|dc.description.abstract||This thesis begins with challenging the predominant criteria—“correct” political commitment and social realism—upheld in the historiography of Taiwanese Literature and Nativist Literature and used by the historians (Yeh Shihtao and Peng Reijin) to measure against female novels and female writers, especially those categorized as guixiu wenxue （閨秀文學） and guixiu zuojia （閨秀作家） discussed in the thesis during the late 1970s and the mid 1980s. Guixiu wenxue has long been slighted and considered trivial and inferior since it usually evolves around and agonizes over domestic issues of family, marriage, love and relationships. Further, the thesis questions the eventual political effectiveness of reinstating the female novels and female writers in the historiographies and striving for canonization therein, reflected upon and suggested by Chiu Kuei-fen, if the glaring gender blindness and biases represented in those historiographies are not reexamined and left intact.
To address the raised challenges myself, I propose a reading formulated by detailed textual analysis of two selected female novels—Killing Husband (KH) and Osmanthus Alley (OA). Two narratives are juxtaposed to be read in reference to each other. I argue that such juxtaposition furthers our understanding by comparing and contrasting the narratives in their respective constructions of the feminine subjectivity and representations of the feminine subjects. In the textual analyses, the narrative positionality and desire in each text are sorted out to lay bare the interests they serve and the effects they achieve. In brief, the narrative of KH is interpreted to represent Lin Shih, the feminine subject lacking in any resources and cornered by the shaming mechanism of the sex/gender system, as the ignorant and incompetent foil of another protagonist/feminine subject Li Su, the elitist knowledge subject, in the Lu Cheng Stories. In contrast thereto, the narrative of OA shows a relatively non-judgmental, unapologetic and active formation of the feminine subject. However, the fact that KH and OA have to pose the feminine subjects as victim or legend at two extremes for their female lacking subjectivities to sustain signifies that there is still much textual excavation to do to animate our collective understanding and imagining of the poor and the disadvantaged.||en_US|