Nature as a General Religion: The Modes of Exchange in Wu MingYi’s Sea Breeze Club (78572)

Session Information: Literature/Literary Studies
Session Chair: Akiko Takei

Saturday, 25 May 2024 13:45
Session: Session 3
Room: Room 608
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

In the novel Sea Breeze Club, authored by Wu Mingyi and published in 2023, a Taoroko village serves as a microcosm of Taiwan Island, depicting the transition from the nomadic lifestyle of indigenous tribes to the establishment of settled agriculture, the emergence of the state, and the eventual arrival of capitalism. Drawing inspiration from the works of Japanese Marxist philosopher Kojin Karatani (1941 -), particularly “The Structure of World History” and his latest publication in 2022 titled “Force and Modes of Exchange”, this research examines the economic behaviors portrayed in the novel and the resulting social formation. Departing from the conventional Marxist notion of "modes of production," the analysis adopts the concept of "modes of exchange" to explore these themes. Moreover, this study critically evaluates the interlocking Capital-Nation-State system that characterizes modern global society. It argues that Sea Breeze Club presents possibilities for transcending the Capital-Nation-State system, with nature playing the role of a "general religion" and embodying the transformative potential referred to as "Mode D" by Kojin Karatani. While nature writing has received considerable attention in Anthropocene literature, a comprehensive understanding of its revolutionary power necessitates a simultaneous examination of economic behaviours and social formations.

Ying-Tung Chau, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Ying Tung Chau is a University Doctoral Student at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00