Negotiating with the tradition: Representations of fish in Alai’s fictional writing

Fecha

2021

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capítulo de libro

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De Grandis, Mario
Costantini, Filippo

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Tibet has long been orientalized in fictional representations. Taking as a case study two texts by Alai, this paper investigates how a traditional Tibetan cultural trait–the fish taboo–is mobilized to complicate the representation of Tibetan culture. By describing the fish taboo Alai points at Tibet's cultural specificity, which in virtue of its exoticism can catch the attention of non-Tibetan readers. At the same time, however, Alai equips his characters with psychological depth, showing their contrasting inner emotions of attraction and repulsion toward fish. In this sense, Alai subtly points at the fallacies of flat representations of Tibet, thus dismantling them from within.
在中国小说形象中,西藏长期被“东方化”。本文以阿来的两篇文本为例,检视其中捕鱼食 鱼禁忌的运用对藏族文化表征的复杂化。通过对捕鱼食鱼禁忌的描写,阿来指向西藏的这一文化 特殊性。其异域情调能够吸引非藏族读者的注意。而与此同时,阿来赋予他的人物以心理情感的 深度,揭示他们对鱼既亲近又斥拒的复杂内心感受。从这个意义上来说,阿来巧妙地指出对西藏 扁平化描写的谬误,并将其从内部消解。

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Chinese ethnic minority literature, Alai, Disgust studies

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