with " the Soul of Wanderers."Sometimes Zhang Xiguo allows his characters to break the law in order to attaintheir desires. The sailor's illegal work is one example; likewise in The Yellow RiverWater, Zhao Zichao's embezzlement of the company's goods is another. Zhang Xiguodoes not try to cover up these actions which violate certain laws or moral principles, butinstead reveals the proper reasons for their behaviour and the basic honesty of theirpersonalities.For instance, in The Yellow River Water, Zhao Zichao is the purchasing agent of acompany which is going under. He steals some goods and sells them to retailers. Yetbefore he goes to the south of Taiwan to hide, he does not forget to return the money heborrowed from a poor college student. Then he pays a visit to his friend, Zhou Dachuan,and gives him some money to support his family. Zhou Dachuan is portrayed as a veryhonest and trustworthy person. When Zhao tells him what he has done, Zhou criticizes hisactions. Zhao goes on to tell Zhou the reason he has acted in this way:When one's troops are being defeated, it happens as quickly as a mountainavalanches. In no more than a month, the company is going to be bankrupt. And ifthis happens, who do you think will get all the stuff? It is always those big headswhich swallow all the goods.. . . Those big heads can protect themselves fine; whydo they bother to trouble us poor people ? Big brother, don't worry. If a man doesnot look out for himself, Heaven and Earth will destroy him (everyone for himselfand the devil takes the hindmost). And remember, Little Rong (Zhou's daughter) isgoing to take the college entrance exam in July. If you consider your own interests,you should at least think of her future. Here is ten thousand yuan that you can takefor small expenses.23Zhao Zichao does not emerge looking like a greedy and mean person; instead he is akind, unselfish and reliable friend. He promises that "A true man accepts the consequencesof his own actions." He wants to help his friend but he does not cause them anyunnecessary trouble. Later, when Zhou's daughter Rong (Little Rong) unexpectedly getspregnant, she knows the only one who can help her is Zhao Zichao not her lover. Shegoes to the south to find him, and Zhao helps her raise the baby. Zhang Xiguo does not23 Zhang Xiguo, The Yellow River Water, pp.36-37.4 4Zhu Litreat Zhao as someone to be blamed or to be fmally humiliated because of his minor errors.Once again, he has more understanding for, rather than condemnation of, the commonpeoples' struggle.On the issue of money, though Zhang Xiguo does not declare his unqualifiedsupport for the traditional rejection of money as part of the spiritual life of intellectuals, hedoes reveal money as something corrupting to one's intellectual integrity. In his works,intellectuals who forsake academic life or have a strong desire to change their career inorder to pursue profit abound. Cheng Ling and Professor Feng Wei-min in Chess King;the writer and teacher Wang Peilun, professor Li Haiwen, and the artist Du Guangyu inThe Yellow River Water; Professor Wu Hanshan and Dr. Hong Xianzu in Yesterday'sAnger, etc. Amongst these characters Zhang Xiguo has respect for those old -fashionedintellectuals who can remain faithful to and concentrated on their intellectual life. However,he does not attempt to show a new ideal for intellectuals to aspire to in today's world.Rather he is more concerned with the intellectuals' painful struggle to encompass bothmaterial needs and idealistic pursuits in a new situation. The best he can do is refuse toadmit that acceptance of the domination of money inevitably means the total loss of spiritualindependence. However, spiritual freedom, as the word imply, does not depend on theaccumulation of money; the obtaining of money is not a necessary pre-condition forachieving this spiritual freedom. The spiritual comforts purchased with money are in factnot real freedoms, because they involve too much of a compromise. The spiritual strugglewith the issue of money is an on-going one in the intellectuals' search for a new way of lifein this modern era.Again, by contrast, though common peoples' pursuit of money is more obviousand desperate, Zhang Xiguo looks upon their struggle from a different angle. Here, hiswriting emphasizes ordinary peoples' selfless sacrifice and loyalty to their families and4 5Thu Lifriends; He stresses their material plight and the reasonableness of their needs, and heshows sympathy and understanding for their struggles and misfortunes.46Thu LiChapter ThreeCompromise Or Action In The Face of Invisible PowerThere are no totally evil characters in Zhang Xiguo's writing. According to hisunderstanding, on the one hand, the power of darkness is not represented by any particularperson but exists in an invisible way. People can feel the existence of darkness but cannotfind a particular object to fight against. On the other hand, evil exists in the heart ofeveryone. Zhang Xiguo himself says:(The action) related to the goal of "seeking changes" is to struggle with theforce of evil. . . . Chinese are somehow more "sophisticated." They know thatevil exists in human nature. ... The lack of successful rebels in Chinese myths isnot an accidental phenomenon. It indicates that Chinese people basicallyunderstand the impossibility of conquering the force of evil, hence they are inclinedto compromise. (166)24Zhang Xiguo wrote another article "Ye shi shen hua" (Also Myth) in which heclaims that compromise is a dominant component of the Chinese national character. Hepoints out again that there are very few successful rebels in Chinese myth stories. Most ofthem finally compromise with the rulers they rebel against.It is strange that we cannot find even one successful rebel in any Chinesemyth stories. There are rebellious heroes in Chinese myths just as in myths ofother countries, but their rebellion has never been successful. (207)25He gives many examples. For instance, Gonggon Shi rebelled, using his head toknock down Buzhou Mountain, but he ultimately failed. Houyi shot down suns, but in theend he could not even keep his wife. The worst kind are those rebellious heroes whofinally compromised with their opponents. For example, Monkey Sun declared himself"King of Heaven." He was defeated by Tathagata Buddha and was held underneath theWuhang Mountain. This is reasonable. But later on he was tamed by Tang Sanzang and24 Zhang Xiguo, "Talk About the Style and Content of National Literature," Zhang Xiguo's Self-SelectedWorks (Liming Culture p.publish Co., 1982). Page numbers in text25 Zhang Xiguo, "Ye shi shen hua" (Also Myth), Zhang Xiguo's Self-Selected Works Page numbers intext.47Thu Libecame his disciple. He protected Tang when he went on a pilgrimage for Buddhistscriptures and finally became a Buddhist warrior attendant. For a "rebel," he had gone toofar. In another instance, Red Child Nezha caused trouble in the Palace of the Dragon Kingseveral times and fell out with his father. He was a fairly successful little rebel. But lateron he too compromised and became a little god of the "ruling group." Such instances arenumerous. If even the White Lady, who just wanted the "freedom to love," wassuppressed under the tower by meddlesome Fahai, other rebels' fates can be imagined.Zhang Xiguo compares Chinese myth with Western myth and declares that there were moresuccessful and persistent rebels in Western myth.It is clear that, in contrast to Chinese myths where very few successfulrebels exists, Western myths portray many rebellious heroes. ... Yet it is only adifference in subjective perceptions: "fight but be defeated again" as compared to"be defeated but fight again." Although the heroes of western myths are deceivedby fate time and time again, they never surrender, always challenging fate. Therelationship between human beings and their fate is always an importantinspirational source for Western literature. This might be the reason that rebelliousheroes occupied such an important position in Western literature. (208)However, Zhang Xiguo does not consider the Chinese to be fatalists. He explains theChinese willingness to compromise by suggesting that the rebels could finally becomemembers of the ruling class by compromising with rulers. He uses "Yugong yi shan "(Foolish Old Man moves the Mountain) as an example. Zhang Xiguo thinks that Yugongachieves his victory not through moving the Taihang Mountains shovel by shovel butbecause of God's compromise: God sends a couple of giants to carry away the twomountains. It is possible, if we allowed this story to develop reasonably, that Yugong andhis descendants would really have removed the mountains. But because of God'scompromise, although on the surface Yugong wins, in fact he is deprived of the chance toprove that he could be "stronger than God." So Yugong is not a successful rebel. ZhangXiguo uses this story as a good example of compromise between God and rebels.Likewise, the Monkey King and Nezha, whom we mentioned before, actually did nottotally fail.48Thu LiOn the one hand, the rulers in heaven accepted them and allowed them toenjoy a taste of success. This is proof of compromise. On the other hand, ofcourse, the Monkey King had to compromise too: he had to give up his "Equal toHeaven" declaration. And Nezha had to bow his head to his father. In contrast tothose weak rebels who were publicly wiped out, strong rebels virtually all foundpositions among the gods through compromise.(209)Zhang Xiguo thinks that the lack of successful rebels is not to say there are noheroes "persistently choosing the right course and sticking to it." There are too manyheroes sacrificing their lives to uphold "orthodox" ideas. The key is that they "uphold theorthodox," and they do not "oppose the orthodox."Zhang Xiguo discusses how Chinese people think about the relationship betweenGod and human beings in order to find the root of compromise in Chinese philosophy. Hethinks that Chinese do not consider fate to be totally unalterable, but neither do they dare toadmit that fate can be controlled by human beings. They realistically acknowledge that fateis a result of compromise between heaven and human beings. "Human beings create godsaccording to their own image;" Chinese are like this. The gods of the Chinese arereflections of themselves. Heaven and hell are all reproductions of the real human world.Maybe Chinese people are too clever. They are so clever that, even whileadmitting "it's better to believe there are ghosts and gods rather than not to," theydo not consider either ghosts or gods to be much wiser than human beings. Nomatter whether on earth or in heaven, "compromise" is the way to resolveproblems.(209)Zhang Xiguo thinks that the root of compromise is also in the Chinese perceptionsof nature, society, the political system and human relationships. Chinese philosophy putsthe survival of human beings at the centre. For thousands of years, the majority of theChinese have used up most of their energy in struggling with the weather and the earth tomake a living. The idea of compromise between heaven and human beings is based on theexperience the Chinese have gained in their search to coexist with nature. If peasants donot know how to compromise with and use nature, they cannot survive. On the issue ofhuman relationships, the Chinese always desire an ordered society. They emphasize social4 9Thu Liequilibrium and harmony. Compromise is an essential way to achieve peace in such acomplicated society.Although Zhang Xiguo feels that compromise plays a positive role in keeping ahuge country like China together in harmony, he does not favour compromise on the issueof dealing with evil forces or opponents. Because the Chinese feel that evil forces cannotbe conquered or eliminated by the efforts of human beings, they choose compromiseinstead of fighting. Not only rebels but also rulers prefer to seek compromise. Yet evilforces keep on growing as a result of one compromise or another and can never really beexterminated. Zhang Xiguo thinks that the Chinese have traditionally always chosen such anegative way to deal with evil forces.We must admit that there is a dark side to the Chinese national character.The shadow of tradition keeps the Chinese peoples' heads bowed. Compromisebecomes the best way to resolve problems. Over the last hundred years, Chinesesociety has gone through many changes, and Chinese people have developeddifferent perceptions of evil and darkness. This kind of evil and darkness exists notonly in politics but also in the individual Chinese personality. ... The force of evilexists at the bottom of almost every Chinese person's heart. (167)26Zhang Xiguo mentions that in recent years, he has observed the struggles between left andright wing groups among overseas Chinese. He senses that the Chinese cannot suppressthe devil in their hearts. It is so easy for the dark side of their personality to take control.Light and darkness are mingled within everyone's consciousness. Yet aswe just mentioned, traditionally the Chinese are inclined to compromise with theforce of evil. Hence, they never try their utmost to exterminate the devil in theirhearts. So the force of evil is merely concealed there. For the Chinese, the strugglebetween light and darkness is not only an objective struggle but also a strugglewithin their hearts. (168)Zhang Xiguo gives his understanding of what the force of evil is: the force of evil, to put itin a practical way, means "to compromise with orthodox power; not to tolerate unorthodoxopinions (unless the unorthodox becomes orthodox through compromise ); to bully thekind and fear the mean; to neglect human life; to be sinister and ruthless towards people,"26 Zhang Xiguo, "Talk About the Style and Content of National Literature," Zhang Xiguo's Self-SelectedWorks .5 0Zhu Lietc. Zhang Xiguo calls on the Chinese to face these weaknesses in their national character;to try to eliminate the darkness and expand the light.(168)From Zhang Xiguo's analysis of compromise, we discover that, first of all,darkness is not represented by any particular person(s) but exists as an invisible power inobjective circumstances and inside everyone's hearts. To compromise is not only tocompromise with other people or the objective environment but also to compromise withone's own subjective intentions or ideologies."Compromise" is a major theme in Zhang Xiguo's writing. He believes that theintention to compromise with evil forces or opposing ideologies forms part of the Chinesenational personality. His writing illustrates his theoretical understanding of compromise.The main characters in his early short story "Fishing"_and his first long novel Thebiography of Pastor Pi all face the necessity of compromise; whether consciously orunconsciously they all try to avoid it or give in to it. As for his other works, Ge Rixin andShi Ping in Yesterday's Anger are people who clearly contemplate the possibility ofcompromising with circumstances and ideologies in this complicated world. But not allpeople seek compromise with reality. They try to cope in different ways rather than tocompromise. Some of them, like Professor Liu in Chess King and Hong Xianzu inYesterday's Anger, try to manipulate people to help them achieve their goal. And there arealso people who try to find the true meaning of action."Fishing," (Diao) published in 1963, is one of his early stories. The plot consistsmainly of a dialogue between a man and his son fishing together. The man has his ownidealistic perception of life, but it is implied in the story that his attitude towards life doesnot accord with his wife's practical opinion. His son asks him: "Why do people say thatyou are afraid of Mom? Why do you never retort when she is angry but instead read booksor go fishing?" The man answers: "Why do I never argue with your Mom? Because it is5 1Thu Linot worth it. What your Mom demands is what I loathe. I have never tried to satisfy herwishes. It is natural that she gets angry with me sometimes. I don't need to lower myselfto the same level as her -- but do not tell your Mom what I said." The boy then recites whathis Mom would like to say: "But why don't you want to do as Mom said? Mom said if youdid more socializing with your bosses and visited them more often, then we could findways." He does not know what "find ways" means, so he adds: "Then we could have arefrigerator, a stereo ... many things. Is Mom right?" "Your Mom is right. But I ..." Hesighs. "Forget about it. Now even if I told you, you could not understand. Maybe in thefuture you will understand. ... One day you might become the same kind of person as yourMom. But that would be fine too. Or you will be like me, unable to get along withanybody." (78)27We know through their conversation that the man does not want to sacrifice hispersonal dignity to gain advantages. But he is also living in this society, so he cannotavoid certain demands. The story develops: they catch a fish. The man wants to set thefish free, but the boy is more realistic. He pierces the fish's gill with a long grass stalk andties a knot; then he puts the fish back into the water to keep it alive. The man looks at hisson's operation and asks: "The fish never tries to escape?" the boy answers: "No. We usedthe stalks to pierce the fish's gill. If it wants to escape, it has to tear apart its own gill. Thestalk won't be torn.""That means unless it dares to hurt itself it cannot escape. But if it does not escape,it is going to suffer more -- more suffering than before."The boy says: "Dad, you are being a fool. The fish is stupid. How can it knowwhat would happen later on? If it were smart, it would not have eaten the bait in the firstplace."27 Zhang Xiguo, "Fishing," Zhang's Self-Selected Works. Page numbers in text.52Zhu LiThe man smiles: "That's right. You are talking like me now." But he feels vaguelysad, since he suddenly senses that he is somewhat like that fish.(12)Now we know what the writer wants to tell us: the man is just like that fish. Theman is caught between his own idealistic perception of life and the pressures of ademanding reality. If he wants to gain material profits, he has to do what his wifesuggests, which means to sacrifice his idealistic value standards, if however, he wants tomaintain his integrity, he will suffer from the inconvenient consequences of his behaviour.He is that fish: if he insists on his way of life and escapes from the captivity of his objectiveenvironment, he will hurt himself. He will have to give up all possibility of a happy life.He does not expect any understanding from his wife. In fact, he cannot "get along withanyone"; he cannot benefit from this society. But if he does not escape now, he is goingto suffer more. The fish will die. The man will suffer a spiritual death: finally he will haveto give up his idealistic personality, his beliefs, his pride. The man feels sad. If he staysas he is without hurting himself to get away, he cannot avoid more suffering. And it seemsthat his hopeless struggle is doomed, that finally he will have to compromise with realityand suffer spiritual death, just like that fish: once it gets caught, it cannot get away. Theman realizes that compromising with the needs of society can bring death to his spiritualdignity.Pastor Pi in The Biography of Pastor Pi has also gone through a process ofcompromise. In the beginning, Pastor Pi is just an innocent young Christian. In order toget people to his church, he has to make compromises among different groups. Hiscompromise to the needs of reality starts from his making alliances with people who willsupport his purposes and his using improper ways to get rid his rivals. After many years,Pastor Pi has gone a long way toward being an experienced pastor. In the end he is veryself-satisfied:5 3Zhu LiIn fact, recently he had been very happy every single day. He had regainedhis pastor's position and his church. . . . Now Pastor Pi was much smarter. Heoften went to visit and flatter Old Pastor Lin. . . . Pastor Pi obeyed Old PastorLin's teaching. He never tried to do anything unconventional or unorthodox again.He followed the rules and orders, and learned to conform to convention. Just as heexpected, Old Pastor Lin did not get angry any more. By now Pastor Pi was slickand sly. It was obvious that his career would very soon advance rapidly.28Pastor Pi does not sense the pain of compromise; to him, compromise opens theway to a brighter future. He knows how to deal with his life successfully by learning howto compromise. When he has finally compromised with reality, he believes he has obtainedthe skills to survive. He feels mature and confident having completely yielded to authority.Ge Rixin and Shi Ping in Yesterday's Anger also have to face compromise. Theyare conscious of the crucial nature of their choices in life. They are aware of the dangersof compromise and feel sad when they are forced by reality to give up their ideals.To Ge Rain, on one side there are his political ideals, his perception of an idealisticlife; on the other side, there are the practical needs of life. For instance, his live-in girlfriend gets pregnant; and so he needs to find a good job. Earlier, Ge Rixin was a leader ofthe Chinese student Baodiao movement. He was very touched by the political enthusiasmpeople had shown during this movement. Though the movement slowly fades away, hismemories of the excitement do not go away. His political enthusiasm and devotion stilldrive him to live an unusual life. He goes to universities to give lectures about the MayFourth Movement hoping that he can keep alive the Chinese peoples' concern for China.He cannot forsake his dreams and accept a normal life in the USA, but neither can he goback to Taiwan due to his political activities during the movement. Gradually hisclassmates all find good jobs or become professors, but he, a Ph. D degree holder, in orderto show his rejection of individualist American life, becomes a pedlar, selling dumplings inthe streets. When his girl friend tells him that she is going to have an abortion, implying28 Zhang Xiguo, The Biography of Pastor Pi (Hongfan, 1975), p. 209.54Thu Lithat their financial condition is not good enough to have a child, Ge Rixin finally realizesthat he has to compromise.In the court house where his girl friend Wang Ya-nan is fighting with her husbandfor divorce and alimony, Ge Rixin goes through a spiritual crisis in deciding tocompromise with reality. Yet, he recalls the splendour of the movement even as hereluctantly yields to the needs of life.He had been thinking the matter through in the car and now he made animportant decision: they must keep this baby. He hadn't told Wang Ya-nan yet.But he had already thought it over. In order to raise this baby, he had to find aproper job. A proper job? He could not help mocking himself. What would be aproper job? To produce dog food for foreigners? To research new chemicalweapons? Proper jobs were actually improper jobs. Selling dumplings was aproper job! But for the sake of the baby, he had to compromise with reality. Donot compromise too much! He kept warning himself. But it was necessary to finda proper job.(159)29At the same time he cannot help looking back to the past when the studentmovement was still going on. He finds support for his ideals in his memories.The strength of the masses is amazing, Ge Rixin thought. Standing in themiddle of the parade troop, you wouldn't feel at all empty and lonely. .. .Personal private desires, the wishes of the petty self all melted to nothing at themoment. You could only feel the existence of a greater self.(161)When he comes back to reality, he finds the selfish fighting among people distasteful andfeels reluctant to surrender to a reality like this.The court is an arena of individualism. Everyone is trying his best to hurtothers for his own interests. They fight against each other until they are all coveredby wounds. The judge listens with indifference, and allows those selfish people tohurt each other. The secretary records their naked self exposition, yawning. Whyis the small self so important? Why can selfish desires cover everything else?(163)Ge Rixin is caught between his longing for an idealistic life and his compromise with dailylife. He remembers that during the movement one's "personal future seemed unimportant."In order to protect part of his homeland, he is willing to sacrifice everything in his life. Hisspiritual source is in the memories of that movement:29 Zhang Xiguo, Yesterday's Anger. Page nun ners in text.55Thu LiThe Baodiao movement really touched the souls of overseas Chinese. Ge Rain hadunderstood the nature of the mass movement. .. . This was the greater self. Thiswas the source of national spirit. The decent side of the human being's charactercould only be clearly revealed when people melted into the greater self. Such anamazing change! He had realized the precious side of human nature. Humanbeings had a higher goal in their life. To obtain "food and sex" is not the onlypurpose of life.(164)Returning, however, to daily life, he continues:Wang Ya-nan had said several times. "Things have gone too far; we haveto be a little bit selfish now." Maybe she was right. He had to face reality and payattention to material needs in life. What could he do? Many Wang Ya-nan? Find aproper job? Raise the child? Become an obedient, selfish person?Ge Rixin heaved a long sigh. No, life should not only be about this. Theremust be something else. There must be something else. (164)Ge Rixin believes there is something else beyond the practical necessity of lifealone. This idealistic belief gives him strength to refuse to accept the utilitarian view oflife. But he has to compromise in the face of certain practical needs.Ge Rain knows how powerful the attraction of selfish individualism wouldbe. Everyone was struggling to improve their own position. Theoretically he coulddenounce this kind of individualism. Human beings should not just live forthemselves. Such a society was not a healthy one. But he could not escape theemotional pressures of his situation. Especially after he started living with WangYa-nan, such emotional pressures became greater than before. The presence ofWang Ya-nan kept reminding him that he already had the burden of his family.With his mean and unstable income he had difficulty even paying the rent. Andnow Wang Ya-nan was pregnant. What should he do? In the car, he had alreadydecided to look for a job. But could he surrender like this? Could he compromisewith capitalist society like this?(163-164)He finds no way out of his spiritual chaos; he can only end up returning to hisdreams: "If there is another mass movement. . . ."The writer mentions later on that Ge Rixin becomes an obedient person who has aregular job and is contented with his life. Ultimately he has had to compromise withreality.Shi Ping in the same novel is Ge Rixin's best friend. He also participated in theBaodiao movement. Like Ge Rain, he does not want to go back to Taiwan because of hispolitical views, neither does he want to give up Chinese culture even though he is living ina foreign country. He must contemplate making a conscious compromise with reality inthis complicated world.5 6Thu LiWhen Shi Ping visits Taiwan after an absence of ten years, he has to make adecision about his future because of the pressures of his immediate situation. Since hisfather's health is not very good; he has to consider staying in Taiwan to take care of hisfamily. He has met an old friend, a girl named Qiu Huimei, whom he is very fond of.Having been a bachelor for so many years, he is now wondering whether or not he shouldsettle down. He feels that Qiu Huimei is a very considerate person. Qiu Huimei alsoencourages him to come back and work in Taiwan because she thinks Shi Ping has a betterchance than others. Though Sin Ping, on the one hand, does not want to give up hispolitical standards and ideals; on the other hand, he cannot forsake his responsibilitytowards his family and affection for the girl. He faces the dilemma of deciding whether heshould compromise with the demands of life. In the following passage Sin Ping isdebating with himself about the meaning of compromise. The narration of the storyinterweaves with Shi Ping's monologue."At least you have a better chance than others." Maybe Qiu Huimei wasright. You still have a chance. No matter what, you could always find somethingto do if you came back. People have to compromise. Haven't those who wereeven more leftist come back already? Haven't they climbed up one by one? Maybeit has to do with age. Before, you could be an angry youth; now you have to thinkabout your career. As long as you achieve something, what's it matter if youcompromise? Haven't others already compromised? ...Actually, to go back cannot be called a compromise. It is just to work underdifferent circumstances. But can you really feel no qualms upon self- examination?Compromise. ......Compromise. If you want to live, to be famous, you have tocompromise. Lu Xun was wrong. It is not "eating people" that was hidden in thewords and between the lines, it is "compromise." The doctrine of the mean. Gentleand soft, honest and sincere. Heaven knows how many words in Chinese praisingcompromise.... Compromise. There is only compromise. If you want to live, you have tocompromise. ...... Anyway, life is like this. Even love needs compromise. Compromise, thereis only compromise.. (272-278)Sin Ping is engaged in thinking of compromise. He even compares "compromise"with Lu Xun's famous phrase "eating people." We can therefore see clearly that he doesnot favour compromise. For a while, he is hoping to avoid making any decision bybecoming a standing observer: "I belong to a disappearing group of people. . . . Maybe I5 7Zhu Lican just become an observer and in that way make up for what we have done and atone forour faults."(288)30Shi Ping can not make up his mind, so he remains indecisive about his choices ofcareer and marriage. In the end he reluctantly packs and prepares to leave Taiwan. Even atthe airport, he is still in a state of hesitation. Just one hour before his departure, his highschool classmate Cheng Zexiong comes to him to say good-bye. He tells Shi Ping that GeRixin died in a traffic accident one month ago. This news shocks Shi Ping to the core; hecannot help bursting into tears: "Ge is dead!" Shi Ping murmurs. "He is gone just likethat? It's unfair; he did not deserve that! I did not even know. Unfair. Really unfair." ShiPing is in deep emotional turmoil when he notices Qiu Huimei. He embraces her in hisarms and promises her: "Huimei, you must wait for me. I will be back. I will definitelycome back."(294)Ge's death finally helps Shi Ping resolve his spiritual dilemma. Probably Shirealizes that life is too short to spend on political resistance. Ge Rain died in a foreigncountry where he did not belong. The price he paid for his political zeal was too high.Probably Shi Ping also realizes that he cannot afford to lose Qiu Huimei. Life can end soeasily; he should treasure her love and understanding. In any case, when Shi Ping asksQiu Huimei to wait for him to come back, he has made the decision to take Qiu Huimei ashis life partner and to return to Taiwan to carry out his compromise with reality. Finallyafter so many spiritual debates, Ge's unfair death has freed Shi Ping from his doubts.Probably Sin Ping realizes that compared to death, compromise is not that important.People should live a happy life and enjoy relationships with those they love even despitethe need for occasional compromise. Life is too short to waste. In order to live a worthylife, one can compromise to a certain extent. In the end, Sin Ping promises to come back,which means he has decided to compromise with reality and achieved maturity.30 Zhang Xiguo, Yesterday's Anger. Page number in text.58Thu LiNot every person in Zhang Xiguo's works yields to reality at the last. There arethose characters who cope with life while simultaneously trying to fulfil their desires. Butthey act in different ways from those above. Thus, some of them execute their ideas bymanipulating other people. Some of them realize that fulfilment consists in actingpersistently no matter to what extreme they go. For these people, the meaning of life lies intheir choice of action and their efforts to pursue that choice, not only in their achievements.Representative figures who manipulate others for their own purposes are ProfessorLiu in Chess King and Hong Xianzu in Yesterday's Anger. First, they contemplate theirstrategies and only make decisions after careful consideration. After calculating all theprobable facts which may lead to success, finally they choose a suitable way to reach theirgoals. They never give up their plans, and they do their utmost to fulfil their desiresthrough deliberate moves.Professor Liu, whom we have already encountered attempting to balance hislonging for spiritual freedom with financial needs, is not one to make compromise. Hedoes not deny that in life there are many obstacles, yet neither does he declare that the wayto overcome them is through compromise. Instead, he believes that people can achievetheir goals by manipulating others to work for them. He looks at life as a chess game inwhich people have to make moves. He is confident in his beliefs. He even develops atheory to support them. He declares that the route to success is always an indirect one.People have to play well and learn how to use others to help themselves. During aconversation with Cheng Ling, he explains his theory.When you want to employ someone, you've got to understand a few things:What are his weakness? What are his strengths? Would he be of use to me? Whatuse? How can I make him content? How can I make him work docilely for me?You probably don't have any experience of this type, Mr Cheng. If you've everbeen in charge of people, you know that the most difficult thing to learn is how tomake others work for you. The sages said that some people work with their59Thu Libodies, and others with their minds. The first type only knows how to do stupidwork. That's the greatest knowledge. 31Then he draws from the ancient Chinese text, Sima Guang's Comprehensive Mirrorfor Aid in Government as the source of his theory and refers to Liddell Hart's strategy asits modern re-confirmation. Basically Professor Liu's theory is rooted in the classicChinese doctrine.If someone wants to be successful, he has to learn how to control people.The ancients all had to study the Comprehensive Mirror for Aid in Government.Do you know what it's all about? ... All that that book records is how peoplerelate to each other. All men's fundamental aspirations are basically the same. Ifyou can figure out what someone's after, you can figure out how to manipulatehim, and you'll be a success. . . ." Professor Liu laughs. "Have you readLiddell Hart's Strategy? His one fundamental principle is that all successfulstrategies must follow an indirect route. Sima Guang understood this principle athousand years ago.(133-134)32We can recall Zhang Xiguo's earlier statement that compromise is the way peoplemaintain harmony in their relationships with others. Professor Liu's principle is not tocompromise with but to manipulate people. It does not sound decent, but we have toconsider his way as coping with reality rather than compromising. Professor Liusummarizes the purpose of his theory: "That's what I say, if you want something done,don't kill yourself doing it. It's better to get someone else to do it for you. That way, yousave energy, and you don't suffer. Mental labourers spend all their time thinking ofindirect routes. It's the same whether you're playing chess, or managing a business. Ifyou know how to take the indirect route, you'll get unlimited benefits."When Cheng Ling says: "You might be successful in your factory with that method,Professor Liu, but you can't use it in your studies." Professor Liu gives his revealing viewof the academic world.It's the same thing. Take a look at those big-name professors: oneconference or lecture every alternate day, in addition to a sideline in business.Where do they get the time to do any scholarly research? Actually, they don't doany. They find some students to do the leg work for them. If anything comes out31 Zhang Xiguo, Chess King, p. 133.32 Zhang Xiguo, Chess King. Page numbers in text.60Zhu Liof it, they put their own name at the top of the paper. It's the same everywhere: Ifyou don't have to do it yourself, don't. That's the indirect route.(134)Professor Liu thinks one's success is usually related to how well one canmanipulate others to work for him. He concludes that this strategy works in playing chess,doing business and even in academic research.Hong Xianzu in Yesterday's Anger is a similar kind of character. He is clever andshrewd. "There is no such word as 'failure' in his dictionary."(148)33 He does notcompromise with people or objective circumstances; he manages to achieve his goals purelyby manipulating people. "After he had struggled in the United States for so many years,finally he learned how to manipulate people." (149) He is extremely selfish and sly. "Heonly did things after careful calculation. He would never do anything that did not bringhim certain rewards. The United States was a country where everything had a price. Hehad learned to use his time properly in order to get the greatest profits." From the point ofview of his wife, Wang Ya-nan, we see that Hong Xianzu spends his whole life makingcareful plans:Everything he did had been carefully calculated. He used every singlesecond of his time in a clear-minded way. He did everything according to hisplans. Not only when he was working but even when he was socializing he kepthis purpose in mind: to win his colleagues' approval; to draw his bosses over to hisside; to get to know people who would be useful for his career.(155)Wang Ya-nan recalls there was one time when he invited many different people over fordinner every week. She was so busy and confused; she did not know what he was tryingto do. Only until one day he came back and happily told her that he had been elected as thepresident of an Air Association did she realize that all the dinners were parts of his scheme.Every guest was his deliberately arranged pawn.The better she got to know him, the more she realized that he did everythingaccording to his own purposes.Hong never invited any people for dinner withoutreason. Any friend who had no use: :lness to him would be kicked away withoutmercy. He would never waste his time on useless friendships.(155)33 Zhang Xiguo, Yesterday's Anger, Page numbers in text.61Mu LiCertainly Hong Xianzu is not a person that could merely compromise with thepressures of reality. Instead, he would use all his energy to manipulate people in order toreach his goals.To manipulate people is not the only way to avoid compromise. There is a moredecent way to pursue the ideals of life and struggle with demanding realities. In ZhangXiguo's writing, there are people who are committed to action and refuse to be pushedaround by force. The spirit of their actions can be traced to Jean Paul Sartre's philosophy.This theme is best illustrated in Zhang Xiguo's novel Chess King.Chess King is one of the best of Zhang Xiguo's stories. In this novel, the themesand the characters actions are closely connected. The novel includes nearly all the thematicissues which commonly appear in Zhang Xiguo's writings. The issues of money,darkness, compromise and action are all depicted in this novel through the characters'performances. Professor Michael Duke has made a summary of the thematic patterns ofChess King:The first of these (thematic patterns) is an assertion of the primacy of andabsolute necessity for spiritual sustenance in a truly human life. The second is apowerful affirmation of individual human dignity, subjective autonomy, and moralchoice. While not ignoring those demands that society may reasonably make on theindividual, (the two Chess Master's ) extol the moral autonomy of individual choicein opposition to any form of historical determinism.The antagonist opposing the first theme is the overall social milieu rather than any specificevil individual. The overall social milieu in Zhang Xiguo's Chess King is the rampantmaterialism of a commercial mass society that threatens to reduce every artistic endeavourto the lowest common denominator of another sort of mindless Philistinism. ... Theantagonist opposing the second theme is a reigning ideology, another set of ideas, ratherthan a particular individual or group. The reigning ideology is "a combination of historicaland scientific pessimism which add up to a concept of historical determinism in which the6 2Zhu Liindividual human being's actions are believed to count for nothing in the face of the abstractlaw of history and physics." (48-49)34The view of historical determinism in Chess King is held by the history professorFeng Wei-min and Cheng Ling's brother, Cheng Li. Cheng Ling does not believe inhistorical determinism but he cannot find a way to rebut it. There are several conversationswhich show their different understanding of the value of peoples' actions in life.Cheng Ling says: "Yesterday I argued about it with Feng Wei-min. I don'tbelieve in historical determinism. Those historians. They say everything has to dowith the progress of history. I don't buy that line. I'm not a pawn. I do what Iwant. No one can predict what I'm going to do."(His brother answers: )"You misunderstood him. Historical determinismdoesn't preclude individual choice. The point is that your choice doesn't matter. . .. Historical determinism is like thermodynamics: the free movement of all bodiesmutually cancel each other out. All that's left is a conglomerate which indicatesdirection. No matter how you run around, the net result is still the same."(Cheng Ling can only answer:)"I'm not going to discuss philosophy withyou." (47-48)35Later on Cheng Li engages in another conversation on this topic:"I once read really strange mathematical biology thesis. All it did wasanalyze the formation of sunflower petals. . . . You can mathematically explain theformation of a sunflower. Even the angular measure between the petals is in a fixedproportion explanable by the golden section. Imagine, a flower is governed by allthose internal laws. Do you think history doesn't have internal laws?"Once again, Cheng Ling can only reply: "I don't want to debate with you."(77)In the novel, compromising with the power of money has driven a group of artiststo abandon their artistic pursuits and chase after the profits art can bring. We have alreadydiscussed in the previous chapter the way money occupies their minds. By contrast, herewe emphasize peoples' attempts to avoid compromise with certain ideologies. Cheng Lingdoes not agree with historical determinism and neither does he want to abandon his artisticcareer. But he keeps compromising due both to his frustration at his lack of achievement inartistic pursuits and financial pressures. Not until the shen tong-t.-7-1,z-a "Wonder Kid" or34 Duke, "Two Chess Masters: One Chinese Way."35 Zhang Xiguo, Chess King.63Thu Li"Spirit Child"36 chooses an unpredictable move in the final scene does Cheng Ling realizethat the meaning of life lies in action not only in achievement.The story starts with Cheng Ling, formerly a professional painter but now abusinessman, who has his own advertising agency. Cheng Ling acts as the main thread inthe novel: most characters in the story are his friends or relatives. But at centre stage whereevery other event finally converges, is a prodigy. The prodigy is a ten year old boy who isintroduced in a TV program 'Wonder Kids" playing Gobang (or Five Piece Go). He hasnever lost in this game. Cheng Li, Cheng Ling's brother, is amazed by the boy'sunbeatable performance. He watches as the boy easily defeats Professor Liu, a formerChess King, in Gobang. He plays several games with the boy but cannot win even once.He becomes suspicious. In order to prove his suspicions, he asks the boy to guess a stringof random numbers given by a computer. The boy guesses them all right. The Chengbrothers finally realize that the boy is really clairvoyant.To discourage Professor Liu's habit of boasting, Cheng Ling challenges him toplay chess with the boy. At that time the boy does not know anything about chess. ButCheng Ling thinks that all they need to do is to have the boy predict what moves ProfessorLiu will make, and then he and his brother will figure out the counter-attack movesaccording to classic chess manuals, which will beat the professor and lead the boy to fmalvictory. So the boy just needs to play according to the script during the TV show, andthere will be no danger of losing. When his brother points out that it is illogical that theboy can conceivably make several different predictions about the future depending on theirmoves, Cheng Ling thinks it over and then gives his explanation:"It's perfectly logical. You're just forgetting that man is a key factor in hisdecision. The boy can't simply predict the future based on nothing. First he has toweigh all the elements of fluid situation, then he can decide what the result will be.It's just like what you said yesterday about the light. If his own action is one of theelements, he naturally has to first decide what his own actions will be. Then andonly then can he predict a result. If his actions change, then so will the result."36 M. Duke's translation of "shen tong" is "Spirit Child" and D. Zimmerman's is "Wonder Kid."64Thu LiHis brother is stunned: "Do you know what you are saying? If what youare saying is correct, then history is not pre-determined. Our actions can influencehistory."Cheng Ling answers: "Of course. I never believed in historicaldeterminism. The kid's gift is that he can predict the outcome of given actions. Butthat's not to say that his actions are not a factor."(79)The precursor of the theme that action is as a crucial factor emerges here.The story develops: Cheng Ling cannot help asking the boy to predict one of stock-market figures for him. He believes the boy's prediction and buys in some stocks. Afterhe has bought them, their value goes up unexpectedly. Cheng Ling cannot resist telling hiscolleagues about the boy. Gradually, all of his friends find out about the boy's amazingability. They get together in Cheng Ling's home to discuss how to make money using theboy. But the boy disappears two days before the TV show. It turns out that the historyprofessor Feng Wei-min has kidnapped him. He wants to ask the boy some questionsabout the future of humanity to satisfy his passion for history and his personal curiosity.When Cheng Ling finds the boy and is about to take him away, Feng still persists in askingthe boy to predict the future of mankind. The boy suddenly cries out; a look of terrorspreads over his countenance. His triangular face becomes all contorted. His lips turnpurple. His whole body looks as if it is receiving an electric shock. He jumps into the air,then falls heavily to the floor. When the boy finally wakes up, Cheng Ling meets the boy'sgaze. He knows something is wrong. The gaze is an ordinary twelve-year-old boy's gaze;that clairvoyant depth is gone. Cheng Ling understands instantly: the wonder kid is nomore.All Cheng Ling's friends are depressed about the boy's losing his mysteriouspower, and worse than that, the TV show cannot be cancelled at this stage. Nevertheless,since the boy has already predicted the moves the professor should make and they havefigured out the right scheme to beat the professor, they believe that if Professor Liu playsaccording to plan, he will lose; if the boy plays according to his own predictions and thescheme, the boy will win. They finally decide to let the boy still play with the professor onTV.6 5Zhu LiThe final scene approaches. During the championship, the boy plays according tothe scheme in the first game , he wins easily (it only takes him twelve minutes). In thesecond game, however, he "deliberately lead off with a different gambit than the one hewas told to use and continued to move as he wished on the basis of his own individualvolition. Professor Liu moved as predicted for a while, but eventually had to abandon hisgame plan in the face of the child's unusual moves. In the end, relying on his superiorexperience Professor Liu wins the second game."37Cheng's brothers and the TV director Zhang are shocked by the boy's change.Cheng Ling claims that the plan was useless now: the boy has already gone against his ownpredictions, who knows if they had any validity to them any more? ThenThe boy slowly lifted up his head, and spoke, softly: "I can play myself."Startled, Cheng Ling looked at him. For a split second, he thought that hesaw that unfathomable look flash in the boy's eyes. Cheng Ling looked again; thegaze had focused, become dull and uninspired.(171)Does the boy still have his mysterious power? The writer does not tell us. In thethird game, the final one of the championship, the boy once again moves as he wishes.Obviously, the boy had decided to play by himself, and had completelyabandoned their battle plan. Cheng Ling couldn't help admiring the boy's courage.He understood that the boy was taking on quite a challenge. He didn't want to relyon his clairvoyant power he wanted to play chess by himself! A new respect for theboy welled up in Cheng Ling.38Now we will make use of Professor Duke's summary to conclude story: "The boy andProfessor Liu played by their wits in response to completely unpredictable moves, thegame went down to the wire, and, with great emotional satisfaction to the reader, the SpiritChild triumphed."(55)39Even though the boy has a one hundred percent chance to win the game as long ashe keeps playing according to the battle plan, he chooses not to do so. He forsakes acertain final victory in favour of the process of struggle. He dares to face very likely defeat37 Duke M.S., "Two Chess Masters: One Chinese Way," p. 55.38 Zhang Xiguo, Chess King, p. 172.39 Duke, M. S., "Two Chess Masters: One Chinese Way." Page numbers in text.66Thu Liwhen he could easily win. He chooses to play by his natural gifts, his wits, not by hispredictions. His choice proves to us that the meaning of life is not only in the final victorybut also, actually more importantly, in the process used to achieve it. The way peoplestruggle can reveal their courage and dignity. True freedom in peoples' lives come whenthey dare to make their own choice of their action without worrying about fame or reward.Since they put their best efforts into struggling towards their goals; they are honored bytheir choices and actions not just by their final achievements.On the one hand, the boy has shown his courage and dignity in choosing risk andchallenge over safety and victory; on the other hand, he gives Professor Liu an equalchance to compete. If the boy had won by playing according to the script, he would nothave the chance to use his own wisdom, and Professor Liu would have been cheated anddefeated not by the boy but by a carefully calculated plan. By using his wits, the boyachieves a true victory which is based on his own efforts.Professor Duke summarizes the final climax: "The significant point is not that theSpirit Child won and was declared a 'chess master,' but that his consciously autonomousindividual actions changed the course of history, a future history believed to be alreadydetermined."(55) The boy's action gives Cheng Ling strong evidence to totally rebut "bothCheng Li's argument that the philosophical interpretation of the physical concept of entropyis that individual human behaviour is without genuine consequence or meaning and FengWei-min's historicist assertion that human life is determined by the laws of history."(55)We see this in the fact that the boy's final action breaks his own prediction about thefuture. He predicted three games, but played only one. He himself changes his prediction-- his fixed future. Ironically, in the middle of the story, Cheng Ling and his friends hadlost faith in the boy's prediction for the stocks. They sold their stocks and sacrificed themoney they have could earned. As soon as they did this, the stocks went back up just asthe boy had predicted. At the end, the boy himself changes his own prediction. By hisalternation, the boy denies the absolute accuracy of his prediction of the future. This is a6 7Zhu Liproof of anti-determinism. According to determinism, every event has a cause; naturefollows set laws. There is no conception of human free will. Depending on his choices ofaction, the boy can predict others' reflections and the future consequences of events.Furthermore, even when he has already predicted every one of his own and others' futuresteps, he can still change his action in mid-process and obtain different results according tohis new choices. He makes changes by his own free will at particular moments, so hischanges are unpredictable and outside the fixed certainty of the future plan. Byemphasizing peoples' courageous actions, the story confirms the meaning of human freewill and free choice.The boy's actions during the TV show have a profound impact on Cheng Ling.The day after the TV show, Cheng Ling comes over to visit the boy. He asks the boywhether the boy is still clairvoyant.The boy looked at him. Cheng Ling suddenly saw a laugh in that gaze. . .There was a warmth and tenderness in his gaze. "I don't need to be clairvoyant,"the boy said. "I can play myself."Cheng Ling relaxed. He thought of his painting. He could still paint. Hehadn't given up. He said to himself: You don't have to worry about the boy.Everything's okay. As long as you do your best, you don't have to worry aboutanyone, Everything's okay. ( 18 1)40He realizes that as long as he tries his best, everything is okay. The meaning of lifeis in his actions, in his efforts. The boy does not want to use or rely on his supernaturalpower to achieve his victory, but to play by his intelligence. "I can play myself." The boywants to act, to use his wits, not his clairvoyant power. He does not care about the finalvictory. If he cares too much about the fame and the rewards of his playing, he might nothave the courage to give up certain victory and take the risk of free action. Cheng Lingthinks of his painting. He had been worrying too much about his final achievement; he hadfelt ashamed that he could only be a second-rate painter no matter how hard he tried; he hadcompromised with the material needs of life because he lost faith about the value of his40 Zhang Xiguo, Chess King.68Thu Liartistic pursuit. Now he realizes that he has been worrying too much, all he can and hemust do is just to try his best. Not by compromise but by his actions he can discover themeaning of life.Professor Liu in "Chess Master" and Dr. Hong Xianzu in Yesterday's Angerachieve their goals by manipulating people. The boy in "Chess King" represents anotherway to cope with reality: to choose free action and to struggle without being concernedabout final results. By making his choice, by his actions, he has already conquered reality.He has freed himself from bondage to people and to society. He chooses to carry out hisown will and refuses to accept any fixed play even when it is predicted by himself andplanned by others to reach an absolute victory. If we say Professor Liu's strategy is drawnmainly from traditional Chinese culture, the boy's action is a reflection of Jean PaulSartre's philosophy. We have mentioned that Zhang Xiguo was very fond of the thoughtof Jean Paul Sartre. When he was attending university in Taiwan, he published histranslation of some of Sartre's works. Zhang Xiguo is a writer whose works carry hisphilosophical messages. The traces of Jean Paul Sartre's philosophy can be seen clearly inhis "Chess King."People who do not wish to compromise but do not have the power to act eitherfinally become bystanders. They bear the sense of guilt in their minds because of theirimpotence. Their friends might consider them to be traitors; they think of themselves asunfaithful too. They are powerless to fulfil their beliefs about life, and unable to remainfaithful to their ideals. They can only sit there and watch. Zhang Xiguo's short story "TheBystander" (Shou wang zhe) talks about this kind of person."The Bystander" is divided into two kinds of narration. One part is a realisticdescription of certain events; the other is the protagonist's inner dialogue with himself.This dialogue reveals the inner struggles that the protagonist is going through. All of thedialogue is placed in brackets. Right from the beginning of the story, the dialogue starts.6 9Zhu Li(You should try to protect them. You should not keep silent.) ...(You should not be silent. You cannot forsake them.)( But what can I do? Why don't you go to blame others? I am not a priest;I am not a prophet. Why should I be the one to protect my brothers?)(You have forsaken your brothers. You are cursed. Look at your hands.What's in your hands? Are they rocks? How can you say you are not guilty?)(No, I am not. I want to wash my hands clean.)(Your hands are still dirty. You cannot keep silent.)Another night without sleep.(96)41He feels he is guilty because he is unable to help his brothers. The voice remaidshim of his responsibilities. He wants to avoiding taking the burden of helping his brothermaybe because he thinks all actions are useless and there is nothing he can really do.(Your brothers, can you call them your brothers?)(I don't know. I have already fulfilled my duty.)(What is your duty?)(I don't know. I hope I can find out.). . . There was a pile of old letters lying in the drawer. "Good brother, weall depend on you." It's useless. Totally useless. He cannot do anything. . . .Very cold. He turned the light off, and sat in the darkness. It's useless. Totallyuseless. He cannot do anything.(102)He feels so powerless and frustrated. He cannot do anything helpful. All he cando is just sit there. He knows that no matter where he goes, he cannot escape hisresponsibilities. Since he has no strength to carry his share, he fails to achieve anything.(I am forever limited in my subjective existence. I cannot escape. It'suseless to struggle.)(But you still have responsibilities. As long as you are alive, you mustcarry on your responsibilities.)(Your sin cannot be atoned. You cannot forsake them again.)(I tell you, there is nothing I can do.)(You are a traitor. What are you afraid to lose? Your position? Yourreputation?)(I have nothing to lose. Let me keep watching here. The place where mybrothers are is day time.) (106-107)The writer does not give a clear explanation of what the protagonist should fulfil, hejust tells us how frustrated and distraught the protagonist feel. At the end of the story, theprotagonist still cannot find a way out. He can only stay awake and watch in the darknessnight by night.41 Zhang Xiguo, "The Bystander," Zhang's Self-Selected Works, Page numbers in text.70Zhu LiAnother sleepless night. ... Another sleepless night. When the sky wasturning grey, he was still sitting there, watching. Watching over the brothers hehad forsaken. Two lines of tears dropped down his face. ...Another sleeplessnight.(107)The protagonist in "The Bystander" is a bystander in life. He knows his limitationsand that his efforts are powerless. He does not declare a compromise with reality, and hedoes not act to fulfil his goals. He just watches and confesses his guilt at being abystander.In the face of invisible powers, the people in Zhang Xiguo's works seek differentways to deal with reality. None of these people are totally evil, but they all have theirweaknesses. Some of them compromise with or act against what they do not accept.Some of them have no strength to take any actions whatsoever, and do not want tocompromise either, so they become bystanders.The themes of Zhang Xiguo's writing focus on peoples' spiritual search for themeaning of their lives. As we have already mentioned in the first chapter, Zhang Xiguo isvery concerned about human life, about peoples' spiritual commitments in a changingworld. The choices and actions of his characters can be taken as possible answers towandering people in their spiritual search. We should keep Zhang Xiguo's confession inour mind: "I write for people." His writing fulfils his original purpose of writing.71Zhu LiChapter FourThe Conquerors Are ConqueredZhang Xiguo does not write many articles to discuss his understanding of male and femalerelationships, but there are certain patterns in the relationships between men and women in hiswriting. In his stories, most of the time men and women do not live in harmony. The basicpattern is that men desire to conquer women by financial power and sexual seduction. But duringthe process of conquering, men are actually conquered by women through sex and lose control oftheir money as well.The first of Zhang Xiguo's stories that should be mentioned in this context is his shortstory "Zheng fu zhe" (The Conquerors). The name of the story mentions some conquerors, butthese obvious conquerors are conquered in the story by those whom they originally defeat.Xinchi, the protagonist in the story, is obsessed with the desire to conquer his present lover Lily.Right from the beginning of the story, sex is an important element of their relationship. The firstparagraph of the story portrays their sexual behaviour."Let me be on top, okay?"He lay back flat, both hands caressing her tender breasts. She sighed and closedher eyes.He felt as if his flesh were burning. .. . he stroked her delicate skin. .. . Hehugged her tightly, enjoying his fill of her perfect, sumptuous flesh. (125) 42Yet sex is not the merely enjoyable feature of their relationship that it appears in the firstparagraph. Consciously, they each use sex as a weapon to conquer the other. The one who losesin sex is the one who will ultimately be conquered.When he was about to ejaculate, she would squeeze it tightly at the base, brieflycausing him to groan with pain; then she would interrogate him: "Feel good? Do you loveme?" He would respond vaguely. Quite unwilling to give up, she would ask him again.He would say in a loud voice that he loved her. . . . She enjoyed, at the most intensemoments of their lovemaking, pressing him to tell her whether or not he loved her. Hisdeclarations and her interrogations were equally futile, yet they never tired of the game just42Zhang Xiguo, "The Conquerors," Worlds of Modern Chinese Fiction (New York, M.E.Sharpe Inc.,1991). Page numbers in text.72Zhu Lithe same. Her skill could undoubtedly conquer all men. Her fair, naked image wouldoften appear afterwards in his memory, calling to him with open arms.(126-127)He is attracted to her flesh. Even though he can still make objective judgements analyzingher behaviour and criticizing her manipulation, his male ego starts yielding to her feminine power.He ties to regain control by pretending that he will abandon her in the end to teach her a lesson.But he cannot help being more and more drawn towards her. Her apparent giving in sex is actuallytaking. She gradually takes control of their sexual relationship:"It's all yours. We'll do it whatever way you like, okay?"She would then close her eyes and lie languidly in his embrace as if she wereindeed prepared to surrender him everything. When he became aroused, she would hug thepillow and laugh maliciously at his excited member. This was always when he felt themost uncomfortable; it was only at such time that he might wonder who was actuallyplaying with whom. If she were ever to stop loving him, would she drop him without thesligntest hesitation just like she would treat some other boyfriend? Perhaps he ought to bethe first one to make move and let her have a taste of rejection for once.Anais Nin, he thought, even when she was making love she didn't forget to showoff. He began to get hard again and pushed her down on the bed; she didn't offer anyfurther resistance.(127)He wants to conquer her physically but he cannot resist her aggressive charms. Gradually,it is as if he becomes addicted to her. He unconsciously surrenders himself to the subject he wantsto control.Gazing at her milky white flesh, he became excited again. He never ceased longingto possess her, and his desire was becoming more and more feverish. She was Salome;she was the Whore of Babylon; she was Ianthe; she was Pan Jinlian; she was lust incarnate;he had to have her. If one could destroy oneself in the flames of desire, then let thoseflames burn him up! Let the ashes from his bones be sprinlded all over her naked flesh,forever to lightly kiss her soft breasts, her supple skin, and the soft down between herbuttocks ... he would never regret it.(128)He is held captive both by her physical attractions and by his own desires. He is beginningto descend from his position of conqueror. It is not that he has no experience like other naivepeople. He has a proud past; he has conquered many girls, making them feel that they could notlive without him. "Spectacles (Xin) pulled open the bottom drawer of the desk and took outseveral batches of old letters. Some of the letter paper had already yellowed. Already he wasunable to remember clearly how many among them he had conquered."(130) Anna Chu is one ofthose he has conquered who is finally abandoned by him. After he announces his final farewell to7 3Thu LiAnna Chu, Anna says softly, "She could destroy you, Xin; I feel sorry for you."(127) The echoof her prediction comes back several times when Xin is more and more attached to Lily.Despite his past successes, Xin finally meets his match, and Lily is the one who canconquer his body and soul. He is transformed from conqueror to conquered.At first, Lily appears sexy and weak. She surrenders her sexual body and reveals herspiritual weakness to the one who is seeks to conquer her. She tells Xin about her strong-willedmother and aunt and about her ambitious uncle. Her mother and aunt are very close, and Lily feelsthat neither likes her. Crying, she talks about how she failed to please. Her tears opens the doorof her conqueror's heart. In fact, her weakness softens her conqueror. Lily's revelation of herweakness is really part of her power to conquer and destroy him. Lily has shown her weak spot,her pain, but it does not mean that she is conquered. On the contrary, her weakness becomes herstrength. By confessing her weakness, she paves a road right into the man's heart. When theybecome sufficiently close, Lily starts gaining control over Xin not only by her physical attractionbut also by attacking his confidence and faith. The man is sinking deeply to the bottom of a sexualtrap and becomes more and more vulnerable to Lily's assault.In the story, the woman combines the lure of sex and the image of love in a two-prongedattack.The man worships her body:. . . he now knew that what he worshipped with his whole heart and soul was infact Lily's soft, serpentine body, and above all her tender white bosom. His entire beingwas submerged within it, never wanting to come to the surface.The woman concentrates on gaining full control of the man:But each time he finished, he could not bear her persistent asking whether or not hereally loved her. She would wrap herself around him like a grapevine, not letting him getout of bed."That's enough now, I have to get up and do some writing."She continued to tease him. Sometimes he would become aroused again and thetension would be temporarily relieved. Sometimes he would suddenly feel animmeasurable exasperation; she would unfortunately sense this and choose the occasion toattack his weak point."You don't have to put on an act for me, you can't even write good poetryanyway."7 4Zhu LiHe simply could not understand why she was being so cruel. Five minutes beforehe had been inside her and she had been crying out his name in ecstasy. Now she wassitting at the head of the bed, teasing him like a hunting dog guarding its prey, allowinghim no chance of escape. At least he had never criticized her poor singing. Magnanimitywas not one of her virtues."All you know how to do is play around. There are lots of men around the WestGate area, why don't you just go and grab one?"She shrugged her small shoulders."Actually, I couldn't care less. I was doing you a favour. What's wrong withcoining up with another excuse for your inability to write poems?"He fled to the study. Half an hour later she came in, her face covered in tears, andkissed him."We mustn't fight any more, okay? You don't know how much I'm suffering. Ifyou don't care for me, who else will?"She opened her night clothes and pressed her milk-white breasts tightly againsthim. He was compelled to open his mouth and to bite down hard on the cherry-like nipplesswaying in front of him, knowing full well that it would do no good. In spite of this fact,as long as he could still do it he was secure.(130-131)Lily's surrenders here gives him the misguided impression that though he might havefallen from the throne of spiritual conqueror, he still retains his position as conqueror in sex. Aslong as he can still grasp this, he feels, she might be under his control. His sense of security doesnot last long however. He soon realizes that sex is no longer an effective weapon for counteringthe woman. Rather, she takes it over as the tool used to conquer him completely.He took her once while she was sound asleep. She woke up, and with her eyesstill closed and a smile on her face, she wrapped her legs tightly around him. In that instanthe knew he was finished, already beyond salvation.She could destroy you, Xin; I feel sorry for you."(134)Once again Anna Chu's weeping voice sounds in his mind just as he senses his attachmentto Lily. He is attracted to Lily more and more deeply. He is conquered by her flesh. He growsweak psychologically. He starts becoming jealous and angry when he senses that he cannot keepLily forever. (140)Before it was always Lily who kept asking whether he loved her or not. Now Xin bitterlyadmits to himself that he loves Lily. Ironically, this time it is not Lily who is worried aboutloyalty, it is Xin. He is losing his confidence about possessing Lily, and must even face thepossibility of being abandoned by her.After Lily comes back from Singapore, they have a talk in bed. Even though they stilldeclare their love for each other, there are distinct signs of separation in their conversation. Right7 5Thu Liafter repeating their I love you's, they both propose a split. The man's motive is to regain controlof the relationship, the woman, however, is sincere: she has already planned on leaving him.(141-42) When Xin mentions that they should split up, he is playing a trick to make Lily more attachedto him. But this time, Lily does not give in. Instead of begging him to stay, she reveals that she isthinking of marrying somebody else. Now it is Xin's turn to say "I love you" to Lily regardless ofthe fact that he is the one who first proposes the split. Lily's reaction is dramatic in someway. Shecries and stops her crying all in seconds, and she does not forget to attack his weak spot one more.Comparing himself to Lily's crazy uncle, Xin realizes that both of them are conquerorsonly in their dreams. Lily's crazy uncle dreams to conquer South Asia while Xin dreams toconquer women. They are fighting their enemies in their dreams. In reality, all their efforts andstruggles are only in vain.(142)Compared to the beginning when Lily opened her arms towards him, the conclusion showsa strong contrast. At the end, Lily leaves Xin. She gives him false promises of love, but evenwhat he knows to be lies can comfort the man who is losing her.He knew this was only a pretext: all her bags had long since been packed. Standingthere in front of him, she looked so delicate, so alluring. Perhaps she may have preparedher lines beforehand, but coining from her lips, they still moved him."I can never be apart from you. Even though we are separating, I'll always have apart of you within me, and you'll always keep a part of me."But there was already no traces of the enemy in Nanning.(142-143)Just as Xin had left Anna Chu and all the other girls he had conquered, Lily left him. Atthe beginning of the story, Lily surrenders herself to Xin. Xin is a successful conqueror. In theend, Xin has grown attached to Lily but Lily leaves him. The conqueror is conquered andabandoned.A similar pattern appears in "Bu xiu zhe" (The Immortals) . At first, Wang Xiaoling, athirty-four year old woman, is Lan Qi's mistress. She is in an inferior position in the relationshipwith Lan Qi. She has to be very considerate to avoid causing any trouble for him. In thebeginning of the story, she is waiting for Lan Qi who is late.7 6Thu LiThat man still didn't come. Wang Xiaoling anxiously looked out from a windowon the hotel's seventh floor. The street lights were lit one by one; the peak hours when thestreets were full of people going home from work had long since passed. What would bethe excuse he would use this time? She stroked her bare arms. The excessive airconditioning made her feel cold. Only a fool like her could wait for him in such a stubbornway.(128)43Wang Xiaoling feels insecure and reluctant to accept her inferior position in her relationship withLan Qi, but she is conquered by him. She is willing to sacrifice her pride to satisfy him.She loved to listen to his talk. A man's voice should be like his. He dideverything, including sex, in a slow and calm manner. . . . from the night in the motel forteachers, she had been giving of her own free will. She knew that he would not leave hiswife. But she had made up her mind to be with him, and she would not regret it. It wasuseless to have regrets. There were too many other things more deserving of regret. (129)Wang Xiaoling surrenders herself to a married man with no hope for the future. She devotesherself to Lan Qi.Lan Qi is the conqueror at the beginning. He uses his career success and his personalcharms to win Wang's admiration and love. After he has achieved his goal of conquering her, hebecomes bored. He considers leaving her. This reminds us of a similar intention of Xin in "TheConquerors." Xin considered leaving Lily after the first round of their relationship.Lan Qi tried hard not to show his bored expression and patiently listened to WangXiaoling's narration. Women were all like this; sooner or later they would tell you their lifestories and defend their behaviour. (141)Lan's view the relationship between men and women is like the hunter and the hunted. The aim ofhunting is to conquer and later on to abandon. All separations are parts of the game. In "TheConquerors," Xin also thinks of abandoning Lily in order to "teach her a lesson;" in other words,to become the victor.Lan Qi's experienced past echoes Xin's success in the past. Lan Qi is not serious aboutthis relationship either. After he has conquered Wang Xiaoling, he cares more about his reputationand independence than Wang Xiaoling's affection. But Wang Xiaoling's recollections of her bitterpast soften Lan's decision. He hesitates to deliver the final card and decides to hold on for a whileinstead of breaking up with her right now. Yet, he does not really love Wang Xiaoling and he is43 Zhang Xiguo, "Bu xiu zhe"(The Immortals), Bu xiu zhe (The Immortals, Hongfan, 1983). Pagenumbers in text.77Thu Listill afraid that Wang Xiaoling might give him trouble in the relationship.(144) On the other side,Wang Xiaoling, after she is conquered by Lan Qi's personality, also decides to conquer Lan.She made up her mind to capture Lan Qi. . . . She was not a woman who couldadmit defeat easily even though she knew that it was a war and she had no hope of victory.(145)She senses Lan Qi's intention to break up with her and feels desperate. Like any other conqueredwomen, she begs for the conqueror's love. Her love toward Lan Qi even surpasses the love shehas for her only child.(149) Wang Xiaoling also thinks of the struggle to maintain a relationshipwith Lan Qi as fighting a war. Relationships between man and woman are always like this.People have to try hard to keep their beloved ones. She tells herself: "It is an ancient war, there isnever a winner. People fight for love but die for hate. What is the unchangeable thing?"(151)Eventually she realizes that Lan Qi has never seriously considered their relationship; she becomesangry about this unequal love.(152)Near the end of the story, Wang Xiaoling and her sister decide to go to Los Angeles.Before Wang leaves, she considers whether she should go to talk to Lan Qi. Lan Qi is not doingwell in his political career. She does not love him as she did previously. Now she thinks insteadmore about the price Lan Qi should pay for this relationship.He should pay some price. Maybe the time had come to pay off his debts. But didshe really want him? Or was it something else that she could not clearly articulate? Maybeshe should go to meet him. But maybe her sister was right: she should let him worry for awhile. While she was standing in the middle of the room which was already cleared,caressing her bare arms, her sister came over and stopped beside her."Sis, stop thinking, he will surrender."Would he surrender? Did she want him to surrender? Wang Xiaoling feltconfused.(155)Wang Xiaoling's position in their relationship is improving. She starts to gain control ofher own feelings. Lan Qi, on the other hand, falls from the conqueror's position. Contrasting theconclusion with the beginning, we see a similar scene happening again. There is the same hotel,same room and same window. The description is exactly the same as the one at the beginning ofthe story. The only difference is that now Lan Qi waits impatiently in the hotel. His mood swings7 8Thu Lifrom anger and resentment at Wang's estrangement to a strong affection and longing for their pasthappiness, and then to a kind of love.She still did not come. Lan Qi anxiously looked out from a window on the hotel'sseventh floor. Street lights were lit one by one; the peak hours when the streets were fullof people going home from work had long since passed. It used to be her who alwayswaited for him before. (156)Then he gets really angry about Wang's not showing up. He starts blaming those"heartless women" who do not love him but his power. He thinks he has treated Wang wellenough, and she is so cruel that she abandons him when he is low. Combining his loss in politicaland love field, he feels he is totally defeated. In his moody self pity, he remembers how beautifulWang looks. "Why did he not think to treasure this feeling? He felt regretful." He regrets that hedid not care about the relationship enough. Although he has his glorious past, he starts havingdoubts about his own attraction. He senses the possibility that he might lose Wang. When herealizes that he too might get old, his final defence collapses. He thinks he has fallen in love withWang Xiaoling. He admits his surrender.He looked at himself in the mirror; he suddenly appeared much older than before.His hair was half white; it was not like this a few months ago. Xiaoling! He madlyshouted her name in his mind. No, he could not let her go away like this. He must dosomething. She still did not come. Maybe she would not come at all. He must think ofsome plan. He could not give up like this.So for the first time in his life, he felt he was in love.(157)After he realizes that it might be his own fault that Wang has left him, he does not blameher any more; on the contrary, he becomes aware that he has fallen in love with her. His regretsand his confession of love indicate that he has surrendered himself to his partner. In other words,he has fallen from the position of a conqueror, and he is conquered by his former victim.Sha zhu chuan qi (The Stories of Chauvinist Husbands) is a collection of short storieswhich mainly deal with relationships between men and women. In this book, the pattern of "theconqueror is conquered" once more appears very obviously in "Ai Nu" (The Slave of Love).7 9Zhu LiIn "The Slave of Love," as in the other stories we have mentioned, at first the malecharacter Hu Qifeng is the conqueror in the relationship with his mistress Sha Li. He controls thepace of their relationship and decides frequency of the dating.The story starts around Hu Qifeng's thirty-fifth birthday, when his mistress Sha Li giveshim a pair of handcuffs as a birthday gift. The gift has special sexual connotations; it indicates theintimate physical relationship between Hu Qifeng and Sha Li. Sha Li's giving Hu a pair ofhandcuffs reveals that she is willing to surrender herself up totally to Hu's physical charm. As shetells Hu: "Last time, did you not say that you would like to tie me up and have some fun? Nowyou have these, you can handcuff me any time and do whatever you 1ike."(52)44 Hu Qifeng's heartwavers at the mention of this. He could imagine how sexy she would be when he handcuffed her.But he still refuses to spend even a couple of hours with her because he has a meeting thatafternoon. He is preparing for a business trip to Taiwan, so he has a lot of things to do at hiscompany. Hu Qifeng believes that "the joys of the flesh were a great enjoyment in life, but shouldnot hinder serious business. The trade with Taiwan was very important to him. Whether he couldget a promotion would depend on his behaviour during this trip. Besides, Sha Li would alwayswait for him."(55)Hu's mind is clear and concentrated on his career. He does not take the affair withSha Li too seriously.It is obvious that he is the conqueror in his relationship with Sha Li. He looks down on women hthas conquered. He likes to share physical pleasures with them, but when he has his own businessto do, he does not hesitate to put the relationship second in his considerations. He does not wantto give up his own interests to fulfil the other's demands, yet at the same time he takes her affectionand devotion for granted.44 Zhang Xiguo, "Ai Nu"(The Slave of Love), Sha zhu chuan qi (Stories of Chauvinist Husbands,Hongfan, 1988). Page numbers in text.80Zhu LiIn the evening, Sha Li calls him again. After some sexual flirtation, she confesses that sheis his love slave and begs him to spend time with her. Hu Qifeng insists that they wait until hefinishes his business and comes back from Taiwan. Sha Li says:"Maybe when you come back, I won't be here any more.""Are you going on a business trip? Or is it Adam (Sha Li's husband)?"Sha Li did not answer. Hu Qifeng could guess what she was doing."Don't cry. Sha Li, I will be back in two weeks.""When I need you, you are never with me." Sha Li said, crying: "You think I onlywant to do that thing. Actually, if we can be together, we do not have to do anything."Hu Qifeng comforted her for a while, then found an excuse to hang up the phone.When women started being serious, things would become complicated. It was good thathe was going to Taiwan. Let it cool down for a while. Every time Sha Li threatened toleave him, he knew she would wait for him to come back anyway.(58)Hu nearly loses patience when he is listening to Sha Li's begging. He is not moved by Sha Li'stears and sentimental pleading. He thinks those are tools that women use to control men. He doesnot buy those things. He is in total control of their relationship. Nothing can change his decision,not even Sha Li's crying.Hu Qifeng recalls how he met Sha Li; he thinks he has never loved Sha Li and Sha Li isonly his sexual partner. Sha Li was from Hong Kong. They met each other playing tennistogether. During the time Hu Qifeng's wife was pregnant, Hu Qifeng's eyes became red due to hislack of sex. When Sha Li asked him about his eyes, he dramatically knelt down to ask Sha Li toshow compassion for him. They became sexual partners. Even Sha Li's marriage did not stopher going back to Hu Qifeng.(62)After Hu Qifeng comes back from Taiwan, he never sees Sha Li again. A similar routestarts again. Like Lan Qi in "The Immortals", at first Hu Qifeng is confident of his ownattractiveness and Sha Li's love; later he becomes angry about Sha Li's estrangement. Finally,when he realizes that he might lose her, just like Lan Qi, Hu starts recalling Sha Li's kindness andher devotion. He regrets that he did not care about her. In the end he thinks he has fallen in lovewith Sha Li.(64) In the beginning Sha Li does not call at all. Finally, Hu Qifeng cannot hold onany longer; he calls Sha Li's working place. He is told that Sha Li had left and nobody knew8 1Zhu Liwhere she was now. Hu Qifeng calls her at home, but there is only an answering machine. Hefinds out that Adam has gone to New York.Once more, the process of the conqueror being conquered begins. Hu Qifeng becomesangry. He cannot take this challenge to his conqueror's position. He thinks Sha Li is trying totorture him. He does not believe that Sha Li would want to leave him.Maybe she wanted to get rid of him? Hu Qifeng could not imagine how Sha Li could livewithout him. He remembered that she said many times she could not have any fun withAdam. . .. Sha Li said to him, embracing him tightly. "It is not like when I am with you,I never feel bored." . . . He believed that Sha Li would not want to get rid of him.(65)Gradually, the anger passes away. He still keeps the pair of handcuffs that Sha Li has given tohim for his birthday. "He never imagined that Sha Li would leave him before they had a chance touse it even once." He recalls Sha Li's pleading on his birthday. He thinks:When Sha Li gave him the handcuffs, she was not thinking of leaving him. So,she really intended to let him handcuff and play with her. Such trust, such a sincere heart!Hu Qifeng was moved by a sudden flow of emotion. He nearly cried. He startedregretting that he had lost Sha Li.(67)This is the turning point when Hu Qifeng falls from the conqueror's throne. Heremembers that Sha Li had two abortions because of him. He remembers how Sha Li hassuffered.(71) Hu Qifeng has been transformed into the "slave of love." He was the recipient ofthe handcuffs. He was supposed to use them to control his slave of love, Sha Li. Yet, now he isplanning to let Sha Li do anything she likes to him. He is totally conquered by Sha Li spirituallyand physically. "He could caress the handcuffs and imagine Sha Li's charming body. Then hewould masturbate." All his memories of Sha Li come back to torture him. He recalls their sexualtalk and enjoyment. "Hu Qifeng's eyes were often red now. ... The trade with Taiwan came off.But it was another Taiwanese who was sent to Taiwan as president of the new branch company.Still, Hu Qifeng did not feel upset. His whole mind was set on that pair of handcuffs: thehandcuffs from his slave of love; those shining steel handcuffs would never get rusty."(73) LikeXin in "The Conquerors Are Conquered," Hu loses his interests in his work which was soimportant to him. He does not care about the business he engaged in and the promotion he tried toget. He only thinks about Sha Li.8 2Zhu LiIn the end, his wife leaves him because of his sexual abuse. After that:Hu Qifeng did not have contacts with Chinese people any more. So nobody knewhis fate. Somebody said he got married to a tall, red-haired, sexy Jewish girl and lived ahappy life from then on. Someone said he remained as a bachelor. He always carried thatpair of handcuffs and tried to find prostitutes who would let him to do what he wanted.And someone said he became masochistic. He went everywhere asking women tohandcuff him and whip him. He would cry and shout out the name of his slave oflove.(73-74)The fate is not clear for Hu Qifeng, but we can be certain of one thing : he is no longer aconqueror. Instead he has been conquered by the sexual image of his former victim. Thehandcuffs which were bought for him to control Sha Li are ultimately fixed on him mentally andphysically. He is now the slave of love.Through these stories, we can see one basic thematic pattern: at the beginning, the man isthe conqueror in his relationship with the woman. He plays the leading role. The woman is in aninferior position; she does not get much return for what she has given. But as the story develops,the woman gradually gains control relationship, usually through sex. At the end when sheaccumulates enough strength to leave the man, the man breaks down. He regrets that he has notcared enough about the relationship. He is not a conqueror any more; he is conquered by thewoman.This pattern has another form: the man intends to use the woman, but it ends up with himbeing used by the woman formerly under his control.In "Jie ling zhe" (The One Who Unties the Bell), Guo, a writer, receives a letter from oneof his female friends. She tells him of her disappointment about her marriage and invites him tocome over. Guo thinks she wants his help. To show gratitude for her appreciation of his writingsand just for a vacation, he decides to visit her. But at the end he finds out that the purpose of herinvitation is to use him to stimulate her husband's jealousy. Her husband has been keeping amistress for three years. So, she wants to show him that she has an admirer too. Guo has to playthe role he is assigned. He feels angry even though he has saved her marriage. The woman uses aman to fulfil her own purposes, and the man who was so confident about his judgement of her in83Thu Lifact does not perceive her intentions at all. He can only submit himself to the situation and be usedby the woman.In "Cong tianshang diao xia lai de ren"(Man Who Fell From the Sky), Zuo Pei is a badguy, huai ren^in the story. He boasts that he has conquered the most admirable girl in theschool, Ding Xiaopei and tries to undermine her reputation. No-one believes him, because DingXiaopei is a saint-like girl. She always wears white dresses which seems to indicate herinnocence, and she has a pleasant manner. Later on, Zuo Pei gets married with Ding Xiaopei, andrelying on management skills, opens a school for people who have failed the college entranceexams to prepare for the coming examinations. Just at the crucial period right before the exams,Ding Xiaopei leaves Zuo Pei and goes off with a priest. The school collapses. Moreover, in theend she leaves the priest too. She has destroyed or changed two men's lives. When she then asksthe narrator to work with her, the narrator refuses. The narrator thinks to himself: "No, all shereally loves is the cash till. If this woman can make two men lose their reputation and position forher; then she must be the woman 'with a face that sank a thousand ships."45In either form, the pattern is the same: women become the real conquerors in the end, andmen, the former conquerors, are conquered or used by women.The so called "love" in "the conquerors are conquered" pattern is not a common one. Infact, gaining the partner's love has become a sign of a conqueror. The one who is conquered feelsthat she or he is in love with the other one. In some way, to love is to surrender in this pattern.Love becomes a white flag in the battle field of male and female relationships. The men who areconquered by their former victims all wave the flag of love at last. This is a bitter irony in ZhangXiguo's writing. He does not consider this kind of love as a romantic result of healthyrelationships but rather as a surrender of former conquerors.45Zhang Xiguo, "Cong tianshang diao xia lai de ren" (Man Who Fell From The Sky), Stories ofChauvinist Husbands, p. 46.84Zhu LiThere is another kind of pattern in the relationships between men and women in ZhangXiguo's writing. In this pattern, the men and women become open enemies. They fight eachother consciously. In the end, one of them loses and the other wins; there is no compromise. Inthis pattern, there is still a shadow of the first pattern. We can hear an echo of "conqueror isconquered." But this pattern shows more the hostility between men and women instead of the socalled love of the first pattern. The fighting is relatively mild in "Shi qi" (Test Thy wife). Then, inYesterday's Anger, the conflict between Wang Ya-nan and Hong Xianzu drives them to court.Finally, the hostility between men and women reaches a peak in "Sha qi"(Kill Thy Wife).In "Test Thy Wife," the male/female struggle is somewhat mild and funny. The maincharacter Zhuang Qingdian is a professor in a university in the States. After he has divorced hisfirst wife, he goes back Taiwan, to be a guest professor in a Taiwan university. There he meetshis second wife, Gu Xiuxia, who is twenty years younger than he is. He does not really love her;he is more interested in her close girl-friend. After he comes back to the States, he offers Gu andher girl friend scholarships to invite them over. But only Gu comes to his university as hisstudent. Since he could not get the girl he wanted, he settles on his second choice. He is not verysatisfied by this marriage. Every time he thinks about the girl he was fond of, he loses his temperwith his wife Gu.(81)46 The unfulfilled longing has created a bad atmosphere in the marriage.Moreover he is a very suspicious person, so he always tries to test her.First of all is the issue of money. He suspects that Gu saves money for herself withouttelling him. So he calculates all their expenses once every three to five days. To test her, hewrites down the wrong number. Then several days later, he would ask "why is it one hundreddollars short?" He would wait to see Gu's reaction in order to judge whether she is guilty.(82) Healso suspects that Gu is having close relationships with his American colleagues. He gives Gu agreat number of rules, such as requiring her, when she is away, to call home once every hour toreport her behaviour. Gu fights with him frequently, but because the house and cars are under46 zhang Xiguo, "Shi qi" (Test Thy Wife), Stories of Chauvinist Husbands. Page numbers in text.85Thu LiZhuang's name, she has no economic power. She cannot gain any control and Zhuang neverchanges. Finally, Gu leaves him. The fight stops, but there is no compromise.A year later, Zhuang marries again. This time his wife is Jing Yulan who is from mainlandChina. She is more than twenty years younger than Zhuang, and she does not have as mucheducation as Zhuang's other ex-wifes. In this third marriage, Zhuang still performs all the tricks ofhis other marriages. He is suspicious and stingy. But Jing does not fight with him verbally. Shecorrects his miscalculations. She does not ask to learn how to drive. She walks to the shoppingcentre instead. She takes the bus to school to learn English. She is tender and obedient. Later on,when Zhuang is in bad physical condition and has to stay in the hospital, he puts all his propertyunder Jing's name. But Jing passes this test too. She does not waste any money. After Zhuangleaves the hospital, he suffers a stroke. Jing invites her distant uncle over from mainland China totake care of Zhuang and she goes out to work. Zhuang dies two years later. Jing gets marriedwith her distant uncle soon after Zhuang's death.Suddenly there were rumours going around, that Jing's distant uncle was really heroriginal husband and that Zhuang knew about it. . . . Other people said that ZhuangQingdian did not know. Later on, when he found out, it was too late. All his property wasalready in Jing's hands. Zhuang Qingdian shot birds all his life, finally his eyes werepecked by birds. He really regretted that. (92)The fighting comes to an end because of Zhuang's death. Yet, in fact, Jing has already defeatedZhuang's harassment by her soft approach. She has got what she wants. Zhuang lost his powerand control even before his death.In other stories, the fight between man and woman is not so mild as in "Test Thy Wife."In "Test Thy Wife," the struggle is just at the annoying stage. In Yesterday's Anger, the conflictbetween Wang Ya-nan and Hong Xianzu breaks out into a full scale war. They get married whenWang is still in her third year of university. Hong, like Zhuang Qingdian, has a doctor's degree inscience. But he is not only a professor. He is also a research scholar and shrewd businessman inthe United States. They divorce once and Wang goes back to Taiwan. Hong comes straight afterher to try to save their marriage. He convinces her of his love, and they get married again. Lateron the conflict increases, and they split up once again. Wang goes to live with a Chinese student8 6Zhu Linamed Ge Rixin. To fight for the right to raise their only daughter and to settle the issue ofalimony, they finally come to court. Before they come into court, both of them recall their pastmarriage from their own point of view.From Hong Xianzu's eyes, it is all Wang's fault that the marriage does not work out. Hethinks he has given her every thing she needs but she is still not satisfied. He has his ownbusiness to attend to, but Wang always disturbs him. He remembers that once he had an importantbusiness meeting, but Wang did not want him to go. She lay down in front of his car. All theneighbours were laughing behind their windows. At last, he had to drive out over the lawn andruined the newly planted turf.(146)47He had tried so hard for so long, but he still could not conquer her. Why? . . .Anger was like a snake biting Hong Xianzu's heart. He could not admit defeat. . . . Hedid not want to go to court. But to protect his own interests, he was determined not towithdraw even half a step. . . .He remembers how he and Wang Ya-nan were constantly fighting a cold war. He has to put upstrong defences to protect himself. Only his daughter can let him feel safe and happy, not hiswife.(150)From Wang Ya-nan's viewpoint, the divorce is Hong's fault. She recalls their married lifeand draws a different conclusion from Hong.When they just get married, it is all part of her romantic dreams. But gradually, she sensesthe parts that do not match in their characters. She finds that he has a will as hard as steel. Allthings have to be done according his will. All things he does are carefully calculated. He clear-mindedly uses every single second of his time. Whatever he does has a purpose. The more shegets to know him, the more she realizes that all his actions fulfil his purposes. She realizes hisharsh and unkind side. The longer she is with him, the more bitterly disappointed she feels Shefinds that even when he takes her out he has a purpose: he wants to keep her health, her good-looks and her loyalty so she can give him good service. "She had observed him for a long time,finally she figured out that he only wanted two things: success and efficiency. Besides these two,47 Zhang Xiguo, Yesterday's Anger. Page numbers in text.87Zhu Lihe had nothing inside."(155) In fact, she feels humiliated and ignored. She cannot accept her fateas merely a decoration in her husband's life. She thinks her husband is like a highly efficientmachine. She does not want this machine to control her life. Her romantic dreams are gone. Shedoes not consider her husband as her life partner but an enemy that she is going to fight anddestroy.So she started causing some small frictions, putting some rocks between thewheels, to stop the machine going smoothly. . . .The small frictions became small arguments. After they quarrelled several times,Hong Xianzu might think this was not the right solution. He would start to take her outagain. But she refused to surrender and still persisted in her disobedient behaviour. Hongcould not take this any longer. At last they had a big fight. Hong said something thatreally hurt her which she could not forget. "Fame, money, status, I give them all to you.Why are you still not satisfied? You think I have to keep you as my wife. Funny, womenlike you, I can pick up a dozen any time I go back to Taiwan."(156)After that fight, they decide to divorce. But Hong Xianzu follows her to Taiwan andpromises not to make the same mistakes again. Wang Ya-nan finally agrees to marry him again.But after they go back to the States, Hong's old habits show up again. The problem is that Hongcontrols the money. He has the financial power. Later on Wang Ya-nan meets a Chinese student,Ge Rixin, and leaves Hong to live with Ge. They finally spilt up. In the court, Wang Ya-nanwins the case. The hostility between Wang and Hong finally becomes public.Still, the cold war or even the fight in court between Wang and Hong is just at the middlelevel of hostility in the male and female relationship. The hostility reaches its peak in "Sha qi"(KillThy Wife). There is one aspect of this story that is different from any other stories which dealwith hostility in relationships. In this story, the woman has financial power. Unlike Gu and Jingin "Test Thy Wife" and Wang in Yesterday's Anger, Hu Yushan controls the money. She is amanager in the company for which both she and her husband work. Her husband is just anaccountant. Other women we have mentioned have no financial sway; their husbands control themoney in their families. In this couple Hu Yushan is in a stronger, higher financial position. Shemakes more money than her husband. The issue of money forms an under current of in the story.Right at the beginning of the story, the idea of killing his wife is related to Hu Yushan's partycelebrating her promotion.8 8Zhu LiIt had been for at least four or five years that Wu Zicliao had wanted to kill his wife.The first time he had this idea was when she gave a party in their house right after beingpromoted as a manager of their company."(135)48We should pay attention to the later descriptions of Wu's imaginary killing. The bloody and vividimages reveal his deep-seated hostility and hate towards the woman.After the party, Wu Zicliao looks at his chubby wife undressing then sliding into thebathtub like a white seal, and he is struck dumb. "He looked into the steam and saw his wife, herpure white flesh piled up in the bathtub like a snowy mountain. ... Looking at that Mount Fuji,Wu Ziciiao suddenly had an idea. This idea was so ridiculous that even he himself wasshocked."(136) This idea is to kill his wife. "Actually Wu Zicliao did not really want to kill hiswife. but he could not deny, the idea made him very happy."(138)Why does he have the impulse to kill his wife? Maybe the reason is that his wife is betteradjusted to Western society and more successful than he is. His wife is aggressive and talkative.She understands that to survive and success is to compete with others. Her husband is somewhattimid and withdraw. She scorns her husband:"What do you mean a good man does not fight a woman? You are living inWestern society, you have to fight. If you don't, how can you convince others? Ifyou don't fight, how can others know your merits? If it is a man, fight that man; ifit is a woman, fight the woman. 'A Good man does not fight a woman' is just anexcuse. Do you even fight men? If you don't fight, you will only be an accountantfor the rest of your life. Would you like that?"Though Wu Zicliao claimed that he did not care, of course he did not likethat prospect. But he could not change his way of life. He had been casual for halfof his life already. (138)But Hu Yushan is different. "She, who terrorized others in basketball-playing by her tall andstrong body and her bold aggressive style, was now using the same spirit and physical energy todeal with her job. No wonder even the white people in the company were convinced by herpower."(139) Hu Yushan is vice president, while Wu Zicliao is still just an accountant. Exceptthat his salary is a little bit higher than before, his position remains the same as ten years ago whenhe had just joined this company. His wife's salary is already twice his. "The most embarrassing48 Zhang Xiguo, "Sha qi"(Kill Thy Wife), Stories of Chauvinist Husbands. Page numbers in text.89Thu Lithing was that the reason he introduced Hu Yushan to this company was just to entertain her bygiving her something to do. He did not know that within six years, his wife would have risen tovice president, though she did not even have a Master's degree."(140)Hu Yushan is not only more successful in her career, but also, from the physical stand-point, stronger and healthier than her husband Wu Zicliao. "She had been an athlete before, andshe was tall, even when she had put on weight, she still looked well proportioned. . . .Compared (to her), Wu Ziciiao looked like he had been shrinking."(141) And Wu has anotherweak point: he snores. Hu Yushan cannot stand his snoring. She finds that if Wu sleeps sittingup, he does not snore. In order to have a good sleep, she makes Wu sit up in bed throughout thenight. So Wu spends many nights sitting up in bed, half alert and half asleep. "He would sleepfor a while then think of something; then go back to sleep again, wake up, go back to thinking ofthe same thing."(142)Most of his ideas come to him when he is sitting in bed.Sometimes he thought about business, sometimes the skills of taking photographs,but mostly, he thought about how to kill his wife. At first, the idea of killing his wife gavehim a sense of guilt. But gradually, he overcame the fear of guilt and started treating theidea purely as an aspect of photographic skill. The way he planned to kill his wife was likethe way he plotted pictures in his mind. (143)He imagines how to kill his wife in different bloody ways. There has to be a great force ofhostility which can drive him into the enjoyment of the bloody killing of his life partner.He imagined that his wife was lying in the bathtub, pure white flesh piled up abovethe bathtub like a snowy mountain. Anthony Perkins breaks in, stabbing the snowymountain with his bayonet. Snowy mountain collapses, sliding to the bottom of thebathtub. When should he release his camera shutter? The moment the bayonet stabs intothe flesh? Click. The moment the snowy mountain collapses? Click. Or the moment theblood oozes out? Click, click, click.(143)Such strong hatred does not start right from the beginning. When they were young, theyhad a period of happiness. But as time passes by, the love fades, especially after they come to theStates. Now, Wu looks back with a vicious grin:9 0Thu LiHe remembered before, during the championship final, when twelve secondsbefore the end, Hu Yushan jumped up and shot the ball. He pushed the shutter and caughtthe moment when the ball had just left her hands. That was wonderful. Click."If I was holding a gun, I would shoot her. Just like shooting a pheasant.Wonderful."(145)Imagination is not enough for him, he begins to write a diary to record all the possiblemethods of killing. When his wife goes to a party, he stays at home, thinking how she wouldsuffer different kinds of deaths.Hu Yushan's car should be on the highway now. At the first turn before thebridge, she pushes the brake. The brake does not work. She screams, the BMW shootsoff the bridge. Click. The BMW in the air. In the picture, on the left corner is the bridge,on the right corner small bushes. Perfect composition. Click, the front part of the car isdiving straight into the water; water is splashing up. Click, click, click, click.(147)When he imagines that his wife is in the crowd at the party, he is so engaged in hisimagination that he shouts out "KillIcillIcillkillkill " Then he give another way of killing.Hu Yushan drinks her cup, suddenly her face changes, the cup drops on theground. Click. She falls in her foreign boss' arms. Click, click. A big close-up shot, shecovers her throat with her hand; her lips are twitching; her face turns from white to purple.Click, click, click. . .. Hu Yushan's head drops to one side, she is dead. Click.(149)Finally there comes the day when his wife finds the diary. His wife erupts in a storm ofanger. But Wu Ziciiao declares his innocence. There is no mutual understanding between them.They are not communicating any longer, they just talk about themselves. The dialogues reveal thehatred and frustration. There is only desperation left in this relationship. His wife calls him"insane" and "senseless," she cannot help pouring her angry and frustration out by blaming andinsulting him. And the husband images her death during the conversation to ease his hatred.(150-152)During the conversation, there is no inner communication between this couple. Each ofthem is talking about his or her thoughts without giving any understanding to the other's logic orintentions. And there is no introspection either. Hu Yushan is too angry about her husband'sspiritual cruelty to find the cause of this hostility. She does not know or understand why herhusband hates her so much. Wu Zigiao, on the other hand, while listening to his wife'scomplaining, is still imagining how she might suffer a horrible death. The anger inside has been9 1Thu Litwisted into a cruel imagination which can bring pleasure over his wife's bloody death. He doesnot try to figure out where this hatred has its source. He does not care why the relationship whichwas supposed to bring happiness and stability has reached such a bitter end.The couple separate. Hu Yushan's lawyer sends a letter to Wu Ziqiao, informing him thatHu Yushan wants a divorce. Wu Ziqiao is very angry. Traditionally, it is the man who divorceshis wife, not the the other way around. He speaks to his sister:"She (his wife) learns those bad things from foreigners. She finds a lawyer. Shethinks that foreign law can control me? I don't care! Divorce, she is dreaming. She andher foreign boss have something between them. She thinks that I don't know? . . .Before we came overseas, she was not like this. You know that. She had a bad temperbefore, but she was reasonable. Now she is unreasonable. I really regret having broughther over. After going abroad, women all change."(169)From Wu Zigiao's view, it is Western culture that changes his wife's nature. He refuses toadmit there is anything wrong about himself and his behaviour in this relationship. He does notwant to accept the divorce. He tries to be reconciled with his wife. In fact, he has never reallyconsidered whether he is at all to blame, so ironically, but quite reasonably in his eyes, he gives hisdiary to his wife as a guarantee of reconciliation. This triggers her anger once more, and thereconciliation fails.She threw the diary at him and left.The reconciliation does not work out. The day after their final meeting, Wu Ziqiao is sentinto the hospital. When he wakes up, he has already lost half of his stomach. He stays in thehospital for eight days. "These eight days should have been a good time for Wu Ziqiao to repent.But he did not."(177) He meets a nurse, Wendy, in the hospital. He feels affection for her. Sherepresents a different kind of woman from his wife. She is tender and kind. After he leaves thehospital, he continues to think and dream about Wendy. His dreams are interrupted by the police.He is arrested.His wife has been murdered. Her head was cut off. And the police have found Wu's diarybeside her body. He is suspected to be the murderer because of his diary.Wu Ziqiao's reaction is very complicated and self-contradictory. On the one hand, he doesnot believe that he has killed his wife; he has no memories about the killing. On the other hand, he9 2Zhu Lidoes not trust his own sanity. There is one moment when he breaks down. He admits to himselfthat writing one hundred and eight ways to kill his wife was just the prelude of the true tragedy.He has finally executed the killing. He thinks that an evil power gained control of his life and hisactions.Before considering that he might really have killed his wife, he had felt no regret for herdeath, even though her head was cut off.(196) Only when he thinks he might have done thehorrible thing himself, does he feel extremely remorseful. In some ways we can say, he does notfeel sorry about the fact that his wife has died, even though she suffered such a terrible fate; rather,he cares about his own position in her death. He feels bad because he might be the murderer. Atthe time he realizes that he might have killed his wife, he feels more guilt rather than humansympathy at her lost.Nevertheless, Wu Ziqiao also realizes that separation from his wife does not bring himfreedom. "Before, he hated her so much that he wanted to kill her. But now he did not taste thehappiness of freedom."(187) The strength of his hatred is not as violent as before. The happymemories of the past return to him once more. He thinks that only after they had come overseashis wife's voice had changed from being kind to being disdainful. "Was she changed or was he?If they knew this would happen, they would not have come."(198) He blames Western society forhis wife's alteration. In some ways he is right. His wife does change in the new society. Shebecomes a stronger person and gradually estranges him.During the trial, Wu Ziqiao is under public scrutiny. His thoughts are exposed in front ofevery one. His ideas seem very ridiculous when they are tested by logical questioning."Mr. Wu, why do you want to cut off your wife's head?""Objection!" Wu Ziqiao's lawyer shouted again."Ok, I'll change the sentence. In your diary or fiction or whatever God damn nameit is called, why do you want to cut off your wife's head?"Why? Why did the murderer use such a cruel and inhumane way? Why could thepolice still not fmd the head of the victim? Why?(202)Wu Ziqiao tries hard to answer this question. He does not think he is a cruel person.Actually, he unconsciously avoid facing this question. There is a woman in the back seat. She9 3Zhu Liwears a black veil. Wu Zicliao suddenly comes to this conclusion that his wife is still alive andevery one is fooled by her. Thus he can shout honestly "I didn't kill her at all." But when he isasked to give some features of his wife to prove that the dead body is not hers, he is speechless.Wu Zicliao was speechless. He thought really hard, but he could not remember anyphysical characteristics of Hu Yushan. It had been a long time since they parted. Hismemories of her were all vague. He thought for a while but could not remember anything.He felt too ashamed to show his face. The lawyer was looking at him disdainfully, and thejury was listening, but he could not say anything. He noticed the woman with the blackveil walk to the door. He could not see her face but he could sense that there wasunspeakable bitterness in her eyes. The woman with the black veil! Wu Zicliao jumped upagain."It is her! Don't let her go, she is Hu Yushan, my wife. Somebody stop her.Don't let her run away."(205)He is seized by this idea that the woman is his wife. Every one thinks he is really insane. At theend, he is sent to mental hospital.The conversation in the court indicates several points. One is the extent of the estrangementbetween husband and wife. Wu cannot remember any special things about his wife. He cannottell what is the difference between his wife's body and any other woman's body. Second, that thehostility and suspicion still exist in Wu's mind. He does not trust Hu Yushan. It seems even herdeath is some kind of trick she sets up to trap him. Third is that he still refuses to admit there isanything wrong about his diary. He still considers his one hundred and eight ways to kill one'swife as fiction writing, and hence above suspicion.To understand this story better, we have to take a look at a conversation between the writerand Li Mg regarding this story. Li Ang accuses that Zhang Xiguo of adopting a male Chauvinistattitude. She thinks that Zhang Xiguo is in a male's position giving sympathy to the male characterand condemning the female character. Zhang Xiguo denies having a male chauvinist attitude butdoes admit having a male point of view. He analyzes his story thus: "The issue of 'killing thywife' has several different layers. There are conflicts between man and woman, between differentcultures, and there is introspection about the art of fiction."When Li Mg asks: "Which point do you want to emphasize when you write 'Kill ThyWife'?" Zhang Xiguo answers:9 4Zhu LiMy story "Kill Thy Wife" describes a sad picture: after women have gainedfinancial independence, their husbands' position loses its importance. Some husbandsbecome useless. I also want to point out how the arrogance of men is defeated, and somepositive results of woman's liberation. In fact, I always advocate the stand that if womencannot be liberalized, neither can men. But during the process of liberation, there would bea somewhat complicated relationship between the old masters and the old slaves. Slavessuddenly find that the masters are pitiful and start rebelling, and sometimes they might evenpersecute their old masters.49From Zhang Xiguo's answer, we can draw two points relevant to the story: first, thefinancial independence of women plays an important role in the changing relationship. In someway, the financial independence of women has paved the way to the disintegration of therelationship. Second, women might persecute their old masters during their liberation. But if weread the story, the most impressive point is not their argument about any financial issues nor Wu'scomplaints about Hu Yushan's persecution. The most impressive parts of the story are Wu's cruelfantasies of killing his wife. The hostility overshadows any other voice of liberation orreconciliation. Besides (what Zhang Xiguo has mentioned in his talking) women's financialindependence as an offence to male authority, besides the so called persecution which comes alongwith women's liberation, there is another explanation for the tragedy in the story.We have to repeat the lawyer's question: "Why do you want to cut your wife's head off?"Why? Because she makes more money and she is more successful? Because she always ordersher husband to do all the trivial things and does not show her respect and appreciation? Becauseshe humiliates him and destroys his self-confidence? The answers seem to be both "yes" and"no." From the "Yes" side, we know that Hu Yushan does treat her husband meanly in someways, for example, she is scornful of him for not fighting with society. But that is not the key.Even if she does not treat her husband well, she does not deserve to be killed in such bloody waysone hundred and eight times. He hates her to a degree that she is no longer his wife, rather shebecomes his worst enemy. Here we find the answer: she is not his wife, she is his enemy. Hedoes not accept her as his partner. He kills her in his imagination a hundred times because he doesnot feel happy with her. Ironically, even though he has written about so many ways of killing her,49 Zhang Xiguo, "Shafu, sha qi, sha zhu (Kill Thy Husband, Kill Thy Wife, Chauvinist Pigs): ZhangXiguo vs. Li Ang," Stories of Chauvinist Husbands, p. 220.95Zhu Liafter his wife's death, he still believes that she has set him up; that he is defeated by his wife'sstrategy. So there is another key to the tragedy which lies within the male character's mind: hecannot accept her. He cannot take the fact that she is stronger and healthier than him. The tragedyhas two sides, Zhang Xiguo emphasizes one side, which is the financial independence of thewoman, and the other side, which attracts more readers' attention, is the male character's narrowand twisted personality and his unchangeable, stale perception of life.Now we can draw some sort of conclusion about Zhang Xiguo's writing regardingrelationships between men and women.Having noticed the patterns of "The conquerors are conquered" and "couples becomeenemies," we can at least say that the positions which were traditionally assigned for men andwomen have changed. And the traditional definitions of the respective roles which men andwomen should play in their relationship are blurred by this change in their positions.The traditional position of women can be fairly depicted in Li Yishan's words. Li Yishan,Li Ming's father in the short story "Earth," is talking to his old partner about what kind of wife hisold partner should find: "Why do you need a wife who can read and write like a scholar? So longas she can look after the family properly, bear your children, continue the line of your family andpay respects to your ancestors, you've got all you want. Doesn't that make sense?""That does not make sense at all to the women who have grown up and received theireducation in this changing world. They are not and cannot be limited to a position where they areonly needed to look after the family correctly, bear children, continue the family line properly andpay respects to their husbands' ancestors, they want more than those things. They want a life oftheir own. They seek their own careers, and eventually, gain financial power.On the one hand, women are breaking away from the old mode which limited them in asubjective position in their relationship with men. Along with the changing world, gradually they50 Zhang Xiguo, "Earth," p. 151.96Zhu Ligain their physical and spiritual independence. On the other hand, men try to linger in their oldposition and refuse to accept the change.There are very few women in Zhang Xiguo's writing who have good relationships withmen. In fact, among all his realistic novels, there is only one main female character has some sortof positive colour. But even she does not have a positive relationship with men. Xiang Yun inHuanghe zhi shui (The Yellow River Water) is a strong-willed and intelligent woman. She is apianist. She gets married to her classmate in university; her husband, Du Guangyu is also apianist. They go back to Taiwan after their studies in Europe. Her husband Du becomes abusinessman, but she has only music in her mind. She does not like the way her husband lives orall those chattering people. She speaks straightforwardly and does not hide her feelings. Otherpeople feel she has a weird temper. She represents the idealistic person who has not yet beenpolluted by a commercial atmosphere. But finally, she divorces her husband, and ironically, opensher own company.There are some other idealistic women in Zhang Xiguo's science fiction, like Meixin in"Qing cheng zhi lian" (Love In A Falling City), and Minwen in "Qing chun quan" (The Spring ofYouth). Yet, they are so idealistic they depart from normal human daily life.In all the stories we have mentioned, the women who conquer or defeat or fight with menall belong to this new generation. In "The Conquerors," Lily is a singer. In "The Immortals,"Wang Xiaoling has once gained the highest marks in the Taiwan college entrance examinations andshe is a journalist. Ding Xiaopei in "Man Who Fell From the Sky" is the finance manager of aschool. Gu Xiuxia in "Test Thy Wife" is a graduate student. Wang Ya-nan in Yesterday's Angergraduated from a university. Hu Yushan in "Kill Thy Wife" graduates from university andbecomes the vice-president of her company. They have their own sense of judgement and ideals inlife. They choose their life goals. They give themselves up in relationships, but when the timecomes, they have the strength to leave the men whom they once loved or admired. They dare tofight with the ones they do not like. Their behaviour is totally different from traditionally passivewomen.9 7Zhu LiIn the face of these "new style" women, men feel confused and surprised. For most of themen still maintain a comparatively traditional view point. With such a view, they take their controlover women for granted. They are used to their objective roles in which they feel secure andpowerful. They try to remain in their old seats in relationship. They still use old standards ormethods to limit and judge women. They try to control the financial side, like Hong Xianzu inYesterday's Anger, Zhuang Qingdian in "Test Thy Wife." They want to be the dominant one inthe sexual relationship, like Hu Qifeng in "The Slave of Love," Lan Qi in "The Immortals," Xinchiin "The Conquerors." They emphasize their careers over and above the emotional needs ofwomen, like Lan Qi in "The Immortals," Hong Xianzu in Yesterday's Anger, Hu Qifeng in "TheSlave of Love." Even Wu Ziqiao in "Kill Thy Wife," the weakest one among all the malecharacters, is also a traditional type of man. Thus, he loves to listen to the old songs and readkungfu novels. He assumes the relationship between his wife and his boss is improper, withoutany grounds for proof just because his wife and his boss are close. He meets Wendy in hospital.Just because Wendy wants to keep her mother company when she is visiting, he proclaims her tobe a filial daughter.Times have changed. Women have become more active and have much greater power thanpreviously. The traditional harmony which rests on control by men and submissive co-operationof women breaks down. Women have abandoned their former status as subjects. Yet, men,consciously or unconsciously still reject this fact. They would rather consider the problem inanother way. When women leave men or achieve their goals, men tend to think that they havebeen deceived or used by women. They feel that women have conquered them.Although there are clear indications of women breaking away from their traditional passiveposition in the relationships in Zhang Xiguo's works, most of his stories emphasize how confusedand resentful men feel at the altered situation, having lost their power and control over women.Each story tells of a man's bitterness when he loses in the battle with a woman. None of thestories give the woman's opinion. In "Kill Thy Wife," there is only Hu Yushan's inner voiceduring the break down of their relationship. In "A Man Fell From the Sky," we simply don't9 8Zhu Liknow why Ding Xiaopei marries and leaves her husband. All we are given is just a bystander'sassumption. In "The Slave of Love," we don't know why Sha Li left or what her opinion is aboutthe relationship.Zhang Xiguo includes several stories about relationship between men and womenin his "The Soul of Wanderers" series. Maybe he wishes to imply that people are also lostin their relationships. The old balance between man and woman was based on the principlethat man was the object and woman was the subject. This balance has been lost, but a newequilibrium has not yet been established. Zhang Xiguo describes the confusing situation inwhich men are falling from their old strongholds and women are gaining control overthemselves and men. Even the identities of men and women are no long the same asbefore. Women have similar or even higher education levels than men. They have createdtheir own careers or gained financial independence by their own efforts. Women haveentered many fields which were formerly occupied only by men. How should womenbehave in order to be a true women or how should men react in order to fulfil their roles?Those questions are not answered in Zhang Xiguo's stories. He does not offer any kind ofnew constructive relationship between man and woman. In his stories, there is morenegative fighting than understanding in a relationship. There is never any realisticcommunication between men and women. Rather, his writing high lights men's sufferingand bitterness as they adjust to a new relationship with women, without offering anypositive suggestions for future improvement of that relationship.9 9Zhu LiChapter FiveZhang Xiguo's Writing SkillsZhang Xiguo's writing style is simple and humorous. His language combinesChinese classical and westernized vernacular. On the one hand, he quotes Chineseclassical poems, phrases and literary words in his stories; on the other hand, he usespeoples' spoken language and even slang. The narration and dialogues of youngintellectuals indeed bear this noticeable characteristic. Professor Michael Duke summarizessome of the characteristics of Zhang Xiguo's use of language:Chang Hsi-kuo does have an excellent ear for the colourful speech patternsof young men not too long out of the university who are engaged in various waysin the commercial world. Such language is indeed characteristic of Chang's worksas a whole from the short story "Ti" [Earth, 1967] to the novel Tso-ji chih nu[Yesterday's Anger, 1978].51In "Earth," dialogues between several young people are spiced with variousreferences to famous classical Chinese literary sources. When Ling Ming and his friendRooster, Gong Jizhong, are talking about a man Jin Zhaonian who works in Rooster'soffice, they use several famous scenes from the classic drama Western Chamber to narratethe progress of his life. And they do not forget to quote the name of this popular play as afootnote to their expressions."So he came to this isolated 'backyard' to recuperate. 'Shutting himself offfrom the world to reflect upon his mistakes, and cultivating the health of his spirit,'so to speak.". . . "The story goes that as soon as our handsome young hero arrived inthis rustic desolation, he picked up a 'blooming wild lily growing beside his path,young and lovelorn creature, with dreamy eyes and cool, delicate hands.' Ourheroine, in the proper style of The View From the Window, was a grade-twelvestudent. Various scenes from the Western Chamber have been enacted already--'Transfixed Encountering the Beauty,' 'Serenade for Seduction,' 'Secret Betrothalin the Rear Garden.' The stage is set now, I suppose, for "The Cross-examination." (165)5251 Duke, M. S., "Two Chess Masters," p. 45.52 Zhang Xiguo, "Earth." Page numbers in text.100Zhu LiThe same person, Rooster, when he hears of his friend Jumbo's failed engagement,gives his opinion both in a literary and slangy way: "How, vulgar," Gong Jizhong said."Jumbo here can't even conduct a love affair without falling into the rut of the 'MandarinDuck and Butterfly' school of fiction. You people who dine on the classics every dayhaven't got the guts to blaze a path for yourselves."(167)When Jumbo excuses himself for going to a staff meeting, he uses a colloquialphrase combined with a famous saying from Men gzi, only changing the subjects. "Theman of character does not look back on his past bravery ," Jumbo said, with a theatricalgesture of the hands. "Talk, that's where my desire lies; meeting, that's where it does notlie. And yet, I forsake talking for meetings, why? Because I've got my rice-bowl to worryabout!"(169)Later on, five of the young friends come up to the hill "swapping memories and olddreams before each goes on their way." In their conversation, there are direct quotationsfrom classical Chinese poems and paraphrased classical Chinese idioms. From the "Bookof Songs" comes:"Axe on wood tap-a-tapping,Birds in the air chirp-a-chirping,Out of the silence of the dark valleyThey move to the lofty tree."As Jumbo was thus chanting, he suddenly broke out, "There! Watch my rook.Check!""No matter. 'To brandish the sword one great pleasure brings:/ Do not failthe valiant dreams of youth!'"(178)In their happy mood, they also recite classical Chinese poemsword for word:On the opposite shore, Jumbo could be heard softly chanting Li Po's "EarlyDeparture from Pal-ti City":I left Pai-ti in the morning swathed in the colored mists of dawn,Reaching Chiang-ling in but one day, journey of a thousand milesOn the two shores of the waterway gibbons cried ceaselessly,My boat sailed swiftly through the folds of ten thousand hills.(182)101Mu LiWhen they are making fun of each other, they use slang and a mixture of everydayspoken language and half literary allusion which indicates their education and their youthfulnature."Mother's!" Kung Chi-chung gave a big yawn. "One point each: nineteento six. What sort of kiddy game do you think you guys are playing anyway?Yelling, fighting, and grabbing each other's pieces .. . What! You dare beat thereferee? Help, help!""We'll show you, you foreigner's lackey, you turncoat, you comprador,you running-dog!" Jumbo caught hold of one of Kung Chi-chung's leg. "Here,Lao Ch'eng, grab the other leg. Let's give him the treatment, let him taste his'tortoise straining to look at the moon.""With pleasure! Aha, Rooster, who would have known that your daywould finally come?". . . "Now, tell us, can you see the moon?". . . "Hold it! I can see it now. It's square, yes, it's square.""That's better. Okay, let's spare his dog life this time.""Come to think of it, the moon can be square, you know. That w. I makethe poets mad with joy. Just think! Won't it be exquisite fun hunting for adjectivesto describe a square moon?"(178)We can hear the echoes of school-talk in their conversations. In Yesterday'sAnger, the young people talk in a similar way. When they are in Taiwan, they converseabout philosophy, movies and lectures. When they come overseas, they still cannotforsake Chinese culture. The main character, Ge Rixin, uses a famous piece of classicalChinese prose along with a folktale to construct his own story to please a Chinese girl. Hesays there was a place called "the L „nd of Peach Blossoms"-- a legendary land of peace, faraway from the turmoil of the world depicted by the Chinese classical poet Tao Yuanming.However, people in that land were sick, so they selected seven girls to go into the world tofind the cure for their sickness. The seven girls are called the Seven Fairy Maidens--characters from a folktale. They finally found a cure for the sickness. It was salt.53In The Yellow River Water, when Du Fangyu is about to quit his business andleave Taiwan, he holds a farewell ceremony. He uses four character idioms to dramaticallyannounce his resignation. A writer in the story, Wang Peilun, writes a classical Chinese53 Zhang Xiguo, Yesterday's Anger.102Zhu Lipoem using calligraphic script to say good-bye. Du feels the poem is very appropriate forhim. Wang then gives a full account of his understanding of the traditional spiritual realmof Chinese intellectuals. The language they use throughout is half classical and halfvernacular.54In the short story "Jue ce zhe" (The Decider), the narrator uses classical Chinese toexpress his ambition, his anger and his disappointment.(79)55 At the end of the story,before he leaves Taiwan, he uses a poem by Su Sin to crystallize his disillusionment. (89)In Chess Master, young intellectuals' talk displays similar features. They reciteclassical Chinese poems and phrases to express their ideas. When Cheng Ling's brothertalks with Cheng Ling about the philosophy of life, he naturally recites a sentence fromZhuangzi.Cheng Ling says to his brother: "You talk about philosophy all day, then you closeyour door and listen to rock. Isn't that a little inconsistent?" His brother answers: "TheTao is in piss. Even shit has a philosophical basis. Rock is much more sophisticated thanshit.1t56(76) The quotation is from Zhuangzi. Some phrases of classical Chinese worksare so well known that they are used like spoken language by these intellectuals in theirconversation. When Cheng Ling is walking back home, half drunk, he shouts: "Where'sthe tiger?. . . A man who's afraid of himself will never succeed."(114) This sentence is aquotation from The Water Margin. It is a well known allusion. The reference is to apassage in Chapter 22, in which the hero, Wu Song, is warned against crossing a ridgeover the mountains alone, because of the presence of a man-eating tiger. Wu Songdismisses the warning as a ploy by the local inn-keeper to increase his business, andfearlessly sets out across the mountain after he has drunk a fair amount of alcohol. Helaughs, "Where's the tiger? A man who's afraid of himself will never succeed" and lies54 Zhang Xiguo, The Yellow River Water, pp. 212-213.55 Zhang Xiguo, "Jue ce zhe" (The Decider), The Immortals. Page numbers in text.56 Zhang Xiguo, Chess King.103Zhu Lidown to rest. Suddenly a tiger appears, and in the ensuing battle, he manages to club thebeast to death with his bare hands. In Chess King, Cheng Ling is using Wu Song's wordsto express his half drunk state and his high spirits.When the history professor Feng Wei-ming and Cheng Ling are discussing thevalue of money and the contradictions between money and the academic spirit, Feng recitesa poem by Tao Yanming to show his inner confusion and pain when he encounterscommercial realities:Feng Wei-min closed his eyes and sighed.Our lifespan in this world isn't long.Why not then follow the inclinations of the heart?Why be so agitated?Where would we go?The poem serves well to indicate Feng Wei-min's innate inclination towardstraditional spiritual freedom. Toward the end of the story, when Cheng Ling is also goingthrough a spiritual struggle to find a place for his artistic pursuits in commercializedsociety, he cannot help using classical Chinese poems as a spiritual source to ease hisworries.He (Cheng Ling) found himself reciting some lines that stuck in the back of hishead:For the love of the Qinhuai River,in the old days I left home.I wandered up and down behind Plum Root Forge;And strolled about in Apricot Blossom Village;But now I have cast off my official's robesAs cicadas shed their skin;I wash my feet in the limpid streamAnd in idle moments fill my cup with wine,And call in a few new friends to drink with me.A hundred years are soon gone, so why despair?Yet immortal fame is not easy to attain.In days to come,I shall stay by my medicine stove and Buddhist sutras,And practise religion alone."Terrific! Medicine chest and Buddhist sutras!" Feng Wei-min laughed."Since when are you into The Scholars"? That poem is about the most simplistickind of nostalgia for tradition. There isn't much to it. Is that all you're upto?"(145-146)104Mu LiJust as Feng Wei-min points out in the story, this poem is from the classicalChinese novel The Scholars. Cheng Ling recites it to recall the traditional scholar's spiritwhich was not moved by the pressures of money.There is another kind of language which is closer to slang and everyday spokenlanguage but still contains traces of classic Chinese idioms. Professor Duke points out:Chou P'ei is perhaps the best and certainly the most colourful example inthis novel. Here are just a few experts of his highly masculine speech studded withfour character phrases many of which are drawn from martial arts fiction(underlined, through regretfully unmatched in effect, in my translation). Here he isexplaining the background of stock market deal to Ch'eng Ling:At that time the market was really hot, a group of stock-holders werespeculating secretly, thinking that they could control the market by buying in andselling out at will. But they never imagined that just as the mantis catches the cicadathe sparrow closes in from behind; somebody else was plotting behind their backs.When they finally realized the situation had turned against them, it was too late tobuy back their shares. When the Board Meeting convened, the controlling powerwas in somebody else's hands and all they could do was obediently accept theirdismissal. There's a name for this strategy; it's called ambush from all sides tocapture a dragon.Chou goes on to explain how he and Ch'eng will avoid losing on the market:At any rate we'll wait till the price has just about peaked and then we'll bailout. We certainly won't get caught like a turtle out of water unwilling to let go. Toplay the stock market requires the ability to make instant decisions at the opportunemoment; if you're too inflexible you're bound to be shot down. (111-113)Here he is angry and hurt when Ch'eng Ling refuses to ask the Spirit Child forfuture stock prices again:Fuck! You're jerking me around. I've always respected you, Fatty Ch'eng,thought of you as a good friend and never ever concealed anything from you ...I've been fair and square with you. But I ask you to help out a little today, and youcome on like a cheapskate - that's really great! And I turn out to be a damned foolblind man with no pupil in his eyes. (113)57Zhang Xiguo also uses some writing techniques to enrich the content and broadenthe view of his stories.57 Duke, Michael S., Two Chess Masters," p. 45.105Zhu LiInner shifting narrators give the different angles of a story. In Yesterday's Anger,the narration shifts from person to person. The shifting is distinguished by particularchapters and sections. The whole novel is a combination of different narrators recallingtheir life. We take the third chapter as an example.The first section introduces the scenario from Cheng Zexiong's view. He andHong Xianzu are waiting for Wang Ya-nan and Ge Rain arrive at the court to settle Hongand Wang's divorce case.The second one gives Hong Xianzu's view. He recalls his marriage with Wang.From his stand point, he blames Wang for the failure of their marriage.The third section is from Wang Ya-nan's view. She looks back over her marriagewith Hong. She perceives Hong to be an extremely selfish person. He is no better than amachine. She cannot live with such a machine.The fourth, fifth and sixth sections show the situation from Ge Rixin's stand point.He sees the court as a place where people fight each other for their selfish personalinterests. He hates this kind of fighting. He recalls the student Baodiao movement, inwhich people temporarily became selfless and enthusiastic. He dreams of an idealisticworld in this selfish society and thinks about the compromises he can afford to make withthe demands of reality.The seventh section goes back to Wang. She recalls her first meeting with Hongand later with Ge Rixin. She thinks about their different personalities and ideals in life.She also recalls the student movement from her point of view which is darker and closer toreality than Ge's version.The eighth returns once more to Hong Xianzu. He relates the secret of his sexualweakness and desperation.Finally the last section of the chapter concludes where the story began, with ChengZexong. He waits outside of court. He sees Hong grab his daughter Xuanxuan and runaway.106Zhu LiThrough such shifting narrators, we can get to know the events from differentpeoples' viewpoints instead from one side. Thus, we gain a comprehensive description ofHong and Wang's marriage throught their different recall, Ge and Wang's relationship andthe student movement.In The Yellow River Water, we find a similar procedure making use of shiftingnarrators. In this novel, the narrators change by chapter instead of by section.The different narrators take turns to describe their personal experience and opinionsof certain events.Chapter 1 and 2, the narrator is Zhan Shuren. He commences the whole novel bydescribing his school years in a small town. He introduces his major concerns and desires.He gives a whole description of his own personality.Chapter 3, the narrator Zhao Zichao introduces the plight of his company from anwatcher's view and the life of Zhou Dachuan's family.Chapter 4, the narrator Li Haiwen is the son of a successful businessman. Hegives up his professorial position in a university and decides to begin his business career.He gives the explanation of the plight of the bankrupt company from a manager's view andpoints out what should be done to save it.Chapter 5, the narrator Zhan Shuren meets Zhou Rong, Zhou Dachuan's daughter.Their relationship develops.Chapter 6, the narrator Li Haiwen comes to the company which is facing the dangerof bankrupcy. Zhou Dachan is also working for that company. The situation paves a wayfor the relationship between Li Haiwen and Zhou's daughter, Zhou Rong. Thus, thecomplicated relationships among Zhou Rong, Zhan Shuren and Li Haiwen start when theconditions are set.Different narrators set up the stage for the coming events. They give informationabout the background from different angles. They introduce each other and themselves.1 0 7Zhu LiThe narrators shift in turn to give successive pictures of different events and theirvarying opinions towards the same event. Their different views give a broad picture of theevents in the novel.Each narrator has his/her personal character; he or she tells stories through his orher personal point of view. Zhan Shuren is an idealistic person. His narrations concentrateon idealistic and philosophical issues. He is concerned about peoples' spiritual search,personal self-discipline and the sense of guilt about physical weakness. He is studyingjournalism in college and trying to involve himself in political campaigns.Li Haiwen is aplayboy in his personal life and an ambitious young businessman. His narrations aremostly about social and economic struggles in this commercialized society, about peoples'indulgence in their personal and social life, and about his methods of achieving financialsuccess and emotional fulfilment. He is more mature and practical than Zhan Shuren. Hedoes not care that much about finding philosophical or political solutions; he strives merelyto succeed in his business.Zhou Rong is still a naive and romantic girl at the beginning. She argues with hermother for her daily allowance. She tortures herself spiritually by doing something shedoes not want to do or giving up something she wants to do. She develops an unrealisticpassion for Li Haiwen and finally she gives herself up to a stranger in her emotionaldistress. She becomes pregnant and leaves Taipei for the South to give birth to herchild.The technique of employing shifting narrators provides different tones and attitudes inthe narration, but it does not break the harmony of the structure. The changes are confinedwithin the flexibility of the structure. There are enough inner links to connect differentnarrators' episodes. The whole novel is a carefully arranged stage in which stories takeplace by turns and then move on.With regard to the narrators, some of them can also be found in other stories andnovels. So the same narrator becomes a link between different stories, providing a muchbroader description of a character s personality. Hun Guoquan, who is the narrator in108Zhu Li"The Banana Boat," is also a character in Yesterday's Anger. In "The Banana Boat," hetells a story about a sailor from his eyes, in Yesterday's Anger, he is a character withoutany sense of responsibility in his job and puts all his heart into chasing after girls.Likewise, Lin Xin, the narrator in "Flood Over the Lu-er Gate," is a character inYesterday's Anger. In Yesterday's Anger, Lin Xin falls in love with Wang Ya-nan inuniversity. When Wang leaves him and gets married with Hong, Lin Xin quits the schoolfor two years. Later he attends a university in the States and becomes involved in theBaodiao student movement. He gives his description of the final split of the movement. In"Flood Over the Lu-er Gate." he describes the life of a group of European immigrants inthe States. The sentimental experience of his early life in Yesterday's Anger acts as afootnote to his sensitive description in "Flood Over the Lu-er Gate."Not only the narrators but also some of the main characters show up in differentstories and novels. Both Wang Xiaoling and Lan Qi in "The Immortals" have played rolesin other stories. In Yesterday's Anger, Wang Xiaoling is portrayed as a young universitystudent. She is intelligent and active. In The Yellow River Water, Lan Qi is the son of afamous governor. He is the leader of a small elite group. He has made up his mind to be apolitician and is trying to reach his goal. In "The Immortals," their paths in life merge andtheir personalities are completed. The story tells of the miserable marriage Wang hasendured after her graduation from university and her desperate affair with Lan Qi. Thestory also shows that Lan Qi, a remarkable young politician, is also a womanizer in hispersonal life. He finally suffers both the loss of his political power and the emotionalsupport formerly offered by the women in his life.Gao Qiang and Song Zijia are all characters in Yesterday's Anger. They show upbriefly during the student movement. Gao Qiang takes part in the small group to discussways of saving China. Song Zijia wants to return to Taiwan to help the development of hishomeland. He takes a political risk by participating in the movement parade. Their fatesare portrayed in different short stories. Gao Qiang is the focus in the short story "Red109Thu LiChild." He is lost in the political struggle and finally disappears from the crowd. SongZijia is a major character in "Our Company." Through his old partner's narration, weknow that he finally goes back to Taiwan to open a branch company of the firm where heworks. He has fulfilled his career goals but he does not find satisfaction or happiness. Hedoes not get credit from the foreign company. In the end, he dies in a accident at work.Their actual fates are quite far removed from their earlier intentions. The different storiesgive an overall picture of their lives.In balancing the structure of the story, Zhang Xiguo usually arranges the climax ofthe events at the end.In Chess King, the final chess competition between the boy and Professor Liucomes at the end of the story. The end of the competition brings the conclusion of thestory. In "Red Child," the disappearance of Gao Qiang; in "The Banana Boat," the deathof the sailor, in Yesterday's Anger, the death of Ge Rixin can each be considered as asurprising ending and a climax to the story.The end of the story usually echoes the beginning. In Yesterday's Anger, thebeginning and the ending both focus on Cheng Zexong's actions. At the start, he is on atrain on his way to Xinzhu to inform his uncle and aunt of the news about his cousin. Thestory commences here. Then he goes to the States and meets his cousin, her ex-husbandand the student leader Ge Rixin. At the end, after Ge's death, his cousin comes back toTaiwan. Cheng Zexong greets her at the airport and then accompanies her to the trainstation to send her to Xinzhu. Thus, the story ends with him too.In The Yellow River Water, at the beginning, Zhan Shuren is celebrating theChinese New Year's Eve with his friend Lin Zhengji and Lin's sister. Because Lin Zhengjisays he can hear a baby's cry they think he is crazy. Zhan Shuren remembers the night hespent with Lin Zhengji on the beach. The story starts. At the end of the novel, in thenight, Zhan Shuren heads for the ocean, finally reaching the beach.110Zhu LiIn Zhang Xiguo's science fiction work "Love in a Falling City," thecorrespondence between beginning and end is more obvious. They contain a similar scene.In fact, the story starts and ends with exactly the same paragraph.The flames jumped from one ridge to another, and coloured half the skyover the capital red. Soldiers were shouting and running. He was fighting a snakemutant which was climbing up the wall. The rear half of the snake mutant wascurled, with a chubby tail, the front half was still struggling; its three yellow-greeneyes were looking at him with hatred. He stabbed his sword into the soft partbetween its eyes. The snake mutant shouted in pain and could not move any more.As another snake mutant jumped over the wall, he gritted his teeth and once againwielded his sword."The city is fallen, let's go." a gentle voice softly murmured by his ear.This is the beginning of the story. Wang Xin is a history student from Earth. Hecomes to study the history of the universe on Hu-hui planet. Once, he visits the An-liuEpoch with the purpose of observing the famous historical war when the Snake-Mutanttribe besieged Suo-lun City. The story depicts Wang going to the falling city. He choosesto go at that period just so he can take part in that event. Meixin, his girl-friend, alsochooses to be with him. The end of the story is as follows:The flames jumped from one ridge to another, and coloured half the skyover the capital red. Soldiers were shouting and running. He was fighting a snakemutant which was climbing up the wall. The rear half of the snake mutant wascurled, with a chubby tail, its front half was still struggling; its three yellow-greeneyes were looking at him with hatred. He stabbed his sword into the soft partbetween its eyes. The snake mutant shouted in pain and could not move any more.As another snake mutant jumped over the wall, he gritted his teeth and once againwielded his sword."The city is fallen, let's go." a gentle voice softly murmured by his ear.He turned abruptly, there she stood right behind him."What are you here for?"She then slowly took off her gown which was made of strings of jade; andhe understood what it meant. It was impossible for him to turn back; and for hissake, she was not going back either. Among the innumerable stars within thecosmic universe, and over all the times in the millenium of light years, they choseonly to live at this very moment, not the past, nor the future, only this moment oftime.He shifted his sword to his left hand, and grasped her hand tightly. Theyfaced toward the blazing Suo-lun City; all the houses in the capital were on fire,roaring with flakes of flame. It was as if this golden sea of fire would burn andburn till eternity.The beginning and the ending occur in a matching atmosphere. Thiscorrespondence gives the whole story a sense of unity.1 1 1Thu LiZhang Xiguo also uses other literary techniques in his writing. In Chess King, headapts the stream of consciousness to describe the confusion and unsettled state of ChengLing's mind.When Cheng Ling visits Huang Duanshu, Huang is on the phone. Cheng Ling sitsin a chair waiting for her.His eyes wandered around the room. The walls were adorned with awonderland of travel posters: Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Bangkok, Sydney.One in particular caught his eye: a golden beach, a supernatural blue sea, andbehind the beach were snow-capped mountains rising into the distance. TheCaribbean. He suspected that no one could really afford to spend their vacationthere. Not even the richest people in Taipei were wealthy enough. The beach reallyintrigued him. Cheng Ling thought to himself that, if he had money, that would bewhere he would go. The golden sands of the Caribbean didn't have any lions. No,no lions at all. The sea that Hemingway had dreamed of was along the Africancoast. Cheng Ling had never dreamed of Africa. He knew a girl. She went toTanzania as a nurse. And that was the last he had ever heard of her. A single Asiangirl going to Africa to be a nurse. Who knew how she was doing there? ChengLing thought that he still might have her address. He ought to write her a letter andask her whether there were lions on the African coast.58Cheng Ling's mind jumps from the golden beach to money, then to lions, Hemingway'sstory, Africa, a girl he knew who went to Africa. True, even the beautiful natural scene isconnected with money in his mind. But on the other hand, he still has an artisticinclination. He goes on to think about Hemingway's story, the lion and the girl afterconsidering money.In Yesterday's Anger, Zhang Xiguo uses montage to put the different periods oftime into a long smooth string of inner connected pictures. In the main character ChengZexiong's mind, memories of his cousin Wang Ya-nan flash back like pictures:He stood in the balcony of their small apartment for a long time. Heremembered the wind in Xinzhu. . . . He closed his eyes, it seemed he was backin his childhood. He and Minghui(his wife) walked in a bamboo grove, hand inhand. He turned his face to look at Minghui, no that was not Minghui's face. Thatwas his cousin's face. He and his cousin walked in the bamboo grove, hand inhand. ^" Ya-nan! Ya-nan!"His cousin's mischievous face showed up somewhere and then disappearedagain. He chased after her; his feet stamped on soft bamboo leaves. . . . Finally58 Zhang Xiguo, Chess King, p. 56.112Thu Lihe was tired and sat down. His cousin suddenly showed up behind him andcovered his eyes with her soft hands."Guess who it is?"He pulled her hands away. The bamboo grove disappeared. He and hisclassmates were walking along the road. His cousin was riding a small red bicycletowards them. She was in her school uniform. . . . He wanted to say hi, but hewas afraid that his classmates would make fun of him. When he was hesitating,she passed him. He looked up and saw she smiled at him.He turned around to look at her. His cousin was standing on the top levelof a diving board above the swimming pool. Her white skin was set off by her redswimming suit.59The sentences in italics serve as conjunctions between two different time periods.The flashbacks bring the highlights of his memories of his cousin to his mind in a fastrhythm.We can see Zhang Xiguo consciously using varying literary techniques in his otherworks. For example, "Our Company" is a personal monologue. The whole story ispresented through one person talking. There are no other narrators or intrusions fromoutside. "Red Child" is a collection of letters from different people concerning oneperson's life. This person never shows up in the story, but through the others' letters, wefind out about his difficult political situation.In "The Killer In A Winter's Night," Zhang Xiguo writes the story in an invertedway: from the end to the beginning returning step by step. He gives the ending of the storyfirst. An old Chinese couple are fatally wounded and the man is dead. The story goesback to the struggle, where the man is hit on the head. Next, it introduces how the oldcouple hear the door bell. They have just finished supper and are trying to clean up. Theirdaughter's family have just finished their visit. The two kids chase each other. The storygoes further back to the supper. It is afternoon, and the woman is preparing the dinner.The man watches the sky, and says "It's snowing." Noon now, and they are havinglunch. Finally the story returns to the morning, when they were eating breakfast, endingwith the night before, as they sleep peacefully. The event is described over and against the59 Zhang Xiguo, Yesterday's Anger, pp. 17-18.113711u Liprogress of time. The bloody ending of the old couple's life at the beginning sharplycontrasts with the peaceful life of the couple at the end.In "The Decider," Zhang Xiguo uses the question-answer style to write his story.He gives several questions, to each of which the narrator gives a wrong answer and thewriter gives the right answer. For example, to the question: "If you had become the deanof the department in University of Oclanda thirteen years ago, what would you be doingnow?" The narrator's answer is that he would be ushered to his car, with the vice presidentof the department saying good-bye beside him. The right answer is that he would beshopping in the store like other normal people, picking up eggs and fruit.Zhang Xiguo is an expert at using irony in his writing. According to A GlossaryOf Literary Terms, "In most of the critical uses of the term 'irony' there remains the rootsense of dissembling or hiding what is actually the case; not, however, in order to deceive,but to achieve special rhetorical or artistic effects."60 In Zhang Xiguo's writing, the mostobvious ironic device is "verbal irony." "Verbal irony is a statement in which the speaker'simplicit meaning differs sharply from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed. Such anironic statement usually involves the explicit expression of one attitude or evaluation, butwith indications in the speech-situation that the speaker intends a very different, and oftenopposite, attitude or evaluation." But we also have to keep in mind that "sometimes the useof irony . . . is very complex; the meaning and evaluations may be subtly qualified ratherthan simply reversed, and the clues to the ironic counter-meaning under the surfacestatement may be indirect and unobtrusive."61In Zhang Xiguo's writing, especially in his short story collection Stories ofChauvinist Husbands and some of his science fiction, there are many examples of his useof verbal irony.613 Abrams, M.H., A Glossary Of Literary Terms, p. 91.61 Abrams, M.H., A Glossary Of Literary Terms, p. 91.114Zhu LiIn Stories of Chauvinist Husbands, there are short comments at the end of eachstory. Those comments are made in such an ironic way that readers know for certain thatthe speaker's implicit meaning differs sharply from the meaning that is ostensiblyexpressed. "Kill Thy Wife" is a story about the hostility between man and woman. WuZiqiao writes a diary to express his anger and hatred of his wife. At the end of the story,when Wu's wife is murdered, Wu is convicted of murder by the evidence of his diary andhe is locked in a psychiatric hospital, and the writer gives this comment: "Another lesson ofthis story is: if you really want to kill your wife, make sure you don't write anydiary."(210)62 Of course, the meaning of this story is not as simplistic as this. In "TheSlave of Love," Hu Qifeng accepts the handcuffs from his mistress but never has a chanceto use them. His mistress leaves him and he is conquered by the past memories andfantasies related to the handcuffs. At the end of story, the comment is: "Another lesson ofthis story is: Don't accept handcuffs as a gift from others."(74) In "Test Thy Wife,"Zhuang Qingdian is always suspicious about his second wife. He controls all the moneyand forces her to report her actions when she is not at home. When he returns to Taiwan tomeet a girl he once fell for, he lets his second wife go travelling alone. She findssomebody during her travels and divorces Zhuang. Zhuang marries for the third time. Thethird wife treats him well and obeys all his orders. After he suffers a stroke and becomesparalysed, his third wife brings her "distant uncle" (biao shu) over to take care of him. Butshortly after Zhuang's death, his third wife gets married to her "distant uncle." Thecomment on the story is: "The lesson of this story is: Never let your wife travel alone.Another lesson of this story is: The distant uncle is always the most suspiciousperson."(93) Those comments are not serious criticism, they are ironic statements givingenough space for readers to be aware of a more meaningful side.62 Zhang Xiguo,Stories of Chauvinist Husbands. Page numbers in text.115Zhu LiThere is another important literary element which we find in Zhang Xiguo'swriting. It is his use of symbols in his stories.In "The Slave of Love," the pair of handcuffs can be considered as a symbol. Thehandcuffs are given to Hu Qifeng as a birthday gift by his mistress. He refuses to spendmuch time with her because he is going to Taiwan for a business trip. After he comes backfrom Taiwan, his mistress has already left him. He has no chance to ever to use thehandcuffs. His mind is full of his recollections of his mistress and sexual fantasies relatedto handcuffs. This pair of handcuffs gains control of his mind. He is spirituallyhandcuffed by the handcuffs. The handcuffs are made in Taiwan. "He looked again andagain at the letters engraved on the handcuffs and with his fingers touched the indentedletters:T, A, I, W, A ,N. His thumb could cover all of the letters. The letters were sosmall! But when he rubbed the letters with his thumb, he could still figure out the distinctexistence of each letter: N, A, W, I, A, T."63 They are something more than a pair ofhandcuffs. The handcuffs can be interpreted as spiritual shackles which conquer peoples'minds. They can also be considered as representing an inevitable spiritual bond betweenChinese people and Taiwan.In Zhang Xiguo's science fiction work "Xiang ge lila - Xing cheng zu qu zhe er"(Sinclare--The Cosmic Dust Suite II), Mahjong is used as a symbol for money. The story-teller is an astronomer who is just back from space after twenty years of travel. He tells hisfriend Hang that once their space ship landed on a planet and they found that the blackrocks on the surface of the planet were actually alive. The black rocks would place theirblack sides towards the sun during the day to absorb energy; then they would get up duringthe night to move around using their white sides, hidden during the day, to display signs.They would put these different pictures and signs on their white sides to communicate withand entertain each other. He calls them poets by nature. To propagate earth culture, the63 Zhang Xiguo, "The Slave of Love," Stories of Chauvinist Husbands, p. 72.116Zhu Liastronomer and his partners play Mahjong in front of all the black rocks and leave amahjong set on that planet before they depart. Several years later, they come back to theplanet and find that the black rocks have greatly changed and developed. The black rockshave all become Mahjong pieces. They define class ranks among different rocks accordingto the defmitions in Mahjong. They also have a great ambition to change all rocks in theuniverse into Mahjong pieces like themselves. They have the power to do so by touchingeach rock in turn. They want to conquer the whole universe by changing all rocks intoMahjong pieces in this way. His friend Hong does not believe him. That night Hong hasdinner with some other friends. After dinner, he walks in the street and feels there issomething wrong with the moon. He looks at it and finds in the sky:That is a Hong Zhong (Red Middle, a Mahjong piece)!Hang Huisheng's mouth fell open and he could not close for a long time.He heard rumbling noises beside him. The road broke open, and there was a hugeblack rock emerging from under. Hang Huisheng saw two big letters "FaCai"(Good Fortune, also a Mahjong piece) rising up from the broken road.64Mahjong is a symbol for money. The conquest of Mahjong pieces signifies theconquest of money. The black rocks are poets of nature before they encounter Mahjong,the spirit of money. Mahjong controls and changes their minds, making them also want toconquer and control others by changing them into Mahjong pieces, into slaves of money.The power of money is signified by the power of the Mahjong set and its servants theBlack Rocks. Mahjong is a symbol which indicates the dominance of money in this societyand the conquest of peoples' mind by money.In "Tong xiang cheng" (The Bronze Statue City), the bronze statue can beconsidered as a symbol. The epic dimension of the story focuses on the history of how abronze statue "grows" into colossal size, at first by having it rebuilt altogether and later by aprocess of adding one layer after another onto the existing body. The growth of this statueis punctuated by a cycle of political turmoil and chaos touched off by the leaders of the city64 Zhang Xiguo, "Xiang ge la" (Sinclare--The Cosmic Dust Suite II), Yei Qu (Serenade), p. 36.117Thu Liand exploited by various rebellious forces that plunge the city into disaster. The storyrelates that after each respective political coup, when the new conqueror marches into thecity, his first decree would be to have the statue "embellished" with metals from theweapons and armour plundered from his enemies. The cost of rebuilding the statue getshigher and higher. Added to this are also corruption, inertia and finally rebellion, so thecollapse of the empire is inevitable in the end. A new cycle starts all over again with thenew conqueror rebuilding an even bigger statue. There comes a time when the statuereaches such a size that any modification by human efforts becomes impossible. The statueseems to have acquired a life of its own, growing into a mixed resemblance of all theconquerors who have contributed to its size and appearance. The bronze statue is thenworshipped by hundreds of thousands of citizens, and the city state plunges into a war toforce others to worship the statue. The war ends after massive destruction of lives andproperty, and the statue is eventually "vaporized" by the beaming gun of a fleet of space-warships sent from some superpower planets.The statue is a successful symbol which contains rich meanings. It can be taken asthe symbol of culture, tradition or history. The statue is built into its greatness bygeneration after generation of people adding layer upon layer of weapons to it. Finally itbecomes a live thing which malevolently interferes with peoples' decisions and controlstheir fate. It also can be interpreted as a fame which people have no power to overcomeand which finally brings disaster to its worshippers.Zhang Xiguo is very concerned about the literary side of his stories. Heconsciously applies certain artistic skills in his writing. His style is simple and natural witha touch of irony. The stories are more readable because of his style.118Mu LiConclusionZhang Xiguo is a scientist with a passion for literature. He has established a namefor himself in the literary field. His writings is quite highly regarded.He is not a cynical critic. He is compassionate and warm-hearted towards people,especially the weak and victimized. In his writing, there is more sympathy andunderstanding than condemnation of his characters. His tone is usually mild, easy andhumorous.In general, he is concerned more with peoples' struggle to survive in this changingworld than with pure artistic pursuits.Zhang Xiguo's writing mainly deals with the lives of contemporary Chinesepeople. Most of his short stories are collected under the title: "The Souls of Wanderers."Zhang Xiguo has clear opinions on the content of his own writing. He focuses his writingon the lives of particular Chinese people during this period of change. He writes in hisarticles that he considers the most important experience of Chinese to be change.The tone adopted in most of his stories is rather sad. Similarly, the ending of mostof his stories is tragic. Though he has very positive hopes about peoples' destiny in a timeof change and he believes that they are ultimately struggling for a better future, thecharacters in most of his stories do not survive the changes. They become lost or defeated.Most of them have suffered disillusionment of their old beliefs, and have had troublefinding a place to which they truly belong. Zhang Xiguo's writing about wanderersrecords in detail the disappointment, disillusionment, confusion, loneliness and desperationof such people in the face of a changing world. Nevertheless, we should not forget to lookat the bright spots of the characters in these sad stories. Their life may be a tragedy, but intheir behavior during difficult times they still maintain some human dignity and conscience.119Thu LiTaiwan's economic situation has dramatically changed in the past forty years.Under such economic conditions, traditional values and life styles are inevitably facingchallenges. Among the obvious clashes between the effects of great economic developmentand traditional standards, the issue of money provides the main focus. In Zhang Xiguo'swriting, both intellectuals and common people have to deal with the issue of money. Hedescribes how the power of money has changed the lives of some intellectuals.In his stories, a few old intellectuals still keep their traditional world view andacademic lifestyle, but many give up their careers in academics and become businessmen,or combine academic and business pursuits. Even though the phenomenon of intellectualsgiving up their careers to become merchants, now in modern term "businessmen," may notbe new, this kind of conversion was never very common and well-received in China untilrecent times. Yet the merchant class has finally surpassed the scholar class. Not only aremerchants treated more favorably but even money has gained a position of great respect insociety. The power of money has shaken the basic confidence of intellectuals who aresupposed to be beyond the reach of petty material attractions. Spiritual and intellectual lifehas been overshadowed by financial concerns. Money has had a distinct impact onintellectuals' thinking. Many intellectuals have been forced to adjust their traditional idealsin order to survive in this changing world. Zhang Xiguo is very concerned with theintellectuals' painful struggle to encompass both material needs and idealistic pursuits in anew situation.By contrast, when he deals with the common peoples' concerns about money, heemphasizes their sacrifice and loyalty to their families and friends. He does not treat themas low class people, according to a traditional viewpoint, but rather shows his deepsympathy for their desperate struggle.There are no totally evil characters in Zhang Xiguo's writing. According to hisunderstanding, the power of darkness is not represented by any particular person but exists120Thu Liin an invisible way. People can feel the existence of darkness but cannot find a particularobject to fight against. And evil exists in the heart of everyone.Zhang Xiguo discusses how Chinese people think about the relationship betweenGod and human beings in order to find the root of compromise in Chinese philosophy. Hethinks that Chinese do not consider fate to be totally unalterable, but neither do they dare toadmit that fate can be controlled by human beings. They realistically acknowledge that fateis a result of compromise between heaven and human beings.Although Zhang Xiguo feels that compromise plays a positive role in keeping ahuge country like China together in harmony, he does not favour compromise on the issueof dealing with evil forces or opponents. Because the Chinese feel that evil forces cannotbe conquered or eliminated by the efforts of human beings, they choose compromiseinstead of fighting. Not only rebels but also rulers prefer to seek compromise. Yet evilforces keep on growing as a result of one compromise or another and can never really beexterminated. Zhang Xiguo thinks that the Chinese have traditionally always chosen such anegative way to deal with evil forces."Compromise" is a major theme in Zhang Xiguo's writing. He believes that theintention to compromise with evil forces or opposing ideologies forms part of the Chinesenational personality. His writing illustrates his theoretical understanding of compromise.Many of his characters seek different ways to compromise or not to compromise withsociety. Some of them finally compromise. Some of them try to cope in different waysrather then to surrender. They try to manipulate people to help them achieve their goals.And still others manage to find the true meaning of action. People who do not wish tocompromise, but do not have the power to act either, finally become bystanders.There are certain patterns in Zhang Xiguo's writing about the relationships between menand women,. Most of the time men and women do not live in harmony. The basic pattern is thatmen desire to conquer women by financial power or sexual seduction. But during the process of1 2 1Zhu Liconquering, men are actually conquered by women through sex and lose control of their money aswell. This pattern has another form: the men intend to use the women, but end up being used bythe women. In either form, the pattern is the same: women become the real conquerors in the end,and men, the former conquerors, are conquered or used by women.There is another pattern in the relationships between men and women. In this pattern, themen and women become open enemies. They fight each other consciously. In the end, one ofthem loses and the other wins; there is no compromise. The hostility between men and womenreaches a peak in "Kill Thy Wife."In Zhang Xiguo's writing, there are clear indications of women breaking away from theirtraditional passive position in relationships. Most of his stories emphasize how confused andresentful men feel at the altered situation, having lost their power and control over women. Eachstory tells of a man's bitterness when he loses in the battle with a woman. Almost none of thestories give a woman's true opinion.Zhang Xiguo includes several stories about relationships between men and womenin his "The Soul of Wanderers" series. Maybe he wishes to imply that people are also lostin their relationships. The old balance between man and woman was based on the principlethat man was the object and woman was the subject. This balance has been lost, but a newone has not yet been established.Zhang Xiguo's writing style is simple and humorous. His language combinesclassical Chinese and westernized vernacular. He quotes Chinese classical poems, phrasesand literary words in his stories, and also uses peoples' spoken language and even slang.Zhang Xiguo also uses some writing skills to enrich the content and broaden theview of his stories. Inner shifting narrators give the different angles of a story. Withregard to the narrators, some of them can also be found in other stories and novels. So thesame narrator becomes a link between different stories, providing a much broaderdescription of a character's personality. In balancing the structure of the story, Zhang1 2 2Thu LiXiguo usually arranges the climax of the events at the end, and the end of the story usuallyechoes the beginning. Zhang Xiguo also uses other literary techniques in his writing, suchas the stream of consciousness and montage. Zhang Xiguo is an expert at using irony andsymbols in his writing.In conclusion Zhang Xiguo has covered some of the most basic themes in literature:peoples' spiritual and physical exile, their behaviors in the face of outside pressure and themale-female relationship, etc. Zhang Xiguo adopts a very human approach to thosethemes. He shows understanding for people who are lost. Though he might use irony tomake fun of their mistakes (especially in his stories about the relationships between menand women), he has never lost compassion for them.Moreover, he tries to give some philosophical messages in his stories but withoutfalling into the trap of becoming a lecturer or a teacher to his readers. He is a good storyteller, using different styles to make his stories interesting and attractive.Basically he writes to a Chinese audience. Almost everything he writes is about theChinese. He is concerned with the fate of all Chinese people. His characters are Chinese,no matter where they are, in Taiwan, Hong Kong, or the United States. He writes abouttheir struggles and searches. Although he has written many tragic stories, he has never losthis faith in a better future for the Chinese nation.He is a very good writer, and some of his works, for example, Chess Master, willhave lasting influence in literary world.1 2 3BibliographyPart I. Works in EnglishAdrams, M. H. A Glossary of Literary Terms, Chicago, Holt, Rinehart and Winston,Inc., 1985.Chinese Fiction From Taiwan, Critical Perspectives, ed. Faurot, Jeannette L.Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1980.Robertson, Roland and Holzner, Burkart. Identity and Authority-- Explorations in theTheory of Society, Oxford, Basil Blachwell, 1980.The Unbroken Chain, An Anthology of Taiwan Fiction Since 1926, ed. Lau, Joseph S.M. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1983.Worlds of Modern Chinese Fiction, ed. Duke, M. S. New York, M. E. Sharpe, Inc.,1991.Part II. Journals and MagazinesThe Western Political Quarterly. Est. 1991.Er shi shi ji^-e- -7, (Twentieth Century Magazine). Est. 1991.Zhong pian xiao shuo xuan kan ij ,1,114411^. Est. 1987.Part Ill. PapersDuke, M. S. "Two Chess Master s: One Chinese Way: A Comparison of Chang Hsi-kuo's and Chung Ah-ch'eng's Ch'i wang." Asian-Pacific Cultural Centre, Asian-Pacific Parliamentarians' Union, Winter 1987.Lee, Ou-fan. "Shenqi de lucheng-- xingyun zuqu xuqu" *littoitg-^0-01156/(An Amazing Trip--A Brief Introduction of "The Suite of Nebula"), in The Suiteof Nebula (Hongfan Co., Taipei, Taiwan, 1980).Wang, Kin Yuen. "Rhetoric, History and Interpretation in Chang Hsi-Kuo's The Star-Cloud Suite," unpublished paper, presented at the "Conference on Taiwan Fiction,"Department of Oriental Language and Literatures, University of Colorado atBoulder, October, 1991.Yang, Mu. "Zhang Xiguo de guan xin he yi shu," f-k.fiN 0 X A2) -411 -EL(The Art and Thought of Zhang Xiguo, The Preface to The Banana Boat), in TheBanana Boat.Yu, Guangzhong. "Tianji yukui hua qiwang" T41*Preface to Chess King), in Chess King.1'4-4 (The124Part IV Works by Zhang HiguoNovelsHuang he zhi shui litg t7j< (The Yellow Bluer Water), Taibei,Hongfan, 1979.Pi mu shi zheng zhuan atznEt# (The Biography of Pastor PI),Taipei, Hongfan, 1985.Qi wang tgE (Chess King), Taibei, Hongfan, 1978. Trans.Zimmerman, Ivan David. Hong Kong, Joint PublishingCo., 1986.Zuo ri zhi nu Erg Etigac (Yesterday's Finger), Taipei, Hongfan,1978.Short StoriesBu Hill zhe 7 4-5 t (The Immortals), Taipei, Hongfan,1984.This short story collection contains: "Jie lingzhe" got (The One Who Unties the Bell), ''Jue cezhe"^(The Decider), "Zheng fu zhe" gijkg"(The Conquerors), and "Bu }du zhe"4-5t (TheImmortals), etc."The Conquerors." In Worlds of Modern Chinese Fiction."Earth." Trans. John Kwan-Terry. In Chinese Fiction From Taiwan.Kong zi zhi sia,-±-E (The Death of Confucius), Taipei, Hongfan,1978.This collection includes short story "Da fengchui"*XV, (The Wind Blows), etc.She zhu chuan qi..0;.1g** (Stories of Chauvinist Husbands),Taibei, Hongfan, 1988.125This short story collection contains:" Chong tiankong luo Hia lai de ren" i(A..---7.--F 5 rt y IA (ManWho Fell From the Sky), "Hi nu"^(The Slave ofLove), "Shi qi"j4W (Test Thy Wife), "She Qi",ix:-.,^(KillThy Wife), etc."Red Child" or "Red Boy," trans by Faurot, Jeannette L., inUnbroken Chain.Hiang jiao chuan tAxti (The Banana Boat), Taipei, Hongfan, 1976.This short story collection includes: "Hiang jiaochuan"t0A(The Banana Boat), "Lan se duo naohe"g t Ogi'jlf(The Blue Danube), "Dong ye sheshou".,4*(Killers in R Winter's Night), "Bengong si"*--trI(Our Company), "Shui yen lu-ermen"*.Nigg3M(Flood Over the Lu-er Gate), "Honghai'er"VUL (Red Child), and "Di"g(Flute), etc.Zhang Higuo zi }wan ji .* 0 g tg(Zhang Higuo'sself-Selected Collection), Taipei, Liming Co., 1982.This collection contains: "Diaoi*j (Fishing),"Di" (Earth), and "Shou wang zhe"(TheBystander), etc.Science Fiction CollectionHing gun zu qu a -t-l.....fri1980. (The Suite of Nebula), Taipei, Hongfan,NMMOThis collection contains: "Tong Xiang Chen"*041 (The Bronze Statue City), "Qing chunquan"*...4 (The Spring of Youth), and "Qing chengzhi lian"gligt-Z; (Love in R Falling City), etc.Ye qu^(Serenade), Taipei, Hongfan, 1985.This collection contains: "Xiang ge Ii la--xingchen zu qu zhi er" ttgrrii, -- M-4'...f.::: . (Sinclare--The Cosmic Dust Suite II), etc.126Social CommentariesTian cheng zhi lu^(A Journey to Sky City), Taipei,Hongfan, 1977.Ya dang de du di yen^gygl±g: fa (Adam's Navel), Taipei,Yuntian, 1971."Shi tan min zu wen Hue de nei rong he Hing shi"i4iP.R,-.1-111A1-17f-a3^(About the Contentsand Styles of National Literature), and "Ye shi shenhua"tAT lirig(Also Myth), in Zhang Higuo'sSelf-Selected Collection."Sha fu, sha di, she zhu, Zhang Higuo U. S. Li fing--guo ji chuanzheng dui tan"^,^, 17:0>^,^El U. S.g^zi.A (Kill Thy Husband, Kill Thy Wife,Chauvinist Husbands, Zhang Higuo U. S. Li ling), inStories of Chauvinist Husbands."Vi ge zuo jia de Hin lu Ii cheng"^.1),31",),f'ir (TheSpiritual Course of A Writer), United Daily.127Bu zhou shanChen Zexiong -7Ding Xiaopei "11/41Du FangyuFeng WeiminChen JigangCheng Lingdong lui shuiMr. FangGe RixinGao WeiGlossary of Chinese Names and TermsIt 3 lz.SPAGao YuebaiGong Jizhonghuai renGong GongGu XiuxiaHong Xianzu/--0,*‘AFL5A5--Gao QiangHou YiHu Yushan, j:,Huang DuanshuJi XiangyunJing Yulan Li AngLi MingLin Xinlong wang\F,Minwen 4t1;ir15(._NezaWang PeilunWang Ya-nan^g._Wu SongSha Li1),4.-/11.7^1%:;"3Huang GuoquanJin Lihe^4S1-,41(2,Lan QiLi HaiwenLi Yishanlong gong k:Lui LeyimeixinWang Xiaoling^•)'*Wu HanshanWu Ziqiaoh i Ping -MHu QifengLuo DaiHu huiMinghuiQiu Huimeil2 gSong Zijiaxiao renProfessor YingThan Shuren IWi-Zhao ZichaoThou Dachuan • I? Kit \Thou PeiZou YueSima GuangTang XuanzangXiao YuYu gong yi shanZhang XiguoZhong GuiZhou RongZhuang Qingdian j:?1.,1Aik


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