做為意識型態和實踐方式的東方論述，據薩伊德（Edward Said）指出，是涵蓋三個互相重疊的領域：一是歐美和亞洲間不斷變動的歷史與文化關係；二是西方一門自十九世紀以來研究東方文化傳統的學科；三是一個現今西方世界，基於其政治上的急迫性，稱之為東方的區域，以及和其相關的意識型態、假設和想像。東方論的這三個層面間的共通點在於那條分隔東方和西方的界線，與其說分界是自然的事實，不如說是人為的虛構，薩伊德稱之為想像的地理（imaginative geography）。實則，在東方論述的操作下，東方的真實性被僵化成古老的原型，東方淪為據以鞏固西方殖民自我（colonial Self）的沉默他者（the silenced Other）。本論文由東方主義出發，鋪陳當代西方女性書寫如何援引、挪用東方論述的精神，以女性他者（female Other）凌駕種族他者（racial Other），生產女性東方主義的文本。薩伊德曾指出東方主義（Orientalism）本身是個全然男性的領域，顯然薩氏忽略了帝國主義的女性觀點。由法國作家莒哈絲（Marguerite Duras）的自傳小說《情人》（L ‘Amant）、美國作家桑塔格（Susan Sontag）的〈中國之旅〉（Project for a Trip to China）以及華美作家湯亭亭的《中國男人》（China Men）中，本論文試圖探究西方女性文本裡的中國符號及想像，以作為薩氏《東方論》的補充篇。
The Orientalist Discourse in Contemporary Western Women’s Writings: (Mis) Representing China/Chinese Men in Marguerite Duras’, Susan Sontag’s, and Maxine Hong Kingston’s Works
Hsinya Huang(Associate Professor, Dept of English, National Kaohsiung Normal University)
Orientalism, as (re)defined by Edward Said, refers to three overlapping domains: first, the changing historical and cultural relationship between Europe and Asia; second, the scientific discipline in the West which studies the various Oriental cultures and traditions; third, the ideological suppositions, images, and fantasies about a currently important and politically urgent region of the world called the Orient. The common denominator in these three aspects of Orientalism is the line that separates Occident from Orient, and this line, as Said argues, is less a fact of nature than it is a fact of human production, which Said calls “imaginative geography.” Orientalism is a science of incorporation and inclusion by virtue of which the Orient is conceived and introduced to Europeans. The Orient is therefore not Europe’s interlocutor, but its silent Other. Said’s analogue to the Orient as the silent Other is the Victorian housewife: the Oriental, like the Victorian housewife, is confined to silence and to unlimited enriching production. Orientalism is thus connected to the configuration of sexual asymmetry underlying Western patriarchal culture. Orientalism is an exclusively male province, as Said contends, “since women are usually the creatures of a male power-fantasy.”
This paper proposes to argue for a female imperial gaze and challenge the potentially unified, and paradigmatically male, colonial subject outlined in Said’s Orientalism in 1978. Using Marguerite Duras’ L’Amant, Susan Sontag’s “The Project for a Trip to China” and Maxine Hong Kinston’s China Men as (con)texts/contests, this paper analyzes Orientalist representations by women, instead of the Orientalist images of women as most cultural histories of imperialism did. I argue that women produce imperialist images and are themselves Orientalist subjects. The analysis of the production of representations by women will then suggest an understanding of the interdependence of ideologies of race and gender in the (post)colonial discourse.
Orientalism, contemporary women’s writings, China as sign, Chinese men as icon