Founded In    1993
Published   semiannually
Language(s)   Chinese, English

Fields of Interest


Humanities (Literature, Music, Education, Phonetics, etc.)

ISSN   1024-3131
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Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities

Founded in April 1993 by the College of Liberal Arts at the National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, the Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities is now published twice a year. The English-Chinese bilingual journal solicits scholarly papers concerning various topics in the study of human sciences.


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Genetic Criticism, Volume 37


A Study of Multilingual Authors from the Perspective of Genetic Methodology

In recent years, multilingualism has emerged as one of the key international scholarly pursuits. This is because the subject is looked upon as a solution to the problem of the imminent extinction of many endengered languages. After repeated appeals from the international community, scholars from various countries have begun to devote efforts to the study of multilingualism. This is especially the case in the field of neurolinguistics where the study of the brain activities of multilingual users are being pored over. Since 2000, the study of multilingual user's cerebral activities has become an emergent discipline. Until now, literary study is the only field of study where the correlation among multilingualism, writing, and creativity is under examination. Nonetheless, contemporary literary criticism which concentrates on multilingual authors for the most part limits its focus on published works. Because of this, we cannot glean from the study how a multilingual author's familiarity with several languages deeply affects the creative process of the author in question. Importatnt too is the genetic logic of this creative process. How can we come to grips with relationship between the use of multiple languages and the everyday creative activities unless we examine author's draft materials ? Genetic approach will be able to avoid the speculative pitfalls of traditional study by means of a scrupulous analysis of the creative material traces, just as the way in which a neurolinguist or a psycholinguist conducts a scientific experiment. The study of Nabokov's correspondence and manuscript materials enables us to understand the way in which the author uses the many languges he has matered is not so much just a matter of style. The multilingual processes in Nabokov's creative writing that can be observed in his drafts reflect the author's perception of reality as multilingual and multicultural world. In short, a multilingual user habitually and naturally migrates among languages. He is in full control of different language codes and is unwilling to be confined to the narrow constraints of a single language.

Textual Genesis and Philosophical Analysis: On a Title of Nietzsche’s

This paper analyzes the genesis of an aphorism in Nietzsche's Things Human, All Too Human in light of genetic criticism. The philosophical work is characterized for its use of an aphorism which concerns the death of Nietzsche's father. I explore the significance of the aphorism from Nietzsche's biography, some literary aspects of his writing as well as a philosophical reference to Plato's works. In the first part, I will show the intertextual references in Nietzsche's Things Human, All Too Human. Moreover, I argue that Nietzsche suspended the meaning of a sentence by leaving the reader the task of completing it with the use an adversative, trotzdem, which is followed by two Gedankenstriche, two em dashes, to end the narrative. Writing for everyone and for no one, the philosopher shows different levels of comprehension corresponding to different degrees of culture.

Writing in the Margin: The Manuscripts

This paper analyses the functions of the margin of James Joyce's manuscripts, which include expansion, transition, connexion and assimilation. The expansive force of Joyce's writing is openly displayed in the margin of his manuscripts. Although he made sure to start writing well to the right of the sheet, leaving a copious left margin, this space often proves to be too small to accommodate all the new material. Therefore, most of the time, he wrote only on the recto of folios, reserving the verso for additions and corrections, turning it in effect into a vast extension of the left margin. Moreover, I argue that the text, in transit, is faced with its own future in the margin. Besides, the margin functions to weave connections between different parts of the text. Finally, from the aspect of assimilation, we will see that the presence of other books, other parts of the same text, and other versions of itself in the marginal space of Joyce's manuscripts.

"The Stirring of the Adventurous Heart of the Flower": A Study of a Manuscript of Zhou Mengdie

To use the terms of "rough drafts" and "fair copy," derived from genetic criticism, to supplant the more generalized or even misleading term of "manuscript" to describe "Fuge" or Bu fu rulai bu fu qin is perhaps more appropriate. By examining the traces in the manuscript and additional processes of transcribing and reconstruction, we hope to arrive at a "text" or avant-texte. This text or avant-texte should assist us in clarifying the complex of relationships among the published text, the creative process, and the thematic concerns of the poem under examination. The avant-texte embodies a hidden matrix and its significance affects our grasp of the published text and its relationship with the creative process. With a careful comparison between the manuscript materials of "Fuge" and Bu fu, we are able to ascertain indications which point to the possibility of two stages in the composition process realized in the space of the manuscript of the poem. Genetic terms such "sketch draft" and "scenario" correspond to the characteristics revealed in the manuscript. By the work of transcription and reconstruction, we can hypothesize an avant-texte and this theoretical text compels us to reflect, especially if we take into account the mysterious numerical notations on margins of the manuscript, their connection with traditional Chinese rhyme schemes, and with the issue of memory and history in general, whether genetic criticism which tends to concentrate on the creative process should also pay heed to, just as Louis Hay has already suggested, the issues of history and memory, in addition to the more secluded activities of composition.

The Impossibility of Revising: Deletion, Revision and Addition in Wang Wen-hsing's Manuscripts

The purpose of studying manuscript aims not at revealing secrets, finding something which has hitherto escape detection, discovering the truth or essence concerning the works or the writers themselves. We do not unearth the hidden truth buried beneath the surface. What we do is to turn to a detour, to turn away from dialectical cliches. How do we escape the sterotype ? Everytime we encounter the issue of creativity, we instinctively shy away from it. In order to delve into the question of the genetic process, I intend to discuss the traditional Chinese concept of revision and then deal with Wang Wen-hsing's usage of the word in his manuscripts. In an interview, Wang stated that it is impossible for him to revise. If a revision is made anyway, there seems to be no difference between what has been revised and what has remained unchaged. To put it another way, the fault remains even if the revision is done. "To try to change a single word does not work, unless you strike all the words which comes after that word," according to Wang. The statement raises a couple of questions. Why can't a writer rewrite his own writing ? Does revision has something to do with language ? Or does the act concern with language ? Does this involve the tradition from whence the writer comes ? Or is this an unique phenomenon belonging to Wang alone ? Though Wang has emphasized that in the process of transferring from the final draft to the fair copy, not a single word is changed, in actuality his manuscripts are full of revisions and deletions. After the completion of Jiabien [Family Catastrophe], he mentioned that he intended to rewrite everything. Did he or did he not do that ? Is there in existence some paradox ?

Multilingual Writing, Translation and Imaginary: A Preliminary Study of Wang Chen-ho's Manuscripts

Wang Chen-ho (1940-1990) is undoubtedly one of the most prominent writers in the history of Taiwan literature. Many academic and literary discourses have been devoted to Wang's grotesque style, his mixture of languages, and his literary experimentations. However most of the studies about Wang Chen-ho have focused on his writing which is understood as a "completed product," rather than as a "becoming process." This article is intended to be a first step towards an exploration of Wang Chen-ho's manuscripts. In light of genetic criticism, I will analyze some excerpts from the manuscripts of Meiren tu [A Portrait of Beauties] (1983) and Liangdi xiangsi [Lovesickness] (1985-1986), and I will try to highlight Wang's writing strategies. Furthermore, I will focus on Wang's polyphonic mechanisms of translation, auto-translation and creolization as manifested in the preliminary flow of his writing. This will reveal not only Wang's multilingual "poetics," but also his multilingual "poiesis."

The Hidden Edge of Fable: Rhetoric of Obscurity in the Final Stanzas of Gu Cheng's Allegorical Poems in His Manuscripts

Gu Cheng was considered the most representative poet of the Misty poetry in China emerged in the 1970s. In the past, scholarship on Gu's poems focused mainly on the dialectical relation between the poetics and the political concerns of the poet. In recent studies, researchers began paying more attention to the use of allegory in his works. Gu used allegories to create a fairyland, a world of childhood innocence, according to some critics. This paper sets out to explore why and how Gu reacted against the restrictions on art during the Cultural Revolution with metaphors of innocence in his allegorical poems. An analysis of Gu's allegorical poems in his manuscripts shows that the poet wrote on purpose to both contradict and concur the theme of innocence and of experience. The contradiction and correlation of the oppositional themes were made to hide his radical social and political critique between the lines. To conceal his real intentions from the reader, the poet used to delete words or cross out sentences in the final stanzas of his poems. Disclosing the allegorical meanings and the obscure references in his works, I argue that Gu created a literary world to write against the grand narrative of Chinese Communism.

A Preliminary Genetic Observation of Texts in the Art Works of Hou Chun-Ming

If we disregard traditional calligraphers, Hou Chun-Ming could be considered the artist whose works engage most pervasive writing. Even from his youth, he has tried to super-imposed writing onto his paintings. Since then, writing has become a crucial inaugural stage of his artistic projects. From the very beginning, Hou has kept systematic records of his writings, comprising the drafting process, working notes, and reminders. Writings are often interlaced with drawings. On the eve of his 40th birthday, he was confronted with an emotional and personal crisis. From then on, we see a divorce between writing and drawing, perhaps in order to clear a way out of the crisis. He then participated in a writing workshop with therapeutic function and started practicing automatic writing, meditation and experimenting with making Mandalas without the accompaniment of writing. All these activities become important parts of his creative projects. In recent years, he has devoted more time and energy to writing, or, looked at it from another perspective, on turning writing into figures. By means of this experiment, he wishes to further explore the potential of writing in terms of digital media. I am of the opinion that Hou is able to learn from his engagements with writing in the several stages of his creative/genetic process and he is then able to apply in his many works the ideas and aesthetic lessons he learned. All of the stages of this genetic process possess their unique significance. Owing to this understanding, a genetic study of his working process will enable us to analyze how he turns the temporal process into pictorial space, and thereby creating a uniqueness in diversity or vice versa.

Other Issues

January 2016, Volume 40
July 2015, Volume 39
, Volume 38
Sinophone Studies, 35
Chinese and Western Literature and Arts in the Eighteenth Century, 34
Early Modern Music and Literature , Issue 21
DISCIPLINE in Literature and Literary Studies , Issue 20