Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore: Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community 149853516X, 9781498535168

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Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore: Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community
 149853516X, 9781498535168

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Copyright © 2017. Lexington Books. All rights reserved.

i Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:21:36.

Copyright © 2017. Lexington Books. All rights reserved.

Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:21:15.

Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community

Copyright © 2017. Lexington Books. All rights reserved.

Bing Wang

LEXINGTON BOOKS

Lanham • Boulder • New York • London Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:21:15.

Published by Lexington Books An imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706 www.rowman.com Unit A, Whitacre Mews, 26-34 Stannary Street, London SE11 4AB Copyright © 2018 by Lexington Books All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote passages in a review. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Information Available

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Wang, Bing, 1979- author. Title: Classical Chinese poetry in Singapore : witnesses to social and cultural transformations in the Chinese community / Bing Wang. Description: Lanham, Maryland : Lexington Books, [2017] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017048604 (print) | LCCN 2017038634 (ebook) | ISBN 9781498535168 (Electronic) | ISBN 9781498535151 (cloth : alk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Singaporean poetry (Chinese)—History and criticism. | Chinese poetry—History and criticism. | Chinese poetry—Influence. Classification: LCC PL3097.S5 (print) | LCC PL3097.S5 W36 2017 (ebook) | DDC 895.109/95957—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017048604 ∞ ™ The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992. Printed in the United States of America Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:21:15.

Contents

List of Figures

vii

List of Tables

ix

Acknowledgmentsxi 1 Introduction: Forgotten Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore 2 Identity: Whose Nanyang Is It?

11

3 Community: How to Shape Cultural Space?

39

4 Medium: What Are the Influences on Classical Poetry?

93

5 Conclusion: Literary Value and Classification Copyright © 2017. Lexington Books. All rights reserved.

1

135

Glossary149 Bibliography171 Index181 About the Author

189

v Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:21:15.

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List of Figures

Figure 2.1 Lat Pau, the first Chinese daily in Singapore and Nanyang was established on December 10, 1881, by See Ewe Lay. The earliest versions available, dated August 19, 1887, can be found on microfilm at the Chinese Library of the National University of Singapore 12 Figure 2.2 “An Ode on London,” Eastern Western Monthly Magazine, No. 6, 1834 14 Figure 2.3 Identity of CCPS Writers 33 Figure 3.1 Relationship among the Four Talents arranged by age, designation and association 66 Figure 4.1 Huang Zunxian, “Xinjia’niang wushi shou” (“Fifty Poems on Brides”), in He Youduan, ed., Guici sanbaishou (Three Hundred Female Poems), Guangzhou: Stereotype Edition, 1934, 16–19. This version is now held in the Sun Yat-sen University Library in Guangzhou 102 Figure 4.2 “Lat Pau Supplement,” Lat Pau, February 17, 1917 123

vii Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:21:15.

List of Tables

Growth of the Chinese Population in Singapore (1824–1871) Khoo Seok Wan’s Identity Summarized by Lee Guan Kin Khoo’s Malay Poem in Hokkien Dialect The Past and Present Presidents and Vice Presidents of Sin Sing Poets Society Table 4.1 List of Literary Supplements or Columns in Early Singaporean Chinese Newspapers

13 17 25 75 96

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Table 2.1 Table 2.2 Table 2.3 Table 3.1

ix Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:21:15.

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Acknowledgments

First, as my philosophy with regard to life and research has always reminded me, nothing can be achieved without support from others, I hereby wish to express my gratitude to all those without whose help I would never have completed this first English manuscript of mine. Second, I was fortunate to receive a generous funding from Tier 1 Grant of Nanyang Technological University. It allowed me to employ assistants to work on the initial research and organization of various resources. I am indebted to Professor Evelyn Hu-Dehart of Brown University and Professor David Der-wei Wang of Harvard University, both of who patiently answered several of my questions. My thanks, as always, go to my colleagues and my family, particularly my wife, my mother, and my parents-in-law for their everlasting support and love. I am grateful to the reviewers and editors for their acute comments and shrewd recommendations. Last, this book is dedicated to my son Derek, my daughter Delia, and to my late father.

xi Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:21:15.

Chapter 1

Introduction Forgotten Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore

After the founding of modern Singapore in 1819, many Chinese intellectuals who were either forced to leave or voluntarily left China made their way there. While living in Singapore, they contributed to the country’s cultural development, specifically in the areas of literature, art, and drama. These sojourners had a complex relationship with Singapore, which was reflected in the classical Chinese poetry they penned. Classical Chinese poetry—a literary style that encompasses the essence of Chinese culture—eventually took root in Singapore, forming a unique genre known as classical Chinese poetry in Singapore (CCPS) that has become an important part of Singapore’s cultural history.

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF CCPS Since the Ming and Qing dynasties, groups of Chinese government officials and literati stayed or were stationed for short periods in Singapore for various reasons, such as political functions and economic and cultural activities. The government officials included consuls, such as Zuo Binglong (1850–1924), Huang Zunxian (1848–1905), and Yang Qi (1875–1941), and overseas envoys, such as Bin Chun (1804–1871), Wang Zhi (born 1854), and He Zaoxiang (1865–1930). The literati who visited Southeast Asia (Nanyang1) included Xu Nanying (1855–1917), Pan Feisheng (1858–1934), and Qiu Fengjia (1864–1912); even revolutionary exiles such as Kang Youwei (1858–1927) and Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925) spent time in Singapore. Despite the differences in their identities and purposes for traveling to Singapore, all these artists had a practice of penning their travel experiences and their emotions in the form of classical poetry. These early poems generally focused on the natural scenery and local customs and practices of Southeast Asia. 1 Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

2

Chapter 1

Geographically near the equator, Singapore is an important port of call for major shipping routes. Its lush tropical rainforests and interesting customs captivated the visiting literati, and therefore featured prominently in their poems. For example, Zuo Binglong, well known for his moving and vivid imagery, provided a sketch of Singapore in “A Night Wandering at the Suburbs” (Jiaowai wanxing): After rain fell in the village, I lean on a cane to walk freely among the cool wind and setting sun. Frightened birds fly out of the forest occasionally, while some falling fragrant petals float on water. Coconut trees on both sides resemble covers, bamboos along the stream banks are sheared as a low wall. The night unknowingly falls after strolling, the moon presenting its fine lights again.2

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雨过山村带斜阳, 杖藜随意趁风凉. 偶惊飞鸟穿林出, 时有落花浮水香. 夹道高椰张似盖, 沿溪短竹剪成墙. 闲行不觉归来暮, 又见银钧露细光.

Another poet, Huang Zunxian, recorded the natural landscapes, tropical climate, resources, and unique culture of Singapore in his group of poems titled “Miscellaneous Poems about Singapore” (Xinjiapo zashi). In another poem, “Stories of Overseas Hakkas” (Fanke pian), he chronicled the luxurious wedding of a Singaporean family while reflecting on the rise of wealth among the Singaporean Chinese as well as their diet, appearance, and social customs. In addition to describing the wedding music and food, he mentioned that Singaporean Chinese were “gradually influenced by foreign customs” (jian ran yisu).3 For example, both Western music and aboriginal music were played at the reception, and local delicacies were served alongside traditional Chinese snacks. Furthermore, the social life of overseas Chinese in the colonial days and their communications with local celebrities and politicians were the common topics of early classical poems by these poets. In addition to these visiting poets, a group of Chinese-educated poets who were immersed in traditional Chinese culture resided in Singapore, including Yeh Chi Yun (1859–1921), Khoo Seok Wan (1884–1941), Shi Ruiyu (1867–1953), Lee Choon Seng (1888–1966), Teo Eng Hock (1872–1959), Ma Zongxiang (1902–1993), Pan Shou (1911–1999), and Tio Chee Chuen (1926–2002). Among them, Khoo and Pan were the most accomplished poets in the history of CCPS, earning the title “The Greatest of Poetry in Nanyang” (nanguo shizong) and “National Treasure Poet” (guobao shiren), respectively. As the only successful Singaporean candidate in the imperial examinations at the provincial level, the poet-sage Khoo had a significant influence on the early political movement and cultural education of overseas Chinese in Singapore and left a valuable literary legacy. His major works include

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Introduction

3

two classical anthologies, namely Collected Poems of Khoo Seok Wan (Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji) and Collected Poems of Xiaohong sheng (Xiaohong sheng shichao), and two sketchbooks, namely Gossips of Seok Wan (Shuyuan zhuitan) and Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves (Wubaishi dongtian huizhu). According to incomplete statistics, Khoo has written more than 1,500 poems.4 The national treasure poet of Singapore, Pan Shou, apart from his achievements in classical poetry, was also well known for his calligraphy works, paintings, and couplets. He has penned approximately 1,300 classical poems, many of which are included in Poems from Overseas Hut (Haiwai lu shi), Collection of Pan Shou’s Chinese Calligraphy (Pan Shou shufa quanji), and Collection of Pan Shou’s Poems (Pan Shou shiji).5 In examining the lives of these two poets, we may note that, despite an age difference of fifty years, they shared many similarities. For example, both received a strict traditional education in China at a young age and, in their middle ages, emigrated to Singapore, where they strove to improve the local cultural scene and education. Both displayed their literary talents mainly in the area of classical poetry. Khoo Seok Wan was regarded by David Der-wei Wang as the leader of CCPS.6 He Hua, a Chinese author in Singapore, said of Khoo and Pan: “If Khoo Seok Wan is considered as the pioneer of introducing classical Chinese poetry to Nanyang, Pan Shou would represent the peak of this tradition and also the sad ending of it.”7 Therefore, their works can be viewed as the highest achievement of the CCPS. Even when abroad, Khoo and Pan continued their classical writing, reflecting their interest in Chinese culture. Both spent decades in Singapore and eventually died there; hence, they had a good grasp of the local customs and way of life, which was instrumental in their creation of a realistic Nanyang in their poems. This approach was in great contrast to that of the early immigrant poets, who wrote from a third-person point of view. It is no wonder that Khoo’s and Pan’s poems were the driving force behind the creation of a literary tradition in Singapore. In the 1980s, classical poems began to circulate via two new channels in addition to the traditional channels of newspapers and a small number of personal poetry collections. The first channel was poetry clubs that published the collections. At the time of the founding of the Hui Yin Poetry Club (Club for Learning to Sing Poetry) and Tu Nan Club (Society for Approaching the South) by Zuo Binglong and Huang Zunxian, respectively, outstanding poems from these clubs were published only in newspapers and their supplements. This situation changed when poetry clubs began to publish poetry collections. Eventually, some poetry clubs, such as the Sin Sing Poets Society (referred to as SSPS in its publications), which was established in 1957, promoted their classical poems mainly through such collections. The SSPS collections

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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4

Chapter 1

include Selected Poems from 100 Vols. Club Topics of SSPS (Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe baiqi sheke xuanji), issued in 1981; Selected Poems of SSPS in Singapore (Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe shici xuanji), published in 1989; and the poetic serial journal The Universal Voice of Poetry (Huanqiu ­shisheng), which has been published since 1993. In addition to offering ­training in poetry writing, this club held classes for the study of classical poems. Its monthly poetry writing classes eventually evolved to specialized classes in poetry. In the 1980s, club president Tio Chee Chuen was invited by the National University of Singapore (NUS) to conduct a class on the study of poetry and through it to develop local talent in classical poetry writing. Obviously, this research-based class has a purpose very different from that of the classes conducted by the early poetry clubs. The second communication channel is the internet, which has led to the transmission of diverse values in a postmodern cultural context. Since the 1990s, CCPS has been circulated via the internet, which is now the primary and fastest channel of dissemination. “Sgwritings.com” (Suibi Nanyang) is a widely recognized website that serves as a medium for poetry circulation. It has a column for the study of classical poems, and also organizes lectures and courses on poetry. The participants in this forum include professional writers and classical poetry lovers who share their poems at no cost, thus encouraging the circulation and popularity of classical poems. Classical poems are also discussed in the “Classical Poems” (Guti shici) column on the website of the Singapore Literature Society and the private classical poetry blogs of Singapore’s contemporary poets. The dissemination of CCPS via the internet allows it to reach a wider audience, which affects how poets write poems and how readers understand them. Classical poems are no longer restricted by the reach of traditional print media, and no-cost publishing has encouraged more professional and amateur writing. As a result, forums and blogs have replaced the traditional poem collections that were formerly favored by classical poetry lovers. Meanwhile, drastic changes in Singapore’s language environment meant that the decline of Chinese as the standard language was inevitable. Against this backdrop, Singaporean Chinese literature was marginalized, and classical poems were pushed even further to the side. Despite this disregard, CCPS retains its niche group of poets and readers, including native-born ­Singaporeans and new immigrants after the 1980s. IMBALANCE BETWEEN CREATION AND RESEARCH In 2012, when he gave speeches at the Nanyang Technological University, Professor David Wang proposed that Lat Pau, Han poetry (classical Chinese poetry), and Chinese literature in Nanyang were the keywords for

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

Introduction

5

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understanding Singapore’s cultural history. Currently, however, the younger generation is either ignorant of the existence of these genres or daunted by the classical language involved; the passage of time has denied them the opportunity to learn about traditional Chinese culture. The focus of academics currently studying Chinese literature in Singapore is limited to new literature, with few mentions of classical Chinese literature, especially traditional poetry. Regrettably, the combination of neglect by researchers and the difficulty of classical Chinese has rendered CCPS virtually invisible. Khoo Seok Wan said, “In the past couple of years, I’ve seen a growing number of poets in Singapore.”8 In fact, the increase in the number of literati, both native and immigrant writers, from the early 1900s to date is astonishing. Academics have not paid adequate attention to this legion of writers, particularly in studying the literature related to the poems as well as their evolving path. Due to the small number of its target readers and the difficulty of writing and reading it, classical Chinese poetry is largely marginalized in the domain of current research. On the one hand, it is marginalized in the history of literature in Mainland China and research area of overseas Chinese literature; it’s only occasionally mentioned by a few writers—such as Huang Zunxian, Qiu Fengjia, and Yu Dafu (1896–1945)—in works created outside China. On the other hand, until now, CCPS has been ignored in the study of Chinese literature in Singapore, which gives priority to new literature.9 With regard to the overall study of CCPS, only four monographic books and dissertations have conducted thorough studies of this literary genre. 1. A History of Classical-Style Poetry of Malayan Chinese (Malaiya Huaren jiutishi yanjin shi), written by the Singaporean scholar Li Qingnian, provides a systematic analysis of the classical Chinese poetry in Malaya with abundant historical evidence.10 It follows a chronological order covering the major historical events such as the first Sino-Japanese War, the Hundred Days’ Reform Movement, the Revolution of 1911, the Civil War, and the second Sino-Japanese War. Owing to the special geographical and political relations between Singapore and Malaysia, much of the history recorded in this book is related to CCPS. One of the major strengths of this research is the scope of the literature it has collected, in particular the coverage of newspaper articles of the early periods. There are also, however, some weaknesses to be mentioned: First, due to the lack of coverage of classical Chinese poetry since 1945, this research fails to present a complete picture of the development of CCPS; second, this research has very limited coverage of poem collections and the dissemination of the poems through societies, since most of the data sources are newspapers and magazines in Chinese; and third, with regard to methodology, the research

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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6

Chapter 1

focuses mainly on categorizing and enumerating the documents and does not make adequate comments and suggestions about the historical records. 2. Ko Chia Cian’s doctoral dissertation, titled “The Transcendence and Modernity of Han Poetry: A Poetics of Diaspora, 1895–1945)”11 (Hanshi de yuejie yu xiandaixing: Chaoxiang yige lisan shixue, 1895–1945), is a profound and systematic study that primarily deals with the relationship of classical Chinese poetry to the literature of Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. It describes the situation of the poets living in South China, Taiwan, and Singapore against the background of the late Qing Dynasty at the juncture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and also under the influence of colonial and imperial forces. Drawing upon such loyalists’ works, this study attempts to sketch their mental state as political or cultural loyalists and the ways in which their Han poetry displayed transcendence and modernity. 3. A doctoral dissertation titled “Research on the Singapore Classical-Form Chinese Poetry” (Xinjiapo Huawen jiutishi yanjiu) by Zhao Ying of Shaanxi Normal University, China, is the first of its kind to give a comprehensive summary of the development of CCPS and is of remarkable academic value.12 However, it is still far from adequate in its data collection, due to various constraints. In addition, since the author still defines the CCPS by geographical and national boundaries, it does not break the shackles of Sino-centrism. 4. In 2014, Assistant Professor Tam Yong Huei of the Southern University College in Malaysia, in his doctoral thesis, “Succession and Development of Early Chinese Poetry in Nanyang”13 (Zaoqi Nanyang Huaren shige de chuancheng yu kaituo), focused on illustrating how the early visiting poets from southern China aided the spread and development of traditional Chinese poetry. It should be noted that “Nanyang” in the title of this dissertation just refers to Singapore and Malaysia in a narrow sense. The case studies, which focus mainly on two poets—Khoo Seok Wan and Pan Shou—include my review and preview of the research about Khoo;14 Wang Zhiwei’s two books about Khoo’s poems on historical themes;15 and Meng Xingyu and Chen Xiaoying’s comprehensive study of Khoo’s classical Chinese works.16 In comparison, the research on Pan Shou’s poems is scanty. The only systematic study is a master’s thesis by Xu Chiqing of Malaysia.17 In addition, several articles have been published in academic journals by scholars from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore, but they are limited to individual case studies.18 In summary, no adequate research has been conducted, so far to match the enormous achievements in CCPS, due to either difficulty in data collection or constraints in the theoretical framework.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

Introduction

7

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UNDERESTIMATED VALUES AND INTERPRETIVE OUTLINE The book will outline the major trends and development of CCPS from the colonial period, to postwar struggle for independence, to the new republic. The reason for choosing classical Chinese poetry as a subject to explore the evolution of the poets’ identity is mainly that this literary genre plays a unique role in the history of both old and new literature in Singapore. After the birth of new literature in October 1919 in Singapore,19 one finds that old literature still coexists with new literature in the literary world and will do so for a long time. However, with the gradual popularization of the vernacular, most of the traditional genres of literature, such as classical prose, fiction, and drama have vanished, besides classical poetry. Therefore, it can be deduced that the CCPS possesses tenacious vitality and the character of keeping pace with the times. This book will take CCPS as an object through which to explore the social and cultural changes in Singapore since 1881 from two angles: the process of CCPS’s production, spread, and acceptance, and the history of CCPS from the beginning, prosperity to decline. In other words, CCPS reflects Singapore’s cultural vicissitudes mainly through its underestimated values. First, this book unearths a rich treasure trove. Beginning with the opening of the Singapore port, and especially during the period from 1881 to 1919, the development of CCPS was remarkable, dominating literature created at that time. Following the emergence of the new literature, CCPS remained strong and continued to enlarge its range of influence through new media despite being excluded from works of literary history. Over the course of more than a hundred years, many famous poets emerged, such as Zuo Binglong, Huang Zunxian, Yeh Chi Yun, Shi Ruiyu, Khoo Seok Wan, Lee Choon Seng, Pan Shou, and Tio Chee Chuen. Second, this book renders a special cultural heritage accessible. Because of a decline in Chinese proficiency in Singapore, few people today can gain access to the cultural heritage that CCPS represents. Even though CCPS cannot be developed and enriched through contributions by ordinary people, it should at least be possible to encounter and understand it. Therefore, although it might be considered more suitable to publish such a book in a Chinese medium, I have chosen to use English so that Singaporean readers—indeed, anyone in Southeast Asia—may recognize that CCPS is, to date, a neglected treasure trove in Nanyang culture. Third, this book highlights an epitome of and witness to Nanyang cultural vicissitudes. In the course of its creation and spread, CCPS was integral to many elements of the culture, such as poets’ identities, the formation of the Nanyang cultural space, and the evolution of media. In other words, a study of the development of CCPS is also a study of the changes in Nanyang culture.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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8

Chapter 1

The choice of 1881 as the time node is based on the following considerations: 1) in this year, the first late Qing consul to Singapore, Zuo Binglong, not only wrote many poems with Nanyang flavor but also founded poetry and literature societies and taught the local people to read and write poems, and 2) the first Chinese daily newspaper in Singapore and Nanyang, Lat Pau, was published on December 10, 1881, by See Ewe Lay (1851–1906), and classical Chinese poems were often published in the literary column. From that time, classical Chinese poetry developed and spread in Singapore, continuing to the present day. From the perspective of cultural change, this book will use some cultural symbols such as writers’ identities, the construction of a cultural space, and the media used to communicate literature to analyze the production and spread of CCPS over 100 years. It is the first attempt to use English-language to study CCPS and aims to enlighten a wide readership with its publication. The book’s introduction has briefly outlined the development of CCPS and noted several problems, such as the imbalance between the creation of the genre and the study of it, its obscure position within the body of literature, and the underestimation of its literary value. The main section of the book is divided into four parts. Part I will investigate the identities of CCPS poets through their writing, as they relate to Nanyang. For example, immigrant writers and local writers have different identities, as do early immigrants and later immigrants, although they encountered and wrote about the same Nanyang. Part II will discuss the construction of the CCPS cultural space. The key influences vary, including aspects such as poetry societies (Hui Yin Poetry Club, Tu Nan Club, Sin Sing Poets Society, General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry, etc.), amateur writing, and social media for exploring the production of CCPS. Part III will focus on the influence of various media on the spread of CCPS, with both traditional newspapers and magazines and the new media having an important role to play. Part IV will discuss the controversial classification of CCPS within the academic world and attempt to distinguish it using terms such as “diasporic literature” and “Sinophone literature.” It should be noted that Chinese names in this book consist of two sets of spelling system. Generally, ethnic Chinese born in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and early immigrants from Fujian, Guangdong, Hainan, spell their names using the dialect of their ancestral home. Chinese born in Mainland China, especially immigrants to Singapore after the 1980s, have used the Mandarin spelling system (Hanyu Pinyin) for their names. Considering the usage habits of CCPS poets, two systems of phonetic transcription for Chinese names coexist in the book. In addition, the English translation of the original texts in the book is from the author except for the special annotations.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

Introduction

9

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NOTES 1. Nanyang has multiple meanings, which broadly refers to the waters of southern China or Southeast Asia concentrated ethnic Chinese population, and narrowly refers to the Malay Peninsula or Malay Archipelago. In addition, the number of Chinese immigrants in Singapore and Malaya has increased dramatically since the late Qing Dynasty, so Nanyang became the alternative name of Singapore and Malaya. See Lee Ching Seng, “Yige Nanyang, gezi jieshuo: ‘Nanyang’ gainian de lishi yanbian” (“One Nanyang, Different Interpretations: A Historical Evolution of the Concept ‘Nanyang’”), Asian Culture 30 (June 2006): 113–23. 2. Zuo Binglong, Qinmiantang shichao (A Representative Poetry Collection from the Dwelling for Diligence) (Singapore: Society of Southeast Asian Studies, 1959), 112. 3. Huang Zunxian, Renjinglu shicao jianzhu (The Draft Poems from the Hut in the Human World with Annotations), annotated by Qian Zhonglian (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1981), 608–18. 4. See Khoo Seok Wan, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji (Collected Poems of Khoo Seok Wan) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1949); Khoo Seok Wan, Xiaohong sheng shichao (Collected Poems of Xiaohong sheng) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1922); Khoo Seok Wan, Shuyuan zhuitan (Gossips of Seok Wan) (Hong Kong: Lithographed Edition, 1897); Khoo Seok Wan, Wubaishi dongtian huizhu (Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves) (Guangzhou: Fuwen zhai, 1899). 5. See Pan Shou, Haiwai lu shi (Poems from Overseas Hut) (Singapore: Nanyang University,1970; Singapore: Singapore Cultural Studies Society, 1985; Fuzhou: Haixia wenyi chubanshe,1986; Hefei: Huangshan shushe, 2010); Pan Shou, Pan Shou shufa quanji (Collection of Pan Shou’s Chinese Calligraphy) (Singapore: Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore, 2000); Pan Shou, Pan Shou shiji (Collection of Pan Shou’s Poems) (Singapore: Singapore Cultural Studies Society, 1997, 2004). 6. David Der-wei Wang, Huayu yuxi de renwen shiye yu Xinjiapo jingyan (Sinophone Humanities and the Singaporean Experience) (Singapore: Centre for Chinese Language and Culture of Nanyang Technological University, 2014), The Tan Lark Sye Professorship in Chinese Language and Culture Public Lecture Series 5, Transmitting Culture, Nurturing Talents: Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Passing of Tan Lark Sye, 47. 7. He Hua, “Pan Shou, bainian gudu” (“Pan Shou, One Hundred Years of Solitude”), Newsletter of Chui Huay Lim Club, vol. 1, 1 (2009): 29. 8. Khoo Seok Wan, Huizhu shiyi (Supplements of Idle Talks) (Shanghai: Jiaozhu qianban xiaoziben, 1901), vol. 3, 10. 9. See Fang Hsiu, Xin Ma Huawen xinwenxue liushinian (Sixty Years of Chinese New Literature in Singapore and Malaysia) (Singapore: The Youth Book, 2006); Wong Meng Voon, and Xu Naixiang, eds., Xinjiapo Huawen wenxueshi chugao (A Preliminary Study of the History of Singapore Chinese Literature) (Singapore: Department of Chinese Studies of NUS and Global Publishing, 2002). 10. Li Qingnian, Malaiya Huaren jiutishi yanjin shi (A History of Classical-Style Poetry of Malayan Chinese) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1998). 11. Ko Chia Cian, “Hanshi de yuejie yu xiandaixing: Chaoxiang yige lisan shixue, 1895–1945” (“The Transcendence and Modernity of Han Poetry: A Poetics of

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Chapter 1

Diaspora, 1895–1945). Ph.D. diss. National Chengchi University, 2007. After revised and supplemented, he published his dissertation in Taiwan. See Ko chia Cian, Yimin, jiangjie yu xiandaixing: Hanshi de nanfang lisan yu shuqing, 1895–1945 (Loyalists, Boundary and Modernity: Southbound Diaspora and Lyricism of Classical-Style Chinese Poetry, 1895–1945) (Taibei: Lianjing chubanshe, 2016). 12. Zhao Ying, “Xinjiapo Huawen jiutishi yanjiu” (“Research on the Singapore Classical-form Chinese Poetry”). Ph.D. diss. Shaanxi Normal University, 2012. Also see Zhao Ying, Xinjiapo Huawen jiutishi yanjiu (Beijing: Science Press, 2015). 13. Tam Yong Huei. “Zaoqi Nanyang Huaren shige de chuancheng yu kaituo” (“Succession and Development of Early Chinese Poetry in Nanyang”). Ph.D. diss. Nanjing University, 2014. 14. Wang Bing, “Qiu Shuyuan yanjiu de huigu yu qianzhan” (“Analysis on the Khoo Seok Wan Research: Retrospect and Prospect”), Newsletter for Research in Chinese Studies, vol. 32, 2 (2013): 17–25. 15. See Wang Zhiwei, Qiu Shuyuan yongshishi biannian zhushi (Chronicles and Annotation of Khoo Seok Wan’s Poetry on Historical Themes) (Singapore: Island Society, 2000); and idem, Qiu Shuyuan yongshishi yanjiu (A Study of Khoo Seok Wan’s Poetry on Historical Themes) (Singapore: Island Society, 2000). 16. See Meng Xingyu, “Nanyang qipa: Dongnanya Huawen guti wenxue ge’an yanjiu zhi Qiu Shuyuan” (“The Remarkable Flower of the Southeast Asia—A Case Study of Khoo Seok Wan’s Chinese Classical Literature”). MA. diss. Ji’nan University, 2005; and Chen Xiaoying, “Qiu Shuyuan jiuti wenxue yanjiu” (“The Study on Khoo Seok Wan’s Old Style of Literature”). MA. diss. Fujian Normal University, 2012. 17. Xu Chiqing, “Shi zai Nanyang yi: Xinjiapo guobao shiren Pan Shou yanjiu” (“The Renaissance of Classical Poetry in Southeast Asia: The Study of Pan Shou, A National Treasure of Singapore”). MA. diss. Ji’nan University, 2006. His master’s thesis has been published, See Xu Chiqing, Xinjiapo guobao shiren Pan Shou (The Study of Pan Shou, A National Treasure Poet of Singapore) (Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2007). 18. See Lam Lap, “Liuyu yu bentu yishi: Xinjiapo Huawen jiutishi zhong de Nanyang secai” (“Sojourner’s Sentiments and Localization: The Nanyang Flavors in Singapore’s Classical Chinese Poetry”), Journal of Oriental Studies, vol. 48, 1 (2015): 73–108; Lam Lap, “Jiehui yu lanhua: Xinjiapo Riju shiqi de liangbu jiuti shiji” (“Kalpa Ashes and Orchid Flowers: Two Classical Chinese Poetry Collections in Singapore’s Japanese Occupation Period”), Journal of Chinese Studies, vol. 63, 1 (2016): 237–65; Jin Jin, “Xinjiapo qiaoyu wenren Qiu Shuyuan Nanyang Hanshi zhuti yanjiu” (“The Themes of Singaporean Poet Khoo Seok Wan’s Nanyang Poetry”), Southeast Asian Studies, 5 (2016): 87–94. In addition, there is also a collection of Chen Qingshan’s poems titled A Scholar’s Path: An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poems and Prose of Chen Qing Shan, A Pioneer Writer of Malayan-Singapore Literature, annotated and translated by Peter Chen, Michael Tan, and Chiu Ming Chan (Singapore: World Scientific, 2010) that comes with notes and annotations useful for readers. 19. The foundation of “Sin Kok Min Magazine,” supplement of Sin Kok Min Jit Pao, on October 1, 1919, was a symbol of beginning of Singapore modern Chinese literature. See Wong Meng Voon, and Xu Naixiang, eds., Xinjiapo Huawen wenxueshi chugao, 2002, 4.

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Chapter 2

Identity Whose Nanyang Is It?

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According to the existing historical records, the earliest classical Chinese poem about Singapore was written in 1436 by Fei Xin (1388–1436), a translator who accompanied Zheng He’s (1371–1433) four voyages. This poem, titled “Dragon Teeth’s Gate” (longya men) and recorded in Fei’s travel notes, Overall Survey of the Star Raft (Xingcha shenglan), related the author seeing two tooth-like rock structures on either side of Singapore’s Keppel Harbor. The mountain is shaped like a Dragon’s teeth, the channel for crossing is fierce and rapid. The tribes scan the ships traveling through, waiting for opportunities for piracy. Summer with frequent rain, it is not chilling even after autumn season. Honored to accompany the envoy (Zheng He), and a chance to be on this voyage.1 山峻龙牙状, 中通水激湍. 居人为掳易, 番舶往来难. 人夏常多雨, 经秋且不寒. 从容陪使节, 到此得游观.

Rarely do Nanyang landscapes appear in classical Chinese poetry, or in history texts, or notes, so Fei’s poem mentioned above was one of a kind. Not until 1866 was “Singapore” (Xinjiapo) first mentioned in a classical Chinese poem that appeared in Wang Zhi’s Daily Record of the Voyager (Haike ritan). Two years later, in 1868, Qing China’s first overseas envoy, Manchu officer Bin Chun, penned poems about Singapore on his journey that were later published in his poetry collection, Draft of a Triumphal Mission Overseas (Haiguo shengyou cao).2 11

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Can these poems be considered CCPS? Li Qingnian took this view: “The identity of Malayan classical Chinese poets is not determined by their country of birth, but whether they spent time in Singapore and/or Malaya.”3 This way of defining whether a poet can be considered an author of CCPS is vague and problematic, as there is no way to delineate the amount of time a poet spent in either state. Therefore, an additional criterion must be applied for a practical identification of CCPS authors. Li made a suggestion: “We believe in poets’ freedom of creation, but a poet’s work cannot be separated from nationality, society, and the culture he/she lived in, regardless of time and space.”4 In other words, the poet’s work should be inseparable from Singaporean Chinese society. With these two criteria in mind, the poems mentioned above cannot be considered CCPS, because they are the products of visiting Chinese officials who did not identify with the local Chinese society, nor did their works have any impact on the community. The situation changed substantially when Zuo Binglong, the first consul of China, arrived in Singapore in 1881. After that date, under the leadership of succeeding consuls, Singapore’s Chinese community set up schools and organized literary societies, providing early migrants with a chance to pen classical Chinese poems. Some of these were eventually published in Lat Pau, (See Figure 2.1) which was established in 1881. Therefore, this book uses the year 1881 as the meaningful starting point for its discussion of CCPS. This view is shared by the Chinese scholar Weng Yibo, who defines 1881 as the starting point of Singaporean-Malaysian Chinese literature.5 For a hundred years after 1881, Chinese from all parts of the world gathered in Singapore, immersing themselves in this multicultural and multiracial society while creating classical Chinese poetry. How did these poets understand and adapt to such a complex society, and how did Nanyang appear in their poems? These questions are the focal points of discussion in this chapter.

Figure 2.1  Lat Pau, the first Chinese daily in Singapore and Nanyang, was established on December 10, 1881, by See Ewe Lay. The earliest versions available, dated August 19, 1887, can be found on microfilm at the Chinese Library of the National University of Singapore.

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13

Identity

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POETS: WHO ARE THEY? According to Captain Thomas John Newbold (1807–1850), when the British flag was hoisted on the plains of Singapore on January 31, 1819, the population of the island amounted to approximately 150 fishermen and pirates living in a few miserable huts: about thirty of these were Chinese, and the remainder were Malays.6 Since then, Chinese from the Riau Islands, the Malay P ­ eninsula, southern Thailand, and the Chinese coastal states of Fujian and Guangdong have flocked to Singapore, contributing to its rapid development into an important center for entrepôt trade. From then until the 1840s, Singapore’s system of free development attracted a large number of Chinese immigrants who worked in the gambier and pepper fields. This influx tilted the population balance, with Chinese making up more than half of Singapore’s population of 33,969 by 1840. (See Table 2.1) The majority of these immigrants were either residents of Nanyang or of closely related areas, hailing from Malacca, Penang, the Malay Peninsula, Thailand, and China’s coastal regions. Their main purpose in Singapore was to make a fortune, work in the fields, or start a business. In the hundred years between 1840 and 1941, China went through a period of internal strife and economic crisis, which was in sharp contrast to Southeast Asia’s rapid development and need for labor. This situation led to an influx of Chinese migrant labor to Singapore and the neighboring states, increasing Singapore’s Chinese population to a record high of 599,659 in 1941.7 In the early days of Singapore’s independence, which was declared in 1965, there were almost no new migrants from China due to political considerations. Instead, most of the ethnic Chinese immigrants in the early days of nation-building came from neighboring countries such as Malaysia. This pattern changed in the 1980s with China’s reform and opening-up policy, and Singapore’s economic restructuring drew a large number of Chinese Table 2.1  Growth of the Chinese Population in Singapore (1824–1871) Year 1824 1825 1826 1827 1828 1830 1832 1840 1860 1871

Chinese Population 3317 3828 4279 6088 6210 6555 7762 17,179 50,043 54,572

Total Population

Percentage (%)

10,683 11,851 12,907 13,725 14,885 16,634 19,715 33,969 81,734 97,111

31.0 32.3 33.1 44.4 41.7 39.4 39.4 50.6 61.3 56.2

Source: Eunice Thio, “The Singapore Chinese Protectorate: Events and Conditions Leading to Its Establishment, 1823–1877,” Journal of the South Seas Society, vol. 16 (1960): 40–80.

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14

Chapter 2

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businessmen, scientists, intellectuals, students, and workers, creating a second wave of Chinese migration to Singapore. In June 2016, the Chinese population of citizens and permanent residents stood at 2,923,172.8 Early Chinese migrants to Singapore can be divided into three categories based on where they came from: first, businessmen from Malacca, Penang, and the Chinese cities of Zhangzhou and Quanzhou; second, Teochew cultivators from the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia, who worked mainly in farms; and third, businessmen and craftsmen from China’s coastal provinces of Guangdong and Fujian. Stamford Raffles categorized these migrants another way, by class: (1) the lower classes, earning their livelihood by handicrafts and personal labor, who then occupied a considerable portion of the sea and

Figure 2.2  “An Ode on London,” Eastern Western Monthly Magazine, No. 6, 1834. Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Identity

15

river face; (2) a higher and more respectable class, engaged in mercantile speculation; and (3) the cultivators who were excluded from the proposed town limits.9 Evidently, the early immigrants to Nanyang were mainly workers with little education and businessmen. It is unclear whether these workers and businessmen wrote any poetry, but they certainly had access to classical Chinese poetry in Nanyang through three sources. First, in 1833, a missionary named Karl Gützlaff started a Chinese periodical, Eastern Western Monthly Magazine (Dongxiyang kao meiyue tongji zhuan). It was published in Guangzhou, China, and its circulation reached Singapore, Malacca, Penang, Batavia, and so on. In 1837, due to increasingly strained Sino-British relations presaging the First Opium War, the magazine moved to Singapore, with its last issue appearing in 1838. Covering topics such as geography, astronomy, and current events, this publication also included essays and commentaries on Eastern and Western poetry at irregular intervals. In its sixth issue, it published a group poem—“An Ode on London” (Landun shiyong)— of which the preface read, “The Chinese poet wrote this while residing in London, capital of the UK.”10 (See Figure 2.2) Second, a pair of couplets were engraved on the two pillars before and after Koh Lay Huan’s (1787–1826) grave.11 Koh had earlier rebelled against the Manchu Qing Dynasty and fled to Siam and the Malay States, eventually settling in Penang as its first kapitan. These inscriptions are the earliest record of couplets in Singaporean-Malayan Chinese cultural history. Creating such couplets was fundamental to t­raining in classical Chinese poetry writing; hence, it was an essential part of the poetry writing classes conducted by the Hui Yin Poetry Club and Tu Nan Club, which were formed later. Third, Li Jun’s (1855–1925) “Treatise on Literature” (yiwen zhi) from Gazetteers of Penang (Binglangyu zhilue) completed in 1891, recorded at least eleven unpublished poetry manuscripts written by sojourners from Fujian, Tianjin, and from the south of the Yangtze River.12 These poems were regrettably lost, but it is still possible to confirm that poetic creation began in Malaya before the late nineteenth century. After this wave of early migrants, a greater diversity of Chinese immigrants arrived in Singapore, with each generation of migration having a greater proportion of educated men and women than the one before. These Late Qing envoys, intellectuals, businessmen, professionals, and students formed the backbone of CCPS, penning classical poetry and inspiring others in the process. Poets’ Complex Identity In his discussion of Sinophone Malaysian literature, David Wang used three keywords to describe the identities of Malaysian writers: the (post)immigrant ([hou]yimin), the remnant subject (yimin), and the (post)-barbarian

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([hou]yimin).13 Coincidentally, these three terms, with differing meanings, are pronounced the same way in Mandarin. Although Wang applies these terms in a Malaysian context, they can be similarly applied to Singapore. However, there are two points worth noting. First, Wang’s concept of “the (post)-barbarian” partially overlaps with the concept of “the remnant subject” in terms of cultural meaning, because the loyalists can be defined by either political form or cultural sense. Second, Chinese migration in Singapore is a fluid process in the sense that every generation of migrants might possess a different national identity. For example, a first-generation Chinese immigrant might have a different national identity than a second- or third-generation immigrant, and this difference is further complicated by the fact that firstgeneration Chinese immigrants can be those who arrived in Singapore a hundred years ago, fifty years ago, or perhaps just recently. Chinese who arrived before Singapore’s founding in 1965 might not have viewed Singapore as their home; they might have been there for just a short sojourn, like the late Qing envoys and literati, or they might have identified with Singapore and stayed there for the rest of their lives, as did Khoo Seok Wan and Pan Shou. After 1965, the earlier Chinese immigrants became Singapore citizens; hence, their national identity gradually changed. In addition, national language policies and usage habits made the concept of a Chinese immigrant more complex in contemporary Singapore.14 In fact, identity has always been a complex and fluid sociological and psychological concept. According to Berger, “identity is socially bestowed, socially sustained and socially transformed.”15 Therefore, identity is an everevolving social construct that is representative of a society’s values and way of life. It is also shaped by subjective and objective factors; the latter, for instance, involves a society’s acceptance and attitude toward others. This conceptualization is similar to Taylor’s: Thus my discovering my own identity doesn’t mean that I work it out in isolation, but that I negotiate it through dialogue, partly internal, with others. That is why the development of an ideal of inwardly generated identity gives a new importance to recognition. My own identity crucially depends on my dialogical relations with others.16

When gauging a person’s nationality, people look at objective factors, such as family origin, skin color, way of life, and way of thinking. However, many Chinese immigrants—and first-generation immigrants in particular— see themselves as “Chinese people,” the identity with which they identify emotionally. Li Qingnian, in his discussion of classical Chinese poetry in Malaya, chooses to break down its development phases to align with major historical events in

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Identity

modern China. This classification oversimplifies the CCPS poets’ identity and ignores the links they might have had with Singapore and Malaya (Nanyang). In fact, it is essential to view these poets against the backdrop of Singapore’s history to gain a comprehensive understanding of their complex identity. Stamford Raffles of Great Britain’s East India Company set foot in Singapore and began to govern it in January 1819. Singapore became a crown colony in 1824, and in 1867, it joined Penang and Malacca to form the Straits Settlements, which were governed directly by the British government. The early Chinese intellectuals and literature lovers lived during this period of East-West confluence, when cross-cultural interactions left their mark on CCPS. Poems written during this period were influenced by the cultures of the colonial masters and other ethnic groups and especially by the Peranakan, or Straits Chinese literati, such as Li Qinghui (1830–1896), Tan Keong Sum (born 1861), and Tan Yeok Seong (1900–1984).17 After 1942, the government of Singapore underwent several significant changes beginning with the Japanese occupation, followed by self-governance as a British colony before becoming part of the Malaysian Federation, and finally gained independence in 1965. This tumultuous history has had an impact on Singaporean Chinese people’s identity as they have gradually transitioned from being “fallen leaves returning to the roots” (luoye guigen) to “settling down and sinking roots” (luodi shenggen), that is, from viewing China as home to accepting Singapore as home. After fifty years of nation-building, and especially after Table 2.2  Khoo Seok Wan’s Identity Summarized by Lee Guan Kin Field

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Social Dimension

Perspective Race Community

Cultural Dimension

Class Culture Religion

Political Dimension

China British Leadership Singapore

Content identifies with the Han Chinese; has a good impression of Westerners; holds negative views of Malays. views Straits Chinese and Chinese settlers as a community; belongs to the Fujian Zhangzhou dialect group. is a businessman and scholar. fosters and spreads Chinese culture; appreciates and is open to Western culture; sees Malay culture as assimilating Chinese culture. identifies with Confucianism; accepts Buddhism; has some form of tolerance toward Christianity. is loyal to his homeland and always a reformist. shares positive views of British rule, especially of the governmental system and rule of law. feels passionately about Singapore, his second home.

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Chapter 2

the establishment of Singaporean-Sino ties in October 1990, the identity of Singaporean Chinese from different generations has become further complicated and diversified. Lee Guan Kin endeavored to understand this complex Singaporean Chinese identity by analyzing Khoo Seok Wan’s identity in three dimensions: social, cultural, and political.18 Her findings are presented in Table 2.2. The ideas put forth by Lee were obviously influenced by Wang Gungwu’s idea of “multiple identities.”19 Although I do not entirely agree with Lee’s analysis, especially her views about Khoo’s attitude toward Malay culture, this case study no doubt proves the complexity of Chinese identity in Singapore. Generally, two approaches have been adopted to study Chinese overseas communities, one stressing homeland and cultural influence and the other emphasizing the conditions of the destination society. Considering CCPS’s localization, the intricate issue of the poet’s identity, and the differences among intergenerational migrants, I look at CCPS in terms of its authors’ identification and adaptation to the concept of “Nanyang.” NANYANG AS FOREIGN

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Cultural shock was initially conceptualized by Kalvero Oberg as the consequence of strain and anxiety resulting from contact with a new culture and the feeling of loss, confusion, and impotence resulting from the absence of accustomed cultural cues and social rules.20 However, I prefer the more neutral definition as follows: Culture shock is an experience a person may have when one moves to a cultural environment which is different from one’s own; it is also the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, a move between social environments, or simply transition to another type of life.21

This reaction was common among migrant groups who left their countries for varying reasons: to make a living, to flee a disaster, to study, to work, or to conduct transnational business. Similarly, CCPS poets experienced such a response, whether they were the early settlers of the late nineteenth to early twentieth century or the first-generation immigrants of the mid-twentieth to the twenty-first century. This culture shock is reflected in the poems they wrote about Nanyang’s landscape and cultural diversity. The first culture shock encountered by immigrants would be that of the natural landscape. Long before the late Qing government established a consulate in Singapore, other diplomatic envoys from China wrote about Singapore’s

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Identity

19

unique geographical location and scenery as they traveled abroad. One was Wang Zhi, who was deeply attracted to the magical night scene of Singapore on his way to Western countries; he wrote about it in “Singapore’s Night View from the Moored Boat” (Wanbo Xingjiapo): A boat is sailing between two steep mountains, while Singapore is shrouded in the forest and setting sun in spring. Sparse clouds are hovering in a gully rich in carbon, while the lights shine on layered mountains.22 两山中断一帆拖, 春树斜阳星架坡. 满壑烟云藏黑豹, 层峦灯火点青螺.

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This description is similar to Khoo Seok Wan’s in Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves: “I try to climb the heights to look far, whenever the sun sets and the moon peeks. What I see are the numerous sails on the sea and pavilions on the hill. Suddenly, blinking lights shine everywhere, surrounding the waves and shadows and snaking away into the distance.”23 Evidently, Singapore stood out in two ways: its geographical location along the equator and the corresponding tropical climate and its nature as an island trading center rising among mountains and seas. An eminent Singaporean poet, Khoo, said of Singapore when he first set foot there in 1896: a tiny island at rest in the waters that split the mountain range at sunset the sails of junks put away to rest for the night in equatorial lands the furious currents flow past from the west separating north from south there is no path leading from here through the vast seas this place being but a mirage existing only in a phantom world where hunters’ whips drive their steeds across iron bridges and through the clouds a hawklike people fly true even in troubled times 24 连山断处见星洲, 落日帆樯万舶收, 赤道南环分北极, 怒涛西下卷东流. 江天锁钥通冥渤, 蜃蛤妖腥幻市楼, 策马铁桥风猎猎, 云中鹰隼正凭秋.

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Chapter 2

In his old age, he wrote another poem also titled “Sin Chew” (Singapore) that focused on two of the unique ways in which Singapore stood out:

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of the many islands strung together the most prominent is Sin Chew situated in a sea so vast that rocky mountains can hardly be seen today’s travelers to the region will find their sojourn easier now steady in its role as a favorable locale a well-equipped, strident junction 25 群岛重连锁, 星洲建一环, 冲层不见石, 到海欲无山. 车辙殊今昔, 航途利往还, 由来形胜地, 设备等严关.

Shifting the focus away from Singapore, Consul Huang Zunxian wrote about the wonders of Nanyang in two of his poems when he was recuperating in Penang, Malacca, and Perak. In the fourth poem of a suite titled “Assorted Poems on Recovering from Malaria” (Yangke zashi), he wrote, “The autumn moon rides like a wheel over the mountains, and floods my hall at midnight with coconut-palm shadows. 高高山月一轮秋, 夜半椰阴满画楼.”26 In another poem, he wrote, “There winter isn’t winter, and summer is hardly summer. The four seasons’ flowers are never in short supply on my desk. 冬亦非冬夏非夏, 案头常供四时花.”27 Huang and Khoo hailed from Jiaying (present-day Meizhou), Guangdong, and Zhangzhou, Fujian, respectively; these are the two regions from which most Singapore Chinese immigrants came. Huang’s and Khoo’s portrayals of Nanyang’s uniqueness to a Chinese immigrant can be said to be representative of how others with similar backgrounds viewed Singapore from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. In fact, first impressions are not very different today: when Zhang Junguang arrived in Singapore in 2011, he observed, “Foreign land was different from China in every aspect. 异邦处处迥中华.” He recounted how he felt in a 2014 poem, “A Trip to Nanyang” (Nanyang xing ge), that he shared on the Sgwritings.com: “An amazing tropical scenery in Nanyang; the greens shrouded the palms and coconut trees. 热带南洋风景奇, 椰诗榈韵翠欲滴.”28 The second culture shock encountered by immigrants would be the experience of a multicultural society. Michael Winkelman (1946–1999) observed two phases of culture shock: first, the honeymoon or tourist phase, and second, the crisis or cultural shock phase.29 That is, an immigrant first experiences the physical environment before gradually encountering the local culture. This experience can be exhilarating and interesting, but it most likely causes the immigrant some discomfort. It is evident that the multicultural and multiracial aspects of Singapore had an impact on the early poets who arrived there.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Identity

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The multicultural aspect of Singapore can be understood on two levels: first, due to its ethnic diversity, multiple groups coexist there, for instance, Malay, Indian, Western, and hybrid cultures; and second, there is a great diversity of Chinese dialect groups, for instance, Min’nan, Teochew, Hakka, and Hainan. These multicultural aspects of society are presented in many poems. Take Huang, for example, who released an essay and a poem about the Tu Nan Club in March 1892. The essay was titled “Discussions on the Good and Bad of Nanyang Customs” (Nanyang gedi fengsu youlie lun), and the poem was titled “Singapore Songs of Bamboo Branches” (Xinjiapo zhuzhici). There are some intrinsic links between these two topics from different literary genres, but the key lies in “Songs of Bamboo Branches”—a poetry style that best records the unique culture and customs of Nanyang. The historical literature shows that some poetry clubs in early Singapore has held some competitions in the writing of songs of bamboo branches, but there are neither surviving records of the winners nor records of the winning pieces. Fortunately, there are many such poems recounting cultural differences in A Compilation of Nanyang Songs of Bamboo Branches (Nanyang zhuzhici huibian), edited by Li Qingnian, including some poems depicting Nanyang culture. Shi Ruiyu wrote in his poem about Malay costumes and food culture, “Beautiful sarong not like skirt and pants, long silk formed women’s upper and lower garment. 不裙不袴好纱囊, 罗作轻衫绮作裳” and “Excitedly taking the first bite of Malay food, reminiscing about the durian aftertaste. 马来风味喜初尝, 日啖榴莲齿留香.”30 Similarly, Cheng Yanglü wrote about the coexistence of different cultures: “When the Hindus celebrate Thaipusam is precisely the time for the Chinese to celebrate the Lantern Festival. 印度正逢森宝节, 中华惜起上元灯.”31 A diversity of Chinese dialects is an important cultural phenomenon of Singapore that led to interesting misunderstandings due to different vocabularies pronounced with similar inflections. Khoo narrated how one term differed in the Cantonese and Hokkien dialect: “Speaking with different dialects needs to be mindful, especially Hokkien and Cantonese. A businesswoman habitually called in Hokkien turns out to be a woman running a brothel in Cantonese. 南腔北调待如何? 闽粤方言忌讳多. 绝倒头家娘叫惯, 译来原是事头婆.”32 The Cantonese pronounced the term for brothel keeper as shitou po, while the Hokkien term for female boss was toujia niang. Such similar pronunciations between dialects shocked the Cantonese when they arrived in Singapore and made them apprehensive of using local terms. Cultural Superiority and Latency The Chinese have been the majority population since Singapore’s founding; hence, all was not shock and surprise when the first-generation immigrants or sojourners arrived in Singapore. They might have found the local natural

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landscape and cultural diversity refreshing, but the presence of Chinese culture gave them a sense of déjà vu (already seen or seemingly familiar).33 That is, Chinese culture had taken root on this small island and developed into a version that is not entirely a replica of the culture in Mainland China. In the eyes of CCPS poets, this localized form of Chinese culture is inferior, and they make a point of illustrating that perspective in their works. For instance, Bin Chun wrote, “Exotic scenery was the same as my hometown, even the Tao Fu [peach-wood charms hung on the gate during the celebration of the Lunar New Year] with Chinese characteristics. 异域也如回故里, 中华风景记桃符.”34 Huang Zunxian shared similar views: “All the foreigners and barbarians always pledge loyalty to imperial China. 凡我化外人, 从来奉正朔.”35 Ko Chia Cian has made a statement about the consuls’ creative mentality and intention, as well as raised his question about this topic: The consuls were representative of the Chinese empire at the fore of interaction with Western colonial powers and situated within the exotic landscape and cultural imagination established by early Chinese emigrants. How did these conditions combine to transform the consuls’ literary practice and cultural mission?36

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Ko believes that the true motivation behind education was “the educated class’s inclination to the Qing court and Chinese culture.”37 In my opinion, it was due mainly to the cultural superiority the Qing officials believed they possessed over the local culture. This theory is also the essence of David Wang’s discussion of the Chinese and the barbarians: So the fact that the early visiting literati wrote about Nanyang does not necessarily mean they identified themselves as natives of Nanyang. The use of exotic imagery in the poems actually reveals the poets’ Han-centric view of the world, and the purpose of the images was, in effect, an attempt to reflect their identification with Chinese culture.38

In an environment with different cultures, first-generation immigrants might have another form of reaction called cultural latency. The renowned American sociologist Talcott Parsons (1902–1979), in his structural-functionalist ideas, emphasized a culture’s latent function, or pattern maintenance. The latent function is the product of a prolonged period of cultural development, and its purpose is to protect and transmit a culture; it also serves to absorb other cultures’ influences to develop a new form of the “original” culture.39 This process of pattern maintenance allows the absorption of cultures whose influence is deemed positive into the host’s culture. At the same time, it serves a self-protective function, repelling any cultures whose influence is deemed negative.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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CCPS writers—first-generation immigrants in particular—placed great importance on the preservation and dissemination of Chinese culture, and this emphasis can be observed in two areas. First, these writers were sensitive to other cultures; when they noticed that another culture shared similarities with Chinese culture, they made a conscious effort to understand it from the Chinese culture’s point of view, as in Qian Zhongshu’s (1910–1998) comparison of Eastern and Western cultures in his book Limited Views: Essays on Ideas and Letters (Guanzhui bian). An example can be found in the poem “The Song of the Malay River” (Wulaijiang ge), in which China’s consul Yang Qi told a Malay folktale from a Chinese cultural perspective. In the prologue to that poem, Yang wrote: Johor is a part of the Malay Peninsula. Legend has it that there were a man and a woman who were deeply in love with each other. They decided to drown themselves, [and after death,] they turned into butterflies that are seen even today. Their love story is similar to that of Cao Zhi (prince of Chensi) and Fufei (the goddess of Luo River).40

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Second, when Chinese culture in Singapore was impacted by Western cultures, CCPS poets would enter a state of panic and seek to draw the public’s attention to the idea that Chinese culture was “under threat.” One typical example is a series of poems written by the Chinese immigrant poet Yang Qilin to express his unease over the decline of the Chinese language in Singapore. For instance, he wrote about the isolation of Singaporean Chinese literature: Without poetic creation, it has been very quiet in the literary world, finishing a poem with tears. Without language proficiency, the essence of Chinese culture is bound to sink. As a descendant, I am ashamed that I cannot inherit the ancestors’ tradition. 词流星散文坛寂, 一纸诗成泪尽红. 汉粹沦沉亡楫渡, 学箕我愧作良弓.

He also wrote about the decline of the Chinese language standard in an English world: “The environment is swept with English and Western culture. Filled with angst and sadness, I witness the Chinese language withering. 英语连声震四围, 西风席卷乱纷飞. 满腔悲愤盈眶泪, 见说华文已式微.”41 Objectively speaking, there were multiple reasons for the fall of the Chinese standard in Singapore; placing the entire blame on the rise of Western culture and the English language is too extreme. Moreover, Singapore has a long history of British rule; why did the Chinese standard fall only in the late twentieth century, when Singapore had been an independent state for decades? It is almost a reflexive reaction for CCPS poets to ignore these facts and focus all the resentment on Western languages and cultures, which in a way affirms Talcott Parsons’s observations.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Acculturation First-generation immigrant poets went through three phases—culture shock, cultural superiority, and pattern maintenance—in their prolonged journey of adaptation to a new cultural environment. Here, “prolonged” is used in a figurative sense, as different people’s adaptation periods might range from a few months to several years. The Canadian cross-cultural researcher John W. Berry believes that cultural adaptation has two dimensions: the maintenance of one’s cultural identity and the maintenance of some form of relations with the local community. In addition, four acculturation strategies are based on these two dimensions: assimilation, integration, separation, and marginalization.42 Assimilation strategy is to abandon one’s culture and adopt the host country’s culture. Integration strategy is to maintain one’s culture and values while developing friendly relations with other ethnic groups of the host country. Separation strategy is to focus on one’s culture and avoid contact with the host country’s culture. Marginalization strategy is to fail to maintain one’s own culture and at the same time to be rejected by the society of the host country. Berry developed these acculturation strategies with minority immigrant groups in mind. This situation is in contrast to Singapore’s case, as the influx of early Chinese settlers effectively turned immigrants into the majority ethnic group there. Because Singapore was a crown colony with the English language and Western culture holding official status, multiple cultures coexist there, but there is no doubt that Chinese culture forms the mainstream. Hence, when immigrants from Mainland China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong arrived in Singapore, they were effectively moving from one area to another with Chinese culture as the mainstream. There might be differences between their homeland and host countries, due to a mix of different dialect groups, but the similarity between the two lands inevitably gives the immigrant a sense of déjà vu. For Chinese immigrants from Indonesia or Malaysia, where the Chinese culture forms the minority, their arrival in Singapore does not result in déjà vu; instead, they sense a return to their roots. Therefore, Chinese immigrants in Singapore—especially first-generation immigrants— did not have to acculturate with the mainstream Chinese culture but instead had to adapt to the Western culture and the cultures of the other minorities. Considering Singapore’s unique social-historical landscape, I prefer to describe the acculturation process of first-generation immigrations with three key phrases. The first is “a common occurrence” (sikong jianguan). A poet writing under the pseudonym Bu Mo wrote a poem titled “Nanyang Songs of Bamboo Branches” (Nanyang zhuzhici), recounting his feelings about seeing local Malays and Peranakans wearing clogs and sarongs: “A common occurrence in daily life, swim with the tide and join the others on the ride. 见惯司空不经意, 随波逐流可同群.” He wrote an additional note

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Identity

for this poem, stating, “At first sight of such weird clothes, I think it might be immodest to be dressed this way. But as time goes by, it becomes an accepted common occurrence.”43 Two facts can be inferred from the poem that the poet is an immigrant and that he does not reject foreign cultures. In addition, his note reveals that he adapted to the local culture after his initial culture shock. Of course, his initial attitude of “swimming with the tide” (suibo zhuliu) does not reflect an active attitude toward acculturation; “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” (ruxiang suisu) might be a more positive approach. Either way, consciously writing about Malay and Indian culture and food reflects the positive steps taken by the Chinese immigrants toward acculturation. The second key phrase is “cultural intertextuality.” The coexistence of different cultures certainly leads to their influencing one another, for instance, in language. The Mandarin spoken daily in Singapore is a mixture of Chinese, Malay, Chinese dialects, and even English. This mixture is common in contemporary Singapore, but language purists—especially first-generation immigrants—find it undesirable. Hence, when first-generation immigrants employ any terms in languages other than Chinese in CCPS, it reflects a conscious effort in cultural integration. Some of Khoo’s poems collected in “Sin Chew Songs of Bamboo Branches” (Xingzhou zhuzhici) are representative of this effort, because he inserted Malay words into his poems. For example, his poem filled with several Chinese characters “Horse” (Ma) conveys mainly that everyone can be happy to eat and drink together, to enjoy playing, but not to get wildly drunk and become violent.44 Khoo experimentally used the Hokkien dialect to translate Malay in the verse. (See Table 2.3) In fact, Khoo’s practice of integrating the Malay language into classical Chinese poetry was not casual, as one critic noted, “In my opinion, that was a conscious effort by the poet, and it reflected a wider phenomenon of poets’ localization.”45 The third key phrase is “settling down and sinking roots.” Whether early settlers or new immigrants, the first-generation immigrants will always face a period of fluid identity—they neither immediately disown their “homeland” nor identify with Singapore soon after settling there. During this period, they remain in a complex state in which they might hold plural identities. An example may be seen in Lin Zhongchuan’s poem “Nostalgia” (Huai xiang), in which he wrote about his homesickness for China after leaving for four Table 2.3  Khoo’s Malay Poem in Hokkien Dialect Chinese 马干马莫 聚餐豪, 马里马寅 任乐陶. 幸勿酒狂喧 马己, 何妨 三马 吃同槽.

Malay-Hokkien makan—magan; mabok—mamo mari—mali; main—mayin maki—maji sama—sanma

English eat; drunk come; playing abuse together

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decades. “Harboring the hope to return, yet it is difficult to actualize; only in dreams do I visit my hometown. 怀归难遂私心愿, 梦里依稀到故乡” might be written in plain language, but the deep emotions behind these words move the reader. Later, in his “1974 National Day” (Jiayin guoqing), he displayed his pride in Singapore’s achievements in its ninth year of independence: “Many tourists who visit Singapore forgot to return; numerous factories were built one after another. 似鲫游人多忘返, 如林工厂尽相连.” Here, he employed words that showed his assimilation into the local culture, as he participated in the “celebrating with joy” of Singapore’s National Day.46 Such poems written by first-generation poets after they identified with Singapore are the essence of CCPS and at the same time represent its highest achievement. The next section elaborates on this statement.

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NANYANG AS NATIVE The world went through profound and dramatic changes after World War II ended—the founding of the People’s Republic of China, followed by the collapse of the Western colonial powers in Southeast Asia and eventual independence of the countries in the region. In response, studies developed new theories on the localization of Chinese communities in their host countries. Victor Purcell proposed the “Persistence Theory” in the 1950s, emphasizing the Chinese culture’s extraordinary ability to maintain its qualities in any time and place.47 Not long after, G. William Skinner (1925–2008) proposed the “Chinese Assimilation Theory,” which was popular in the 1960s and the 1970s. As an example, he cited the Chinese community in Thailand, where interracial marriages between Chinese men and Thai women are common. He saw this practice as the main way through which the Chinese leaders assimilated into the upper echelons of the host society.48 Skinner further predicted: “In the long run, the only future of the local-born Chinese in most of Southeast Asia is to assimilate completely to indigenous society.”49 Later, Wang Gungwu proposed the “Multiple Identities Theory,” which was representative of popular multicultural thought during the 1980s.50 This theory emphasized that Southeast Asian Chinese hold multiple dimensions of identity—political, cultural, and racial—and that these identities are diverse, complex, and fluid. The concepts of multiple identity and localization are much more complicated when we examine CCPS. First, Singapore’s Chinese community has been the majority population since the colonial days, which makes it significantly different from other Southeast Asian states. Second, classical Chinese poetry, as a traditional Chinese literary form, has its roots in China; hence, whether the authors are Chinese, Chinese immigrants, or even non-Chinese, they identify with Chinese culture in one way or another.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

Identity

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Composition of CCPS Poets Generally, CCPS poets who view Nanyang as their native territory consist of two groups of people. The first is the acculturated first-generation immigrants who have adapted to the local culture of their host country, for example, Khoo Seok Wan, Lee Choon Seng, and Pan Shou. Before settling in Singapore or Malaya, they received some form of education in China. Therefore, even though they adapted to and assimilated into Singapore, they still felt a strong bond with Chinese culture and experienced a sense of being away from home. It is therefore no surprise that Khoo called himself “Sin Chew’s Sojourner” (Xingzhou yugong). However, this feeling did not prevent him from assimilating into the local culture and producing localized poetry. It can be said that he is representative of the first-generation poets who identified with both China and Singapore. The second group is the second-generation and subsequent Chinese who can be considered local poets and who can be further divided into two groups. The first is made up of the Chinese-educated Chinese who were educated before 1987 and generally attended Chinese schools (huaxiao) and Nanyang University (abbr. Nantah). The other group is those who were educated after 1987—after the abolishment of Chinese schools—and attended schools where Chinese is taught as a second language. Overall, these two groups are similar in their living environment and share a common memory of Singapore’s history and of being part of Malaya. This common memory forms an “imagined community,”51 as described by Benedict Anderson. However, they are significantly different in terms of their proficiency in the Chinese language. Even though the first Chinese-educated group might not be as proficient in the Chinese language as the first-generation immigrants, who were educated in China, they are much more fluent than the generations who were educated after 1987. It is no wonder that the Chinese-educated group constitutes the majority of the CCPS poets today, many of whom are members of the local poetry society, the Sin Sing Poets Society. If the second-generation immigrants who were educated before 1987—the Chinese-educated group—are considered to experience a Chinese cultural gap, then the subsequent generations can be said to have only a superficial understanding. Those who were educated after 1987 have a limited knowledge of Chinese culture, and most of what they do know comes from Chinese textbooks or people around them. A senior correspondent of Lianhe Zaobao presented a lucid analysis of this situation: During my growing-up years, the “China” element we experienced on this Nanyang Island (Singapore) was the East-West hybrid fashion culture of Hong Kong and the gentle literary culture of Taiwan. As for Mainland China, our understanding of it came from Jin Yong’s (pen name of Louis Cha Leung-yung) novels; Tang-Song poetry; and classics like Water Margin and Dream of the

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Red Chamber. As for the red revolution, our impression of it was second- or maybe third-hand, as we knew about it through documentaries, Western academic books, and pop culture “re-interpreted.”52

It is apparent that China is an obscure imagined cultural element in the minds of the younger generation of Singapore Chinese. Therefore, unlike that of the first-generation immigrants, their love of classical Chinese poetry stems from their ethnic Chinese identity and later Chinese education, which is also why the younger CCPS poets are mainly graduates in Chinese studies.

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Localization of CCPS When the first-generation Chinese poets decided to make Singapore their home, it seemed natural for them to reflect local customs and experiences in their poems, forming a contrast with poems written by poets in China. However, such an attempt is easier said than done, as in reality, a poet must undergo a prolonged phase of adaptation before such a change can be observed in his poems. Khoo, for instance, lived in Singapore for five decades and penned numerous poems about Nanyang’s natural landscapes, but the 125 poems on historical themes that he wrote were almost entirely about Chinese historical figures.53 Evidently, his poems on Nanyang landscapes reflected his identification with the local culture, while his epic poems revealed his affection for his homeland. Scholars Ko Chia Cian and Lam Lap described this seeming contradiction as “consciousness of double homeland” (shuangxiang yishi), or “double consciousness,”54 while James Clifford described it as a contest between “roots” and “routes.”55 In contrast, while the second- and third-generation Chinese poets might be interested in Chinese culture, their understanding of it comes from indirect sources or secondary experiences. Because they grew up in a multiracial and multicultural environment, their identity differs greatly from that of the first-generation Chinese poets. This evolution is reflected in poems by writers of different generations, from Xiao Yatang’s (born 1854) “taking my host’s home as home, while missing home. 以客为家又忆家”56 to Lee Kim Chuan’s (1916–1999) “my homeland is on Sin Chew Island. 星洲岛上我家乡.”57 Singaporean academic Tan Eng Chaw, in his discussion of the localization of Singaporean-Malaysian cultural history, states: “‘Localization’ is based on the traditional Chinese culture brought over by Chinese immigrants. . . . Localization studies should focus on the evolution and transmission of traditional Chinese culture in a new environment.”58 This view can also be applied to the understanding of classical Chinese poetry’s transmission beyond China’s borders. Without a doubt, classical Chinese poetry has its roots in China, and its spirit lies in traditional Chinese culture. As it has spread

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Identity

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to different parts of the world—Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia—it has interacted with local cultures, leading to varying degrees of localization, and the same process has occurred for CCPS. In my opinion, the first step toward understanding the localization process is to establish the awareness of Nanyang as native. Misty air, mild rain, and coconut trees swaying in the wind—these unique Nanyang scenes were seen as exotic and novel by early sojourners and first-generation poets. However, most of the time, these scenes would be accompanied by the poet’s melancholy and longing for his homeland. For example, in “Moving to White Sand Bay” (Yiyu baishawan), Cheng Tsu Yu (1916–2008) wrote, “As night approaches, the fishing boats glide along the waters. One village has light drizzle, while the next remains dry. I took a liking to staying in the hills recently, seeking the green to share my sorrows. 向晚渔舟逐水流, 前村微雨后村秋. 近来偏喜依山住, 为乞青山伴我愁!”59 In the first two verses, he wrote about the evening scenes at his new residence, while the next two verses exposed his homesickness in a foreign land. He expressed similar feelings in another poem: “The coconut blown by the wind and rain aroused my sadness. Looking toward my hometown, my tears flow to the classics’ decline. 椰雨椰风伤作客, 中原回首泪横经!”60 This Chinese identity and cultural root-seeking pervades the poems of the early sojourners and first-generation poets. In contrast, local poets revealed different emotions when describing the same Nanyang natural landscape. For instance, Fu Zhaobai wrote in a poem about Ubin Island: “Fog surrounds the busy sails; migratory birds fly under the moving clouds after the rain stopped. . . . Coconut banana shakes with drizzle; the beautiful scenery sparks huge waves at sea. 烟霏雾绕破帆忙, 雨霁云飞候鸟翔 . . . 椰蕉细雨婆娑舞, 湖海痴情激荡扬.”61 These picturesque lines describe the island’s natural flora and fauna without any trace of homesickness. Similarly, Quek Yang Eng wrote in a lyric about the estuary of Singapore: “The fisher ports of yesteryears with cottages were deserted and dilapidated. It was a difficult road, and through the people’s efforts, they have finally built a nation from an island. 旧时渔港, 荒凉无着, 茅舍依稀萧瑟. / 世路崎岖, 全民奋发, 狮岛终建国.”62 These lines exemplify the writer’s emotions at seeing the tremendous change the city-state has undergone. In comparing poems by poets in the two groups, we note that their differences lie in their attitude toward the natural scenery—whether they wrote about it from the point of view of a foreigner or a local—and not in the way they wrote about it. When writing about Nanyang landscapes, local poets tend to assume the role of the protagonist, while sojourner and first-generation poets wrote as a third party. This difference is further exemplified in poems by local poets who demonstrated their pride in Singapore’s fifty years of achievements by writing about postindependence Singapore’s manmade landscape—Housing

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and Development Board (HDB) flats, the Singapore River, the Sungei Buloh Wetland, reservoirs, and so on. However, the fact that local poets no longer identify with the nation-state of China coupled with the change in Singapore’s language policies means that Singaporean Chinese people’s understanding of Chinese culture and the Chinese standard has declined dramatically. While the format and rules of classical poetry writing can be learned in a short period of training, the cultural depth required to understand and write such poems is not easily attained. These conditions have led to a trend in which the first-generation poets’ usage of allusion is much higher than that of the Singapore-born poets, especially the local poets educated after the abolishment of Chinese schools. In the actual writing, CCPS has injected a rich Nanyang flavor into the fine tradition of Chinese poetry. For example, Elegies of Chu (Chu ci) is known for its local flavor because it is “written in the Chu language, chanted with Chu pronunciation, and describes places and objects in Chu,” thus in my opinion, CCPS has adopted the style of “writing Nanyang Chinese, recording Nanyang sceneries, and transmitting Nanyang culture.” Regarding language, the Singaporean Chinese lexicon has a strong local flavor that is distinct from Putonghua. Its lexicon consists of dialects from southern China, English, Malay, and some localized terms.63 As this unique mixture entered CCPS, it created something like the “Poetry Revolution” (shijie geming) of the Late Qing, when a new vocabulary was also employed in poems. It is worth noting that the usage of a new lexicon not only introduces new words for the purpose of novelty but also opens a new area for classical poetry. This unique feature is most evident in the thousands of Nanyang “Songs of Bamboo Branches.” In terms of content, the local attractions, delicacies, social developments, and way of life have entered CCPS. The Sin Sing Poets Society once offered twelve themes for its members to write about Sentosa, the Japanese Garden, the Chinese Garden, the Botanic Garden, the East Coast Park, Mount Faber, the Jurong Hill Hotel, the Jurong Bird Park, the Singapore Zoo, HDB flats, cable cars, and the offshore islands—all of which are part of Singapore’s landscape. Interestingly, the poets gave these landmarks poetic aliases; for example, cable cars were named “Falcons in the Skies” (qingkong feisun); the Jurong Bird Park was given the alias “Enclosed Birds Country” (tianluo qinguo); and the offshore islands were referred to as “Fishermen’s Song at Eventide” (yuge changwan). Numerous poets wrote poems with similar themes, but their styles and perspectives varied greatly, complementing each other’s work and contributing to the Nanyang discourse. Among these local poets are Chen Baoshu (1901–1984), Ma Zongxiang, Tio Chee Chuen, Fang Huanhui (born 1922), Lin Yunfeng (born 1942), Lin Dapeng, Cai Yingcheng (born 1912), Lee Kim Chuan, and so on.64 For the younger generation of Singaporean Chinese, food

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and landmarks appear as their favorite themes. Students from the Department of Chinese Studies, NUS, wrote extensively on local curry, coffee, bak kut teh (pork-ribs soup), chili crab, dragon fruit, and Changi Airport.65 In addition, major local historical events, monuments, and literary activities are common poetic themes. The establishment and closure of Nantah touched the hearts of countless Chinese-educated poets; Sun Yat-sen Park and Haw Par Villa are part of many poets’ memories; and National Day celebrations and the death of Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015) inspired many patriotic poems. Many of these poems have been collected by the Sin Sing Poets Society and the Lion City Poetry Association (Shicheng shici xuehui). Unfortunately, the themes of multiracial and multicultural Singapore that were the primary concerns of the early sojourner poets rarely appear in poems written in the 1960s and 1970s, possibly due to the political climate of that time. In terms of value, Singaporean Chinese poetry is undergoing a period of localization, which builds on its foundation in the Chinese literary tradition, and at the same time seeking to construct its own literary tradition. Chow Tse-tsung (1916–2007) and Wong Yoon Wah, in their discussion of new literature in Southeast Asia, mentioned the “double traditions” of overseas Chinese literature: “The creative writing of Southeast Asia is a genuine reflection of the native sentiment and experience. The Chinese literature of these countries achieved because double literary traditions have been developed in their writing. In addition to the Chinese literary tradition, a native literary tradition has been created successfully.”66 This theory can also be applied to classical Chinese poetry. Tee Kim Tong observed that the early Sinophone literature “was the classical Chinese (also known as wenyan) system and was mainly used by literati from Southern China for composing and reciting poems and couplets, as well as the spreading of Chinese literature traditions.”67 Poets who view Singapore as a homeland tend to write poems with a distinct Nanyang flavor and local content in addition to the traditional Chinese cultural themes, allusions, and imagery. These poems are rooted in local culture with an international outlook. Hence, they should be seen not as an extension of classical Chinese poetry but as an integral part of Singaporean literature and a driving force behind the creation of a Singaporean identity. With these points in mind, it can be said that the localization of Singapore Chinese poetry works by highlighting local characteristics and flavor on the platform of Chinese poetry traditions. Therefore, at this moment, there is a need to “make herculean efforts to save a critical situation and pass the flame of traditional culture on to the next generation.” As the foreword to the periodical Elegant Garden for Singapore’s Classical Poets (Xinzhou yayuan) stated, the goal must be “to attract talents from the shores, whether old or young, and spread the tunes of the tropical island to the ends of the world, so that (we can) emulate our successors and create more masterpieces.”68

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32

Chapter 2

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SUMMARY Since 1819, Singapore has welcomed several waves of Chinese immigration and undergone numerous political changes. These events have had an impact on the identity of Chinese intellectuals in Singapore. The first-generation immigrants consider whatever they see foreign; hence, they tend to assume the role of a China-born Chinese and describe Nanyang as “a world beyond China.” Nonetheless, they are often bothered by the contrast between “where you’re at” and “where you’re from.” The answers to these questions have a direct impact on a poet’s motivation for writing, subject matter, and artistic expression. Generally, poets who are inclined to identify with their host countries tend to undergo a smoother process of acculturation, whereas those who identify more with their country of origin experience the opposite. Some poets who belong to the latter group might choose to return home if they are unable to acculturate—this choice has been common among first-generation immigrants during the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. In contrast, the second- and third-generation Chinese who grew up in Singapore tend to identify with it and see it as their homeland. This contrast is why Zhang Shizhao (1881–1973) described Pan Shou’s poems as “the renaissance of classical poetry in Nanyang.”69 Although these poets might not have been brought up in an environment of traditional Chinese culture and lack firsthand experience of it, they also do not have to undergo the dilemma of identity that the first-generation immigrants experience. They must find a balance between their Chineseness and the localization in their works of Chinese poetry. It is worth noting that the change of language policies in Singapore and the resulting decline in Chinese ability has greatly affected CCPS—poems written by local poets can be said to be of varying standards. The urbanization-induced disappearance of cultural symbols in Nanyang— such as theaters and amusement parks frequented by children, kampongs with a distinct rural flavor, and the interaction of different dialects among the Chinese community—must also be kept in mind when studying CCPS. Currently, these shared memories are not only a common theme of CCPS, but also in the foreseeable future, they might appear more frequently as imagery. The Singaporean poet Lim Kim Lee (pen name Lin Zi), who was born in Pontian, Johor, Malaysia, wrote a vivid depiction of the carefree kampong life of her childhood in Malaysia: “Oak surrounded by mountains, whitebait swimming along the river. Children tried to catch the butterflies against the wind and captured loaches after the rain. 橡树环山绕, 银鱼顺水游. 风中追彩蝶, 雨后捉泥鳅.”70 Such nostalgia exists as an important theme not only in classical poems but also in Singaporean modern poetry. The local Malay poet and scholar Hadijah Bte Rahmat, for instance, recounted the demolition of her kampong and her feelings about it in a poem written

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

Identity

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Figure 2.3  Identity of CCPS Writers.

Copyright © 2017. Lexington Books. All rights reserved.

in 1985.71 Although Rahmat said that she is not a nostalgic person, a reader cannot miss the nostalgia for kampong life in her poetry. As the above analysis demonstrates, we can divide CCPS poets into two categories based on their level of identification with Nanyang. (See Figure 2.3) First are those who view Nanyang as a foreign land, generally the first-generation immigrants, also known as sojourner poets, who did not adapt to local culture. Second are those who view (or imagine) Nanyang as their homeland; they can be acculturated first-generation poets or local poets who grew up in Singapore. These categories are summarized as follows. As these CCPS writers are among the highly educated class in Singapore society, their identity choice has had a significant sociocultural impact in different historical periods, particularly on the Chinese community in the early twentieth century. In a society where a majority of the population is not well educated and governmental efforts are directed toward constructing a national identity for ordinary people, the identity choice of the elite class serves as an important reference. NOTES 1. Fei Xin, “Longya men” (“Governador Strait”), in Xingcha shenglan (Overall Survey of the Star Raft), annotated by Feng Chengjun (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1954), 4–5. The book completed in 1436, is a report of foreign countries, especially South and Southeast Asia, from the Ming period (1368-1644). A text-critical study was written by Feng Chengjun, and printed by the Shangwu yinshuguan in 1938, then reprinted in 1954 by the Zhonghua shuju. 2. Bin Chun, Haiguo shengyou cao (Draft of a Triumphal Mission Overseas), 1868. The book is included in Zhong Shuhe, ed., Zouxiang shijie congshu (From East To West, Chinese Travelers Before 1911), series 1, vol. 1, Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 1985, 145–81. 3. Li Qingnian, Malaiya Huaren jiutishi yanjin shi (A History of Classical-Style Poetry of Malayan Chinese) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1998), 1–2.

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34

Chapter 2

4. Ibid., 2. 5. Weng Yibo pointed out that there must be three conditions for Chinese literature to take root overseas: One, there must be a sizeable Chinese diaspora community and Chinese schools. Two, creators of literature must be present, and they are willing to write. Three, there must be medium of transmission for such literature. See Weng Yibo, “Xin Ma Huawen wenxue mengfa shijian zhi wojian” (“A New Exploration of Germination Time of Chinese Literature in Singapore and Malaysia”), Journal of Shantou University (Humanities & Social Sciences Edition), vol. 24, 4 (2008): 16–20. 6. T. J. Newbold, Political and Statistical Account of the British Settlements in the Straits of Malacca, viz. Pinang, Malacca, and Singapore: With a History of the Malayan States on the Peninsula of Malacca (London: John Murray, 1839), vol. 1, 277. 7. Victor Purcell, The Chinese in Malaya (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1976), xi. 8. Singapore Department of Statistics, “Table A1.3: Singapore Residents by Age Group, Ethnic Group and Sex, June 2016,” Population Trends 2016, September 2016, 41. 9. These words came from Raffles’ instructions given on November 4, 1822 to Captain Davis (President), and Messrs. Bonham and A. L. Johnston (Members). See Song Ong Siang, One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore (Singapore: University of Malaya Press, 1967), 3–4. 10. See Karl Friedrich August Gützlaff, et al., ed. Dongxiyang kao meiyue tongji zhuan (Eastern Western Monthly Magazine) (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), 67. 11. The front pillar in the pavilion on the tomb was inscribed with the words of “Zhangli haier bianzuo luoshi tutou, tangqian yuji fanwei baihu zhengzhu. 帐里孩儿变作螺蛳吐肉,堂前玉机反为白虎争珠” while the back pillar was inscribed with a couplet of “Yishi xunlao huai daode, qianqiu wozhong shou renyi. 一世勋劳怀道德,千秋卧塚守仁义.” See Jao Tsung-I, Rao Zongyi ershi shiji xueshu wenji (Collected works of Jao Tsung-I) (Taibei: Xin wenfeng, 2004), vol. 7 “Zhongwai guanxi shi” (“History of Sino-Foreign Relations”), 873–74. 12. Tam Yong Huei. “Zaoqi Nanyang Huaren shige de chuancheng yu kaituo” (“Succession and Development of Early Chinese Poetry in Nanyang”). PhD diss. Nanjing University, 2014, 41–43. Also see Teoh Shiaw Kuan, Nanming cuotan: Binglangyu Huarenshi suibi xinji (Talking about the Early Nanyang: New Collected Essays on the History of Penang Chinese) (Penang: Nanyang tianye yanjiushi, 2007). 13. Wang said, as the pattern and composition of immigration society transit, the identity of “yimin” (the barbarians) has been subject to change and so has the consciousness of “yimin” (the remnant subject). When the motives and movements of the Chinese immigrants are no longer limited to “a trip of no return” or “yeluo guigen” (the fallen leaves must return to their roots), we are now encouraged to think beyond the theories of “diaspora.” Despite fighting for their citizenship, Chinese Malaysian must practice the momentum of “post-migration” in their daily life. See David Derwei Wang, “Hua Yi feng qi: Malaixiya yu Huayu yuxi wenxue” (“When the Wind of the Sinophone Blows: Malaysia and Sinophone Literature”), Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities, vol. 38 (2015): 28–29.

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14. See Goh Yeng Seng, and Shao Hongliang, “Huayi Hanyu xuexizhe jiedu: Xinjiapo shijiao” (“The Profiling of Chinese Heritage Language Learners: A Singapore Perspective”), Shijie Hanyu jiaoxue (Chinese Teaching in the World), vol. 28, 2 (2014): 253–62. 15. Peter Berger, An Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective (New York: Doubleday, 1963), 98. 16. Charles Taylor, “The Politics of Recognition,” in Amy Gutmann, ed., Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 34. 17. Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay Archipelago and British Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore) between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. See J. D. Vaughan, The Manners and Customs of the Chinese of Straits Settlements (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1971). 18. Lee Guan Kin, Dongxi wenhua de zhuangji yu Xinhua zhishi fenzi de sanzhong huiying: Qiu Shuyuan, Lin Wenqing, Song Wangxiang de bijiao yanjiu (Responding to Eastern and Western Cultures in Singapore: A Comparative Study of Khoo Seok Wan, Lim Boon Keng and Song Ong Siang) (Singapore: Department of Chinese Studies of NUS and Global Publishing, 2001), 183–236. 19. Wang Gungwu, “The Study of Chinese Identities in Southeast Asia,” in Changing Identities of the Southeast Asian Chinese since World War II, eds. Jennifer Cushman and Wang Gungwu (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1988), 1–22. 20. See Kalervo Oberg, Cultural Shock (Bobbs-Merrill Reprint Series in Social Science, A–329) (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1954); and Kalervo Oberg, “Cultural Shock: Adjustment to New Cultural Environments,” Practical Anthropology, vol. 7, 4 (1960): 177–82. 21. John J. Macionis and Linda M. Gerber, Sociology (Seventh Canadian Edition) (Toronto: Pearson Education Canada, 2010), 54. 22. See Jao Tsung-I, Xinjiapo gushi ji (The Chinese Sources for the History of Singapore Before 1912) (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1994), 277. 23. Khoo Seok Wan, Wubaishi dongtian huizhu (Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves) (Guangzhou: Fuwen zhai, 1899), vol. 1, 24b. 24. Khoo Seok Wan, “Xing zhou” (“Sin Chew”), Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji (Collected Poems of Khoo Seok Wan) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1949), part 1, vol. 1, 3b. Translation of this passage is cited from Shelly Bryant and Wang Xinlei, “Six Poems of Khoo Seok Wan,” Manoa, vol. 26, 1 (2004): 166. 25. Khoo Seok Wan, “Xing zhou” (“Sin Chew”), Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji, part 2, 57a. Translation of this passage is by Shelly Bryant and Wang Xinlei, slightly modified. See Bryant and Wang, “Six Poems of Khoo Seok Wan,” Manoa, vol. 26, 1 (2004): 166. 26. See Huang Zunxian, Renjinglu shicao jianzhu (The Draft Poems from the Hut in the Human World with Annotations), annotated by Qian Zhonglian (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1981), vol. 7, 642. 27. Huang Zunxian, “Yangke zashi qi shi’er” (“Assorted Poems on Recovering from Malaria Ⅻ”), Ibid., 644.

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28. Zhang Junguang, “Nanyang xing ge” (“Song of Nanyang Trip”), published on December 24, 2014, http://www.sgwritings.com/viewnews_55167.html, accessed July 13, 2017. 29. Michael Winkelman, “Cultural Shock and Adaptation,” Journal of Counseling and Development, vol. 73, 2 (1994): 122. 30. See The Union Times, December 25, 1922. Also see Li Qingnian, Nanyang zhuzhici huibian (A Compilation of Nanyang Songs of Bamboo Branches) (Singapore: Jin’gu shuhua dian, 2012), 91. 31. See Lat Pau, May 15, 1926. Also in Li Qingnian, Nanyang zhuzhici huibian, 124. 32. Khoo Seok Wan, “Shuibin fangzhao” (“Putting the Oars in the Water”), see Li Qingnian, Nanyang zhuzhici huibian, 183. 33. Déjà vu is the experience of feeling sure that one has already witnessed or experienced a current situation, even though the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain and were perhaps imagined. 34. See Bin Chun, “Tianwai guifan cao” (“Draft of Away from and Back to the Celestial Kingdom”), in Zhong Shuhe, ed., Zouxiang shijie congshu (Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 1985), series 1, vol. 1, 198. 35. Huang Zunxian, “Fanke pian” (“Overseas Merchants”), See Renjinglu shicao jianzhu, vol. 7, 632. 36. Ko Chia Cian, “Diguo, siwen, fengtu: Lun zhuxin shijie Zuo Binglong, Huang Zunxian yu Mahua wenxue” (“Empire Culture and Customs: Imperial Chinese Consuls in Singapore and Mahua Literature”), Bulletin of Department of Chinese, National Taiwan University, vol. 32 (2010): 361–62. 37. Ibid., 369. 38. David Der-wei Wang, “Hua Yi feng qi: Malaixiya yu Huayu yuxi wenxue,” Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities, vol. 38 (2015): 7. 39. See Talcott Parsons, The Social System (New York: The Free Press, 1951). 40. Yang Qi, Jiangshan wanlilou shici chao (Poems from the Ten-thousand Country Chamber) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 2003), 85. 41. Yang Qilin, “Xue ji” (“Learn from the Basis”) and “Lei yan” (“Tearful Eyes”), See Li Shihuang ed., Dangdai Yaxi’an shige xuan 2006 (Selected Poems in Contemporary Asia 2006) (Singapore: Fengyun chubanshe, 2007), 169. 42. See John W. Berry et al., Cross-Cultural Psychology: Research and Applications (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 271–91. 43. See Nanyang Siang Pau, September 26, 1925. Also see Li Qingnian, Nanyang zhuzhici huibian, 110. 44. Xiaohong (Khoo Seok Wan’s pseudonym), “Xie yong minnan yinyi malaiyu” (“Wittily Translating Malay by Hokkien Dialect”), Sin Chew Jit Poh, September 4, 1932. 45. Zhu Chongke, “Bentu yishi de mengbo yihuo ‘qiyuan’ yujing: Lun Qiu Shuyuan shizuo zhong de bentu guanhuai” (“Germination or original context of Localization: A Case Study of Khoo Seok Wan’s Poetry”), in idem, Kaogu wenxue “Nanyang”: Xin Ma Huawen wenxue yu bentuxing (The Archaeology on Literary Nanyang: Nativeness and Singapore & Malaysian Chinese Literature) (Beijing: Sanlian chubanshe, 2008), 32.

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46. See Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe baiqi sheke xuanji (Selected Poems from 100 Vols. Club Topics of SSPS) (Singapore: Sin Sing Poets Society, 1981), 115. 47. Victor Purcell, The Chinese in Southeast Asia (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1951), 672. 48. G. William Skinner, Chinese Society in Thailand: An Analytical History (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1957), 380. 49. G. William Skinner, “Change and Persistence in Chinese Culture Overseas: A comparison of Thailand and Java,” Journal of the South Seas Society, vol. 16, 1 & 2 (1960): 100. 50. Wang Gungwu, “The Study of Chinese Identities in Southeast Asia,” in Changing Identities of the Southeast Asian Chinese Since World War II, 1–22. 51. See Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso Editions, 1983). 52. Teo Woan Yee, “Shei de Zhongguo meng” (Whose Chinese Dream Is It?), Lianhe Zaobao, November 19, 2015. 53. See Wang Zhiwei, Qiu Shuyuan yongshishi yanjiu (A Study of Khoo Seok Wan’s Poetry on Historical Themes) (Singapore: Island Society, 2000). 54. See Ko Chia Cian, “Diguo, siwen, fengtu: Lun zhuxin shijie Zuo Binglong, Huang Zunxian yu Mahua wenxue,” Bulletin of Department of Chinese, National Taiwan University, vol. 32 (2010): 384. Also see Lam Lap, “Liuyu yu bentu yishi: Xinjiapo Huawen jiutishi zhong de Nanyang secai” (“Sojourner’s Sentiments and Localization: The Nanyang Flavors in Singapore’s Classical Chinese Poetry”), Journal of Oriental Studies, vol. 48, 1 (2015): 86. 55. See James Clifford, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997). 56. Xiao Yatang, “You huai” (“My Feelings”), Lat Pau, November 13, 1893. 57. Lee Kim Chuan, “Xinjiapo yin” (“Singing Singapore”), in Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe baiqi sheke xuanji, 56. 58. Tan Eng Chaw, “Xin Ma Huazu wenshi fazhan de bentuhua jincheng” (“The Development of Localization of Singaporean and Malaysian Literature and History”) in idem ed., Xin Ma Huazu wenshi luncong (Collection of Essays on Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese Literature and History) (Singapore: Island Society, 1999), “preface.” 59. Cheng Tsu Yu, Cheng Tsu Yu shiwen ji (Collection of Cheng Tsu Yu’s poems and writings) (Singapore: Shijie shuju, 1958), 51. 60. Ibid., 50. 61. Fu Zhaobai, “Wumindao you” (“A Trip to Ubin Island”), Xinzhou yayuan (Elegant Garden for Singapore’s Classical Poets), vol. 1, 1 (2015): 14. 62. Quek Yang Eng, “Yong yu le” (“Joy of Eternal Union”), in Choy Lock Wai & Quek Yang Eng, Shuanghelou yuncao: Choy Lock Wai, Quek Yang Eng shici heji (The Draft Verses from the Double-Crane Chamber: A Compilation of Poems by Choy Lock Wai and Quek Yang Eng) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 2012), 231. 63. See Chew Cheng Hai, “Xinjiapo Huayu he Putonghua de chayi yu chuli chayi de duice” (“Differences and Solutions between Singapore Chinese and Mandarin”), Lianhe Zaobao, March 21 and March 23, 2006.

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38

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64. See Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe baiqi sheke xuanji. 65. See “Nanjin ji” (“An Anthology of Southern Talents”), Lianhe Zaobao, August 27, 2010; and “Nanjin erji” (“An Anthology of Southern Talents Ⅱ”), Lianhe Zaobao, October 30, 2015. 66. Wong Yoon Wah, Post-colonial Chinese Literature in Singapore and Malaysia (Singapore: Department of Chinese Studies, National University of Singapore, 2002), 166. It should be noted the concept of “double tradition” was first proposed by Dr. Wong’s supervisor Chow Tse-tsung in 1989. See Wong Yoon Wah, and Horst Pastoors, eds., Dongnanya Huawen wenxue (Chinese Literature in Southeast Asia) (Singapore: Goethe-Institut Singapore and Singapore Association of Writers, 1989), 359–62. 67. Tee Kim Tong, “Malaixiya yu Xinjiapo Huayu yuxi wenxue changyu” (“Field of Sinophone Malaysian and Singaporean Literature”), Wen Jing (Cultural Review), vol. 3 (2012): 20. 68. Lam Lap, “Fakan ci” (“Foreword”), Xinzhou yayuan, vol. 1 (2015): 1. 69. See Tan Siah Kwee, “Wo suo zhidao de Pan Shou xiansheng” (“On Mr. Pan Shou What I Know”), in Pan Shou shufa quanji (Collection of Pan Shou’s Chinese Calligraphy) (Singapore: Chinese Calligraphy Society of Singapore, 2000). 70. Lin Zi, “Yi tongnian” (“Memories of Childhood”), Huaiqiu shisheng (The Universal Voice of Poetry), vol. 2 (2014): 7. 71. Hadijah Bte Rahmat, “Potret Pembangunan (Istimewa untuk Penduduk Kampung Jalan Haji Salam)” (“Portrait of Construction: To the Residents of Jalan Haji Salam Village”), in Leo Suryadinata and Hadijah Bte Rahmat, eds., Singapura: Kotaku, Kampung Halamanku (Singapore: My City, My Home) (Singapore: Confucius Institute of Nanyang Technological University, 2015), 36–41.

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Chapter 3

Community

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How to Shape Cultural Space?

“Cultural space” as an academic term first appeared in the Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity promulgated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It read, “Cultural space is defined as a place which brings together a concentration of popular and traditional cultural activities and as a time for a normally regularly occurring event. This temporal and physical space should owe its existence to the cultural manifestations which traditionally occur there.”1 At the same time, it declared that cultural space is “a strong concentration of the intangible cultural heritage of outstanding value.”2 Evidently, the cultural space under discussion is not a geographical concept but a nonmaterial cultural heritage that is understood in terms of time, space, and culture. This theory has its roots in the work of the urban researcher Henri Lefebvre on “space” and “production of space.”3 Since the founding of Singapore, Chinese poetry has been a common cultural denominator that brought together Chinese literati and local literary enthusiasts; whether in the form of formal or informal collaborations, they have created a cultural space and a powerful network with distinct local characteristics that can be understood in three areas. First is the establishment of literary education and elite groups, which mainly applies to the early Chinese settlers who arrived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. These immigrants were generally not well educated; hence, the Chinese consuls of that era—Zuo Binglong and Huang Zunxian—founded literary societies to promote the learning of literature, which created an elite group similar to the traditional scholars who had undergone a Confucian education. Second is the expansion of poetry communications and social networks, which have existed since the formation of scholar groups as a cultural and social activity for traditional scholars; modern intellectuals; and literary 39

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enthusiasts of all ages, classes, and occupations. Participation in these groups greatly expanded the local cultural space and networking with foreign literary enthusiasts. The term “poetry communications” refer to interactions among members of poetry societies, among local literati, and between local and foreign literati. Some of these might occur for the sake of tangible benefits, while others might not; either way, poetry communications successfully changed poetry from an individual activity to a group activity and pushed it into the open cultural space. Third is amateur writing and upholding of classical culture. In the eyes of traditional literati, classical poetry is an indispensable way of life and a necessary tool to obtain fame and fortune. However, in Singapore, where pragmatism reigns, modern intellectuals and literary enthusiasts write poetry for the love of it rather than for any tangible benefits. This has especially been the case since the 1980s, when the Chinese language was marginalized and the situation for CCPS became markedly dire. Nonetheless, a handful of current literature enthusiasts still take time to learn and write poetry. These retirees, Chinese school graduates, and students of Chinese studies at universities might not be able to create poetry as excellent as that of the firstgeneration poets, but their spirit in learning traditional culture is worth noting. In addition, not long after traditional Chinese poetry arrived in Singapore, the New Literature Movement began in Republican China, and its impact was felt in Singapore and Malaya. Therefore, traditional Chinese poetry not only must struggle to survive in a predominantly English-speaking Singapore society but must fend off competition from modern Chinese poetry as well. Without a doubt, Chinese poetry had its brilliant days, but at the current moment, it is in the doldrums. Nevertheless, literati from every walk of life and during every era have made a point of writing poetry, ensuring its survival, and contributing to the society’s cultural development. ESTABLISHMENT OF QUASI-SCHOLAR GROUP AND CULTURAL SPACE IN SINGAPORE China’s traditional scholar-bureaucrat (shidafu) class, which was formed during the Spring and Autumn Period, was considered part of the lower nobility class; hence, its members had access to education and were able to learn useful skills. The scholar class pursues morals and truth in a quest to attain spiritual satisfaction. It is generally understood that members of the scholarbureaucrat class see their social role as unique, based on their formation and development of knowledge, morality, and wisdom, and that they are the role models of society.4 At the same time, this class has difficulty striking a balance between its abilities and its self-proclaimed role as society’s moral

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yardstick. American scholar Joseph R. Levenson (1920–1969) said of Ming and Qing scholar-bureaucrats: “They were amateurs in the fullest sense of the world, genteel initiates in a humane culture, without interest in progress, leanings to science, sympathy for commerce, nor prejudice in favor of utility. Amateurs in government because their training was in art, they had an amateur bias in art itself, for their profession was government.”5 When members of this class of “double amateur” scholar-bureaucrats left the borders of Qing China, they no longer had an expectation of attaining officialdom, and it was at this point that their exceptional talent in literature was revealed. Through such migrations, a group of Chinese literati emerged in Singapore during the 1870s, made up mainly of early settlers from China and a smaller group of Peranakans. These literati had undergone a traditional Chinese education; therefore, their mentality, personality, and way of life were similar to those of the traditional Chinese scholar-bureaucrat. Though most of them took up teaching and literary jobs, many others served in the fields of industry, business, health care, the arts, and publishing. However, these traits did not make them equivalent to the traditional scholar-bureaucrat class in Chinese, because although these literati might have sought spiritual satisfaction and led a traditional refined Chinese scholar-bureaucrat life, they did not have access to the imperial examinations, which were the route to officialdom. There was no way they could “make a mind for Heaven and Earth, set up the way for human beings, restore the lost teachings of the past sages, and build a peaceful world for all future generations,”6 unlike the scholar-bureaucrat class in China. Hence, I refer to this group of early Chinese literati as quasi-scholar (lei shi). The size of the quasi-scholar group depends largely on the literacy rate of the population. According to Evelyn S. Rawski, during the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Qing Dynasty, China’s “basic literacy was unevenly distributed between males and females, with perhaps 30 to 45 percent of males and only two to ten percent of females possessing some ability to read and write.”7 The scholar-bureaucrat class possessed both the basic literacy required for keeping accounts and writing letters with a high level of competence—familiarity with the classics and an ability to compose essays and poetry. According to statistics, the literary population in China during the 1930s was probably “between 5 and 10 percent of the male population.”8 If the same proportion was applied to Nanyang, then the quasi-scholars would be a minority. Despite the small size of the group, these elite were the drivers behind the creation of local cultural space during late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Singapore. They set up poetry societies that focused on literary education and interacted with poets passing through Singapore, revitalizing traditional culture in Singapore. Unfortunately, their influence was limited to the literary field, and they could not attain leadership roles in the community.9

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Literary Groups Founded by Consuls The Qing consular office in Singapore was set up in 1877. On October 5, of the same year, the British government office in Singapore recognized local Chinese leader, Mr. Whampoa Hoo Ah Kay (1816–1880), as the Chinese consul. When Hoo died in 1880, China’s then ambassador to Britain, Zeng Jize (1839–1890), sent his personal translator, Zuo Binglong, to assume the position left vacant by Hoo. Thus, Zuo became the first Chinese consul dispatched overseas by the Qing court; his ten-year period of service began in September 1881 and ended in May 1891.10 Zuo, whose birth name was Zixing, was born in 1850 to a family in Guangzhou. At the age of fifteen, he entered the School of Combined Learning (Tongwen guan), where he picked up English and took multiple courses in Western studies. Upon graduation at the age of eighteen, he began his career as a translator and later as a diplomat at the Office of Foreign Affairs (Zongli geguo shiwu yamen) in Beijing. Although Zuo began his Western education at a young age, which makes him an unconventional scholar-bureaucrat; his achievements in traditional Chinese education were equally impressive, especially in the area of poetry. His poems are collected in A Representative Poetry Collection from the Dwelling for Diligence (Qinmiantang shichao). His achievements in poetry were widely recognized; renowned Lingnan poet Zeng Xiying (1903–1985) once commented: “His words can be interpreted in many ways, and easily understood. He drew inspiration from many renowned poets such as Yuan Zhen (779–831), Bai Juyi (772–846), Su Shi (1037–1101) and Lu You (1125–1210), and applied it to his works, forming his uniqueness.”11 Another late Qing Hanlin scholar, Shang Yanying (1869–1960), commented on Zuo’s poems: “The gentle breeze and bright moonlight were captured in his poems; the refined feelings were shown in drinking. 风月收诗卷, 壶觞入雅怀.”12 Thus, Zuo was indeed a new age scholar-bureaucrat with a thorough knowledge of both East and West cultures. The main responsibilities of the Qing’s overseas consulates were to protect the safety and legitimate rights of the Chinese people abroad. At the same time, they sought the allegiance of overseas Chinese to the Qing court. Zuo believed that the best way to protect the overseas Chinese was to educate them. Tan Yeok Seong summarized the contributions Zuo made to education in three categories: initiating the establishment of free private schools, setting up literary associations, and encouraging the formation of the Celestial Reasoning Association.13 These innovations were important to the shaping of the quasi-scholar group in Singapore. First of all, the establishment of multiple free schools was essential to the development of the talents of those who received a traditional Chinese education. Singapore had only one such school—Chui Eng Public School (Cuiying shuyuan)—founded in 1854. After

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Zuo’s arrival, several free private schools were founded: the Anglo-Chinese Free School, Yu Lan Study Hall, Yeung Ching School, and so on.14 Lat Pau recorded: “[Among] old-style schools in Singapore, where few could afford to hire private tutors or be taught by personal sponsors, the majority were free private schools.”15 Due to the high cost of private tutors, most of the students in the free private schools came from ordinary families. Hence, these private schools provided many overseas Chinese children with opportunities to receive an education and played an important role in the formation of the quasi-scholar group in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Some rich families went a step further by sending their children to Qing China in a bid to gain officialdom through the imperial examinations. For example, under orders from his father, Khoo Tock Xin (1820–1896), who was a wellknown rice merchant, Khoo Seok Wan returned to his hometown to prepare for the Chinese imperial examinations when he was fifteen years old. Eventually, he passed the district and provincial examinations. Second, Zuo established the Hui Xian Club (The Society for Gathering Talents), which included essay and poetry writing, in the second year (1882) of his arrival in Singapore. The club held a monthly assessment class (yue ke) for local literati to produce a paper in response to a theme specified by Zuo himself. The idea of the monthly class came from the learning model in Chinese traditional private schools, which is similar to modern-day writing competitions. Submissions to the competition were judged either by Zuo or by scholars designated by him, and those outstanding works by the winners were published in Lat Pau. According to researcher Leung Yuen Sang, there were 514 winning entries in the monthly assessment classes of the Hui Xian Club from August 1887 to June 1891, with 219 literati remaining if repeated entries are excluded. If we take into account the participants whose works did not win, the total number of participants in this competition during this period would have been in the thousands.16 Thus, although the literati were a minority group in Singapore’s commercially oriented society, their influence on the society’s cultural space was significant. The Hui Yin Poetry Club was another such literary organization; there are currently no records on when it was established, but we can be sure that it was related to the founding of the Yu Lan Study Hall. In March 1889, the founder of this private school, Wang Huiyi, held an open competition for couplets. The rules were simple: each couplet should be made up of 712 words and the initial Chinese character of each sentence was limited to Yu (毓) or Lan (兰). In addition, it should have the connotation of educating talent while sounding natural, elegant, and fresh.17 Support for the competition was overwhelming. Zuo, acting as the judge, chose twenty of the best of 186 couplets that were sent in for the competition and also presented the Yu Lan Study Hall with six more couplets written by himself. Based on the interest in this event,

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Zuo perceived the need for local literati to engage in literary communication; hence, he established the Hui Yin Poetry Club. Emulating the Hui Xian Club, the Hui Yin Poetry Club held monthly couplet competitions in which Zuo would suggest two Chinese characters as the topic and pick the winners. Again, all the winners’ couplets would be published in Lat Pau; the first list of winners was published on May 31, 1889. As this is the earliest record of the Hui Yin Poetry Club, we can deduce that it was likely established in April or May 1889. The Hui Yin Poetry Club held at least fourteen competitions during Zuo’s time as the consul in Singapore.18 According to Yeap Chong Leng’s research, there were 226 winning couplets by 92 people; if all participants were taken into consideration, the figure would be much greater.19 Third, Zuo made good use of his bilingual advantage by founding the English-medium Celestial Reasoning Association with the aim of drawing in and educating the English-educated overseas Chinese. The association was established in 1882 and functioned until 1890 with Zuo as its chair. Its members met biweekly at the consulate to debate political, social, and cultural issues. Although many of these participants were Baba (Peranakans), who could not speak or understand the Chinese language, the issues they spoke about definitely pointed to their identification with Qing China. When Singapore held an event in 1889 to celebrate Emperor Guangxu’s (1871–1908) marriage, the members of the association wrote a long congratulatory message: Over hundreds of thousands of Chinese live in Singapore, which is a small country, and all identify with Qing China. These people toil hard for a living here. The Qing emperor chose an outstanding official, Zuo Binglong, as consul to Singapore, and the ordinary people know what is loyalty and patriotism from what Zuo did. As members of the association, we benefited greatly from him, including moral encouragement and knowledge indoctrination. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to him and wish His Majesty well.20

This congratulatory message revealed the results of Zuo’s efforts to unite the Peranakans and encourage them to identify with Qing China. In addition, it is evident that the quasi-scholars were not only ethnic Chinese but also English-educated Peranakans. The growth of Singapore’s quasi-scholar community and development of cultural space did not cease with Zuo’s departure. In fact, when the Qing court sent a replacement for Zuo to fill the newly created position of chief consul, the local literary scene became more exciting, as the official was an even more accomplished poet. This career diplomat, Huang Zunxian, alias Gongdu, was also an important member of the Poetry Revolution. Liang Qichao (1873–1929) said of Huang: “Due to a new realm opening up, Huang

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Zunxian’s poems are one of a kind, a giant among poets of the twentieth century; everyone agrees that he is the crème de la crème.”21 In his diplomatic career, Huang served as consul to Japan, consul to Britain, chief consul of San Francisco, and chief consul of Singapore. During the Hundred Days’ Reform Movement, he served as the provincial officer of Hunan and assisted Chen Baozhen (1831–1900) in implementing reforms. Due to his outstanding achievements in diplomacy, he was said to be the first Chinese to travel the world in modern times. After assuming his position, Huang worked to develop the local culture and education scene, as shown by two of his actions. First, he restructured the Hui Xian Club and renamed it the Tu Nan Club. He explained his intentions in the “Preface to Tu Nan Club,” “I hope to engage in discussions with the members on topics such as Confucian ethics, governance issues in China and Western countries, and academic subjects from the past and present. Over time, we can discover new talents who are beneficial to the country. With this in mind, I hope to pioneer this cause.”22 This showed that he hoped the number of local quasi-scholars and the system of local education would expand and improve under his leadership. His ultimate intention was to unite the local Chinese community and help the community to identify with Qing China. These goals were reflected in an article in the local newspaper Sing Po (Xing bao), which said the three aims of the Tu Nan Club were to respect the emperor, value Confucianism, and show compassion toward poor people.23 Such statements reveal the political intentions behind efforts to revitalize the local literary scene. The Tu Nan Club’s organizational system and monthly assessment class rules were basically a continuation of those established by its predecessor. Some differences between the two lie in assessment standards, type and amount of incentives, and types of themes. Hui Xian’s themes were generally based on the classics, especially the Analects (Lunyu), for example: “Learning without thought means labor lost,” “It is by the Odes that the mind is aroused,” and “It is by the rules of propriety that the character is established.” In contrast, Tu Nan tended to set themes based on societal issues. According to Yeap Chong Leng’s statistics, Huang had two main categories of themes— China issues and Nanyang issues—for the twenty-four monthly assessment classes that he chaired. The former had seventeen questions per set, of which seven were related to overseas Chinese, and the latter had twenty-two questions per set, of which eight were related to etiquette and customs.24 Questions on local issues included the education of Nanyang youths, the establishment of a Nanyang Chinese Chamber of Commerce, bans on gambling and prostitution, the merits and demerits of Nanyang customs, and so on. The questions related to overseas Chinese were intended to educate them regarding their legitimate rights, for example, America’s limitation on the entry of overseas

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Chinese, Qing naval forces’ protection of Chinese ships, and so on. Hui Xian’s rules required people taking part in a monthly class to write essays on the Four Books (sishu), while Tu Nan allowed the format of classical poetry as well as that of traditional discourse in polities. Initially, Tu Nan’s exercise themes for its club’s activities did not come from the Four Books, because those topics did not apply to Nanyang. However, after the lobbying done by many competitors, the rules were relaxed in January 1893. Huang may have wanted to cultivate unconventional intellectual elite instead of the traditional scholar class whose main motivation was to succeed in China’s imperial examinations. Huang’s second cultural and educational achievement was to extend his support to the Hui Yin Poetry Club. He continued Zuo’s practice of personally setting themes for couplet-writing competitions and reviewing them afterward. The names of the winners and their winning entries were then published in local newspapers in the hope of attracting more candidates. Huang’s participation in Hui Yin’s activities garnered much attention for the club from local and Southeast Asian societies. Between February and July 1893, two literary societies from Yangon, Myanmar—Pavilion with Ease (Xianlai ge) and Pavilion in Green (Yingbi xuan)—submitted over a hundred pieces of poetry for Huang to review. Despite his physical ailments, Huang personally reviewed every piece of work and commended these Yangon literature enthusiasts. The winning pieces were published in Sing Po, which ignited the interest of Singaporean poets to compose poems and couplets. Before Huang’s return to China in November 1894, he held twenty-four Tu Nan classes monthly over a period of three years. During this period, there were 938 winning pieces by 391 winners.25 During that time, Hui Yin held ten couplet competitions—the results were not announced for the ninth and tenth competitions—with 345 winning pieces by 146 winners. Interestingly, Sing Po published the number of participants in each couplet competition along with the winning pieces. Yeap Chong Leng compiled these figures and concluded that the average number of participants was five times that of the winning pieces.26 Applying the same logic to Tu Nan’s and Hui Yin’s contestants, the former should comprise approximately 2,000 active participants in total, while the latter would comprise approximately 700 participants. Some participants who were good at essay and poetry writing might have taken part in both competitions, but nevertheless it is indisputable that a sizable group of quasi-scholars existed in late-nineteenth-century Singapore. Literary Groups Founded by Sojourner Literati After the departure of Zuo Binglong and Huang Zunxian, the sojourner poet Khoo Seok Wan founded the Lize Club (Poetry Society for Mutual

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Learning) in October 1896 with his own finances. The club was renamed the Le Qun Literary Society (Literary Society for Partnership) in 1897. Born in Fujian, China, Khoo followed his mother to Macau before moving in 1881 to Singapore, where his father, a successful rice merchant and a prominent community leader, lived. Khoo received a traditional Confucian education and returned to his hometown to pass the district and provincial examinations when he was young. He qualified as a candidate for the central government imperial examinations in Beijing in 1894, but he failed in his attempt in the following year and returned to Singapore. With his inheritance from his late father, Khoo supported the establishment of several literary societies and established the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School together with Lim Boon Keng (1869–1957) in 1899. Khoo also founded Thien Nan Shin Pao (also Thien Nam Sin Pao, Tiannan xinbao), a progressive newspaper that advocated China’s reformation. On February 2, 1900, he invited Kang Youwei, one of the exiled reform leaders of the movement, to Singapore, paid Kang’s expenses, and protected him during his six-month stay. After being declared bankrupt at the age of 34, Khoo went on to make a living as a newspaperman. He was the chief editor of Chin Nam Poh (also Cheng Nam Jit Poh or Chin Lam Pao, Zhennan [ri]bao) between 1913 and 1920. He became the secretary of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce in 1926 and resigned three years later to join Sin Chew Jit Poh (Xingzhou ribao) as the editor of its literary supplement in June 1929. He contracted leprosy when he was fifty-seven years old and passed away at the age of sixty-eight in the year 1941. A fervent promoter of Chinese education and culture, Khoo penned numerous poems, of which over 1,500 were recorded and collected in his anthologies and notes. Khoo received a traditional private school education at a very young age; although he failed the central government’s imperial examinations, he was still the only provincial graduate (Juren) in Singapore, and a wealthy one. Hence, he was able to establish newspapers, schools, and literary societies, which catapulted him into a position of cultural leadership. The establishment of the Lize Club was motivated by the same reasons as that of the Hui Xian Club and Tu Nan Club—to educate the masses, to promote a literary atmosphere, and to ensure the continuity of Chinese culture. Lize’s competitions focused on composing couplets and poems along with a small number of eight-legged essays (bagu wen) and essays on current affairs (shiwu wen). The submissions were eventually sent to Khoo for judging; the winners received cash or tangible gifts, and their winning pieces were published in Lat Pau and Sing Po. Remarkably, Lize’s reach was extremely wide; its competitions attracted numerous sojourner literati from all over Nanyang as well as Straits Chinese. It is safe to say that it succeeded in its aim of educating the masses. Khoo recorded the scene at that time: “Class competition started in the ninth moon, and many eagerly submitted their works. The works received

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reached over 1,400. After the publication of the list, nine-tenths of the authors came from the sojourners, while the rest were Peranakans.”27 Khoo was the driving force behind the activities of the Lize Club. This society was popular among the local and Nanyang literati, and with such active participation in its activities, it seems to have been a purely literary organization. However, in the winter of 1897, Khoo and his compatriots decided to expand Lize’s emphasis on poetry learning and renamed it Le Qun, refocusing its efforts on prose and practical studies. Li Qingnian believed that “this was an effort to use cultural activities to promote political reform.”28 I share Li’s views on this matter, as the Reform Movement instigated by Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao began after China’s defeat in the Sino-Japanese War and culminated during the Hundred Days’ Reform Movement between June and September 1898. Khoo was back in his hometown from the end of 1896 to June 1897, due to his father’s death. During this period, he was exposed to ideas of reform and of the need for gaining practical knowledge. It is important to note that Khoo’s first contact with the Reform Movement was in February 1895—rather than late 1896—when he met Kang and Liang in Beijing during the Scholars’ Petition to the Throne (gongche shangshu). Therefore, the goals of Le Qun varied from those of Lize, due largely to the political nature of the former. However, despite Le Qun’s greater participation numbers, “there was a clear lack of agenda and leadership, and discussions were all over the place”; eventually, “it had to cease its political discussions and focus on the Confucian classics.”29 As can be seen, Le Qun’s effort to advocate political reform was not successful, and it collapsed soon after the failure of the Reform Movement in 1898. In the early spring of 1924, Khoo established the Tan Xie Poetry Club (Poetry Society with Sandalwood, abbreviated Tan Club) with the sponsorship of businessman Tan Ean Kiam (1881–1943) and others. The Tan Club held monthly gatherings for the literati; outstanding literary works by members were then compiled and published as an anthology. Its influence was not limited to Singapore’s geographic space, as copies of this anthology were available all over Southeast Asia. In early 1934, Khoo founded the Nanyang Society for Advocating Confucianism (Nanyang chongru xueshe) to popularize Chinese traditional culture and specifically to provide Englisheducated students and scholars with the opportunity to learn the Chinese language.30 The society held a monthly poetry competition titled “poembells” (Time-Limited Poetry Creation). As with Lize, Khoo was responsible for the examinations and reviews and chose some fine pieces to publish in Nanyang Siang Pau (Nanyang shangbao). From February 1934 to April 1935, fourteen poetry competitions received more than 10,000 poems from Singapore, Malaya, and Indonesia. As this discussion has shown, educating the masses and promoting culture through literary societies was the strategy employed by the early quasi-scholars.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Poetry Communications with Visiting Literati As mentioned in chapter 2, works by visiting literati were not considered part of CCPS for various reasons, but that did not mean that they had no impact on Singapore’s literature and cultural landscape. In fact, cultural exchanges with sojourner and Peranakan literati were highly influential in expanding Singapore’s cultural space—injecting vibrancy and, in a way, triggering thought reform. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Qing Empire went through a period of political and social upheaval that led many public office holders, political exiles, and refugees to leave the country under the guise of traveling abroad, but with the hope of returning one day. Naturally, due to its nearness and its predominantly Chinese population, Southeast Asia was an ideal location for them. Qiu Fengjia, Xu Nanying, Kang Youwei, Yu Dafu, and others made their way there. In addition, the Chinese traveler Li Zhongjue (1853–1927) visited Singapore in 1887, and upon his return to China, he published a book titled A Description of Singapore in 1887 (Xinjiapo fengtu ji), detailing Singapore’s customs, way of life, and social landscape. This publication drew the attention of other literati, who became interested in Singapore.31 One of them was Wei Zhusheng (born 1828), who was intent on visiting Singapore. As mentioned earlier, under the efforts of the two consuls—Zuo Binglong and Huang Zunxian—a sizable group of over a thousand intellectuals had emerged in Singapore, and it was no longer a cultural desert. Based on the chronological order of their arrival in Singapore, we shall first consider Wei Zhusheng, whose purpose was to befriend other literati through poetry exchanges. Wei, who visited Japan three times, was a renowned calligrapher and poet during the late Qing period. In the autumn of 1889, he arrived in Singapore via Hong Kong and Saigon and stayed for four months, spending his time hiking, looking at the seas, reading, fishing, and exchanging poetry communications with the local literati. Wei left a famous line that reflected his love for traveling and his amiable character: “Knowing that the traveler has difficulty encountering friends, to my surprise, I can meet a few like-minded literati and discuss with them.”32 During his stay in Singapore, Wei exchanged several rounds of poetry communications with Consul Zuo. In addition, he spent time with literati from all occupations, among whom were Yeh Chi Yun, Huang Shang, Li Qinghui, and Tian Songyue. Fortunately, many of their Changhe poems (i.e., one person writing a poem to which one or more other people reply, usually using the same rhyme sequence, also Changchou poems) were published in the local newspaper, Lat Pau, which played an important role in promoting the development of the Singaporean poetry scene. To borrowing academic Leung Yuen Sang’s words, “The whirlwind of poetry brought by Wei Zhusheng in 1889 injected vibrancy into the local poetry world.”33

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:40:22.

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Next, we shall consider Qiu Fengjia, who wished to establish schools to spread Confucianism. Qiu, an influential poet and educationist during the late Qing period, was born in Taiwan and attained the level of metropolitan graduate (Jinshi) in 1889. In 1895, he established schools and advocated “new learning” (xin xue) in Jiaying, Teochew, and Shantou after moving to Guangdong. He was also a supporter of Kang’s and Liang’s Reform Movement. In March 1900, he was tasked by the authorities in eastern Guangdong with an expedition to Nanyang. Starting from Teochew, he traveled through Hong Kong, Saigon, and Khmer before arriving in Singapore. According to the historical records, the purposes of his expedition were first, “to contact and supervise the overseas Chinese in British, France, and Portuguese colonies. Explain the importance of Confucianism, and raise funds for schools’ new learning in Shantou,”34 and second, “with the joint efforts of Guangdong businessmen in Nanyang. . . . [He] encourage them to support the country financially.”35 In other words, the purposes of Qiu’s trip to Singapore were to promote cultural education and raise funds for establishing schools. During Qiu’s time in Singapore, the person with whom he exchanged the most poetry communications was Khoo.36 However, their communications had begun long before; the Khoo-owned Thien Nan Shin Pao published over a hundred poems, essays, and couplets by Qiu as well as correspondence between Qiu and Khoo. In addition, the newspaper published a preface and agenda written by Qiu for establishing Ling Tung’s School of Combined Learning (Lingdong tongwen xuetang).37 This visit is an interesting cultural phenomenon, as the local literati were excited about Qiu, whom they had heard of but not seen. When Qiu finally arrived in Singapore, he met many overseas Chinese and gave a few public lectures before moving on to the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia. It is important to note that the poetry communications between Qiu and Khoo were limited to superficial mutual compliments and avoided deeper issues. Despite this, Qiu wrote two poems on “Painting of Lecture Trip in Nanyang” (Ziti Nanyang xingjiao tu) that chronicled the scenes of overseas Chinese seeking education: “Ten thousand people sit and listen attentively to lectures on Confucius classics.万人围坐齐倾耳, 椰子林中说圣经.” and “Even after 2,500 years, the Dao of Confucianism still remains overseas. 二千五百余年后, 浮海居然道可行.”38 Ko Chia Cian commented: “The efforts by the locals to pursue their cultural identity can be seen as protecting Chinese culture, protecting the Chinese race, and setting up schools. These were why Qiu was successful in his [fund-raising efforts] for education, and it unexpectedly expanded the local literary space.”39 Despite Qiu’s political motivations for his expedition to Singapore, his visit indisputably spurred local interest in education and cultural activities. In fact, the correspondence between Khoo and Qiu exposed Qiu’s genuine intentions to establish schools, educate the masses, and save the late Qing

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culture. These aims can be seen in the letters between Qiu and Khoo and in statements made by Qiu to the newspapers when he was in Singapore. According to Anthology of Qiu Fengjia (Qiu Fengjia ji), Khoo and Qiu had seven and five exchanges of correspondence in 1898 and 1899, respectively. The letters revealed that Khoo was influenced by Qiu’s actions and launched a series of activities related to “establishing schools, setting up societies, worshiping Confucius, and building Confucius temples.”40 Many of Khoo’s articles published in Thien Nan Shin Pao in 1900 were related to creating schools and respecting Confucius, showing that Qiu’s advocacy of “new learning” received a strong response from the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. The establishment of more schools in Singapore was a good opportunity to both promote Chinese culture and pass it on to future generations. Finally, let us consider Kang Youwei, whose poems were based in the diaspora. In 1898, Kang failed in his reform efforts and had to flee Beijing following a failed coup against the Empress Dowager. After receiving a secret decree from Emperor Guangxu, he left the capital and boarded a British merchant ship to Hong Kong, where he began his sixteen years of political exile. Zhang Kehong’s calculation showed that Kang visited Singapore and Malaya a total of seven times between 1900 and 1911. He stayed mainly in Singapore and Penang during his visits, which were of varying lengths of time, with the longest lasting more than a year and a half.41 Most of his Nanyang-themed poems are collected in The Poems from the Hall of Obscured Brightness (Dabige shiji) and The Poems from Resting Garden (Qiyuan shiji). The former, consisting of 147 poems, was written during his exile in Singapore, Malacca, and Penang between February 1900 and December 1901. The latter, consisting of fifty-one poems, was written between 1910 and 1911 in Singapore and Japan. Kang’s successful evacuation to Singapore was due entirely to Khoo’s support. Despite their rocky relationship, Kang’s main poetic communications in Nanyang were exchanged with Khoo.42 Before arriving in Singapore, Kang wrote a poem in a show of gratitude for Khoo’s invitation: “Drifting and traveling across countries numerous times, there is no aim or direction in life. . . . During my desperate calls for help, only one from Nanyang answered. 飘泊寰瀛九万程, 苍茫天地剩余生 .  .  . 九州横睨呼谁救, 只有天南龙啸声.”43 While in Singapore, Kang stayed in two of Khoo’s dwellings—Hut Gathered Guests (ke yun lu) in Boat Quay on the Singapore River and South China Building (nanhua lou) in the Garden of Constant Spring (heng chun yuan)—read Khoo’s sketchbook Gossips of Seok Wan, and wrote a prologue for it. When Kang was not engaged in political activities, he was actively involved in local cultural activities and composed numerous Nanyang-related poems. He also participated in Khoo’s literary gatherings and exchanged poetry communications with the visiting literati

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such as Qiu Fengjia. Generally, Kang’s Nanyang-themed poems have two characteristics: first, a strong sense of sadness felt by the diaspora and second, a sense of impassioned and masculine beauty. For instance, in “Poem on Koh Seok Wan’s Painting with Breeze, Moonlight, Zithern and Wine Bowl” (Ti Qiu Shuyuan feng yue qin zun tu), he wrote: “The flying sails move in the strong wind; the songs of drunken men fill the vast sea in the moonlight. Hope to create a new world; meanwhile, the broken country makes me sad. 天风浩浩引飞舸, 海月茫茫照醉歌. 别造清凉新世界, 遥伤破碎旧山河.”44 For his forty-third birthday in 1900, Kang held a dinner celebration at the Garden of Constant Spring with his friends Liang Tiejun (1857–1906) and Tang Juedun (1878–1916) and wrote, “The Heaven takes pity on my residual body, which has experienced ten thousand near-deaths; while a man who has great achievements cannot care about karma from my preexistence. 天惜残躯经万死, 生为大事岂前因.”45 As a late Qing political figure in exile, Kang wrote numerous diaspora poems that had an impact on Singapore’s literary scene. I borrow Western Sinologist Hellmut Wilhelm’s elaboration of the “double meaning” of these works:

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Much of his poetry is to be taken as a metaphorical reflection of his personal fate. . . . This “poetic rationalization” of his sufferings and his actions should also reveal the superb poetic craftsmanship with which he handled both historical and poetic imagery, and the ease with which he built patternized models into a poetic entity which is always new, personal, and very much alive.46

In focusing on Kang’s literary achievements, one cannot miss a significant change in his poetry following his failed reforms—there was an added diaspora consciousness. This consciousness was a cultural experience shared by all overseas literati. Of course, not all Chinese immigrants in Singapore were political exiles, but they all experienced the cultural dilemma of living outside their homeland. In this sense, Kang’s Nanyang-themed poems encapsulated the diaspora consciousness of early Chinese immigrant poets. Summary Based on the above discussion, we can conclude that the formation and expansion of Singapore’s cultural space was due to the existence of the quasischolars, while the formation and survival of these quasi-scholars was due to the two consuls’ efforts in establishing literary societies, Khoo’s promotion of cultural activities, and the active participation of the visiting literati in cultural communications. These three points go hand in hand and are essential to the achievements of the quasi-scholars.

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First, both the Hui Yin Poetry Club and Lize Club focused on couplet writing. Though considered essential training, this practice was still inadequate for composing outstanding poems. The Tu Nan Club focused on teaching eight-rhyme poetry (wuyan bayun shi) for the imperial examinations, which meant that the emotional aspect of its poems was probably lacking and was incomparable to that of the poems exchanged by the visiting literati and the local poets. Second, in terms of cultivating literati groups, the consuls Zuo, Huang, and Khoo made tremendous efforts, but in different areas. There is no conclusive evidence regarding whether the establishment of literary societies by Zuo and Huang was of an official or a personal nature. No historical records show the Qing court funding such activities, nor were there any official documents or decrees ordering the two consuls to do so. Many scholars have long believed that these were personal efforts by Zuo and Huang that were made once they found out that the local literary scene needed some form of support. However, their official status and successive support for local literary societies projected the idea that their efforts might be semiofficial. In contrast, the literary societies established by Khoo were ground-up efforts that lacked long-term planning; hence, many of them did not function for long. Third, in terms of promoting the local literary scene, the contributions of literary societies, cultural leaders, and visiting literati were remarkable. Li Zhongjue recorded in his book: “In recent years, the consular officers advocated the establishment of literary societies, focusing on essays of current affairs besides stereotyped writing, creating a slight literary atmosphere.”47 This modest literary atmosphere was the starting point of the local literary history. Khoo’s efforts in promoting the local literary scene can be said to have been the most significant among those of the local literati. In winter 1895, Khoo decided to abandon his route to officialdom and return to his hometown. During this period, he wrote over a hundred poems in sadness after reading some old poems in Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng), which had been given to him by his dead wife. In 1898, he solicited poems from domestic and foreign poets and eventually compiled all these in an anthology named Quatrains on Dream of Red Chamber (Hongloumeng fenyong jueju). For some time, the local literati and those passing through Singapore exchanged poetry communications on similar topics, forming a cultural phenomenon of Red Chamber poetry writing.48 In October of the same year, Khoo commissioned a famous Teochew artist to paint an art piece titled “Breeze, Moonlight, Zithern and Wine Bowl” (feng yue qin zun tu). At the same time, he invited over fifty poets from all over the world to compose poetry on the painting, many of whom were famous literati, such as Qiu Fengjia, Kang Youwei, Pan Feisheng, Wang Enxiang (1850–1905), and Lin Henian (1846–1901). Khoo mentioned in his book: “In the recent 4–5

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years, there are dozens of poets who passed through Singapore and composed poems, reaching a never-before-seen peak in the country’s literary contributions.” Then, he named eleven poet friends, and “when they had short stays in Singapore, I got many opportunities to meet and discuss with them, to appreciate poems and create poems while dining together.”49 It is unimaginable that Singapore’s literary scene would have emerged without the contributions of these visiting literati and famous poets.

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POETS’ SOCIAL NETWORK AND THE EXPANSION OF CULTURAL SPACE Developing cultural space in Singapore was not an easy task, as it was—and perhaps still is—a two-tier society that focuses on commerce and trading. On one hand, the development of cultural space was restricted by the low literacy rate of the early Chinese immigrants; hence, the visiting literati played an important role in the local literary scene. On the other hand, the main driving forces behind this development were the Chinese intellectuals who had decided to call Singapore home. Therefore, this section shall discuss the interactions among the immigrant literati in Singapore and their role in the expansion of the local cultural space. In contrast to China, where literature was an essential tool to achieve officialdom, literature in Singapore was more a hobby and a means of emotional expression. Hence, writers of classical Chinese poetry came from all walks of life and were of all ages; they could be teachers, businessmen, laborers, clerks, doctors, or even monks. The formal and informal networks they formed through their interactions varied between utilitarian and nonutilitarian. The formal network was mainly a system of social networks: first, poetic societies formed by like-minded intellectuals sharing the same purpose and similar poetic styles, and second, ad hoc gatherings of renowned literati. The informal network was formed via written exchanges in poetry competitions and newspapers in which the two parties might be complete strangers. In cases where the interactions among poets were limited to poetry communications providing some form of emotional support, the communications were nonutilitarian. However, when such interactions brought tangible or intangible benefits, they would be considered utilitarian. Following is an analysis of representative literary gatherings between the 1920s and 1970s. The Gathering of the Tan Club It was mentioned in the previous section that in 1924, Khoo Seok Wan and a few like-minded literati established the Tan Club. The society was located Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:42:37.

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at Tanjong Pagar, where it met biweekly. In 1926, it published a collection of poems that had been written since the society’s founding titled Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club (Tanxie shiji). Local academic Yeo Mang Thong wrote about the society’s establishment, activities, and aims in publishing this anthology.50 Based on his findings, I would discuss the role played by the Tan Club in expanding the local cultural space. First, the Tan Club is the first literary society formed by and composed entirely of sojourner poets; it is also a literary society in the strictest sense. The literary societies mentioned previously—the Hui Yin Poetry Club, Tu Nan Club, and Lize Club—were based on the traditional Chinese system of monthly assessment classes, where they held competitions in stereotyped poetry or couplet writing. The agenda of these societies focused more on education than on the appreciation of literature. From the drawings and preface to the new society written by Sun Peigu (1891–1944), we can deduce that there was another poetry society—the Ping Club (Society for Poets Met by Chance)—which was established about the same time as the Tan Club. The aim of this poetic society was to provide a platform for sojourner literati or visiting literati to meet and interact. Sun also mentioned that the founder of this society was the visiting poet Yan Diyuan, and it functioned only for a short period: “Mr. Yan Diyuan occasionally visited Singapore. During his free time, he founded the Ping Club with my colleagues, Cai Mengxiang, Hu Chaoqiu, Chen Xueting and Chen Yuxian. They gather and appreciate poems leisurely.”51 Similar literary societies were founded by visiting literati but did not function for long, for example, the Poetry Society with Blessing (Tongfu shishe), founded by Lin Jingren (1893–1940) in 1918, and the Thien Nam Poetry Society, founded by Gao Mengyun and Li Guannan in 1919. Thus, only the literary society founded by Khoo can be considered a true sojourner poets’ society that focused on literature appreciation. Remarkably, it was able to publish an anthology within three years of its establishment, while conducting regular activities, such as its thirty-six monthly poetry gatherings. In total, over 1,700 poems by 43 poets were submitted over the course of these gatherings, and approximately 300 of them were compiled in Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club. It is worth pointing out that this was the first poetry anthology officially published in the field of Singaporean Chinese literature. Khoo’s selection of 300 poems for publication is similar to Confucius’s selection of 305 poems to be compiled in the Book of Poetry (Shi jing). Chen Bonian, who traveled to Singapore from China in the mid-1920s, recounted that he was one of the founders of Tan Club. He said in his book, “There were no poetry societies in Singapore all this while. Seeing the lackluster local literary scene, Khoo Seok Wan, Chen Yuxian, and I decided to form a poetry society called the Tan Club. . . . We elected Khoo Seok Wan as our chairman.”52 However, Chen’s contribution was not mentioned by

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Khoo in his preface to the Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club, nor was Chen on the members’ list. There are two possible explanations for this absence. First, Chen did not stay in Singapore for long; hence, he might have been among those who suggested and supported the establishment of the Tan Club without ever actually taking part in its activities. Second, Chen was known for lambasting Singapore’s businessmen and thus might have been on bad terms with Khoo. For instance, it was detailed that Chen derided members of the business association as “the filthy and foul Chen Dongling,” “the scheming and cunning Wang Huiyi,” and “the meagre humpback Kang Yanqiu.”53 Chen also mentioned that there were no literary societies before the formation of the Tan Club, but he might have meant that there were no local literary societies focused on literary appreciation. Li Qingnian wrote of the formation of the Tan Club: “The Tan Club was unique in the sense that its members have identified with Singapore and were no longer that concerned about the political situation in China; hence, its function was mainly literati entertainment.”54 Therefore, the Tan Club’s gatherings focused on entertainment more than competition.55 Next, the Tan Club brought together elites from many industries who hailed from Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Sichuan, and so on, and were serving as journalists, teachers, doctors, businessmen, monks, and calligraphers. For example, Zhang Shu’nai (1891–1939), a member of Nanshe (the Southern Society) and Tongmenghui (Chinese Revolutionary Alliance) was tasked by Sun Yat-sen with establishing the local Chinese newspaper Sin Kok Min Jit Pao (Xin guomin ribao), and served as its editor-in-chief. Lee Tiat Ming (1898–1956), born in Yongchun, Fujian, served as a teacher in Singapore from 1920 to 1926. In 1928, he became the editor-in-chief of Lat Pau, and in 1932, he became the editorial manager of Nanyang Siang Pau. Chen Zizhang (1873–1932), formerly known as Chen Qi, left China for Singapore, giving up on scholarly studies and the practice of medicine. He was known for his poetry and calligraphy and had even published an anthology titled Anthology of Zizhang (Zizhang shigao). His son, Tan Ean Kiam, was a prominent businessman in Singapore while his son-in-law, Sun Shinan (born 1895), was a famous local calligrapher. A renowned doctor Yan Yiyuan became a physician of the Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution in 1923. On Khoo’s fiftieth birthday, he presented him with a painting of a plum to commemorate the occasion. Li Peh Khai (1872–1943), the top scorer in the medical examinations administered by the Thong Chai Medical Institution, was eventually employed as its chief physician. He practiced Chinese medicine in Singapore for forty years and published a few medical works, such as Discourses on the Universality of Symbolic Conceptualism in Chinese Medicine and the Principles of General Sciences (Yike xiangshu lihua tonglun) and Chinese Medical Discourses

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(Yihai wenlan). His literary works were compiled and annotated by Professor Hsu Yun Tsiao (1905–1981) in The Anthology of Famous Doctor, Mr. Li Peh Khai (Mingyi Li Bogai xiansheng shiwenji). Shi Ruiyu, alias Chi Chan (An addict of Chan), was well versed in Buddhism, and considered an active member of Singapore’s Buddhist community in the twentieth century. Born in Quanzhou, Fujian, he was a Qing dynasty’s tributary scholar (Gongsheng) and later became a Buddhist monk due to the abolition of imperial examination. After coming to Singapore, he founded the Seng Wong Beo Temple (Du Chenghuang miao) and served as the abbot of the Hong San See (Fengshan si). Shi Zugao (1881–1940) was born in Chongming, Jiangsu. A renowned lyrics expert in Republican China, he was also the manager of the Singapore branch of the Zhonghua Book Company (zhonghua shuju). His works were collected in Memoir of Thien Nam (Tiannan huiyilu). Sun Peigu, an influential artist in the modern Lingdong painting style, stayed in Southeast Asia from 1912 to 1918 and taught art at the Tuan Mong School in Singapore. While in Singapore, he also founded the Sin Chew School of Art (Xingzhou meishu xueyuan). Kang Yanqiu first arrived in Singapore to sell artwork before becoming the secretary of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Lin Jingqiu (1891–1942), born in Tong’an, Fujian, arrived in Singapore at a young age and worked as a cobbler. He was actively involved in China’s political revolution, assisting in the establishment of Singapore’s Tongmenghui. He was eventually elected its secretary and assisted Sun Yat-sen’s revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia. In short, the uniqueness of Singapore’s literary scene lies in its mix of literati, which is fundamentally different from that of China. China’s literati are usually scholar-bureaucrats or career writers, meaning that composing literature is their way of making a living. Hence, their writing is motivated by the practical purposes of earnings, promotion, and so on. In contrast, Singapore’s literati are people from all walks of life for whom literature is a hobby, a pastime, and a medium to express their emotions. From an interdisciplinary point of view, the wide range of writers from different backgrounds also adds variety and vibrancy to their poetic themes, broadening the poets’ horizon and enhancing the local cultural space. Third, the poems written by Tan Club members and the Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club revealed a sense of localization. Li Qingnian might not have approved of the Tan Club anthology’s focus on topics of leisure rather than practical issues, but there is no doubt that these poems reflected such a sense among the poets, which is of academic importance. For example, many poems, such as “Missing in the Spring” (chun huai), “Farewell Spring by Drinking” (jian chun), “Feeling in the Autumn” (qiu gan), “Gazing at the Sea” (guan hai), “Spending the Summer at Leisure” (xiao xia), “Sea

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Crane” (haihe), and “Listening to the Rain” (ting yu), expressed the poets’ strong sense of homesickness but, interestingly, included much Singaporean imagery, such as scenery, climate, tropical plants, and customs. An example is the line “Ten acres of coconut trees stretch along the waterside. 十亩椰林水一方”56 by Shi Ruiyu, and “Blazing heat covers the mid-day sky. 火伞撑空正午天”57 by Khoo. This sense of localization also appears in the “Miscellaneous Chants on Happy Valley” (Huanleyuan zayong) series of poems, which presents a vivid image of Tanjong Pagar’s funfair, with local games such as chapteh and strongmen competitions.58 However, nowhere is this sense more significant than in “Miscellaneous Chants on Sin Chew” (Xingzhou zayong), in which many poets share their different perspectives of Singapore. Li Peh Khai’s lines “The night street is surrounded with lights and music; trishaws wait along the busy market. The island is uniquely located at a strategic trading zone, and I am glad to come and enjoy a peaceful time here. 笙歌灯火楼台夜, 车马烦嚣市肆边. 一岛独当欧亚道, 重洋犹获太平年”59 describe a scene from Singapore’s downtown, its important geographical location, and his gratitude for having arrived in Singapore to enjoy a peaceful life. Shi Ruiyu wrote about Singapore’s bustling life: “Candles light up the shore in the night, fishermen live and work by the waters. The streets are filled with people and vehicles, prosperous with many businesses striving. 宝炬千竿堤不夜, 渔家杂处水为田. 肩摩毂击繁华地, 服贾牵车古市廛” while expressing the feeling of “scenery of exceptional charm outside the borders 海外藩篱别有天.”60 Lee Tiat Ming complimented Singapore because “its reputation ranked first in Nanyang. 声名端合冠南洋” but he was also concerned about Chinese immigrants discarding traditional Chinese culture, as can be seen in the lines “To my surprise, this strange language like a parrots’ tongue was used to teach future generations. They were simply fishermen in the peach garden, due to not even knowing Han and Qin Dynasty. 果然鹦鹉巧于言, 竟把佉卢教子孙. 为语汉秦都不识. 分明渔父入桃源.”61 Although these poets experienced homesickness from time to time, there is no doubt, they had decided to call Singapore home. They were also concerned about Singapore’s development and the promotion of traditional Chinese culture. In describing local landscapes, they assumed the role of the locals rather than that of the visiting literati, a reflection of how they had sunk their roots in Singapore. Khoo, in his prologue to the Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club, explicitly stated that the anthology had been compiled under the “divide and rule” (huajiang fenzhi) rationale. He wrote in the prologue: The island is a busy trading place, and many visiting literati pass by. However, not all of them are of a high standard that can be recommended. We hold that the rationale of “divide and rule” is suitable for the visiting literati and sojourners.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:42:37.

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If many works written by visiting literati were selected, it does not benefit local literature, although it looks very prosperous. Poet Du Fu [712–770] once said to differentiate the works from their predecessors and gather views from different people. Therefore, we need to set up a divisive line for local works to avoid the derision of future generations.62

It can be inferred that the first half of this passage is written ironically, indicating that the literary standards of the literati passing through Singapore—one of them might have been Chen Bonian—were a mixture of good and bad. The latter half emphasizes that local poetry should be judged and selected only by resident poets to truly reflect reality. Khoo’s statements of “divide and rule” and “taking care of your own business” reflect his belief that local literature was overly dependent or entirely reliant on China literature. This idea serves as an important declaration that Singaporean literature had begun its localization process, which is as important as Khoo’s practice of localizing his poems.

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The Four Talents of Sin Chew On May 24, 2014, the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations hosted a forum on the four pioneers at the National Library of Singapore. This was the fourth part of the Singapore Memory Project, in which the four—Yeh Chi Yun, Shi Ruiyu, Khoo Seok Wan, and Lee Choon Seng— were first labeled the “Four Talents of Sin Chew.” The forum focused on the little-known sides of the four classical Chinese poetry writers. Their literary achievements had been documented previously, but usually in bits and pieces rather than comprehensively. For example, Tan Yeok Seong had studied Yeh Chi Yun, giving him the titles of “The First Chinese Newsman of Nanyang” and “The Master Poet of Singapore” and compiling some of his poems in The Remaining Poems of Yongweng (Yongweng shicun).63 Juxtaposing the other three, Zheng Qiaosong (1876–1955) has mentioned in the preface to a 1948 anthology of Lee Choon Seng’s work: “In recent years, Khoo Seok Wan, the late provincial graduate from Zhangzhou with his vast knowledge, led the local literary scene under the advocacy of the emigrants. When Khoo was old, Shi Ruiyu succeeded, while Lee Choon Seng continued after Ruiyu. All of them had made great contributions to Chinese literature in Singapore.”64 The forum at the National Library held a wide-ranging discussion on the poetic style and achievements of the four poets, which I shall not elaborate further. What I am interested in pursuing here are the following questions: How did these four leaders of their respective fields—newspapers, religion, culture, and business—become the pioneers of local culture, and how did they expand Singapore’s cultural space?

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:42:37.

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Khoo Seok Wan and Shi Ruiyu were introduced previously; hence, this section shall provide a short introduction to Yeh Chi Yun and Lee Choon Seng. Yeh Chi Yun, whose given name was “Maobin” and who styled himself “Yongweng” and “Xing e’sheng,” was born in Anhui province and moved to Guangdong at an older age. Before arriving in Singapore, he worked at the daily Chinese and Foreign Gazette (Zhongwai xinbao) in Ningbo, China. When See Ewe Lay established Lat Pau in Singapore in 1881, he hired Yeh as its chief editor, and Yeh served in that position for twenty-six years before retiring in 1906. He was on good terms with Zuo Binglong and Huang Zunxian and admired their efforts in establishing literary societies. He supported their actions by periodically publishing the societies’ works in Lat Pau. Lee Choon Seng (pseudonym Jueyuan) was born in Yongchun County, Fujian, China, in 1888. To seek better fortunes, he immigrated to Negri Sembilan, Malaysia at the age of seventeen, where he started a horse-drawn transport service and a provision shop. Later, Lee moved to Singapore to set up Thye Hin Limited, another branch of his family business. In Singapore, he founded Eng Hin Company and Thye Hong Biscuit Factory, and a property firm known as Thye Ann Investment. Realizing that many newly arrived businessmen had difficulty obtaining loans from established Western banks, Lee and his business associates started several local Chinese banks such as the Ho Hong Bank. In 1931, Lee became the managing director of Ho Hong Bank; and after Ho Hong Bank merged with two other banks to form the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), Lee became a director at OCBC and eventually its chairman. He was also the trustee of Hokkien Association, chairman of Yongchun Association, honorary chairman of Lee Clan General Association, deputy president of Singapore Tung Tak Newspaper and Magazine Agency (tongde shubao she). In addition, he was a devout Buddhist and promoted Buddhism in Singapore by setting up several Buddhist institutions, including the Singapore Buddhist Lodge, the Singapore Buddhist Federation and the Poh Ern Shih. Lee was also expert in literature and published the Travel Report from the Ancient Indian Buddhist Kingdom (Yindu gu foguo youji), Excerpts of discussion on Filial Piety (Lun xiao lu), Works from Awaking Garden (Jueyuan ji), among others. The four poets grew up in very different environments and chose dissimilar paths in life, despite their joint categorization as the “Four Talents of Wuzhong” and the “Three Masters of Jiangzuo.” Their main similarities lie in their interest in literature and related achievements, as well as the multiple emotions in their poems. The common emotions (qing) observed by local historian Kua Bak Lim are brilliant expressions of emotions (cai qing) in creating literature, sadness (bei qing) in writing of national tragedy, nostalgia (you qing) when narrating history, and passion (re qing) in promoting social

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development.65 Following this assessment, I shall examine how the four supported Singapore’s cultural space before World War II. All four underwent a traditional education in the late Qing China and therefore had a strong foundation in classical poetry. Khoo left China soon after entering school and returned at the age of fifteen for the provincial examinations. That year, he wrote a poem entitled “Jade Flute” (yu di), which brought him instant fame. Subsequently, he became known as the Jade Flute Khoo.66 Yeh received a traditional private school education and was well versed in poetry and medicine. His expertise was typical of a traditional Chinese intellectual. Qiu Fengjia once wrote a poem for Yeh and added the following note to it: “Chi Yun is a disciple of Liutang and ever calls himself ‘Poetic Grand Disciple of Tingsonglu’ in his stamp.”67 As we know, Chinese literati had the tradition of using their study room as their alias. Liutang (study surrounded by willows) is the alias of the renowned Guangdong writer, Li Changrong (1813–1877), and Li learned poetry from the famous Lingnan poet Zhang Weiping (1780–1859), known as Tingsonglu (study for listening to the wind in the pines), during the reign of Emperor Daoguang. Hence, Yeh studied with some famous teachers in his early years. Shi Ruiyu, a lower degree holder (Xiucai) in the late Qing China, was good at poetry and taught for a couple of years before becoming a monk. He began his monkhood at the Nanshan Monastery of Zhangzhou with Master Woyun as his mentor. Over the next decade, he devoted himself to Buddhist studies. He left China at the age of thirty-three and arrived in Penang to teach at the Kek Lok Si Bodhi School. Khoo commented that Shi Ruiyu was “obsessed with Chan Buddhism, as he was obsessed with poetry.”68 Lee Choon Seng “focused on the imperial examinations during his youth”69 and “wrote many pieces at a young age.”70 Therefore, each of the four originally planned to follow the typical literati route to officialdom by taking the imperial examinations. Even Khoo, who traveled between Singapore and China, made an effort to return to China for the examinations. Therefore, whether they eventually became a businessman, or a journalist, or a monk, traditional Chinese culture was deeply rooted in their hearts, as was their ability to express ideas via classical poetry. This was the most important role they played in Singapore’s cultural sphere. The Four Talents shared numerous similarities in their poetry writings. In terms of their motives for writing, their poems exhibit the purpose of stimulating the mind (xing), training the observation (guan), encouraging social interaction (qun), and expressing resentment (yuan), while using poetry as a medium to maintain friendships and voice societal concerns. These distinctive characteristics were the most significant in their large number of Changhe poems and poems on history and emotions. Yeh Chi Yun, who did not leave behind many works, composed eighty-one poems on plum blossoms during his old age. These poems were well known for their marvelous

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writing and suitable use of allusions. In addition, Yeh’s care, concern, and patriotic feelings for his homeland were evident in several of his other works, such as “Crying over Mr. Chen Zhuzhai” (Ku Chen Zhuzhai xiansheng), in which he wrote: “For those who drifted to Nanyang, how many of you still care about our homeland? 浮海更谁知有国?” He wrote in the annotations for this poem, “Mr. [Chen] is concerned about our homeland, and our conversations on this topic never fail to end in tears.”71 In November 1887, late Qing diplomat Yu Siyi (1835–1907) was tasked with escorting four cruisers of the Northern Fleet back to China. During a brief stopover in Singapore, he met Yeh Chi Yun, and Yeh presented him with two impassioned poems that included the lines “Poetry was discussed immediately after a smile at meeting, while the strong aspiration within the verse occurred through a long trip. 相逢一笑快论诗, 沧海归来志亦奇” and “The song of ‘Sword March’ was sung with drinking in the wind, while the heroic spirit reflected in a howl of banquet. 把酒风前唱大刀, 当筵一喝气偏豪.”72 Shi Ruiyu, known for his Chan poems, wrote a number of poems expressing his sentiments about and concerns for society. For instance, when he received news of a deadly flood in China, he wrote, “The raging flood from the Han River to the Xiang River caused poverty, and the fate of the country was at stake. Tearing alone as I looked out into the homeland, the wind and rain accompanied my sorrows. 浮浮汉水乱洚洚, 殄瘁云亡欲丧邦. 北望中原空洒泪, 秋风秋雨弔湘江.”73 Similarly, Khoo Seok Wan expressed his care for society in his poems, as was most apparent in his classic “Tempest” (Zhou feng). The motivation for this piece was recorded in its annotation “In the eighth lunar month, upon hearing of the coup in Beijing.” Hence, the poem expressed Khoo’s great disappointment at learning about the failed political reforms in 1898, especially the latter part: in slants of afternoon sunlight dust spirals in the wind a swirling dragon and in its flight, an anser separated from its mate where are all our heroes? it falls to you and me74 斜日光沉龙起陆, 平沙影乱雁难双. 飞扬猛士今谁属, 天地无情自击撞.

Lee Choon Seng articulated the same emotions: “For three decades, I lived through two world wars in a country faced with perilous internal problems and disturbing external conflicts. All these uncontrollable emotions were penned into my poems, for, in reminiscing the autumn of my homeland, I’m actually soothing my heartaches.”75 It should be noted that the early works

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of the Four Talents focused on the issues of late Qing and Republican China, while the works written during their mid- and later life reflected their concern for local issues. In terms of content and aesthetics, the Four Talents’ poetry was known for its diverse poetic style, themes, and genre. Living in colonial Singapore, they found that new experiences and encounters provoked their senses and made their way into their poetry, as was most evident in Khoo’s and Lee’s poetry. Khoo’s poems, including Changhe poems, erotic poems, and Chan poems, focused on various themes. According to Professor Yang Chengzu, Khoo has written four kinds of poetry: poems on Singapore’s flora and fauna, poems on modern Chinese events, poems expressing aspirations and reflections, and poems conveying euphoric emotions. Furthermore, Yang’s insightful analysis of Khoo’s poetic path shows that Khoo began by emulating Yuan Zhen and Bai Juyi, before shifting his stylistic interest to Du Fu. During his later years, his interest in Chan Buddhism led to the formation of his distinctive poetic style.76 Khoo’s poetic subject matter can be described as multifarious. He wrote travel poems filled with exotic flavor, such as “Try to Ride an Ostrich” (Shi qi tuoniao), “Watching a European Actress Dance” (Guan Ouzhou nüyou zuo xiwenzi wu), and so on. He also wrote about Western politics, and these works include “An Elegy for Queen Victoria of Britain” (Yingjili nüwang Weiduoliya wanci) and “On Hearing of Trotsky Being Stabbed to Death by His Comrades in Mexico” (Wen Tuoluosiji zai Moguo wei tongdang suo cibi). In addition, he wrote works that reflected new technology, such as “Watching the Nanyang Archipelago on Screen” (Guan yinmu shang suo yanfang Nanyang qundao duanpian), and so on. Khoo incorporated bold innovations in his poems, such as the use of the Hokkien dialect, Malay language, and English in his “Sin Chew Songs of Bamboo Branch,” which emphasized Singapore’s multicultural environment. Like Khoo, Lee wrote about flora, fauna, and current affairs. Though most of his works were Changhe poems, a small number reflected new objects and new ideas, such as a poem on an astronomical wonder, “A Poem on Mars Approaching Earth” (Huoxing bijin diqiu ganyong), and a poem about the US presidential election, “Responding to Chen Xiaowei’s Poem on President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the US” (Chen Xiaowei jianshi chou Meiguo Luo dazongtong shi suohe). In all fairness, the poetic attainments of the Four Talents were incomparable to those of Huang Zunxian, as was particularly reflected in integration of Chinese and foreign allusions and new ideas into their traditional poems. After his reading of Huang’s “Wrote Poem after Arranging Lotuses, Chrysanthemums, and Peach Flowers Together in the Same Vase” (Yi lian ju tao zagong yiping zuoge), Jerry D. Schmidt pointed out, “Huang’s poem is replete with the allusion to classical verses and Buddhist scriptures we find

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in so many of his later creations, but there is no real precedent for the way he combines them with his many references to modern scientific knowledge.”77 However, the Four Talents paid greater attention to Singapore, writing poems that reflected its customs and landscapes, which explains why they composed significantly more Changhe poems than epic poems. The Four Talents formed an elite network centered on Khoo Seok Wan. Yeh Chi Yun, the eldest among the four and the first to arrive in Singapore, worked as a chief commentator for Lat Pau and was known to be multitalented. Through his position and reputation, he gained some fame among the cultural elite and had the opportunity to meet the two consuls and the sojourner literati Wei Zhusheng, Tian Songyue, and Qiu Fengjia. Khoo had always thought highly of Yeh, and they first met in the autumn of 1896 when Yeh took the initiative and visited Khoo, who was fifteen years his junior, which was a clear display of Yeh’s humility. Thereafter, Yeh was involved in events organized by Khoo, such as the poem-writing competitions of the Lize Club and the composing of poems for Khoo’s “Painting of Breeze, Moonlight, Zithern and Wine Bowl.” Khoo’s admiration of Yeh was clearly recorded. For instance, Khoo included Yeh’s poetic works in the third volume of his anthology, Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves. The following two verses in the volume were representative of Yeh’s poetic style: “Driven by inspiration, the poems reflect his true temperament; before becoming a Buddhist, his brilliance astonishes the readers. 信手拈来亦性真, 未经入道始惊人.”78 Knowing that Yeh also wrote brilliant parallel prose (pian wen), Khoo repeatedly asked him to share these works, but Yeh politely refused on numerous occasions. Then, Khoo recorded the following incident in his notes: a piece of excellent parallel prose was submitted to the Lize Club during its monthly class, and even though it was anonymous, Khoo knew it was by Yeh. A few days later, the two met, and Yeh confessed to being the author. Yeh was also known for his seal carvings, and people said: “The best [seal carver] in Singapore is none other than Yeh Chi Yun from Shexian County.” Yeh and Khoo enjoyed cordial relations throughout their lives, as was evident in Yeh carving dozens of seals for Khoo and Khoo writing prefaces for Yeh’s two manuscripts about seals and complimenting them as works that “[revealed] one’s nature and hard work” and reflected the author’s “magnificent attainments.”79 Khoo Seok Wan and Shi Ruiyu were contemporaries and they shared a special bond. On his arrival in Singapore, Ruiyu resorted to setting up a divination stall by the roadside to make a living. Upon hearing of this, Khoo visited Ruiyu in his carriage and asked that his fortune be told. This meeting marked the beginning of their friendship. Later, Khoo was so impressed by Ruiyu’s flair in poetry and knowledge of Buddhism that he single-handedly donated S$3,000 for the construction of the Seng Wong Beo Temple, where

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Ruiyu served as abbot. Interestingly, this is a Taoist temple that worshipped the City God, with a Buddhist monk serving as its abbot. Khoo held Ruiyu in high regard and lauded his poetic achievements, comparing him to Master Baofa (1838–1891) of the Guangzhou Hoi Tong Monastery during the late Qing China and Master Jichan (1852–1912) of the Hengyue Monastery (in Hunan province) during the Republican China era.80 Ruiyu, who was doubtless grateful for Khoo’s generosity and compliments, frequently addressed him as “Teacher Seok Wan” and actively took part in the Tan Club’s events. In addition, Ruiyu wrote many poems rhyming with Khoo’s works, some of which were collected in his anthology, such as this verse that described the old and miserable Khoo: “Writing poems for drinking in this lonely place of seclusion, wine flows to the black clothes with a frown. 换酒写诗空白社, 攒眉要醉到缁流.”81 Lee Choon Seng was the youngest of the Four Talents. Khoo Seok Wan’s impression of Lee was encapsulated in the preface he wrote for the latter’s anthology in the winter of 1931: “An intelligent, calm and generous gentleman of pen and sword. He has a passion for literary pursuits and is well versed in the art of poetry.” Though “Choon Seng did not pursue a career in literature, he is a righteous and considerate man who has a deep foundation in traditional studies—Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism—and modern studies of sciences.”82 In Khoo’s eyes, Lee was a knowledgeable individual of outstanding character. This observation was affirmed by Guan Zhenmin (1880–1964) in the preface he wrote for Lee’s anthology in 1955, in which Guan described his old friend as “the leader of Singapore’s Chinese community,” “a generous and respected scholar,” a staunch Buddhist “who achieved much in Chan Buddhism, and a talented poet.”83 Lee spoke of his relationship with Khoo in the preface to the Collected Poems of Khoo Seok Wan: Mr. [Khoo Seok Wan] is a learned gentleman whom I enjoy conversing with. For over twenty years, we composed poetry over wine and enjoyed each other’s company so much that we could not bear to part even during stormy nights. . . . I love writing poetry, and whenever I ran out of ideas, I would seek Khoo’s help. He has never been annoyed with my lack of knowledge and was willing to polish my works to the best of his abilities. Our friendship will last until the end of our lives, and never for a day will I forget his kindness to me.84

Lee and Khoo were more than soulmates; they also shared concerns for their homeland and charitable projects, working together to establish Buddhist organizations such as the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and The Chinese Buddhist Association. As a staunch Buddhist, Lee Choon Seng naturally enjoyed a close friendship with Shi Ruiyu. Lee, who was supportive of Ruiyu’s work, funded the

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publication of Collected Poems of Master Ruiyu (Ruiyu shangren shiji), and wrote in the preface for it, “learned in Buddhist studies and well versed in literature, he shares a deep friendship with me in spite of the difference of age. We also communicated through numerous Changhe poems.”85 The overlapping relationship among the four can be arranged in order of age, designation, and association, as shown in Figure 3.1. Undoubtedly, Khoo Seok Wan was the central figure among the Four Talents for two reasons. First, he was the only Late Qing provincial graduate in Singapore and the only resident scholar with the imprimatur of the Qing court. Initially, Khoo offended the Qing court by supporting and sponsoring the Reform Movement in China, which led to the detention of his family in his hometown. Thus, he had no choice but to sever his ties with the Reform Movement. Not long after, it was said that the Reform Movement had failed because Kang Youwei had embezzled its funds. Under the combined impact of the detention of his family members and the failure of the Reform Movement, Khoo donated 10,000 taels of silver to the Qing court to express his sincere regret. This contribution earned him the trust of the Qing court, which bestowed on him the position of a fourth-grade official.86 Although Khoo had no practical use for this position in Singapore, it had a high symbolic value in the local literati circle. Khoo treasured the official robes that arrived by sea, as they represented his elevation from the literati to the scholar-bureaucrat class. The local quasi-scholar community’s desire for a “true” scholar-bureaucrat

Figure 3.1  Relationship among the Four Talents arranged by age, designation and association.

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leader reflected the traditional mentality that “he who excels in study can follow an official career.” Second, Khoo Seok Wan’s diverse and unpredictable ideologies and identities created a powerful public figure. Lee Guan Kin described Khoo’s complicated ideologies as “part-Confucian, part-commoner, part-Buddhist, and part-nobleman.”87 In reviewing his career, the overlap of his experiences with those of the other three talents is noticeable. Khoo inherited his family business and could be categorized as a businessman, like Lee Choon Seng, but he was inept at running a business after 1887 because he ended up in bankruptcy. Next, because Khoo founded Thien Nan Shin Pao and served as a writer for Sin Chew Jit Poh, he was a counterpart of Yeh Chi Yun, but Yeh was a full-time journalist with Lat Pau for forty years, whereas journalism was only one of Khoo’s many responsibilities. Again, Khoo took an interest in Buddhism during his midlife and wrote many Chan poems, as did Shi Ruiyu, but he remained a layman. Therefore, Khoo’s complex identity earned the trust of the other three talents, and the differences with others were a reflection of his uniqueness. Khoo’s broad network of friends was revealed in his “Songs of the Eight Friends in Poems” (Shi zhong bayou ge), where he mentioned his friendship with Kang Youwei, Huang Zunxian, Lin Henian, Tang Jingsong (1841–1903), Pan Feisheng, Qiu Fengjia, Wang Enxiang, Liang Qichao, among others. Besides them, he frequently exchanged correspondence and poetic works with diplomat Yung Wing (1828–1912), philosopher and revolutionary Zhang Binglin (1869–1936), translator Lin Shu (1852–1924), writers Chen Baochen (1848–1935); Jiang Biao (1860–1899); Yi Shunding (1858–1920); and Ding Huikang (1868–1909), publisher Zhang Yuanji (1867–1959), educator Cai Yuanpei (1868–1940), and artists Xu Beihong (1895–1953); Gao Jianfu (1879–1951); and Liu Haisu (1896–1994). In the Southeast Asian Chinese community, no literati could claim a larger network of friends, and his contacts included many among the elite in the spheres of politics, business, culture, education, and so on. Fourth, the literary activities of the Four Talents demonstrated their overlapping relations of scholar-newspaperman, scholar-businessman, and even scholar-monk. As a scholar-newspapermen, Yeh Chi Yun and Khoo Seok Wan were highly talented and very good at communication. Taking their Changhe poems as an example, their correspondence displayed the traditional scholar’s spiritual pursuits and poetic styles, as they wrote in both an impassioned and a subtle manner, on subject matters that ranged from romance to objects, people, history, and current affairs. They also shared a similar group of scholar-official friends that included Qiu Fengjia, Wei Zhusheng, and Wang Enxiang. In addition, their admiration of each other was based on traditional scholar qualities; for example, Khoo admired Yeh for his talent,

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while Yeh respected Khoo for his bold aspirations in guiding the country through a crisis. Khoo Seok Wan and Lee Choon Seng’s overlapping relationship was that of scholar-businessmen. As mentioned earlier, Khoo was a business tycoon who was uninterested in running the family business. His identity as a businessman was just a stepping-stone for entry into political and cultural circles. This attitude was in contrast to that of Lee Choon Seng, who relied on his own abilities to expand his family business after his father’s death. Poetry composition was just a hobby for him, which was a feat in itself at the time due to Nanyang’s tough cultural conditions. Guan Zhenmin said of Lee: “Most businessmen in Singapore have limited time and capability for literary pursuits; besides, only very few of them pose as a lover of culture. As we all know, poetry composing is difficult, and becoming a well-versed poet is harder. If a businessman is proficient in poetry writing, he must multiply his efforts by several times. Hence, isn’t Lee’s accomplishment in poetry today commendable?”88 In this regard, Lee was the synthesis of a scholar and a businessman just like the Confucian-businessman during the Ming-Qing period. Khoo and Lee’s association was a symbol of the times, when scholars shared a close relationship with businessmen in early Singaporean society. Their close relationship was more evident after Khoo’s bankruptcy when Lee took over the responsibility of sponsoring cultural activities that Khoo had formerly funded. Also Khoo’s living expenses during his old age were taken care of by Lee and the others. Khoo Seok Wan and Shi Ruiyu shared a common ground as scholar-monks. Poet-monks such as Shi Ruiyu were not uncommon in Chinese history, but they were a minority in the literati circle, and were even rarer in Singapore’s small cultural sphere. Surprisingly, many early local poets were monastic and lay Buddhists who had a great impact on Singapore’s poetry scene, such as Ruiyu and Khoo. Tan Yunshan (1898–1983) once said, “The Master Poets of Singapore Island consists of a monk and a layman. Master Ruiyu and householder Seok Wan. 星岛有诗翁, 一僧并一俗. 瑞于大和尚, 菽园老居士.”89 Among the Four Talents, Lee Choon Seng was also a staunch Buddhist who functioned much like a scholar-monk. Zheng Yushu (1887–1965) said of Lee: “Mr. Lee admired Buddhism but also learned from Confucian classics and made great efforts to create poems. So, Confucianism and Buddhism were mixed in his mind.”90 With three of the Four Talents being Confucianists turned Buddhists, the synthesis of Confucian and Buddhist thoughts must have had an impact on the local literary scene. This impact was encapsulated in Fuzhou Chen Xiaowei’s (1893–1974) observation of the impact of Buddhism on Lee’s poetry and life: “As a poet and devoted Buddhist, Lee doesn’t seek fame and wealth. He transferred the teachings of Buddhism into his poems, where he presented verses of insight into the origin of mind, sorrow

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for homeland, mercifulness, beauty of the scenery and expressing of emotions.”91 The poets combined the identities of a scholar and a monk and not only incorporated an increased degree of Buddhist flavor in their poems, but also gradually changed the local literati’s philosophy. In summary, Yeh and Khoo, as scholar-newspapermen, focused on poetry exchanges and building friendships. Khoo and Lee, as scholar-businessmen, tried to expand their social network, bridging the gap between scholars and businessmen and acquiring sponsorships for the publication of literary works. Khoo and Ruiyu, even including Lee as a scholar-monk, helped scholars and Confucian businessmen gain a better understanding of Buddhism, expanding their horizons and enhancing their poetry content. Therefore, the impacts of the overlapping relationship of the Four Talents were not just limited to the literary circle but also influenced the development of public opinion, the business community, and the Buddhist community.

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“Poets’ Day” and the Establishment of the Sin Sing Poets Society The gatherings of local literati did not cease after the death of Khoo Seok Wan in 1941. Instead, the local Chinese community designated the Dragon Boat Festival as the annual “Poets’ Day” for poets to come together. This day was chosen to commemorate the patriotic poet Qu Yuan (340–278 BC) of the Warring States period because he was the first prominent poet that history could identify. This annual event brought together poets from all walks of life to compose and share their works with one another. Previously, poets’ societies like the Tan Club were known to “assign topics for poets to work on during poetic gatherings, and these topics tend to serve as the imperial examination or personal advertising, such as ‘Missing in the Spring,’ ‘Farewell Spring by Drinking,’ ‘On the Collected Poems of Xiaohong sheng’ (Ti Xiaohong sheng shichao), ‘Feeling in the Autumn,’ and ‘On the Painting of Twisting Plum’ (Ti nian meihua tu). Although there were the occasional excellent works, they were a flash in the pan, while the other poems went unnoticed.”92 Hence, the annual Poets’ Day took a different approach in selecting topics for poets. The Poets’ Day gathering of 1957 was a particularly significant event, as the Changhe poems written on this occasion were eventually published in an anthology and led to the proposal that a poetry society be established to study Chinese poetry with the aim of fulfilling literary pursuits. The gathering occurred on June 2, 1957 in celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival and the 2300th year after Qu Yuan’s death. More than thirty local poets, including Lee Choon Seng, Ye Qiutao (1908–1973), Lin Zhigao, Hsieh Yun-sheng (1900–1967), Chen Baoshu, and Xu Naiyan (born 1918), gathered at the Siong Lim Temple. In his opening speech, Hsieh Yun-sheng mentioned,

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“Today’s gathering is to commemorate Qu Yuan’s patriotism and his sacrifice for the country, as well as to provide a platform for literati to interact and help each other in their works and in life. We hope that these gatherings can continue to be held in future festivals in order to revitalize the literary world and help in literature proliferation.”93 This was a fruitful gathering with two significant outcomes, the first being the compilation and publication of the poems composed for it. The men thoroughly enjoyed the gathering and proposed composing poems titled “Gathering of 1957 Poets’ Day at Siong Lim Temple” (Dingyou shirenjie shuanglinsi yaji). The poems could be in any format and rhyme style. Another activity was the poetry game, with poems to be completed in a limited time and complying with a prescribed format. For instance, two verses must begin with the characters duan (端) and wu (午) (duan wu means the Dragon Boat Festival), respectively, or must implicitly include the subject matter Jia Yi (200–168 BC) and jiao shu (angle dumplings). The poems had to be submitted within ten days and were compiled in the order of submission, with the earliest submission placed as the first poem. Upon publication, the anthology would be distributed to the contributors and the fellow poets. The second outcome was the establishment of Singapore’s New Society (Xinshe), which was the predecessor of the Sin Sing Poets Society. Ye Qiutao, Hsieh Yun-sheng, Lin Zhigao, Ni Qishen, He Zhenjie, Huang Siwen, Gan Bofeng, and others at the gathering proposed that Lee Choon Seng serve as its founding president.94 The society was named “new” to signify its new strength and style and was touted as having four “no” and one “real” aspects to its composition of classical poetry. The four “no” referred to were, (1) no writing to please the powerful and influential, (2) no making a fuss about anything, (3) no eulogizing one another, and (4) no usage of obscure allusions. The one “real” referred to was that the writing should reflect real emotions, real landscapes, real people, and real incidents while avoiding exaggeration.95 It is important to note that on July 19, 1966, a group of academics including Lim Chee Then, Lee Ting Hui, Yong Ching Fatt, Leong Weng Kee, and Loo Shaw Chang, registered the Island Society, which happens to share the same Chinese name as the New Society (Xinshe). Despite sharing the same Chinese name, the Island Society focused on the publication of modern literary works and academic books in outlets such as Island Society Literature (Xinshe wenyi), Island Society Periodical (Xinshe jikan), and Island Society Journal (Xinshe xuebao). Therefore, this society is not related to the discussion here. The New Society later became known as the Sin Sing Poets Society, and this renaming may have taken place as late as the summer of 1958. The Chinese word “Sin Sing” literally means “new sound,” taken from the verse “The sound of the lute drifts into the air; it is so refreshing even our soul can hear.

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弹筝奋逸响, 新声妙入神.” The society’s renaming was recorded by Tsai Wang Ching (1907–1970) as follows:

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Although the establishment of the Sin Sing Poets Society mirrors the past, doesn’t it respond to the present? After this year’s Poets’ Day, the society shall do away with the old name New Society and start afresh. The new society’s core members include Zeng Xinying [1903–1988], Chen Zhenxia, Lai Kok Chong [1898–1983], Zeng Zhiyuan [1910–1962], Liu Chucai [1905–1977], Hsieh Yun-sheng, Ye Qiutao, Hong Laiyi, Lin Zhigao, Chen Baoshu, and Liu Runzhi, and they agree on having Lee Choon Seng serve as its honorary president.96

Therefore, it is clear that the Sin Sing Poets Society was previously known as the New Society. As regards the question of why the society was renamed, the executive vice president of the General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry, Chen Tuyuan, suggested that it might have been “due to the cumbersome registration procedures.”97 This idea was plausible, as the New Society was reminiscent of a political group, while the Sin Sing Poets Society was a purely literary group. The Sin Sing Poets Society was formally registered in the spring of 1959, although the renaming had been agreed upon in the summer of 1958. Singapore’s Registry of Societies records state: “The last known name of the Xin Sheng Poets Society (Singapore) is the Sin Sing Poets Society; Society’s place of business is 13A Smith Street, Singapore 058927; Unique Entity Number is S59SS0010C; Registration date is March 18, 1959.”98 However, these data must have been corrected, as the society had moved several times before settling at the address stated above. The society was initially housed in the Siong Lim Temple in 1958 before moving to, No. 9, Devonshire Road, in 1962, and later to the Rubber Trade Association of Singapore on Amoy Street, 38A Neil Road, Tong’an Association Level 9, Ying Fo Fui Kun, and so on. Only in 1998 did it finally settle down on the second floor of No. 13 Smith Street with the help of the National Arts Council. The change in its English name from the Sin Sing Poets Society to the Xin Sheng Poets Society probably occurred after the 1980s, as the society was still known by its old name in the Directory of Associations in Singapore 1982–83.99 If we assume that 1957 was the year in which the Sin Sing Poets Society was established, then it has existed for a full sixty years. Considering the society’s development and Singapore’s language environment, I have categorized its history in two stages: the early stage of 1957–1986 and the later stage of 1987–2017. The separation point of 1986/1987 was chosen for two reasons. First, before 1986, the society functioned as an exclusive organization. In the gatherings held during the Dragon Boat Festival, the Mid-autumn Festival, the Double Ninth Festival, or the later monthly poetry classes, participation

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was limited to poets with professional writing skills. Hence, the works created during this stage were of professional quality, even though these poets were from all walks of life. In November 1986, the Sin Sing collaborated with the Tong’an Association in organizing a poetry writing class, following in the footsteps of the Hui Yin Poetry Club and the Tu Nan Club in holding workshops to share poetry composition skills. Second, all traditional Chinesemedium schools in Singapore were abolished in 1987. This change in language policy altered the entire language landscape in Singapore, leading to a drastic decline in Singapore’s Chinese standard. Therefore, members’ poetry standards were affected, and writing poetry as a means of preserving and promoting traditional culture replaced the previous aim of poetry appreciation. This section will focus on the achievements of the early stage society’s core members. Hsieh Yun-sheng, born in Nan’an County, Fujian, was an educator, a historian of Nanyang, and an expert in folklore. He served as a history and geography teacher in the Chinese Department of Xiamen’s Common Culture College (Tongwen shuyuan) and as the principal of Malaya’s Kuala Kemaman Overseas Chinese School before making his way to Singapore, where he taught at the Nanyang High School (a girls’ school) and later served as the principal of the Zhen Dong School. By the 1930s, he was already a prolific writer of classical Chinese poetry, specializing in Nanyang folklore and riddles. His works circulated in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. In 1965, he became the president of the Sin Sing Poets Society. His fresh, elegant, and graceful poetic style bears a resemblance to that of Gong Zizhen (1792–1841). He wrote numerous lyrical masterpieces, but after experiencing the vicissitudes of life in Singapore, he began to express his concerns about politics in his poems. Yi Junzuo (1899–1972) complimented Hsieh’s poems as “arising mostly from emotions, expressed authentically, uniquely different”; his favorite line was “Only once did dream occur in my sleep alone; an endless stream of sorrow wasted my prime years. 一梦虽孤枕, 千愁耗壮年.”100 Ye Qiutao, born in Siming County, Fujian, moved to Singapore and studied under Khoo Seok Wan before serving three times as the Sin Sing Poets Society’s president. His poems retained the traditional qualities of classical poetry, and he wrote about current affairs, and employed idioms and new terms. For instance, upon hearing of Princess Margaret of England’s abandonment of her plan to marry Captain Peter Townsend, Ye was moved to compose a poem. In another example, he wrote about growing old in the verse “Unhappily hearing people calling me an old man, I am still young at heart. 刺耳听人呼老伯, 酣心自我尚青年” reflecting his style in using new terms such as “old man” and “youth.” In addition, in his description of Nanyang natural landscapes, Ye painted a new pictorial reality that was in no

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way in conflict with the aesthetics of classical poetry, a clear reflection of his brilliant poetic skills. Chen Baoshu, born in Chao’an County, Guangdong, had an early education in poetry and Chinese classics, studying under renowned scholars such as Cai Jianqiu from Chenghai, Guo Jiewu from Rongjiang, and Feng Yinyue from Renhe. He moved to Singapore—records show that he arrived no later than 1925—and devoted himself to the commercial world, running Thong Guan Plastics for several years. In the 1950s and 1960s, he exchanged poems with Dr. Lai Kok Chong, Professor Hwang Sheo Wu (1907–1980), Professor Jao Tsung-I, Tio Chee Chuen, Xiao Yaotian (1913–1990), Xie Jinjia, and so on, with whom he eventually developed close friendships. Known for his pure and honest character and deeply sincere poetic style, he collected his works in Poems Written in Singapore (Liuxingshi yincao). He was also a founding member of the Sin Sing Poets Society and managed it for years, sparing no effort to promote poetry writing and appreciation. He believed that “For poetry, there are several valuable characteristics, including escaping stereotypes, probing imagery, and having implied meaning.”101 Hwang Sheo Wu commented about his poems: “His verses are clear and tactful, thoughtful and beautiful, as well as with flowery language, considered to reach the realm of elegance.”102 Six of his poems were collected in An Anthology of Thirteen Overseas Poets (Haiwai shisanjia shichao). Ma Zongxiang, born in Chaoyang Guangdong, developed his love for verse at a tender age and studied at a missionary school in Hujiang University, Shanghai. In 1939, he immigrated to Nanyang and taught at Malacca’s Pay Fong High School and Singapore’s Catholic High School. He composed poetry during his free time, writing numerous poignant verses. After retiring in 1966, he served as vice president and honorary president of the Sin Sing Poets Society. He edited the anthology Poems on Feixia Mountain (Feixia shiji) and compiled his own works in The Poetry of Ma Zongxiang (Yinxiang shiji), and Anthology of Ma Zongxiang (Yinxiang xuanji). In addition, some of his works were collected in A Compilation of Poems and Song Lyrics (Shici heji), published by Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan of Singapore. His poems were known for their simplicity, straightforwardness, clear allusions, and “writing elegant poetry in simple language, while expressing deep emotions and artistic conception.”103 During the early stage, the Sin Sing Poets Society focused on regular literati gatherings and poetry classes. Four such events organized on a larger scale included: (1) the 1957 Poets’ Day literati gathering, after which Lee Choon Seng sponsored the compilation and publication of poems written for the event in an anthology that included 48 poems and 101 poem-bells by 33 poets; (2) the 1958 Poets’ Day literati gathering, after which the compilation of the poems written for the event was sponsored by Zeng Xinying in

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a publication that “included more than 100 poems, proses, and song lyrics by over 40 poets”;104 (3) the 1961 Poets’ Day literati gathering, after which works written by more than forty poets were compiled in over 170 volumes and sponsored for publishing by Tan Lark Sye (1897–1972) in 1962; and (4) beginning in 1971, regular poetry training classes taught by senior members of the society—200 poems written by thirty poets during these classes were published in 1981 in Selected Poems from 100 Vols. Club Topics of SSPS. From these statistics, it is clear that the Sin Sing Poets Society in its early stage functioned much like the Tan Club, in which the activities were open only to a selected group of the intellectual elite from different professions. This arrangement ensured that the poems maintained the high standards of classical poetry, as had those of the 1930s and 1940s. However, the productions of such small elite gatherings had a limited audience, restricting the society’s ability to reach out and improve the cultural standards of the local Chinese community. As a small and closed organization, the society had to seek a balance between idealism and the reality of publishing anthologies. Why were all the anthologies of the literati gatherings sponsored by wealthy businessmen or members of other elites? Why were only four anthologies published over thirty years of activities? The answer lay in the high cost of publication and publicity, which meant that the Sin Sing Poets Society had to ensure its survival by seeking such sponsorships. The first such sponsorship occurred during the 1957 literati gathering, when the idea of establishing the New Society was mooted and Lee Choon Seng was proposed as honorary president. On one hand, Lee was a well-known personality who could rally the Chinese community; on the other hand, he had the financial means to sponsor the society’s activities. The society’s reliance on wealthy businessmen for its activities and publications was further reflected in its invitation of Tan Lark Sye to attend the 1961 Dragon Boat Festival gathering. Although the sponsor of the 1958 gathering’s anthology, Zeng Xinying, was not a wealthy businessman, he was a well-known personality in the news industry. He was known as the “Savior Writer” in Singapore and Malaysia for his writings in Nanyang Siang Pau after it resumed publication; known for his editorials about safeguarding the interests of local Chinese, he had saved over twenty lives in his eighteen years as a journalist. Though he was well educated and learned, his forte lay in writing editorials rather than literary pieces, which was why only a small selection of his poems appeared in the society’s anthologies. It can be deduced that making Zeng the president was intended to improve the society’s visibility among the Chinese community. It is worth pointing out that Nanyang Siang Pau had columns titled “Out-of-business Hours” (shang yu) and “Nanyang Poetic Circle” (Nanyang shitan) in its supplement, providing

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a poetry exchange platform for local writers. In 1958, the society invited Professor Lai Kok Chong of Nantah’s Faculty of Science to its gathering, and in 1961, it invited Professors Liu Tai-hee (1898–1989) and Hwang Sheo Wu, both from Nantah’s Department of Chinese Studies. These choices reflected the society’s use of the professors’ standing to improve its visibility and reputation. Below is a list of the Sin Sing Poets Society’s past and present presidents and vice presidents.105 (See Table 3.1) Poems from the Ivory Tower: The Two Literati Gatherings at Yunnan Garden In 1955, the first Chinese university outside China, Nantah, was founded with the contributions and support of the Chinese community in Southeast Asia. The institute aims to provide opportunities for overseas Chinese to pursue higher education. Its campus was constructed on the lush green ridges of Singapore’s Jurong region, earning it the name Yunnan Garden. The university began enrollment in 1956 with only two faculties of Arts and Science; five Table 3.1  The Past and Present Presidents and Vice Presidents of Sin Sing Poets Society Terms

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President

Vice President

1–2 3 4–5 6–8 9 10–11 12–13 14–17 18–26 27 28–31 32 33 34 35

1957–1958 1959 1960–1961 1962–1964 1965 1966–1967 1968–1969 1970–1973 1974–1982 1983 1984–1987 1988 1989 1990–1991 1992–1993

Period

Zeng Xinying Ye Qiutao Zeng Xinying Zeng Xinying Hsieh Yun-sheng Ye Qiutao Ye Qiutao Chen Baoshu Chen Baoshu Xu Naiyan Lee Kim Chuan Tio Chee Chuen Tio Chee Chuen Tio Chee Chuen Tio Chee Chuen

36–39 40–41 42

1994–2001 2002–2005 2006–2008

Tio Chee Chuen Yang Qilin Chan Soon Heng

43 44 45 46

2009–2010 2011–2012 2013–2014 2015–2017

Chan Chan Chan Chan

Lai Kok Chong Lai Kok Chong Hsieh Yun-sheng Hsieh Yun-sheng Ye Qiutao Hsieh Yun-sheng Chen Baoshu Ye Qiutao Ma Zongxiang Tio Chee Chuen Tio Chee Chuen Lee Kim Chuan Yang Qilin Chen Tangzhen Yang Xianjing Chen Tangzhen Chen Tangzhen Chan Soon Heng Wang Cangchao Yong Yit Kin Yong Yit Kin Zheng Jinlian Zheng Jinlian Zheng Jinlian

Soon Soon Soon Soon

Heng Heng Heng Heng

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departments were set up under the Faculty of Arts: Chinese Language and Literature, Modern Language and Literature, History and Geography, Economics and Politics, and Education. In its initial days, there was a shortage of teachers, and without diplomatic ties with Mainland China, Nantah looked to Taiwan and Hong Kong in its search for academics in various fields. Many of these professors in the Faculties of Arts and Science were well versed in Chinese literature under the traditional education system. Even Ling Shuhua (1900–1990) and Su Xuelin (1897–1999), professors of modern Chinese literature, had been well educated during their youth in the various aspects of classical poetry. They were able to write brilliant classical poetry because they started composing in vernacular Chinese after 1919. However, most of the poetry lovers and writers at Nantah were students of Chinese language and literature. The following section will conduct an in-depth discussion of the two literati gatherings organized by Nantah’s Department of Chinese Language and Literature in the 1960s. The first gathering, which focused on the composition of poems, was held during the University Week, beginning on March 30, 1960. During this period, the faculties and departments exhibited their achievements and the Department of Chinese Studies displayed artifacts, calligraphy, poetry, and other works by its students. Three days later, Nantah held its first graduation celebration, and on that night, renowned poets from Singapore and Malaysia were invited to Yunnan Garden for a celebration. Most of those who attended were members of the Sin Sing Poets Society. The poems written during the gathering were quite substantial, and the department’s professors and students decided to publish an anthology of those works. This publication, titled Yunnan Garden Anthology of Poems (Yunnan yuan yinchang ji), was made up of three volumes containing 14 extemporaneous poems, 111 poems with sub-word rhyme, and 169 poems written by professors and students totaling 294 poems. The first two volumes contained poems written during the April 2, 1960 literati gathering, while the third volume collected the poems from University Week. Professors Liu Tai-hee and She Xueman (1908–1993), both well versed in poetry, served as the publication’s advisers and provided a preface and an inscription, respectively. The second gathering aimed purely to write Song lyrics. In the lunar August of 1960, two classes of junior undergraduates from Nantah stayed at the now demolished Southern Breeze Villa (nanfeng bieshu) in western Singapore. Twenty-six of them were mesmerized by the beauty of this villa and wrote works illustrating the scenery and their emotions. These Song lyrics were eventually compiled with work by other students and published as Southern Breeze Anthology of Song Lyrics (Nanfeng ciji), which collected 116 works by fifty-six students. Professor Liu wrote a preface for this anthology, and in it, he noted that “Nanfeng” was taken from Zhong Rong’s

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(468–518) lines, “In olden days, songs of ‘Nanfeng’ and carols of ‘Qingyun,’ they have profound meaning,” and “the winds of Nanyang, the winds of Yunnan Garden, and the winds of gentlemen.” In addition, he complimented the students’ song lyrics as “language of love” and “words of loyalty.”106 A “Melody of Golden Glows” (Jinlü qu) composed for this anthology included the line “Feeling cool when I encounter fall flowers in my dream, in the haze where I cannot see the hometown land. Even when I return, where can I go? 梦与秋花相对冷, 瘴烟霾, 黯断中原土. 归去也, 归何处”107 which revealed poignant and deep emotions. The two literati gatherings were exceptionally encouraging, as they were mainly student efforts, and 144 poems, nearly half of the total collected, in Yunnan Garden Anthology of Poems, were written by students. The anthology’s publication committee was entirely made up of students, and the donors to the anthology were mainly Nantah students, with only a few public personalities and professors. Even the two illustrations in the anthology were by a professor, She Xueman, and a student, Huang Yingliang. In the Southern Breeze Anthology of Song Lyrics, except for Professor Liu Tai-hee’s preface and inscription, all the other works and editing were done by students. Forty years after the New Culture Movement, it was heartening to see students creating excellent classical poetry under the guidance of teachers in their ivory towers. I Lo-Fen’s research on Ling Shuhua and the dispute between new and classical poetry at Nantah showed a clear disagreement between Ling, who advocated writing new poetry, and Professors Liu Tai-hee, Pan Chonggui (1907–2003), and Tu Kung-sui (1905–1992), who led the students in the composition of classical poetry. However, I Lo-Fen concluded that these differences did not lead to any substantial changes.108 I concur with her views, as they are explicitly reflected in the Nantah students’ words. In Southern Breeze Anthology of Song Lyrics, the student editors wrote in the postscript, “We believe that promoting the writing of classical poetry with contemporary subject matter to ensure its popularity among the masses is the wrong approach. This is because content decides form, and hence, contemporary subject matter should be presented in contemporary form.” However, Chinese studies undergraduates should have a grasp of classical poetry as part of their classical literature education. Thus, “from our experience, writing classical poetry requires considerable deliberation and practice, and this training is essential to writing concise and subtle modern poetry or modern prose.”109 Teo Liang Chye, then secretary of Singapore’s Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, agreed with this view: “Although the promotion of modern art forms should be made the priority, we must not neglect the study of classical literature. After all, green comes from blue; without blue, how can we possibly produce green?”110

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Many of the young poets at the two gatherings were proficient in both classical and modern poetry. One of them, Wong Meng Voon, would be the future president of the Singapore Association of Writers and the founder of Nantah Creative Club and would write a seven-character regulated poem and two Song lyrics. In November 1959, Huang Yingliang published an anthology of modern poems titled The River of Time (Shijian de heliu) that included a preface written by Professor Ling Shuhua. In the next year, he served on the publication committee of the Yunnan Garden Anthology of Poems, in which seven of his song lyrics were included. In addition, Lim Guan Hoo, who later served as parliamentary secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs, was Nantah’s Chinese studies graduate who published a collection of prose, The Enclosing Wall of Happiness (Xingfu de weiqiang), in 1970. Four of his classical poems and four of his Song lyrics were included in the anthologies of the literati gatherings. Due to their views on classical poetry, none of them composed classical poetry after graduation. However, Tan Eng Chaw took a different path from the others. He pursued postgraduate studies in the Department of Chinese Studies, NUS, and served as a lecturer and professor in the same department after graduation. He took an interest in writing and researching classical poetry and eventually became an important scholar in the field of the local classical literature. Whether by Nantah professors or veteran poets of that era, the composition of classical poetry was seen as a means of promoting Chinese cultural heritage. This aim was reflected in Chen Qingshan’s (1894–1960) poem: Our literary heritage is preserved through wine and song. Guardians of the Book of Poetry are you noble sirs! Why urge this new friend for such a song? To exorcise evil, you can learn from our distant ancient past.111 月令犹存觞咏中, 扶持大雅仗诸公. 催诗岂待今宵雨, 修禊遥追六代风. 

The vast majority of students during the 1960s were second- or third-generation immigrants from Singapore or Malaysia. These young students viewed acquiring a knowledge of and composing classical poetry as an important part of self-cultivation, in contrast to their teachers or the veteran poets of the Sin Sing Poets Society—first-generation immigrants—who saw classical poetry as a means of passing on traditional Chinese culture and took it upon themselves to do so. Therefore, the poetic standards of the professors and the society’s poets were much higher than those of their students, reflecting a shift from professional writing to amateur and casual writing. This, for those who came later, was the most significant revelation of the Nantah literati gatherings.

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Poetry Training, Cross-Border Exchanges, and the Passing on of the Chinese Quintessence In 1979, the prime minister at the time, Lee Kuan Yew, launched the Speak Mandarin Campaign in the hope of promoting speaking of Mandarin and the elimination of dialects. Although it has been almost forty years since the campaign was launched, its effects are still questioned. According to the General Household Survey 2015, English had become the language most commonly spoken at home in Singapore. “It shows 36.9 percent of residents aged five and older use English most often at home against 34.9 percent for Mandarin. Five years ago, it was the reverse: 35.6 percent said Mandarin was their mostused language at home while 32.3 percent used English most frequently.”112 In July 1980, the preeminent Chinese university of Southeast Asia, Nantah, met its demise through a “merger with the University of Singapore to form the National University of Singapore.” In 1981, Singapore’s government started to abolish Chinese vernacular schools and decreed that all lessons except classes in Chinese, civics, and moral education must be conducted in English. In December 1983, the closure of all vernacular school systems was announced; after that, all schools were to be streamlined, with the national education system using English as its teaching language beginning in 1984. By 1987, all schools had replaced the Chinese teaching medium with English, signaling the end of Chinese education. These policy changes meant that ordinary Singaporeans had little interaction with the Chinese language. Even graduates who earned degrees in Chinese from local universities would eventually enter a working environment dominated by English. Hence, the Chinese-language abilities of those educated from the 1980s onward were nowhere near those of their seniors. In this language environment, the development of classical poetry met its greatest challenge to date. In contrast, after China’s reform and opening up in 1979, various poetry organizations had been established to breathe life into the literary scene. To reverse the decline of classical poetry in Singapore, many senior poets, such as those of the Sin Sing Poets Society, took a two-pronged approach: (1) to organize poetry workshops to develop young poetry talents and (2) to engage in international exchanges. The following paragraphs will elaborate on four organizations that took this approach. The Later-Stage Sin Sing Poets Society As mentioned before, the landmark event in 1986 that separated the development of the Sin Sing Poets Society into two stages was the two free poetry workshops conducted in collaboration with the Tong’an Association. These events marked a change in the nature of the poetry writing of the Sin Sing:

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the early stage was characterized by high-quality poetry written by a small, closed group of veteran poets, while in the later stage, the focus changed to educating amateurs in poetry writing. The two workshops attracted nearly a hundred participants, with ages ranging from twenty to seventy years and a range of education level from secondary school to university and graduate school. Rallied by President Lee Kim Chuan and Vice President Tio Chee Chuen, all the members worked hand in hand to make the events a success. The 1989 Selected Poems of SSPS in Singapore was the second installment of the one published in 1981, which had compiled the poems written in the Sin Sing’s initial 100 poetry classes. The second volume included a few hundred poems by twenty-one students from the training classes, such as Peng Shuxian, Yang Wenyan and Zhen Jinlian, and thirty-two veteran poets and members, such as Ma Zongxiang, Lee, and Tio. In addition, under Lee Kim Chuan and Tio Chee Chuen’s leadership, the Sin Sing increased its cross-border exchanges. In 1985, China’s Guangzhou Poetry Society arrived in Singapore and announced its alliance with the Sin Sing as sister societies. This strategy was known as “coming in.” Later, in 1987, the Sin Sing took part in a Poets’ Day activity held in Beijing and an event marking the establishment of the Chinese Poetry Society of China. This strategy was known as “going out.” Thereafter, the society conducted friendly exchanges with China’s poetry societies, some of which were in Guandong, Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Fujian, and established formal ties with poetry societies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and so on. Such cooperation was aimed at promoting Chinese culture and reminded Singaporean poets that there were many like-minded people worldwide, and they were not alone. Such efforts effectively expanded the Sin Sing’s cultural space in this challenging environment. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Zuo Binglong, Huang Zunxian, and others attempted to raise the local cultural standards through the establishment of literary societies. These efforts stand in contrast to the aims and content of poetry classes taught by veteran poets or those of the later-stage Sin Sing Poets Society beginning in the late 1980s. The former focused on content useful for taking the imperial examinations, and their ultimate aim was for the locals to pledge allegiance to the Qing court through literary education. The latter aimed to halt the decline of Chinese culture and considered literature an otherworldly pursuit. Despite these differences, they were similar in the sense that the members came together out of interest instead of seeking instant benefit, and the members wrote on a casual basis and to varying standards. Entering the twenty-first century with Presidents Yang Qilin and Chan Soon Heng at the helm, the Sin Sing held literati gatherings every two weeks on Sunday, providing members with the opportunity to learn from

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one another and to engage in writing couplets and poems. At the same time, the Sin Sing’s education branch held poetry workshops, reading classes, and poetry talks that attracted many local literature lovers.

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The Yi Hai Research Society for Classical Literature Over a century ago, Sun Yat-sen founded the Tung Tak Newspaper and Magazine Agency in Singapore to encourage the reading of newspapers to unite all Chinese in the quest of salvaging China. The newspaper and magazine agency played different roles during different historical periods, but throughout, it adhered to its founding mission of “enlightening the masses and promoting Chinese culture.” On April 9, 1987, the Tung Tak Newspaper and Magazine Agency established the Yi Hai Research Society for Classical Literature (Yi Hai gudian wenxue yanjiuhui, abbr. Yi Hai). This society was made up mainly of students from the NUS Department of Extramural Studies who took a course on classical poetry. That is, even though the Yi Hai’s full name suggests a focus on classical literature, the emphasis was on classicalstyle poetry. These students’ interest in Han poetry was ignited by Professor Chan Soon Heng, and they were eager to continue their writing in a more professional environment. Thus, they established Yi Hai with the blessing of Chan and Tung Tak’s president, Lin Fengde. Chen Huixian served as its founding president before passing the baton to Du Chongyi, Song Ziping, Tan Youdian, and so on. Under the guidance of Chan Soon Heng, Yi Hai organized a monthly reading session on the first Sunday of every month. This session created a platform for lovers of classical literature to attend lectures on the subject and to share their own work. Furthermore, in 1996 and 2000, Yi Hai published two issues of the poetry journal Tidal Wave in the Sea of the Arts (Yi Hai chaoxi), which compiled classical poems and couplets by the instructor and the students. General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry (International) The General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry (International) (Quanqiu Hanshi zonghui), formerly known as the Global Alliance of Friends of Chinese Poetry Association (Quanqiu Hanshi shiyou lianmeng zonghui), is a loose international nonprofit literary organization. It was founded in Bangkok, Thailand, by Professor Wang Cheng of Burapha University in 1990. During its third international conference, held in Hong Kong in 1992, Singapore poet Tio Chee Chuen was elected as its new president. Three years later, in 1995, its fifth international conference was held in Singapore. In view of the political connotation of the word “alliance,” members at that

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meeting approved the association’s name change to General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry. It was officially registered as a society in Singapore on April 25, 2001. Tio passed away the following year, and Chang Chien Chia assumed the presidency. Chang, a well-known name in Singapore’s seafood industry, was also the honorary president of Singapore’s Writers Association. The General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry is currently led by Choo Thiam Siew, CEO of Singapore’s Chinese Culture Center, former chairman of the National Arts Council, president of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Thus, the Singaporean poets have become the actual controller of this international society, and the important roles they played in the world poetry scene should help increase local interest in Chinese poetry. Currently, the society has more than 3,000 members worldwide, made up of overseas Chinese and other international friends of poetry. In 2008, its constitution was amended to include a clause that reinforced its nonpolitical and nonprofit nature and its aim of “promoting traditional Chinese culture through the learning of Chinese poetry and quintessence.” The society holds an international literary conference every three or five years; so far twelve such conferences have been held, bringing together poets and academics. It has also published anthologies of members’ works on an irregular basis, such as The Universal Voice of Poetry. Professor Chen Hongtao of China’s Southwest University for Nationalities noted that the international collaboration of Chinese poetry organizations constitutes a renaissance of Chinese culture in the form of a “Chinese poetry subculture circle.”113 The establishment of the General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry is considered the point of the initial formation of this circle. However, my focus is on whether Singapore’s poets are encouraged and inspired by this renaissance of Chinese culture and whether they will view it as an opportunity to cultivate younger poets. The NUS Department of Chinese Studies started its biennial course, “Classical Poetry: Writing and Criticism,” to develop local writing talent. According to the vice president of the General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry and module instructor Lam Lap, after a semester of poetry training, students were able to write proper poems, and many of the outstanding works were compiled in An Anthology of Southern Talents (Nanjin ji) in 2010 and published in Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao. This was followed by the compilation of An Anthology of Southern Talents II (Nanjin erji) in 2015, which was also published in Lianhe Zaobao in the month of October of the same year. Lam wrote in the introduction of An Anthology of Southern Talents II: “Students are now more interested in classical poetry than before, and their works more mature and creative. . . . Though their works might not be comparable to early poets, their literary works on Singapore can serve as an inspiration to others.”114 This course is

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currently open to the department’s students; it should be extended to Special Assistance Plan schools, junior colleges, and related schools in future. The Lion City Poetry Association According to the records of the Singapore Registry of Societies, the Lion City Poetry Association was registered in Singapore on August 4, 1995. It aims to promote poetics and encourage lovers of classical poetry to share their works and learn from one another in order to establish a gracious society of outstanding social and economic development. This is a small association of over ten members, many of whom are retired people. Under its first president, Lee Kim Chuan, the association held regular gatherings to share Changhe poems and learn about theories of rhyme, lyrics spectrum, and so on. In addition, it actively engaged with foreign poetry societies and organized a twentieth-anniversary Poets’ Day celebration and other events. Beginning in 1996, the association began publishing the quarterly Lion City Poetry (Shicheng yinyuan) as a platform for members to share their work. A year later, it also began to publish anthologies of members’ work on an ad hoc basis. Koh Tai Seng, current president of the association, wrote in its tenth anniversary commemorative issue:

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This anthology brought together works of multiple standards. In it, I presented my innovation of “new poetry in classical form.” Although humble works, they served at least three functions: 1) Casting a brick to attract jade. 2) Generating interest by presenting classical poetry as something approachable and not difficult to understand. 3) To popularize classical poetry and to expand the pool of poetry lovers.115

Koh’s words highlighted two crucial questions in bequeathing the traditions of classical poetry. First, how can a balance be struck between traditions and modernity? His answer was “new poetry in classical form,” in which contemporary subject matter and emotions are written in classical rhyme and format. Second, how can one pass on classical poetry in Singapore’s challenging Chinese-language environment? Koh’s answer was to build up the interest and confidence of amateur poets by guiding them in composing simple poems before moving on to more complicated theories and content. The key was to enlarge the pool of poetry lovers before composing brilliant works. The establishment and development of the abovementioned associations reflect the positivity of local poets in the face of Singapore’s challenging cultural landscape. Through organizing poetry workshops and cross-border exchanges, not only did these poetry societies manage to survive in Singapore but also they pushed their way onto the world stage, earning a name for

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themselves. The following paragraphs shall introduce some of the characters crucial to this effort. Lee Kim Chuan, born in Singapore, is of Tong’an Fujian descent. Lee served on both Sin Chew Jit Poh and Nanyang Siang Pau during his youth before being appointed as Nanyang Siang Pau’s editor and commentary writer. In 1953, he contributed to the establishment of Nantah before abandoning politics and focusing on his businesses. He was the chairman of Singapore Rubber Pte. Ltd., and the chairman of the Singapore Tong’an Association’s advisory committee. Dedicated to the development of Chinese culture, he guided numerous students in their learning of poetry during his tenure as president of the Sin Sing Poets Society and the Lion City Poetry Association. Interestingly, Lee’s exposure to Chinese was mainly during his days in a Chinese primary school, as he attended an English-medium secondary school. Due to his family’s financial situation, he had to start working after completing secondary school. His educational background is therefore astoundingly different from his great accomplishments in the classical Chinese poetry field. As Lee has said himself, his achievements were made possible with Chen Baoshu’s help and through relentless practice over the past twenty years. Lee’s contributions to the local poetry scene can also be seen in his development of a unique system of poetry teaching. He saw a need to grow poetry talent through a two-stage approach, with the first stage introducing basic poetic theories and the second stage focusing on the hands-on approach of writing poetry. According to him, the first stage includes “One, reciting poems of renowned poets to generate learner’s interest. Two, to differentiate level and oblique tones. Three, to learn poetry format and rules. Four, to understand poetry rhymes, every learner should have a rhyme guide.” The second stage involves “Writing five-character quatrains before moving on to seven-character poems. When they can write simple poems, choose a wellwritten verse for all learners to compose couplets. This training will aid them in their future composition of regulated verses.” This training should include collective composition, group recitation, and editing of poems.116 Tio Chee Chuen (alias Shenzhou ke) was born in Chao’an, Guangdong. Well versed in the art of writing, he is a lover of poetry whose works were compiled in Collection of Tio Chee Chuen’s Poems (Shenzhou ke shici ji), The Universal Voice of Friends (Huaihai yousheng ji), and so on. He underwent a traditional Confucian education and moved during his youth to Malaya, where he taught in a high school. During that period, few were composing poetry, and Tio decided to promote this form of Chinese art by organizing poetry classes for overseas Chinese in the community. He published poetry magazines, gave public talks, and held exchanges with poetry societies in other countries. Beginning in 1983, Tio served as the president and vice

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president of the Sin Sing Poets Society; during his tenure as president of the General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry, he organized major international poetry conferences to promote cooperation among poetry associations worldwide. As a poet and an educator, Tio devoted his life to the promotion of Chinese culture. He published and edited literary books and taught numerous students who later took up residence in various parts of the world. Lim Juay Phing, born in Chao’an County, Guangdong, on December 21, 1948, immigrated to Singapore in 1957. A lover of poetry and calligraphy, he is a lifetime member of the Chinese Art Society and past editor of the Lion City Poetry Association’s journal. In recent years, he has taught Chinese poetry and calligraphy at clan associations, community clubs, schools, and so on. From 2007 to 2013, his works were published as three volumes of Lim Juay Phing’s Poetry (Wangshuju yin’gao), and his calligraphy works were exhibited in Singapore’s major calligraphy exhibitions.

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SUMMARY Leslie H. Damasceno said in his comments on Oduvaldo Vianna Filho’s work, “The dimension of cultural space, even as it refers to a relatively fixed physical locale, is by no means immutable, but includes social fissures and the modes of access that one segment of a society has to another. It addresses the cultural interflow between different backgrounds and interests within a society.”117 Singapore underwent this process albeit in a different space and time. Its early colonial poetry space was formed primarily by Qing consuls in Singapore or leaders of the overseas Chinese community loyal to the government of Republican China. Generally, the cultural standards of the early migrants were low, and this situation was made worse by the suppression of the Chinese cultural space by the British colonial government; hence, “the struggle for survival, for space and hope, commands all the limited resources available to a marginalized people. Art cannot stand outside that struggle; on the contrary, it must play an important role in it.”118 From World War II until independence, Singapore weathered dramatic political changes between itself and Malaysia and within China. These events gradually shifted the local literati from being Sino-centric to focusing on Singaporean issues. However, this shift did not lead to the development of CCPS, as it was facing competition from modern poetry. It was only in the 1980s that classical Chinese poetry gained new life. However, this revival was short-lived, as changes to language policies led to the lowering of the Chinese standard. Moving forward, the focus should be on popularizing classical Chinese poetry and training poets.

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NOTES 1. Intangible Heritage Section of UNESCO, Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity (Paris: UNESCO, 2001), 6. 2. Ibid., 28. 3. Henri Lefebvre stated “(social) space is a (social) product.” See Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1991), 26. 4. See Yan Buke, Shidafu zhengzhi yansheng shiyao (The Development of the Politics of Rule by Scholar-officials During the Warring Sates, Qin and Han Period) (Beijing: Peking University Press, 1996); and Liu Zehua, Xianqin shiren yu shehui (Scholar and Society in Pre-Qin China) (Tianjin: Tianjin renmin chubanshe, 2004). 5. Joseph R. Levenson, Confucian China and Its Modern Fate: A Trilogy (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1968), vol. 1, 19. 6. Zhang Zai, Zhang Zai ji (The Collected Works of Zhang Zai) (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1978), 320. 7. Evelyn S. Rawski, Education and Popular Literacy in Ch’ing China (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1979), 23. 8. Gilbert Rozman ed., The Modernization of China (New York: The Free Press, 1981), 186. 9. See Leung Yuen Sang, Xinjiapo Huaren shehui shi lun (History of Singapore Chinese Society in the Nineteenth Century) (Singapore: Department of Chinese Studies, NUS and Global Publishing, 2005), 26–30. 10. 16 years after leaving Singapore, in 1907, Zuo Binglong was again appointed Consul-General of Singapore. This time he was put in charge of the entire Straits Settlements until September 1910, when he left resigned from his position but remained in Singapore. 11. See Zuo Binglong, Qinmiantang shichao (A Representative Poetry Collection from the Dwelling for Diligence) (Singapore: Society of Southeast Asian Studies, 1959), Zeng Xiyin, “preface,” 4. 12. Shang Yanying, “Ti Qinmiantang shichao” (“To A Representative Poetry Collection from the Dwelling for Diligence”), See Zuo Binglong, Qinmiantang shichao, “front cover.” 13. Tan Yeok Seong, “Zuo Zixing lingshi dui Xinjiapo Huaqiao de gongxian” (“Consul Zuo Zixing’s Contributions to Singapore Chinese”), in Zuo Binglong, Qinmiantang shichao, 4–5. 14. In 1885, a school was opened in some shop houses in Telok Ayer Street by Mr. Gan Eng Seng to offer free education to the children of poor parents in the vicinity. It was called the Anglo-Chinese Free School, and in no way connected with the other Anglo-Chinese School founded a year later by the late Bishop W.F. Oldham. In 1889, Yu Lan Study Hall was founded as a private school within the premises of Tan Si Chong Su and was later renamed Po Chiak School after the Japanese Occupation (1942–1945). It catered primarily to the children of the Tan clansmen. In 1905, the Cantonese group funded the setup of Yeung Ching School in Chinatown to provide primary education to the community. The name “Yeung Ching” means to nurture the young with the correct values.

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15. See Lat Pau, March 13, 1890. Also See Tan Yeok Seong, “Zuo Zixing lingshi dui Xinjiapo Huaqiao de gongxian,” in Zuo Binglong, Qinmiantang shichao, 4. 16. Leung Yuen Sang, Xinjiapo Huaren shehui shi lun, 21–22. 17. “Yinglian qiujiao” (“Seeking the Couplets”), See Lat Pau, March 15, 1889. 18. Leung Yuen Sang’s and Yeap Chong Leng’s research shows that during Zuo Binglong’s period of service, Hui Yin Poetry Club’s publication of winning works ended on December 20, 1889. However, there was an announcement beside that same list of winners stating that the next competition deadline was on December 3, (Lunar calendar), as seen on Lat Pau, December 20, 1889. This showed that Hui Yin Poetry Club’s competition probably lasted well into 1890, but there is currently no explanation on why the winning pieces were no longer published beyond 1889. 19. Yeap Chong Leng, “Zuo Binglong yu Huiyin she” (“Zuo Binglong and Hui Yin Poetry Club”), Zhong jiao xuebao (Journal of Singapore Chinese Middle School Teachers’ Association), vol. 27 (2001): 119–28. 20. Tan Yeok Seong, “Zuo Zixing lingshi dui Xinjiapo Huaqiao de gongxian,” in Zuo Binglong, Qinmiantang shichao, 5. 21. Liang Qichao, “Yinbingshi shihua” (“Notes on Poetry from the Ice-drinking Studio”), in idem, Liang Qichao quanji (The Completed Works of Liang Qichao) (Beijing: Beijing chubanshe, 1997), vol. 9, 5310. 22. Huang Zunxian, “Tu’nan she xu” (“Preface to Tu Nan Club”), Lat Pau, January 1, 1892. 23. “Du zong lingshi Huang daren tu’nan xu xi zhi yi shuo” (“Elaboration of General Consul Huang’s Preface to Tu Nan Club”), Sing Po, January 6, 1892. 24. Yeap Chong Leng, Huang Zunxian yu Nanyang wenxue (Huang Zunxian and Nanyang Literature) (Singapore: Singapore Society of Asian Studies, 2002), 51–76. 25. Ibid., 77–80. 26. Ibid., 12–14. 27. Khoo Seok Wan, Wubaishi dongtian huizhu (Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves) (Guangzhou: Fuwen zhai, 1899), vol. 2, 28a. 28. Li Qingnian, Malaiya Huaren jiutishi yanjin shi (A History of Classical-Style Poetry of Malayan Chinese) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1998), 129. 29. Khoo Seok Wan, Wubaishi dongtian huizhu, vol. 2, 28b. 30. Khoo Seok Wan, “Nanyang chongru xueshe yexuebu zhaosheng” (“Application to Evening School of Nanyang Society for Advocating Confucianism”), See Nanyang Siang Pau, January 28, 1935. 31. See Zhu Jieqin, “Xinjiapo fengtu ji de zuozhe Li Zhongjue” (“Li Zhongjue: Author of A Description of Singapore in 1887”), Asian Culture (Singapore), vol. 5 (April 1985): 3–9. 32. Wei Zhusheng, “Fu didao manfu qiyi” (“Poems of Arriving in the Island Ⅰ”), See Lat Pau, September 14, 1889. 33. See Leung Yuen Sang, Xinjiapo Huaren shehui shi lun, 31–45. 34. Qiu Cong, “Canghai xiansheng Qiugong Fengjia nianpu” (“A Biographic Chronicle of Qiu Fengjia”), in Qiu Fengjia, Lingyun hairi lou shichao (Poems from the Chamber of Cloudy Ridge and Sunny Sea) (Hefei: Anhui renmin chubanshe, 1984), “appendix,” 433.

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35. Qiu Fengjia, “Fu Shen Jiezhai xin” (“Reply to Shen Jiezhai”), in Guangdong Qiu Fengjia Society, ed., Qiu Fengjia ji (The Works of Qiu Fengjia) (Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 2001), part. 2, 801. 36. See Qiu Zhuchang, “Qiu Fengjia yu Qiu Shuyuan de jiaowang” (“Relationship between Qiu Fengjia and Khoo Seok Wan”), in idem, Qiu Fengjia jiaowang lu (Records of Qiu Fengjia’s Social Contacts) (Wuhan: Central China Normal University Press, 2004), 41–46. 37. For the sources of Qiu’s poetry published in Thien Nan Shin Pao, see Wong Hong Teng, “Xin Ma baozhang suojian Qiu Fengjia shiwen ji youguan ziliao mulu chubian” (“A Bibliographical Guide to Qiu Fengjia’s Poems, Essays and Relevant Materials Published in Singapore and Malayan Chinese Newspapers, 1898–1901”), Journal of South China Normal University (Social Science Edition), vol. 25, 3 (1993): 96–109. 38. See Guangdong Qiu Fengjia Society ed., Qiu Fengjia ji, 470. 39. Ko Chia Cian, “Diguo, shi yu kongjiao de liuwang: Lun Qiu Fengjia yu Kang Youwei de Nanyang shi” (“Empire, Poetry and the Exile of Confucianism: On Qiu Fengjia and Kang Youwei’s Poems Written in Nanyang”), in Wu Shengqing and Ko Chia Cian, eds., Shuqing chuantong yu weixin shidai (Lyricism and the Reformist Era) (Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, 2012), 190. 40. Qiu Fengjia, “Zhi Qiu Shuyuan xin wufeng: Fu Shuyuan” (“Five Letters to Khoo Seok Wan: Reply to Seok Wan”), in Qiu Fengjia ji, vol. 2, 794. 41. See Zhang Kehong, Wangming tiannan de suiyue: Kang Youwei zai Xin Ma (The Nanyang Fugitive: Kang Youwei in Singapore and Malaya) (Kuala Lumpur: Centre for Research in Chinese Community, 2006), 101. 42. See Zhang Kehong, Wangming tiannan de suiyue: Kang Youwei zai Xin Ma. Lee Guan Kin, Dongxi wenhua de zhuangji yu Xinhua zhishi fenzi de sanzhong huiying: Qiu Shuyuan, Lin Wenqing, Song Wangxiang de bijiao yanjiu (Responding to Eastern and Western Cultures in Singapore: A Comparative Study of Khoo Seok Wan, Lim Boon Keng and Song Ong Siang) (Singapore: Department of Chinese Studies, NUS and Global Publishing, 2001). 43. Kang Youwei, “Shuyuan toushu yaowang Xingpo, daxie” (“Acknowledgment to Seok Wan’s Letter for Inviting Me to Singapore”) in idem, Kang Youwei quanji (The Completed Works of Kang Youwei) (Beijing: China Renmin University Press, 2007), vol. 12, 201. 44. Ibid., 202. 45. Ibid., 201. 46. Hullmut Wilhelm, “The Poems from the Hall of Obscured Brightness,” in Jung-pang Lo, ed., K’ang Yu-wei: A Biography and a Symposium (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1967), 323–24. 47. Li Zhongjue, Xinjiapo fengtu ji (A Description of Singapore in 1887) (Singapore: Nanyang shuju, 1947), 10. 48. See Wu Ying-ching, Qingdai Taiwan Hongxue chutan (Taiwan’s Research on Dream of the Red Chamber in Qing Dynasty) (Taibei: Da’an chubanshe, 2004), 319–47. 49. Khoo Seok Wan, Huizhu shiyi (Supplements of Idle Talks) (Shanghai: Xingzhou guan tianyan zhai, 1901), vol. 5, 6.

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50. Yeo Mang Thong, “Shidai de yinji: Qiu Shuyuan Tanxie shiji de chuban jiqi yiyi” (“Record of the Times: Publication and Its Significance of Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club by Khoo Seok Wan”), Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies, vol. 1, 1 (August 2013): 135–47. 51. Sun Peigu, “Ti pingshe changhe tu bing xu” (“Drawing and Preface of Ping Club’s Exchange”), See Lat Pau, January 10, 1924. 52. Chen Bonian, Tieti xia zhi Xinjiapo (Singapore during the Japanese Occupation) (Nanjing: The Chinese Economics Society, 1926), 37. 53. Ibid., 32. 54. Li Qingnian, Malaiya Huaren jiutishi yanjin shi, 288. 55. Khoo Seok Wan, Tanxie shiji (Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club) (Singapore: Tan Club, 1926), “preface,” 1a. 56. Chi Chan (Shi Ruiyu’s pseudonym), “Chun huai” (“Missing in the Spring”), in Tanxie shiji, vol. 1, 6b. 57. Khoo Seok Wan, “Xiao xia” (“Spending the Summer at Leisure”), in Tanxie shiji, vol. 2, 12a. 58. See Tanxie shiji, vol. 1, 20b–23a. 59. Ibid., 17b–18a. 60. Ibid., 19b. 61. Ibid., 20a. 62. Ibid., 1b. 63. See Tan Yeok Seong, Nanyang diyi baoren (The First Newspaperman of the South Seas) (Singapore: Shijie shuju, 1958). 64. See Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan ji (Works from Awaking Garden) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1950), Zheng Qiaosong, “preface,” 4. 65. See Yang Yitian, “Shilepo jiyi zhisi: Xingzhou si caizi” (“Singapore Memory Project Ⅳ: Four Talents of Sin Chew”), Yuan (Source), vol. 3 (2014): 32. 66. Khoo Seok Wan, “Xu yudi shi xu” (“Preface to Further Reflections on the Jade Flute”), in idem, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji (Collected Poems of Khoo Seok Wan) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1949), part 1, vol. 4, 3b. 67. Qiu Fengjia, “Da Ye Jiyun Maobin jianzeng qiyi” (“Reply to Yeh Chi Yun Presented”), in idem, Qiu Fengjia ji, 464. 68. Khoo Seok Wan, “Ruiyu fashi xiangzan” (“On the Portrait of Master Ruiyu”), in Shi Ruiyu, Ruiyu shangren shiji (Collected Poems of Master Ruiyu) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1939), “front cover.” 69. Zheng Yushu, “Jueyuan ji xu” (“Preface to Works from Awaking Garden”), in Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan ji, vol. 1, 5. 70. Lee Choon Seng, “Jueyuan ji zixu” (“Preface to Works from Awaking Garden”), in idem, Jueyuan ji, 7. 71. Tan Yeok Seong, Nanyang diyi baoren, 28. 72. Ibid., 29. 73. Shi Ruiyu, “Zhongguo shuizai ganfu bu shuifo yuanyun” (“Feeling of China Floods and Responding Shuifo’s [Kuang Yaojie] Verse”), in idem, Ruiyu shangren shiji, 3b. 74. Khoo Seok Wan, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji, part 1, vol. 1, 9a. The translation of this poem is cited from A Life in Poems: Selected Works of Khoo Seok Wan,

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introduced by Jessie Yak, translated by Shelly Bryant, selected and annotated by Yi Kai Ho and Jessie Yak, Singapore: National Library Board, 2013, 49. 75. Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan ji, vol. 1, 7. 76. Yang Chengzu, “Qiu Shuyuan yanjiu” (“Research on Khoo Seok Wan”), Journal of Nanyang University, vol. 3 (1969): 98–117. 77. J. D. Schmidt, Within the Human Realm: The Poetry of Huang Zunxian, 1848–1905 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 125. 78. Khoo Seok Wan, Wubaishi dongtian huizhu (Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves), vol. 3, 14a. 79. See Tan Yeok Seong, Nanyang diyi baoren, 17–18. 80. Master Baofa, alias Lianxi, was a monk at Haichuang Monastery. He was an avid collector of ancient paintings and a master in painting landscapes. Master Jichan of Hengyue Monastery, also known as Jing’an and Huang Dushan. A renowned Chinese monk and founding chairman of the Chinese Buddhist Association, he was nicknamed Bazhi toutuo. 81. Shi Ruiyu, Ruiyu shangren shiji, vol. 1, 42. 82. Khoo Seok Wan, “Preface,” in Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan ji, 2–3. 83. Guan Zhenmin, “Preface,” in Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan xuji (A Sequel of Works from Awaking Garden) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1956), 6. 84. Lee Choon Seng, “Preface,” in Khoo Seok Wan, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji, part 1, 3a. 85. Lee Choon Seng, “Preface,” in Shi Ruiyu, Ruiyu shangren shiji, 1a. 86. See Huang Jiann Chen, Wanqing Xin Ma Huaqiao dui guojia rentong zhi yanjiu (A Study of Overseas Chinese Identity Problem: The Malaya Chinese and Late Qing Government) (Taipei: The Society of Overseas Chinese Studies, 1993), 339–49. 87. Lee Guan Kin, “Khoo Seok Wan: Part-Confucian, Part-commoner, Part-Buddhist, and Part-nobleman,” Speech at the conference on Khoo Seok Wan by Singapore Society of Asian Studies, December 1, 2011. 88. Guan Zhenmin, “Preface,” in Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan xuji, 6. 89. Tan Yunshan, “Feng ti Li Juncheng xiansheng kanyin Ruiyu fashi shiji jian yi zhigan” (“Feeling of the Publication of Master Ruiyu’s Poetry under Lee Choon Seng’s Auspices”), in Shi Ruiyu, Ruiyu shangren shiji, 1a. 90. Zheng Yushu, “Preface,” in Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan ji, 5. 91. Chen Xiaowei, “Preface,” in Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan xuji, 8–9. 92. Hsieh Yun-sheng, “Foreword,” in Sin Sing Poets Society, Dingyou shirenjie shuanglin si yaji shikan (Poems from Gathering of 1957 Poets’ Day at Siong Lim Temple) (Singapore: Sin Sing Poets Society, 1957), 4. 93. “Shirenjie yaji xinwen” (“News of Poets’ Day Gathering”), in Sin Sing Poets Society, Dingyou shirenjie shuanglin si yaji shikan, 2. 94. Ibid. 95. Hsieh Yun-sheng, “Foreword,” in Sin Sing Poets Society, Dingyou shirenjie shuanglinsi yaji shikan, 4. 96. Tsai Wang Ching, “Preface,” in Sin Sing Poets Society, Wuxu shirenjie yaji jinian kan (Memorial Volume of the 1958 Poets’ Day Gathering) (Singapore: Sin Sing Poets Society, 1958), 1.

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97. Chen Tuyuan, “Hanshi de fayang guangda yu Zhang Jichuan” (Tio Chee Chuen in the Development of Han Poetry), in Lü Weixiong, ed., Meng zhu liushui chuang tianya: Qiaokan xiangxun caiying (The Dream of Wild Searching with Running Water: News from Township of Overseas Chinese) (Guangzhou: Guangdong Travel and Tourism Press, 2002), 48. 98. Singapore Registry of Societies, “Society Search Results,” See https://app. ros.gov.sg/ui/index/SearchSociety.aspx, accessed July 24, 2017. 99. Peng Song Toh, ed., Xinjiapo quanguo shetuan daguan (Directory of Associations in Singapore 1982–83), (Singapore: Wenxian chuban gongsi, 1983), J–22. 100. Yi Junzuo, Huaqiao shihua (Critical Reviews of Overseas Chinese Poetry) (Hong Kong: Self-Publishing, 1956), 64. 101. Chen Baoshu, Liuxingshi yincao (Drafts of Chanting When Lived in Singapore) (Taibei: Haitian yinshuachang youxian gongsi, 1976), “preface,” 7. 102. Hwang Sheo Wu, “Preface,” in Chen Baoshu, Liuxingshi yincao, 2. 103. Lee Kim Chuan, “Preface,” in Ma Zongxiang, Yinxiang xuanji (Anthology of Ma Zongxiang) (Singapore: Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, 1992), 3. 104. Tsai Wang Ching, “Preface,” in Sin Sing Poets Society, Wuxu shirenjie yaji jinian kan, 1. 105. In special appreciation of Mr. Tan Guan Seng, Deputy Chairman of Culture and Education Division, Sin Sing Poets Society, for providing this list. 106. Liu Tai-hee, “Preface,” in Nanfeng ciji (Southern Breeze Anthology of Song Lyrics) (Singapore: Chinese Language Department, Nanyang University, 1960), 2. 107. Liu Tai-hee, “Jin lü qu” (“Melody of Golden Glows”), in Nanfeng ciji, 3. 108. I Lo-fen, “Nanyang daxue shiqi de Ling Shuhua yu xin jiutishi zhizheng” (“Ling Shuhua in the Period of Nanyang University and the Debate between Classical Poetry and New Poetry”), Xin wenxue shiliao (Historical Materials of New Literature), vol. 32, 1 (2009): 48–57. 109. See Nanfeng ciji, “Epilogue,” 61–62. 110. Zhang Liangcai, “Preface,” in Ma Zongxiang et al., Shici heji (A Compilation of Poems and Song Lyrics) (Singapore: Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, 1986), 6. 111. Chen Qingshan, “Wen Yunnan yuan yaji yougan ji liezuo zhu junzi” (Feelings upon Hearing the News of the Yunnan Garden Gathering of the Literati, Addressed to the Assembly of Scholars”), For its Chinese edition, see Yunnan yuan yinchang ji (Yunnan Garden Anthology of Poems) (Singapore: Chinese Literary Society of Nanyang University, 1960), 8; For its English translation, see Peter Chen & Michael Tan, A Scholar’s Path: An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poems and Prose of Chen Qing Shan, a Pioneer Writer of Malayan-Singapore Literature (Singapore: World Scientific, 2010), 497. 112. Pearl Lee, “English Most Common Home Language in Singapore, Bilingualism Also Up: Government Survey,” The Straits Times, March 10, 2016. 113. Chen Hongtao, “Lun tuozhan Zhonghua shici ya wenhuaquan” (“On the Expansion of Subcultural Circle of Chinese Poetry”), Huanqiu shisheng (The Universal Voice of Poetry), vol. 5 (1997): 119. 114. “Nanjin erji: Guoda zhongwenxi xuesheng jiutishi xuan” (“An Anthology of Southern Talents II: Selected Classical Poems by Students of Chinese Studies in NUS”), Lianhe Zaobao, October 30, 2015.

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115. Koh Tai Seng, “Huizhang de hua” (“President’s Words”), Shicheng yayun (Elegant Rhythm from Lion City) (Singapore: Shicheng shici xuehui, 2005), Ⅲ. 116. Lee Kim Chuan, “Xinjiapo Tong’an huiguan de Zhonghua shici yanxiban” (“Training Workshops of Chinese Poetry in Singapore Tong’an Association”), in Subcommittee of Cultural and Historical Data of the CPPCC Fujian Tong’an County Committee ed., Tong’an wenshi ziliao (Tong’an Cultural and Historical Data), vol. 16 (1996): 56–58. 117. Leslie H. Damasceno, Cultural Space and Theatrical Conventions in the Works of Oduvaldo Vianna Filho (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1996), 28. 118. Paul Lauter, “The Literatures of America: A Comparative Discipline,” in A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff and Jerry Washington Ward, eds., Redefining American Literary History (New York: Modern Language Association, 1990), 20.

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Chapter 4

Medium

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What Are the Influences on Classical Poetry?

Liang Qichao once noted that “The rise of newspaper changes the literature genres of my country.”1 In hindsight, this remark truly prophesied the role played by the modern newspaper in the revolution of literary genres. However, many others did not see it this way. According to Chen Pingyuan, many Chinese literary historians failed to recognize the importance of the mass media’s influence on literature. For instance, in the article Hu Shi (1891–1962) wrote for the fiftieth anniversary of Shun Pao (Shen bao) in 1922, “Chinese Literature in the Past Fifty Years” (Wushinian lai Zhongguo zhi wenxue), he emphasized that “literature in classical Chinese is dead and literature in vernacular Chinese is alive,” ignoring Shun Pao’s role of reference in literary creation. The same idea appeared in Chen Zizhan’s (1898–1990) 1929 work The Changes in Modern Chinese Literature (Zhongguo jindai wenxue zhi bianqian), in which he articulated the numerous factors leading to the “Literary Revolution,” again ignoring the importance of newspapers.2 Fortunately, Singapore’s researchers in the history of Chinese literature have attached great importance to literary works published in the local press. Among these scholars are Fang Hsiu (1922–2010), Wong Meng Voon, and Wong Yoon Wah.3 Phoon Kwee Hian’s publication A Study of the Singapore Chinese Modernist Literary Movement (Xinjiapo Huawen xiandai zhuyi wenxue yundong yanjiu) went even further by focusing on the supplements of Nanyang Siang Pau—“Literary Page” (Wenyi), “Literary Miscellany” (Wen cong), “Café” (Kafei zuo), and “Window” (Chuang)—and the Malaysian literary magazine Chao Foon (Jiao feng).4 In the realm of classical literature research, there have been works by Li Qingnian, Yeo Song Nian, and Chew Wee Kai. Li compiled classical Chinese poems in Chinese newspapers to present a rough picture of the progress of classical Chinese poetry in Malaya from 1881 to 1941. Yeo and Chew took a different approach in their 93

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1980 research on both modern and classical literature in Chinese newspaper supplements, and their results were published in Literary Supplements in Early Singapore Chinese Newspapers, 1927–1930 (Xinjiapo zaoqi Huawen baozhang wenyi fukan yanjiu, 1927–1930).5 Meyer Howard Abrams (1912–2015), a scholar of English education in United States, summarized the basic structure of literature in a triangle that encompasses the four elements: world, writer, reader, work.6 This structure formed the foundation of modern literature research. Later, a Chinese scholar James J. Y. Liu (1926–1986) revised the system and organized it into a circular relationship.7 As transmission mediums of literature become more advanced, these two models are expected to undergo further revision. Generally, transmission medium can be anything from spoken language, words, or books to modern newspapers, movies, and the internet. These mediums play a multifaceted role in the transmission of literature. On one hand, a medium can form part of the circle with world, writer, reader, works; it can also be beyond the circle, playing the role of both writer and reader. It is at the center of the literary cycle and also forms the background of literary activities. On the other hand, the medium can turn potential writers and readers into real writers and readers; in a way, the medium creates writers and readers. Similarly, medium can also change literary text into works for circulation. Overall, transmission mediums affect the way we consume literature and the way literature is presented, influence our thinking, and have an impact on societal culture. We also should not ignore the importance of these mediums in our consumption of literature—the role of the journalist and his or her political inclinations; artistic preference; and impact on literary creation, transmission, and criticism. This chapter focuses on the roles mediums have played in the development of Chinese poetry in Singapore and introduces some masterpieces by Singaporean poets who benefited from the mass media. CLASSICAL CHINESE POEMS IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE: PREWAR CHINESE NEWSPAPERS AND THE DISCOVERY OF CLASSICAL POETRY’S VALUE Li Qingnian wrote, “Research materials for Malayan classical poetry came almost entirely from Singapore and Malaya’s newspapers. Before the publication of newspapers in the region, there was no avenue to publish, disseminate, and pass on your poems even if you could write multiple masterpieces.”8 In other words, classical poems entered the public sphere and were disseminated only with the publication of Malaya’s first Chinese newspaper, Lat Pau, in 1881. Over the next sixty years, from 1881 to 1941, the proliferation of Chinese newspapers in Singapore was exponential. Newspapers

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95

were published one after another, including Sing Po, Thien Nan Shin Pao, Jit Shin Pau (Rixin bao), The Union Times (Zonghui xinbao), Chong Shing Yit Pao (Zhongxing ribao), The Sun-Poo (Xingzhou chenbao), Nan Chiau Jit Pao (Nanqiao ribao), Chin Nam Poh, Kok Min Jit Pao (Guomin ribao), Sin Kok Min Jit Pao, Southern Press (Nanduo ribao), Nanyang Siang Pau, Sin Chew Jit Poh, Chunan Morning Post (Zhongnan chenbao), Min Kuo Jit Poh (Minguo ribao), and Sin Chung Jit Poh (Xing Zhong ribao). These papers were the medium of classical poetry transmission; some published poems on a periodic basis and others did so daily. As Singapore is a key congregation point for Malayan Chinese culture and education, many of the poems written in Singapore were also published in Penang and Kuala Lumpur. In Penang, the outlets included Penang Sin Poe (Bingcheng xinbao), Kwong Wah Jit Poh (Guanghua ribao), and Nan Yang Si Pau (Nanyang shibao), while in Kuala Lumpur, they included Yik Khuan Pao (Yiqun bao) and Shin Yik Khuan Pao (Xin yiqun bao).9 The rise of the newspaper industry in the early days led to the vibrant development of classical poetry in the Nanyang region. This effect was unimaginable in China, which was undergoing the modern literary revolution during the same period. Many Chinese academics have commented on this difference in their research on the modern literary revolution, for example: “In Nanyang, due to their amateurish level of artistic expression and lack of readers’ support, the vernacular new literature was in no position to compete or dislodge the mainstream classical Chinese literature, fictions from Mandarin Ducks and Butterfly School, etc. This was entirely different from the vernacular new literature’s dominant position in China’s literary world.”10 The difference reflects the strong position and development of classical Chinese literature, especially classical poems, in Nanyang during that period. Although classical poems were published in Chinese newspapers, they did not appear regularly until the 1900s. Chinese newspapers, such as Lat Pau, Sing Po and Penang Sin Poe, did not allocate a column even to literary works, let alone classical poetry. With the emergence of supplements, classical poetry was published periodically in the papers, no longer blended in the news page; some newspapers even founded literary magazines. The complete list of prewar Malayan newspapers, supplements, and columns that published classical poems is summarized by Li Qingnian in the following table.11 The data provided in Table 4.1 is insufficient to gain an understanding of the role played by Chinese newspapers in the development of classical poetry, but it reflects two points that are worth discussing. First is the preservation of historical texts. Publishing personal anthologies in prewar Singapore was a costly affair that only a select few well-to-do businessmen such as Khoo Seok Wan and Tan Ean Kiam could afford. Most poems composed in this era were published in Malayan and Singaporean newspapers, including but not limited to poetry societies’ competition pieces and

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Supplement / Column Name

Lat Pau Supplement (Lebao fuzhang); Literary Garden (Wen yuan); Literary Column (Wenyi lan); Lat Pau Club (Lebao julebu); Poetic World (Shi jie); Coconut Grove (Ye lin); Leisure (Xianxia); etc. Poetry Attached for Publishing (Shigao fudeng); Record of Poetry Attached (Shizhang fulu); Solicit Comments on Poetry (Shizhang jiuzheng); etc.

Records of Improving Intelligence (Yizhi lu); Garden of Song Lyrics (Ci yuan); Poetic World (Shi jie); Poetry and Prose (Cizhang); Literary World (Wen yuan); Special Issue of Poetry (Shici zhuanhao); Radio Station (Wuxian diantai); The Boundless Universe (Daqian shijie); Oriental Garden (Dongfang huayuan); etc.

Unsolicited Manuscripts (Wairen laigao); Classified Record of Unsolicited Poetry (Laishi leilu); Miscellaneous Works Attached (Zazhu fukan); Poets’ Masterpieces (Ciren miaohan); etc.

Period

1881.12–1932.03

1890.02–1898.08

1895.08–1941.09

1898.05–1905.04

Lat Pau

Sing Po

Penang Sin Poe

Thien Nan Shin Pao

Title

Author(s)

Tu Nan Club Members; Hui Yin Club Members; Lize Club Members; Khoo Seok Wan; etc. Yu Dafu; Zeng Mengbi; Guo Bifeng; Chen Xiuli; Shi Ruiyu; Khoo Seok Wan; Huang Chunqian; Zhang Mingci; Ye Qiutao; Guan Zhenmin; Wu Taishan; Xie Songshan; etc. Khoo Seok Wan; Qin Lishan; Qiu Fengjia; Chen Baochen; Wang Enxiang; Pan Feisheng; Xiao Yatang; etc.

Tan Club Members; Sin Chew Three-Mountain Society Members;1 Yeh Chi Yun; etc.

Table 4.1  List of Literary Supplements or Columns in Early Singaporean Chinese Newspapers

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Editor(s)

Khoo Seok Wan; Xu Jijun; Lin Hongsun; Huang Shizhong; Huang Boyao; etc.

Zeng Juemin; Tang Mingwu; Zeng Mengbi; etc.

Xiao Qingqi; Ho Ying Yuen; etc.

Yeh Chi Yun; Chow Kue Nam; Chen Lianqing; Pan Shou; etc.

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1907.08–1910.02

1908.06–1941.09

1909.08–1910.11

1910.12–1941.12

1911.10–1914.03

Chong Shing Yit Pao

The Union Times

The Sun-Poo

Kwong Wah Jit Poh

Nan Chiau Jit Pao2

Wishful Thinking (Fei fei); Lodge with Poetry (Ci lin); Literary World (Wen yuan); etc. Literary World (Wen yuan); Poetic World (Shi jie); Selected Poems (Shi xuan); Poetic Miscellany (Shi cong); Poetic Circle (Shitan); Readers in Out-of-business Hours (Gongyu duzhe); Supplement of The Union Times (Zonghui fukan); Social Snapshots (Shehui huaxu); Cameron Highlands (Jinmalun gaoyuan); Sunset (Ri luo); Talking about Union (Tan hui); Cosmic Wind (Shiji feng); Metropolis (Duhui); etc. Alarm Bell of Dream (Jingmeng zhong); Garden of Song Lyrics (Ci yuan); etc. Kwong Wah Magazine (Guanghua zazhi); The Voice of Sailing (Fan sheng); Rosy Clouds of Dawn (Zhao xia); Hard Stone (Wan shi); Chinese National Culture (Guo xue); Air Itam; Supplement Weekly (Xingqi fukan); Brilliance (Canlan); etc. Literary World (Wen yuan)

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Revolutionaries; Nanshe Members.

Wu Zhihan; Liu Hanquan; etc. Ruan Xiang; Rao Baiying; Zeng Mengbi; Chen Xiuli; Guan Zhenmin; Sun Songqiao; etc.

Members of the Muar Thien Nam Poetry Society (Mapo tiannan yinshe); Zheng Shengbao ; He Youduan; Zhong Bichun; Zheng Ruzhen; Liu Si; Yu Hua; Liu Chucai; Chen Xiuli; etc.

Tongmenghui Members; etc.

(Continued)

Huang Jichen; Lu Yaotang; etc.

Zhou Fobao; Xie Xinzhun; etc. Wen Zihui; Ruan Xiang; Zeng Mengbi; Li Shaoyue; Huang Fengxiang; etc.

Wang Fu; Tian Tong; etc. Feng Lieshan; Hu Mai; Khoo Seok Wan; Qiu Zongni; Huang Yuyuan etc.

Medium 97

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1913.01–1920.09

1914.05–1919.06

1919.03–1934.11

1919.10–1940.12

1922.06–1930.04

Chin Nam Poh

Kok Min Jit Pao

Yik Khuan Pao

Sin Kok Min Jit Pao

Nan Yang Si Pau

Literary World (Wen yuan); Poetic World (Shi jie); Poets’ Exchange with Poems (Haitian chouchang); etc. Kok Min Club (Guomin julebu); Literary World (Wen yuan); Poetic World (Shi yuan); Selected Poems (Shi xuan); Poems and Song Lyrics (Shici); etc. Palace with Stamen Bead (Ruizhu gong); Selected Poems (Shi xuan); Morning Sun (Chen guang); Sounds of Nature (Tiansheng zhi lai); Ocean of Learning (Xue hai); Literary Talent (Wen zao); Morning Bell (Chen zhong); Yik Khuan Magazine (Yiqun zazhi); etc. Sin Kok Min Magazine (Xin guomin zazhi); Poetic World (Shi jie); The World of Poetry (Shige shijie); Snowflake (Xue hua); Tiny Stream (Juan juan); Overseas Chinese Park (Huaqiao gongyuan); New Garden (Xin yuandi); etc. Litchi (Li); Thread of Sea (Hai si); Poetry (Shi); Glimmer (Wei guang); Common Kindness (Tong shan); August (Ba yue); etc. Chen Songyao; Zeng Mengbi; Guo Bifeng; Luo Shisheng; Cao Xiangzhi; etc.

Liao Shunchen; Xiaoya; Hengsheng; Tansheng; Huang Zaopan; Lee Tiat Ming ; Zhang Shu’nai; etc.

Khoo Seok Wan; Wang Junxia; Li Peh Khai; Zhuo Liuming; etc. Zhu Liangren; Cheng Shewo; Wu Dunmin; Wu Yanhan; Li Peh Khai; Members of the Nanshe; etc. Zeng Qingping; Li Yaocong; Liang Chunlei; He Xin’gu; Fan Jingxing; etc.

Table 4.1  List of Literary Supplements or Columns in Early Singaporean Chinese Newspapers (Continued)

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Chen Qingshan; Chen Jiuyan; etc.

Zhang Shu’nai; Khoo Seok Wan; etc.

Wu Dunmin; Zeng Xinying; etc.

Lei Tieya; Yao Yuanchu; etc.

Khoo Seok Wan

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Magazine for Out-of-business Hours (Shangyu zazhi); The Lion’s Voice (Shi sheng); The Morning Wind (Xiao feng); Platform for Chanting (Yin’e tai); etc.

An Array of Stars (Fan xing); Amusement Park (Youyi chang); etc.

Public Garden (Gonggong yuandi); A Desolate Place in the South (Nan huang); 1933; 1934; etc. Star Sea (Xing hai); Star Cloud (Xing yun); Star Universe (Xing yu); etc.

1923.09–1941.12 1945.09– 1983.033

1929.01–1941.12 1945.09–1983.03

1930.01–1934.10

1935.09–1940.04

Nanyang Siang Pau

Sin Chew Jit Poh

Min Kuo Jit Poh

Sin Chung Jit Poh

Members of Tan Club; Khoo Seok Wan; Li Boming; Li Letian; etc. Tan Club Members; Members of Muar Thien Nam Poetry Society; Huang Hezhong; Fan Zibai; Huang Bojun; Li Hanxiu; Hong Laiyi; Xie Wenhua; Liu Si; etc. Khoo Seok Wan; Li Xilang; Yu Dafu; Huang Menggui; Liu Chucai; Zhao Guanhai; Hsieh Yun-sheng; etc. Jiuyong; Pangyin; Wu Xiao; Douniu; etc. Yu Dafu; Li Xilang; Yao Chuying; Huang Zhihong; Master Taixu; etc. Hu Shouyu;Zhong Jiemin;Hu Mai; etc.

Ma Kangren; Ma Dieying; Zhou Jingzhi; etc.

Fu Wumen; Guan Chupu; Li Mengxian; Khoo Seok Wan; Lin Jian’an; Yu Dafu; etc.

Khoo Seok Wan; Zeng Shengti; Peng Song Toh; etc.

Khoo Seok Wan

1

In January 1927, Yan Yiyuan, Jiang Xizhi, Huang Mingqi, Lin Laochen, Ni Jianming, Ge Fusheng set up the Sin Chew Three-Mountain Chanting Society (Xingzhou sanshan yinshe) and published their works on Lat Pau’s supplement “Lat Pau Club.” 2 This newspaper was not related to the Nan Chiau Jit Poh established after the war. 3 Sin Chew Jit Poh and Nanyang Siang Pau merged to form Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao in March 1983. As a result, Sin Chew Jit Poh closed in Singapore and proceeded in Malaysia since then.

Daybreak (Liming); Readers’ Club (Duzhe julebu); etc.

1923.05–1925.04

Southern Press

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individual submissions. Newspapers are especially important for the recording and dissemination of poems by lesser-known, unknown, and amateur writers. For instance, in 1903, Lat Pau’s editor, Yeh Chi Yun, published twenty-three “Sin Chew Songs of Bamboo Branches” under his pseudonym Xiaohan in Thien Nan Shin Pao and Lat Pau.12 However, none of these was included in the anthology of Yeh’s poems compiled by Tan Yeok Seong. In other words, the development and evolution of the Singaporean and Malayan newspapers, especially their supplements, is also a history of the development of early Chinese literature—classical and modern. Therefore, any comprehensive research on Singaporean Chinese poetry must include a study of local Chinese newspapers. In addition to being works of literature, these poems chronicled major historical events from the late Qing Dynasty to the end of World War II, such as the Sino-Japanese War, the Reform Movement, the Revolution of 1911, the New Culture Movement, and the Anti-Japanese War. This “poetic history” reflected the overseas Chinese’s concern for and emotions about the political situation in China, which is where the true value of these poems lies. In the 1930s, Malaya’s educational system and culture underwent a process of “Malayanization” that promoted localization and a stronger Malayan identity.13 However, whenever a major event occurred in China, the patriotism of the overseas Chinese drew their attention to China, forming a stumbling block to Malayanization. Hence, the poems written and published in newspapers reflected both historical events and the poets’ complex national identity. Second is the preservation of a poem’s original state. A masterpiece is not achieved overnight; it must undergo a process of polishing and fine-tuning. The same applies to poetry; a poet might have composed a poem and published it in the newspaper, but years later, he might include an improved version in his own anthology. A comparison and study of these works provide a glimpse of the poet’s revision process, contributing to a better understanding of his works. An example is Shi Ruiyu’s “Spending the Summer at Leisure,” published in Lat Pau in 1925 and Collected Poems of Master Ruiyu in 1939. In the poem published in 1925, he wrote: Coconut trees, the sea and sounds of the tide; across the waters a small boat floats. The boatman whispers and sculls slowly, a breezy afternoon under the lush shade along the shore.14 椰林海色漫潮声, 十里烟波一棹轻. 低语榜 (bang) 人双桨缓, 绿荫傍 (bang) 岸午风清.

In the piece published in 1939, he wrote: Coconut trees, the sea and sounds of the tide; across the waters a small boat floats.

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The boatman is asked to slow his rowing, a breezy afternoon under the low lush shade.15

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椰林海色漫潮声, 十里烟波一棹轻. 吩咐榜人双桨缓, 绿荫低处午风清.

Revisions were made to the last two lines, most likely to avoid the repetition of the homophones bang and not because of metrical issues. It was also not uncommon for poets to exclude poems with which they were unsatisfied from their anthologies. Ruiyu’s poem mentioned above was one of a set of four poems when published in Lat Pau, but only one was included in the later anthology. Similarly, Huang Zunxian’s Draft Poems from the Hut of the Human World (Renjinglu shicao) did not include his set of poems “Fifty Poems on Brides” (Xinjia’niang wushi shou), (See Figure 4.1) but this set was included in another poetic compilation, Three Hundred Female Poems (Guici sanbai shou), edited by He Youduan. Three Hundred Female Poems was a 1934 compilation of the poems previously published in The Union Times’s supplements. If we compare the version of “Fifty Poems on Brides” published in Three Hundred Female Poems with the one in the Zhonghua Publishing House’s compilation Supplements of the Poems from the Hut of the Human World (Renjinglu jiwai shiji), published in 1960, some differences are apparent.16 Therefore, the poems published in the early newspapers give us an idea of what some poems were like originally. By studying the evolution of such poems, we can gain a better understanding of the poet’s writing skills and preferences. In addition to serving as a medium of transmission and preservation of literary works, these early newspapers played a more crucial role in moving the poet’s work from a “private sphere” to the “public sphere,” a philosophical and social theory popularized in the 1960s in which a poet’s “text” is presented as a literary “work” to the audience. It is important to elaborate on the four concepts of “private sphere,” “public sphere,” “text,” and “work” to support my analysis in subsequent sections. “Public sphere” is a translation of the German term Öffentlichkeit, which has multiple meanings. The German philosopher Jürgen Habermas defined it as a network for the exchange of views and information, but his definition undoubtedly focuses too much on the political public sphere, especially the bourgeois public sphere.17 Thus, I am more inclined to Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s definition: The public sphere denotes specific institutions, agencies, practices (e.g., those connected with law enforcement, the press, public opinion, the public, public sphere work, streets, and public squares); however, it is also a general social horizon of experience in which everything that is actually or ostensibly relevant for all members of society is integrated. Understood in this sense, the public sphere is a matter of a handful of professionals (e.g., politicians, editors, union officials) on one hand; on the other, it concerns everyone and realizes itself only in people’s minds, in a dimension of their consciousness.18

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Figure 4.1  Huang Zunxian, “Xinjia’niang wushi shou” (“Fifty Poems on Brides”), in He Youduan, ed., Guici sanbaishou (Three Hundred Female Poems), Guangzhou: Stereotype Edition, 1934, 16–19. This version is now held in the Sun Yat-sen University Library in Guangzhou.

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Applying this definition to our discussion, we can identify newspapers as the public sphere, which serves both as a platform for the dissemination of the poet’s works and as a way of conveying his or her personal ideas. In other words, the public domain connects the publisher and the recipient of the message: it is consistent with the current views of literary composition, communication, and consumption, but it abides by Habermas’s argument that the public sphere requires “specific means for transmitting information and influencing those who receive it.”19 Next, we look at the relationship between literary “text” and literary “work,” and they are closely related to the previous set of concepts. The French literary critic Roland Barthes defined “text” as follows: “It is the phenomenal surface of the literary work; it is the texture/fabric of words engaged in the work and arranged in such a way as to impose a stable and as much as possible unique meaning.”20 However, this maintenance and presentation of literature’s value are only material and partial. Placed at different times in history and read by different readers, literature finds its value only when it is in the form of a literary “work,” as literature in this form is heightened to the spiritual and accessible level. If texts mean written words, then literary works are the addition of meaning and value to these sets of words. Hence, when a product is considered a literary “work,” it is appreciated for its aesthetic beauty and has earned its value as a piece of literature. Before the emergence of newspapers in Singapore, there were no anthologies, and the dissemination of poems was confined to poetic gatherings and physical correspondence. Such limited transmission meant that masterpieces by many poets were recorded mainly in their handwritten “anthologies” (texts). Only with widespread publication in the newspapers did classical poems flood the Singaporean literary scene. The newspaper editors and commentators’ appreciation, revision, and interpretation of these poems before their publication served to further raise their spiritual value. When the literary texts transfer into literary works, the value would be multiplied, no longer a personal narcissistic or appreciation only in small circle. In the early days of CCPS, the spiritual value of these works could be generally described in three categories: aesthetic appreciation, cultural representation, and social and political participation. The newspaper medium no doubt played a crucial role in this process. The first value to focus on is literary aesthetics. The portrayal by the firstgeneration Chinese poets of Singapore was reminiscent of their homesickness; their longing for family, friends, and lovers; and Singapore’s natural flora and fauna was limited to their personal emotions or personal sphere. Making these public does not bring any tangible benefits but merely conveys to the readers the value of literary aesthetics. This concept is similar to Habermas’s idea of the “literary public sphere.” Although his intention was for

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an educated group of people in the press, cafés, salons, and other gathering places to share their opinions to contend with the strong political culture of the court, he also believed that reading is the key to entering the public sphere and that by reading literary works, people form a dialogue between their personal experiences and their readings and eventually share their discoveries with others in the public sphere. He used letters and diaries as examples: An idiomatic expression current at the time described the well-composed letter as “pretty enough to print.” Thus, the directly or indirectly audience-oriented subjectivity of the letter exchange or diary explained the origin of the typical genre and authentic literary achievement of that century: the domestic novel, the psychological description in autobiographical form.21

Admittedly, the large number of poems written about Singapore’s geographical location, natural flora and fauna, and customs by the early poets constitutes a great amount of difference. However, when these poems were published in newspapers and entered the public sphere, readers could still form a reasonable understanding of the similarities and could interpret the differences as the personality and poetic style of the individual poet. When poets create a certain number of such emotional poems and when readers consume enough of them, the readers will inevitably be affected by these emotions and form a community, region, or society of common emotional tendencies. Take a few poems on the Mid-autumn Festival, for example: The relentless moon provokes my homesickness; my arbitrary chanting would kill the boring time.

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When I sing the most sorrowful verse, how do I control my sadness?22 无情明月惹乡心, 客思无聊放浪吟. 最是伤怀弦管处, 教人烦恼总难禁. Picking up the glass and singing songs of my hometown, the sojourner cannot return due to the distance of ten thousand miles. Asking for the moon tonight, can you forever shine on my glass?23 樽前曲唱念家山, 万里羁人未得还. 为问海天今夜月, 可能长照酒杯间. The suffering hovering at the top of the empty mountain, the bright moon disappoints the reunion of the Mid-autumn Festival. In the world, I should have no place to stand, no matter what deciduous wandering in the cold hometown.24 痛苦空山最上头, 团圆明月负中秋. 红尘托足应无地, 落叶飘零冷九州.

Before the publication of these poems, we can be sure that they would like to express the personal homesickness of the poets, rather than deliberately instilling the common feelings to the public. However, after their publication and consumption, the readers would inevitably be infected by these emotions

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and form a collective consciousness, which in turn would inspire more poets to create this kind of poetry. At this point, the aesthetic value of poetry is no longer nonutilitarian. Without a doubt, the evolution of literature from nonutilitarian to utilitarian is due to publication in the public sphere. The second kind of value involves the literary reemergence of the multicultural society. As we know, Singapore has been a multicultural and multiracial community since its founding. As is deeply felt by its residents, the low level of education has been an impediment to the understanding of other ethnicities. Hence, each ethnic group has only a superficial understanding of another’s skin color, language, customs, and practices. In actuality, the ethnic and cultural composition of this island is far more complicated than what the average scholar could imagine. Among the Chinese community alone, there are Hokkiens, Cantonese, Hakka, Hainanese, and so on. The government and print media has promoted mutual respect and ethnic harmony through extensive publicity. In particular, news, reports, and editorials of newspapers played an important role in this promotion, with explicit information and instruction on racial issues. The supplements and columns on literature were also channels for the promotion of racial harmony, but in a more implicit and subtle manner. To take a typical example, local multicultural literature is best seen in the “Songs of Bamboo Branches.” Li Qingnian compiled 4,197 folksongs from seventeen Chinese newspapers in Southeast Asia.25 Among them, “Sin Chew Songs of Bamboo Branches” recorded the multicultural reality of Singapore and how each ethnic group traditionally celebrated its respective festivals. “Malacca Songs of Bamboo Branches,” “Ipoh Songs of Bamboo Branches,” and “Johor Songs of Bamboo Branches” chronicled Malayan customs and practices beyond Singapore. “Vietnam Songs of Bamboo Branches” recorded the customs and practices of Vietnam; “Singkawang Songs of Bamboo Branches” provided a beautiful sketch of the aborigine’s life in Borneo; “Traveling through Yangon” (Yangguang lüci nanyou zagan) and “Siam Travels” (Xiannan jiyou) recorded the flora, fauna, and cultures of Myanmar and Thailand. It is conceivable that this multicultural literature and diverse cultural landscapes would not have found readers if not for the Chinese newspapers in both Singapore and Malaya. Despite some subtle discrimination, the poets were mainly respectful of and interested in the lives of other nationalities and ethnicities. There is no doubt that editorial review and censorship played a critical role in reviewing the poems before publication, which aided readers’ understanding of multiculturalism and the importance of mutual respect. Certainly, editors of newspapers had a different focal point when selecting poems on Chinese issues and those of other ethnicities. The poems selected on Malay and Indian culture usually focused on the superficial issues of these ethnic groups, such as discussions of their clothing, diet, festivals, customs, practices, and so on. In comparison, poems on Chinese culture were expected

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to go more deeply into issues such as the problems faced by the Chinese community. The Chinese community shared a unique poetic style—Changhe poetry—that reflected their belief that “poems can bring people together.” Changhe poems come in various forms and cover a wide range of topics. They can occur between the local literati and the sojourner poets; between the literati and the non-literati—like politicians, professionals, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and so on; and between the literati living in Singapore and those in other Southeast Asian countries. Of course, just by sharing Changhe poems, a community cannot be formed, but the publication of these poems in the press does form a virtual loose cultural circle among them. In terms of poetic topics, some poets might delve deeper by discussing cultural issues. For example, Xiao Yatang wrote five “Poems of a Lady Sojourner” (fanke fu yin) chronicling the evil nature and greed of China’s coastal region, where one man married off his daughter into the faraway land of Nanyang, and that daughter longed for her home in China but had no hope of returning. This set of poems reflected the harsh reality of the Chinese marriage culture and its obsession with wealth. The poems were well received, with one commentator noting: “In classical language, you speak of human relationships; it’s so moving that many think of leaving behind their families and returning home. It is far sincerer than the line ‘She regrets urging her husband to seek honors and power’ in a Tang poem.”26 In addition, multicultural poetry touched on cross-cultural issues, including cultural comparisons between China and foreign societies and among different regions, which shall not be further discussed here. The third value lies in active participation in social and political activities. As early settlers in Nanyang, the overseas Chinese were constantly concerned about their motherland. This concern is clear in the poems written by the intellectuals of the day, who spoke of the unequal treatment of Chinese laborers to arouse the resentment of the residents against the British colonial masters. In addition to creating a public space for literature and culture, the early Chinese-language press created a public sphere for the discussion of social and political issues among the intellectual community and readers. Let us examine those discussing China’s current affairs. According to the Tu Nan Club’s list of literary topics published from October 1891 to December 1894, most of the essay topics were related to social, political, economic, and overseas Chinese affairs, while those for poems were, as usual, nonpolitical. However, in October 1894, a military-themed poem read: “In the naval battle of 26 June, a small warship equipped in Guangyi ocean cruiser defeated three Japanese battleships. The courageous Lin Guoxiang (1851–1908), a Penang native, was captain; this poem is written to commemorate his actions.”27 After China’s defeat in the Sino-Japanese War, Sing Po published numerous pieces “Lamenting Current Affairs” (shishi

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yougan) by a writer with the pseudonym Semarang Peranakan (Longchuan jiuke). One line read, “The great capital did not stay great and fell [during the war], the powerful sea [Weihai] did not have powerful battleships, and these sank [during the war]. 盛京未盛城多陷, 威海不威舰半沉.”28 Thereafter, Singaporean Chinese newspapers saw numerous poems written on the subsequent major historical events that occurred in China, including but not limited to the Revolution of 1911, the New Culture Movement, the dispute between the Communist Party and the Kuomintang, and the Second Sino-Japanese War. The most representative of these was the competition for public opinion by the Singapore branch of Tongmenghui and the Royal Factions. In ca. 1905, they established the Tu Nan Daily (Tu’nan ribao), The Union Times, Chong Shing Yit Pao, The Sun-Poo, and Nan Chiau Jit Pao as their propaganda machines. Despite the frequent changes in the leadership of these newspapers, Tongmenghui members or editors with revolutionary tendencies were generally in control of the articles and made use of them to spread passionate propaganda. In July 1907, the leader of the Guangfuhui (Society for Restoration), Xu Xilin (1873–1907), was killed in the Anqing Uprising, while the member of the Tongmenghui, Qiu Jin (1875–1907), was also killed in Shaoxing. When news of these events reached Nanyang, the month-old newspaper Chong Shing Yit Pao published poems in its supplements in memory of these martyrs. One of these poems read: “The cold wind swept all over the southern Anhui, suddenly increasing the chill of Zhejiang Province. When the mountains and rivers were broken for a long time, the pillars of country and family just collapsed. 酸风一夜刮皖水, 顿使钱塘冷气增. 大地山河久破碎, 高堂栋梁方折崩.”29 A year after their deaths, the same newspaper published a memorial supplement in which Chen Dianbang’s “In Anniversary Memory of Xu Xilin in Jakarta” (Badawei zhounian zhuiji Xu Xilin xiansheng) read: “Due to deadly feud, you sacrificed your lives to recover the lost field. As a Chinese overseas, I have no chance to serve the homeland like Mr. Xu; more sadness felt into the wind. 为念深仇不戴天, 捐躯雪耻复中原. 吾侨未抚徐君剑, 几度临风倍怆然!”30 Xian Wu also wrote a “Responding Xu Peiyu’s Poem in Memory of Qiu Jin” (Bu Xu Peiyu nüshi diao Qiu Jin nüshi yuanyun), which read: “The wind and rain in autumn made the dusk colder, tears dropped into your last poetry volume. I try to chant ‘The Great Summons’ [Da zhao] for filling the deep resentment, consoling with the national spirit rather than you. 秋风秋雨冷黄昏, 一卷遗诗有泪痕. 我赋大招填怨海, 香魂不吊吊国魂.”31 Next, let us turn to with local political concerns. The poetry of Zuo Binglong, one of the Chinese consuls in Singapore during the late Qing Dynasty, was rarely related to local politics, as his character was gentle and cautious and the colonial government adopted a policy of suppressing the overseas

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Chinese laborers’ speech. The next consul, Huang Zunxian, might have included many topics related to local politics in the poetic themes for the Tu Nan Club, but he never published his personal poems in the local press. Therefore, his contributions to the overseas Chinese society were limited to actions and reports by the press rather than the poems he penned. However, Yang Qi had a seven-character classical poem chronicling the four hundred to five hundred years of the Chinese ancestors’ development of the various islands in Nanyang and expressing his disappointment that these lands had fallen into the hands of the Western colonial powers. This poem was included in Poems from the Ten-Thousand Country Chamber (Jiangshan wanlilou shici chao), published in 1926, and in the first volume and third installment of Hong Kong’s Min Feng Magazine in 1939. The latter was a biweekly publication printed by the Republican Chinese government and intended for circulation among the overseas Chinese; hence, it was easily found in Singapore.32 After the outbreak of the Pacific War and the Japanese invasion, Singapore came under heavy attack by Japan. The overseas Chinese fled, and all the Chinese newspapers ceased publication. Shortly after the war, Xie Songshan used his pseudonym “Survivor from Catastrophe” (Haojie yusheng) to pen almost one hundred poems titled “Syonan Songs of Bamboo Branches” (Zhaonan zhuzhici). These poems chronicling the fascist crimes of the Japanese were published in Nan Chiau Jit Pao and received much attention. In general, current affairs, whether international or domestic, were reported in a neutral and reliable manner in the news column of the newspaper. In contrast, literary works published in supplements, although they covered a great range of current affairs, tended to be more emotional and to reflect the author’s point of view. Hence, one incident could be presented very differently in a piece of news and in a literary work, giving readers different perspectives on the same issue and with one sometimes filling in details overlooked by the other. This situation was well articulated by Xie Songshan in November 1945: “I’ve lived here for three years and I have seen and heard a lot. If I do not share it now, I am afraid it will fall into oblivion. Hence, like our ancestors, I am penning these as ‘Songs of Bamboo Branches,’ which include numerous pieces, each poem recording an incident. Though I’m just writing history based on my memory and might be unreliable, let’s take it as casual speech and understand how the Syonan people suffered under more than three years of Japanese rule.”33 Sometimes a witness’s description is better than a factual historical record. In short, the emergence of modern newspapers expanded the dissemination of Singapore’s early classical Chinese poetry, pushing it into the public sphere and into the reader’s view. More importantly, once the poems were published in the newspapers, the aesthetic value, cultural reproduction or

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social and political participation in the works was fully displayed, thus affecting the public’s reading cognition and emotional experience.

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MODERN MEDIA AND THE EARLY “NEW-TYPE POETRY” OF SINGAPORE Since the late Qing period, China has undergone years of national decline, the invasion of Western powers, and the permeation of Western technology and culture. The Chinese bourgeoisie formed an independent political force, launching and leading a liberation movement that was unprecedented in modern Chinese history. At the same time, a literary revolution was under way. Liang Qichao, one of the leaders of this revolution, mentioned “poetry revolution,” “prose revolution,” “fiction revolution,” “drama reform,” and so on. However, before Xia Zengyou (1863–1924) and Liang Qichao advocated the “poetry revolution” in 1985, Huang Zunxian, Kang Youwei, and Tan Sitong (1865–1898) had already begun writing the new-style poems. They encouraged the use of traditional Chinese poetry forms to describe and express new Western ideas, new thoughts, and new things. Huang coined the term “new-type poetry” (xinpai shi), and Liang summed up its characteristics as follows: “First, it must have a new artistic conception; second, it must have new sentence structures, and it must be written in the style of the ancients.”34 Huang advocated the writing of new-type poetry and emphasized that it should retain the fundamental aspects of traditional poetry: “Running the style of parallelism according to the essence of separate sentences” and “Writing the poetry using the flexible approach of ancient prose writers.” For subject matter, poets should “include subjects the ancients have not written on, places they have not gone, and things they have not seen; these should be written into poems.”35 When studying new-type poetry, contemporary scholars tend to emphasize the important role it played in the transformation process of old Chinese literature into new literature and neglect the relationship between the emergence of the new poetry and modern media. In fact, beginning in August 1895, Kang Youwei, Liang Qichao, and other reformers founded over thirty newspapers to advocate revolutionary ideas and serve as a platform for the publication of new-type poetry, including the Sino-Foreign News (Zhongwai jiwen), Self-Strengthening News (Qiangxue bao), Chinese Progress (Shiwu bao), Reformer China (Zhixin bao), Hunan Reform News (Xiangxue bao), National News Daily (Guowen bao), Hunan News (Xiang bao), New People Miscellany (Xinmin congbao), and so on. For example, over 500 new-type poems by more than forty poets appeared in the column “The Sounds of the Poetic World” (Shijie chaoyin ji) in New People Miscellany between 1902 and 1904.

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Unlike the diplomatic envoys and elites who could study overseas and had a better understanding of the Western world and its ideas and terms, the literati class had a limited understanding of these things before the influx of Western missionaries. Thus, these newspapers served as important sources of Western information for the literati. Poets in Singapore had an advantage over poets in China in this sense, as Singapore had long been a British colonial state and its residents could easily obtain information about the West. Huang was viewed as having attained the highest achievements in the field of the poetry revolution, and the birth of Singapore’s new-type poetry was due to his active advocacy. Although Huang’s career brought him to Japan, Singapore, Europe, and the United States, his wealth of knowledge and information did not come entirely from his own experiences; various newspapers served to supplement his knowledge. When he presided over the Tu Nan Club, he set the following topic for writing in October 1892: “Persuading the Chinese to read more newspapers to expand their knowledge.” Wang Pan’gui, the winner of that month’s contest, wrote, “There were no newspapers in the past, and it arrived from the West. The West printed newspapers, with over a thousand publishing houses, or a thousand publishing houses, or over a hundred publishing houses. Everyone from the Emperor to its citizens, regardless of men and women, saw the importance of newspapers and gained information from far beyond their homes. We Chinese placed too much emphasis on the classics, history, and literature and ignored newspapers. This limits our point of view and causes a skewed understanding of the world. Now the Chinese mimic the West and understand the importance of the newspaper, knowing that it only records truth and disseminates information fast. It enlightens and educates people, surpassing traditional literature and history.”36 Huang’s choice of this topic showed the importance he placed on newspapers, and his choice of Wang’s entry showed that he agreed with it. In fact, Huang attached great importance to the role news played in the expansion of knowledge, coinciding with the contemporary saying “Medium is knowledge.” In late Qing China, Shanghai’s Shun Pao made a clear distinction between the types of knowledge and the various kinds of communication to which the Chinese people had access: historical texts, geographical publications, and annals contain vast information, but they are information and stories of the past. Novels and stories are generally absurd and baseless. Only newspapers “record current affairs,” “everything from a country’s politics to changes in its customs, to negotiations with foreigners, to the pros and cons of trade, to what a person can be afraid of, worried about and happy for”; as long as “they are new things people want to know, they will be reported.”37 Since these are contemporary issues, new ideas and new terms will be used to describe them. To sum up, Singapore’s early new-type poetry contained mainly the three style discussed in the following sections.

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Current Affairs in Poetry One of the common topics for early CCPS was the use of current affairs as poetic subjects, with poems either commenting on these affairs or expressing the poet’s feelings about them. In 1940, Khoo Seok Wan wrote a poem about the assassination of Leon Trotsky (1879–1940) that read: “The rise of a new nation and that of a conspiracy, then he was sent in exile to another land. It is a pity that he died in his supporter’s hands; no amount of prevention could have avoided that. 新国功成感异谋, 频年亡命寄他洲. 可怜卒死门徒手, 防友难于御血仇.”38 Trotsky was the Soviet leader of the Bolsheviks, a commander of the October Revolution, a founder of the Soviet Red Army, and the spiritual leader of the Fourth International. He was also a revolutionary, military strategist, political theorist, and writer. After Lenin’s (1870–1924) death, he was forced out of the core of the Soviet Communist Party leadership and went into exile; in 1940, he was killed in Mexico City by Stalin’s (1878–1953) assassins. Among the papers of that time, Nanyang Siang Pau had numerous reports and commentaries on Trotsky’s exile and the subsequent events. In February 1937, it was already printing the news that Stalin intended to send assassins to Mexico to assassinate him.39 Trotsky survived two assassination attempts: the first occurred on May 25, 1940, and although frightened, he was not injured. A story in Nanyang Siang Pau the next day stated: “It was reported there were people who pretended to be soldiers and policemen and broke into Trotsky’s residence. After subduing five policemen, they openly fired at his room. Trotsky and his wife survived the assassination by getting out of bed and lying on the ground.”40 The second assassination attempt occurred on August 20, 1940. The following day, Reuters reported the details: “This time around, Trotsky was attacked by others from behind with iron mallets. He was injured on the right shoulder and knees, which showed that he was still being attacked in his fall.” A similar account appeared in the morning edition of Nanyang Siang Pau on August 22 with the headline “Trotsky assassinated by a French Jew and injured without hope of survival, the assassin has been arrested.”41 In fact, Trotsky died at 7:35 pm on August 21. Therefore, Nanyang Siang Pau’s August 22 evening edition included a comprehensive report with the title “Trotsky passed away last night” and mentioned that the “assassin was a supporter of Trotsky” as well as giving a brief biography of the man.42 Soon after, Khoo composed the poem “On Trotsky’s Portrait,” (Tuoluosiji yixiang tiba) to express his condolences.43 Khoo composed another poem in memory of the late Queen Victoria of Britain in 1901, which was written after Khoo learned about the Queen’s death from the news. Lat Pau reported the news of “British Queen is ill” on January 21, 1901, before replacing the headline with “British Queen in grave

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condition” the following day. On January 23, the newspapers confirmed that the “news of the British Queen’s passing has arrived” at 4 pm on January 22. Reports of the Queen’s passing were still appearing in the papers on January 25, with one reading, “Everyone in the Straits, citizens and officials alike, is upset and mourning.”44 Khoo then wrote, “A storm brews above the river in the morning, the sound of thunder mixes with the wails from cries,”45 which was a representation of the feelings of the people in Singapore. Doubtless, Khoo would not have been able to compose this mourning poem if not for the news he read. However, other than its title, no new terms were included in the poem; all the imagery and allusions used were common in traditional Chinese literature. Thus, the classical literature format can be employed to address current affairs, even those of Western countries. Examples include Lee Choon Seng’s “Poem on Sending the British Pound in Response to Governor Thomson’s Wife’s Call for Wartime Relief” (Hui Yingjin xiangying podu Tangmusi furen zai Yinglun huyu jiuji zhanshi shangnan de shudian ganfu);46 Tan Ean Kiam’s “Reading the News on the Eight Million Unemployed in Europe and America” (Yuebao zai Oumei laogong shiyeshu da babaiwan ganzuo),47 and Li Xilang’s “Mourning President Roosevelt” (Wan Luosifu zongtong).48 Of course, occasional comical events also inspired poems such as Lee Choon Seng’s “A Battle between Man and Rats” (Ren shu dazhan ganyong). Lee wrote a short note to the poem: “The news reported that a farmer named Victor in Beuysmon farm, France, felt a huge pain in his shoulder. When he observed a rat chewing on his shoulder and tried to kill it with a fork, unexpectedly, over 200 rats came from all directions and attacked the farmer. Three other farmers came to his rescue, and after over an hour of bitter fighting, they killed 63 of the rats while sustaining injuries themselves.”49 Technological Terms in Poetry Huang Zunxian was serving as a diplomat in the Qing embassy to Britain in 1890. During his appointment, he chose the traditional Music Bureau Poetry (yuefu shi) for “Modern Parting” (Jin bieli) to write about modern topics such as railway trains, steamships, telegrams, lighting, and other phenomena.50 He cleverly married modern science and technology in a traditional song about wanderers missing their loved ones. Similarly, Khoo Seok Wan composed a set of poems in 1937 titled “Modern Wandering in Transcendence” (Jin youxian), writing about communication with Mars, moon exploration, hotair balloons, and microscopes. One of the more interesting poems read: “A white circle of lights, opening a new era in science. A text without words but only heavenly symbols, it says we are waiting for the Martians’ arrival. 白光圈子净皑皑, 冰极新将记录开. 无字天书有符号, 答词日盼火星来.”51

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A report in Nanyang Siang Pau titled “Research on the communication between Earth and Mars” was published on October 25, 1923. The article reported, “An English astronomer set up a powerful telescope on a mountain in the sea island of southwestern Africa to study communication with Mars. After a year’s study, he concluded that this altitude of 8,000 feet is at the best height to connect with Mars, and he can make it possible.”52 The report proposed three ways to carry out such communication. First, when the distance between Earth and Mars was smallest, an object on Mars with a diameter of 30 miles could be seen on Earth. If the viewer wished to see its shape clearly, the diameter needed to reach 100 miles. Second, if numerous planes emitted white smoke in the woods or black smoke in the frozen clouds, when enough of this smoke accumulated, the Martians would notice it using their telescopes. Third, if chemical methods were used to shine extremely bright lights into space nonstop, the Martians would see them. Between December 4 and 18, 1929, Nanyang Siang Pau reproduced numerous London reports about communication with Mars. “The memorial for Tom Rivellini, organized by scientists, will be using a ten-tone magnesium torch cast in Switzerland, and placed at a height of 11,300 feet on Jungfrau, to try communication with Mars. The honorary founder claimed that Martians would be able to respond if we used a large return mirror to irradiate the snow on Mars, and all of the people on Earth could also see Martians with the help of a strong brightness of mirror.”53 Khoo Seok Wan’s poems described the third method reported in 1923 combined with the method reported in 1929. The late-nineteenthcentury astronomers’ erroneous observations of the existence of canals and human-like activity on Mars meant these methods were bound to fail,54 as was proven in a report by Reuters on July 28, 1939.55 Although communication between Mars and Earth was established only through a space probe by the US Mariner 4 on December 28, 1964, it is undeniable that Khoo’s poem reflected the technological advancement and human spirit of the continuous exploration of space during his time. Huang Zunxian’s four-piece “Modern Parting” and Khoo Seok Wan’s poems about Mars shared similarities in their discussion of modern ­technology. However, Huang’s synthesis of “Modern Parting” and modern technology brilliantly married old and new while preserving the flavor of classical poetry. In contrast, Khoo’s poems too rigidly adhered to the introduction of new ideas and technology and lacked the flavor of classical poetry. There seemed to be great interest in astronomy and space exploration, as several poems were written on this topic. Zuo Binglong wrote a poem about comets titled “The Danger of the Earth’s Destruction during its March 1910 Meeting with Halley’s Comet” (Gengxu sanyue helixing xian, youkong xing yu diqiu xiangchu er shijie jiang zhong zhe, zuoci yi xiaozhi). The Halley’s Star is a comet, and the author wrote,

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“This star is named after Halley, its discoverer.” Rumors of a collision with the comet and Earth’s subsequent destruction had long been circulating, as the comet was viewed as a “broom star,” which is often associated with natural disasters. Zuo considered these concerns unfounded and wrote in his poem, “The Earth will not be destroyed by comets, so we still filled the glass toward the stars. 坤舆未为真能毁, 且对长星酒满斟.”56 How could Zuo be so certain? His information likely came from a report titled “The Comet Appears This Morning,” published on April 23, 1910, which stated, “The date, time and way of the Halley Star appearing has been reported twice in this paper. This morning, officers from the Shipping Administration studied the sky using a telescope and confirmed the star’s appearance between three and six. It could be seen only at Tanjong Katong with a telescope.”57 In fact, the comet seen from Singapore was far enough from Earth that there was no danger of a collision. Zuo may or may not have read the article, but it could have been his inspiration for this poem. A similar poem was Lee Choon Seng’s “On Mars Approaching Earth” (huoxing bijin diqiu ganyong). A note to the poem said: “The Nanfang Evening Post [Nanfang wanbao] reported that a Thai astrologer said on Bangkok’s Pan Asia Channel that when Mars approaches Earth on the ninth of September, Pluto would also appear. When this happens, the number of madmen on Earth would increase, and calamity would befall humanity.”58 To some extent, the abovementioned poems reflected the general public’s lack of understanding of outer space.

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Western Culture in Poetry As a colonial society, the social elite had easy access to Western culture, and their knowledge of the West—democratic elections, constitutions, and ideas—was obtained mainly through newspapers. The topic of evolution is one example: Approximately 150 years ago, the British naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) proposed in his On the Origin of Species a “theory of evolution” based on natural selection. This theory swept the world between the late-nineteenth and mid-twentieth century. However, the earliest “theory of evolution” that was introduced in China was not Darwin’s but that of Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–1895), a defender and disseminator of Darwin’s theory. Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics was translated, selected, commented on, and edited by the Chinese scholar Yan Fu (1853–1921); eventually, in 1897, it was published in the National News Daily in multiple installments with the Chinese title Tianyan Lun. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was first translated into Chinese in 1919 by Ma Junwu (1881–1940).59 History has proved that the press was the initial medium of transmission for the theory of evolution. The few influential publications spreading the theory during

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the late Qing period were the Chinese Scientific Magazine (Gezhi huibian), National News Daily, New Youth (Xin qingnian), and so on. In Singapore, some positive reports and rational debates appeared in Lat Pau, Nanyang Siang Pau, and Sin Chew Jit Poh, from before World War II until the 1980s. Khoo Seok Wan’s poem “On Evolution” in 1940 interpreted the theory of evolution through time, nature, the universe, life, and other directions. Khoo wrote: “[The Earth] went through billions of years and there will be many more billions of years. 前有万万古, 后有亿兆年” “Humanity attaches great importance to evolution, and the latter will certainly go beyond the former. 人文重进化, 后者实胜前” and “If the world is a huge wheel, it moves forward daily. 世界若巨轮, 日日在推迁.”60 Evidently, this poem was influenced by the theory of evolution and evolutionary ethics, and cleverly integrated the Buddhist concepts of time, space, and cause and effect. Khoo had other poems on Western liberal thought, with lines such as “The macro sounds traveled through the Pacific Ocean, waking the Lion King from a deep sleep. 吰音远渡太平洋, 惊醒狮王睡梦长.”61 In fact, Khoo’s poems on Western liberal thought and the theory of evolution were written not just during his middle and old age. When he was writing for Thien Nan Shin Pao and Chin Nam Poh, he wrote a number of monographs on evolution and liberalism, such as “Discussion of Evolution and Ethics” (Shu tianyan hou lun), “On Freedom” (Ziyou pian), and so on. The former highly praised Yan Fu’s idea of “changing my thoughts and benefiting my soul,”62 and the latter discussed the liberal views of several Western philosophers.63 Khoo also applied the theory of “natural selection” to the successes and failures of all the ethnic groups in Nanyang, writing, “Living in a competitive world, you either succeed or fail.”64 This idea is a clear reflection of Darwinism. The electoral culture of Western countries was also a topic of interest for the poets of those days. When Zuo Binglong was serving for the second time as China’s consul to Singapore between 1907 and 1910, he read the news of the US presidential election and wrote a poem titled “On Hearing the Official President Selected” (Wen xuanding zhengshi zongtong gan er youzuo). This poem was written on November 3, 1908, about William Howard Taft’s (1857–1930) election as the twenty-seventh US president, which was reported widely in both the English and Chinese press in Singapore. For example, the Straits Times reported on November 4, 1908, “Mr. William Howard Taft, Republican nominee for the presidency of US in succession to Mr. Theodore Roosevelt [1858–1919], has been elected.”65 In addition, the news reports reviewed the great contest between Taft and William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925), who was the Democratic Party’s nominee. The local Chinese press took a while longer to report this event, with Lat Pau doing so on November 6. The report was a translation of the Straits Times’s article, but it reported only the election results with no detailed review of

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the two candidates’ electoral journey.66 Zuo’s poem employed two allusions to lament the political turmoil in China that year: “Guan Zhong [720–645 BC] was the longest-serving aide to Duke Huan of Qi [r. 685–643 BC]. 久矣相桓微管仲” and “Who can follow Ah Heng [Yi Yin, 1648–1549 BC] to send the incompetent King Tai Jia into exile? 谁欤放甲效阿衡.” At the same time, he expressed his expectations for the election winner: “Do not violate a public trust, and protect the reputation by your sustained dedication and effort. 莫负元元推戴意, 为殚忠悃保荣名.”67 Another of Zuo’s poems was about the demands of British women for the right to vote. On the one hand, it affirmed militant suffragists’ advocacy: “Women can discuss politics, and it should not be reserved only for men. 共道妇人能议政, 不应男子独登朝.” On the other hand, the poem also discussed the government’s attitude as articulated by Sir Henry CampbellBannerman (1836–1908): “Your passion is commendable, but it is a pity I cannot pour cold water on it.”68 Although this poem was written during Zuo’s time in Britain between 1905 and 1906, it provides a glimpse of his interest in the Western election culture, which is reflected in the use of the terms “equality,” “civilization,” and so on. Most of his information was probably obtained from newspapers, as he was fluent in both English and Chinese and could easily understand the latest information from the English newspapers. In addition to new technology, new culture, and new systems, technological products also made their way into classical Chinese poetry. Khoo Seok Wan wrote a poem “Watching the Nanyang Archipelago on Screen” about the traditional projection of a series of images on white screens.69 Since movies were produced at the end of the nineteenth century and movies with sound appeared in the late 1920s, the silent movie that Khoo saw was likely a novelty in Singapore in the early twentieth century. “Watching a Film on the Second European War at the Palace Theatre” (Huanggong xiyuan canguan di’erci Ouzhan yingpian) by Lee Choon Seng during the 1940s was a depiction of movies with sound. The poem depicted war scenes as follows: “Rifles fired at tanks and fires burning the enemy. Fighters jumping from the air and submarines swimming in the seas. 冲锋驱坦克, 纵火掷烧夷. 飞将空中降, 潜舟水底驰.” His friend Yu Biyun (1868–1950) commented: “Only the skilled can insert new terms into poems.”70 New-type poetry made up only a small portion of all classical Chinese poems written in early Singapore, but their significance should not be underestimated, as they served different functions than those by Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao. Chinese scholar Xia Xiaohong once commented on the influence of new terms in classical poetry: “These ‘new terms’ serve as the catalyst for the transformation of classical poetry to vernacular poetry.”71 Thus, it can be seen that the new-type poetry of the late Qing and early Republican

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eras was key to the evolution of classical poetry to vernacular poetry. This evolution also included the modernization and popularization of poetry and its improved reflection of reality. In contrast, given its short history, CCPS did not have an immediate need to evolve into vernacular poetry. In addition, it had always been disseminated through mass media, and its style is simple and direct and reflects reality. It had also expanded on the poetic themes of classical poetry with poems on international affairs, modern science and technology, and Western cultures. Despite classical poetry’s limited length, new terms and ideas have been incorporated into it, which is probably why classical Chinese poetry survived over a hundred years of the vernacular literature movement.

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POSITIONING OF THE MEDIA, EDITORS OF SUPPLEMENTS, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF CCPS As mentioned earlier, a few anthologies of poetry were published in early Singapore, and most poems were disseminated in Chinese newspapers. Hence, the development of CCPS was limited not only by a poem’s quality but also to some extent by the preferences of editors. Columns of “publishing all poems submitted” (shigao zhaodeng or laishi zhaokan) appeared only during the early days of Chinese newspapers, as over time, when more poems were submitted, editors would have to print those consistent with the general orientation or marketing strategy of the newspaper. Doubtless, these factors affected the development of CCPS. Of course, the political inclinations of the founder and editor of a newspaper are also important. In his discussion of Malayan classical Chinese poetry ten years (1901–1911) before the Xinhai Revolution and before and after the New Culture Movement (1912–1926), Li Qingnian categorized Chinese newspapers based on their political position: traditionalist (also constitutionalists, royalists) or liberal (also republican, revolutionary). The former included Lat Pau, Penang Sin Poe, The Union Times, Chin Nam Poh, and Southern Press, known for their preservation of old ideas and practices and opposition to Sun Yat-sen’s leadership of the Republic of China. The latter included Chong Shing Yit Pao, The Sun-Poo, Nan Chiau Jit Pao, Kok Min Jit Pao, Yik Khuan Pao, Sin Kok Min Jit Pao, and Nanyang Siang Pau, known for their views against the monarchy and traditional ideas and their support for new ideas and culture. The political inclination of these newspapers was not only directly reflected in their leading articles, reports, and other comments on current events but also indirectly reflected in the literary works that appeared in their supplements, which are often believed to be isolated from politics.

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The Newspapers’ Choice of Poets In general, newspaper supplements should publish any literary works submitted, free of political considerations. However, in practice, the editor has full authority to decide which pieces to publish. Some factors that determine such decisions include whether poems are submitted through correspondence with the editor, whether the poet has political inclinations similar to those of the newspaper, and whether the poetic style is one that the editor appreciates. As mentioned in the previous chapter, literary societies founded by Zuo Binglong, Huang Zunxian, and Khoo Seok Wan had their works published in newspapers. This arrangement was due to the limited number of poets during that period; if newspapers wanted to publish supplements, they had to liaise with the literary societies. The founders of most literary societies at that time were consuls posted to Singapore and renowned within the local Chinese community; hence, they had a close relationship with the local newspapers Lat Pau and Sing Po. It is therefore not surprising that these newspapers were more than willing to publish literary works by the members of the societies. For example, Khoo established lodgings at the Singapore River waterfront, which was named “Hut Gathered Guests,” for entertaining his guests, and Kang Youwei stayed there during February of 1900. In February of 1897, Khoo launched the “Hut Gathered Guests Poetry Competition,” which attracted support from many poets, such as Qiu Fengjia, Wang Enxiang, Pan Feisheng, Lin Yuntai, Xie Jingxi, Lin Hongsun, and so on. Although poems collected during this competition were not published in an anthology,72 they were subsequently published periodically in Thien Nan Shin Pao’s supplement—“Miscellaneous Works Attached”—under the title “Hut Gathered Guests Poetry Competition.” This competition was conducted in the name of the Le Qun Literary Society, but the participating literati were not limited to members of the society; the target was the entire literary and arts community in Singapore. By holding this event and publishing all its poems in Thien Nan Shin Pao, Khoo showed that he had no special preferences in poetry or any definite political inclination. He once wrote, “In general, the editors give a brief introduction to ancient poets and rigorously select their poems but hold the opposite attitude toward contemporary poets and poetry. This is because most of the ancients already had a high reputation. Even if there were no special description and praise, common people can also be familiar with them; contemporary poets’ positioning still has to be determined, and if this not done in detail, future generations will not know their achievements.”73 He put this idea into practice by publishing large numbers of poems submitted by others, his friends, and himself in Thien Nan Shin Pao, the newspaper he founded. However, the situation was different in Jit Shin Pau, founded in October

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1899, which stated, “All external writing, reports, poems, and songs submitted must benefit society and not harm others if they are to be submitted. All submissions must state their full names and address clearly before they can be published.”74 Such strict selection criteria resulted in only three poems from China being reproduced in the paper during its three years of publication. In other words, one reason Khoo stood out as Singapore’s cultural leader was his acceptance of poets from all over the world as well as all poetic styles and content. Not all newspapers were so neutral and willing to publish the literary works they received; those with strong political tendencies published only works that shared their ideology. For three years before the onset of the Xinhai Revolution, The Union Times published many poems by Kang Youwei, Liang Qichao, and other adherents. About the same time, Chong Shing Yit Pao also published numerous poems by members of the Tongmenghui and its sympathizers. Some supplements had obvious personal preferences in their choice of poets. For example, in 1912, the editor of Penang Sin Poe’s supplement, Zeng Juemin, was an old-fashioned scholar who indulged in wine and merrymaking and had a liking for poems written on prostitutes. Therefore, the poems he selected for publication were related to the scenery, to farewells, and to communication, entirely ignoring the New Cultural Movement taking place at that time. In 1920, the editor of Chong Shing Yit Pao’s supplement was replaced by Tang Mingwu, another conservative opposed to the revolutionaries. Under his auspices, the supplement often published works critical of Sun Yat-sen and the Kuomintang. In addition, most editors preferred to publish works by their friends. For example, Yu Dafu, the editor of “An Array of Stars,” the supplement of Sin Chew Jit Poh, published a large number of poems by his friends Huang Menggui (1885–1865), Li Xilang, Hsieh Yun-sheng, Li Peh Khai, Xu Beihong, Liu Chucai, Zeng Mengbi, and Tan Ean Kiam. Preferences for Poetry Themes Traditional Chinese poetry themes relate to all aspects of social life, such as lyrical poems, nostalgic poems, frontier poems, poems on things, poems on historical subjects, and so on. In general, the themes of early CCPS were mainly correspondence, scenery, homesickness, nostalgia, and so on. Changhe poetry was the most popular poetry form in early Singapore. These works reflected interactions between the literati living in Nanyang and those in China, among local literati and among the members of local literary societies. Many editors of early Chinese newspapers were themselves outstanding poets, such as Khoo Seok Wan and Yeh Chi Yun. Hence, they published many Changhe poems, as they needed to maintain communications with poets. For

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example, besides the eighty-one poems of “Nostalgia for the Plum” (Yi mei), Yeh, editor of Lat Pau, left behind only Changhe poems. Another poet, Wei Zhusheng, shared many Changhe poems with local poets—Zuo Binglong, Yeh, Li Qinghui, Huang Yuanru, Wu Jun, and so on—that were published in Lat Pau. Similarly, “An Array of Stars,” the supplement edited by Yu Dafu, also published Changhe poems. According to Li Qingnian, between November 25, 1938 and August 11, 1941, there were sixty-six Changhe poems by Yu. Li commented: “His poems were nowhere near the quality of his essays written during his three years in Singapore, because he observed poems as a medium for socializing and not a weapon for revolution.” He also suggested that scholars researching Yu “should pay attention to those he corresponded with to have a better understanding of his daily life.”75 Scenery and homesickness were also popular themes for poems published in newspaper supplements. Early poets arriving in Singapore found the tropical landscapes interesting and novel, and would naturally compose poems on them. However, after a period of residence, the novelty would give rise to a sense of homesickness. If life was difficult for the coolies who tried to make a living in business-based Singapore, imagine how much worse it was for the literati, who took no part in physical labor. Hence, we find an interesting phenomenon: poems on Singapore’s scenery were written by those who had just arrived in Singapore or those who had settled down, while poems on homesickness were composed by those who could not adapt to local life even after living for some time in Singapore. For example, Luo Bingnan published two poems titled “Hiking up Bamboo Pole Hill” (Deng zhugao shan) in Lat Pau and wrote in a note: “This hill was the royal resting place in ancient Singapore, more than ten kilometers from the center of the city. Ranges upon ranges of green trees rise as high as the sky, but its road can allow four horses in parallel. At the top of hill, the terrain is also very flat, where some people plant flowers and even build a three-story house. . . . Ascending the roof of a house to enjoy a distant view, mountains and rivers are all picturesque scenery.” Bamboo Pole Hill is now Fort Canning Hill and is just 60 meters above sea level, but in the poet’s eyes, it was “an amazing peak overseas endowed with supernatural talents. 海外奇峰毓秀灵.”76 The most prominent feature of early poems was the depiction of the scenery of Nanyang. However, poems depicting only scenes were rare; the clear majority of poems had themes of scenery, feelings, and homesickness. For example, when the editor Huang Boyao (1863–1940) of Thien Nan Shin Pao hiked and faced “the autumn wind slapping the waves, 刷目金风拍海来” he wrote: “Five thousand miles away from homeland alone, and I’m looking back home from here. 一身去国五千里, 回首家乡朝汉台.”77 The Yik Khuan Pao supplement editor, Wu Dunmin, wrote in “View at Night from Sultan Bridge” (Sudan qiao wantiao): “Fluffy catkins, from blooming poplars, flying in the wind, a

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small boat is sailing on a serene river at night. Gazing into the distance from Sultan Bridge, plantain and coconut trees are fighting against the setting sun. 白杨片片舞风狂, 晚景晴江一苇航. 极目苏丹桥上望, 芭蕉椰树战斜阳.”78 The poem appears to be about the scenery, but it was actually promoting a fighting spirit in the face of adversity. Nostalgia poems appeared in newspapers for specific reasons during particular periods. From the time of the late Qing Dynasty, the decline of the nation, the Republican movement, partisan disputes, foreign aggression, and the fall of the country were all reported in the early Nanyang newspapers. Those concerned with the fate of their motherland would express their emotions about these events in newspapers. At the time, there were only two sources of news for these literati: conversations with visiting literati and news reports. Therefore, the poems written by these poets were subjective, vague, and lacking in details. According to the expressive method, nostalgia poems can be divided into two kinds: direct emotional expression about current affairs and indirect emotional expression about historical themes. As these poems certainly conveyed the poet’s political inclinations, most newspapers would publish only poems that shared their political views. For example, between the Reform Movement of 1898 and Emperor Guangxu’s abdication in 1900, dozens of nostalgia poems were published in Thien Nan Shin Pao. As a reformist and royalist, Khoo Seok Wan naturally sympathized with these poets and published their literary works. The establishment of the Tongmenghui in Singapore led to newspapers becoming propaganda tools, displaying clearer and stronger political inclinations. Therefore, nostalgia poems of this period had a strong partisan flavor. Orientation of Poetic Styles In the late nineteenth century, the style of Singaporean and Malayan classical Chinese poetry was not entirely dependent on the author but was also influenced by the position of the newspaper. In the early twentieth century, the Chinese newspapers in Singapore and Malaya began to publish supplements, and the supplements’ purpose and selection criteria as well as the preferences of the editors became important factors that influenced the style of early Chinese poems. On August 4, 1905, Penang Sin Poe launched a supplement titled “Records of Improving Intelligence” that published gameplay writing, confessions, essays, trivial news, and jokes in addition to literature and art. On January 16, 1907, Lat Pau also launched a new supplement. (See Figure 4.2) Editor Yeh Chi Yun outlined the text’s selection criteria and implementation strategy: “Zhuang Zi’s (alias Mengzhuang, 369–286 BC) words, though grotesque, were all proverbs. Dongfang Shuo’s (pen name Manqian, 154–93 BC) humorous writings were all roundabout admonishments. As long as there is substance in your words,

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anything from a merry laugh to an angry curse can make good writing. Implied meaning can also awaken those sentimental verses to enjoy the air and the moon. In addition, if you want to pursue the refined, first of all, you need understand the popular. After all, the most touching songs come from the countryside. As for the people who would like to make suggestions, their fresh and wonderful lines also benefit for advising common people.”79 In other words, whether poems were in Zhuang Zi’s or Dongfang Shuo’s style, as long as they had real content and meaning in or beyond their words, they would be published. The editors expected literary supplements to serve a variety of functions, including admonishing audiences and supporting the refined culture, and the preferred literary genres were “folk songs” and “verses,” of which the former was Cantonese music (yue ou), which was popularized in Guangdong in the late Qing, and the latter was classical poetry. Regarding the positioning of the supplement, Zhao Lü wrote in “On the Birth of Supplement” (kankan fuzhang chushi): “The added supplement collected many gameplay writings, including humorous talks. Moreover, poetry, fiction, essay and Cantonese music submitted would be published, even though their words were not accurate and their meanings were not definite.”80 The two abovementioned supplements show some commonalities: comprehensive contents that cover the themes of recreation, leisure, and fun in deliberate contrast with the serious and objective news reports. In fact, except for Penang Sin Poe’s supplement, which specifically published classical Chinese poems, most supplements were all-inclusive in their choice of literary genres. Like Lat Pau’s supplement, they were a combination of commentaries, jokes, prose, fiction, and so on, usually with only a small column for classical poetry. Hence, the general orientation of the classical poems had to be consistent with that of the other columns and the entire supplement. For instance, Cantonese music, which was humorous, easy to understand and close to reality, appeared in the supplements of Lat Pau, Penang Sin Poe, The Union Times, and Chong Shing Yit Pao. As such, Changhe poems, songs of bamboo branches, and poems on scenery were often published in the supplements of early newspapers, and the style of these poems was generally leisurely and communicative, even playful. In addition, editors of the supplements, such as Khoo Seok Wan, Zhang Shu’nai, Huang Fengxiang, Zeng Mengbi, and so on, preferred humorous and interesting works, and these preferences were reflected in their choices of the poems published in supplements. Although the supplements published large numbers of entertaining works, major newspapers also published many poems that reflected the daily life, real feelings, and the scenery of Nanyang. These works have been published as excerpts by Li Qingnian in his book on Malayan classical Chinese poetry. After 1925, the vigorous development of new literature led to many newspapers publishing fewer classical poems. Even so, the classical poems that were published still showed signs of tenacious vitality.

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Figure 4.2  “Lat Pau Supplement,” Lat Pau, February 17, 1917.

POSTWAR DIVERSIFICATION OF MEDIA AND CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT OF CCPS World War II led to the temporary stagnation of Singaporean and Malayan classical Chinese poetry for three years and eight months. After the war ended on August 15, 1945, Nanyang Siang Pau and Sin Chew Jit Poh resumed publication in September of that same year. Later, they entered a vicious competition for the increasingly limited Chinese newspaper readers and eventually merged in March 1983 to form Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe

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Wanbao. Another Chinese evening daily published in Singapore, Shin Min Daily (Xinming ribao), was founded in 1967 by Louis Cha Leung-yung, a novelist, and Leung Yun Chee, the owner of Axe Brand Oil. Shin Min Daily shares the same target audience, the unprivileged populace, as Lianhe Wanbao; hence, they focus on social news and rarely publish classical poetry. Other newspapers in Singapore and Malaya that resumed publication after the war, such as The Union Times, Nan Chiau Jit Pao, Nanfang Evening Post, Chong Shing Yit Pao, and so on, also published a small number of classical poems. Therefore, most postwar CCPS was published in the supplements, “Morning Stars” (Chen xing), “Peace” (Heping), “Out-of-business Hours,” “Nanyang Poetic Circle,” and so on, of Sin Chew Jit Poh, Nanyang Siang Pau and Lianhe Zaobao. Immediately after the war, these supplements contained a number of poems that reflected the fall of Singapore and the atrocities of the Japanese. For example, the first poem published in “Morning Stars” of Sin Chew Jit Poh was by Li Xilang and it recounted his horrible memories: “The arrival of the Japanese in Singapore led to the loss of many lives. On the way to escape, all the pain you suffered alone, and let me swallow these tears and blood. 一从日寇临星岛, 地狱天堂各自奔. 仆仆风尘君独苦, 纷纷血泪我会吞.”81 “Peace” of Nanyang Siang Pau published a series of poems that described life under the Japanese, including “Syonan Songs of Bamboo Branches” (Zhaonan zhuzhici) by Xie Songshan, “Poems after the War” (Jiehou shichao) by Shen Qinghe, and “Singapore after the War” (Jiehou Xingzhou) by Zeng Xinying. For two years after the war, the poetic themes concentrated mainly on World War II in Singapore, whereas before the war, the poets had written mainly about current affairs in China. This shift can be described as “what is unfortunate for the state is fortunate for poets. 国家不幸诗家幸.”82 As the pain of war was gradually forgotten, the poems slowly became sentimental again. With the establishment of the Sin Sing Poets Society in the mid-1950s, the poems published in newspapers were mainly by the members of this society, with a small number written by the literati who arrived later in Singapore. When Lianhe Zaobao was established in 1983, its supplements, “Humanities” (Renwen), “Literary City” (Wenyi cheng), sporadically published some CCPS. “The Global Voice of Poetry” (Huanyu shi sheng) of Lianhe Zaobao in the early 1990s also published mainly Changhe poems of local poets and foreign poets. However, the quantity and quality of these poems were nowhere near those of the poems that had appeared in earlier times. It is worth noting that from the early and mid-1980s, an increasing number of commentaries on classical poems appeared in various newspapers, such as Hong Peng’s “Mellow Old Wine: Classical Poetry” (Chunmei de chenjiu: Jiuti shi);83 Lu Ge’s “He Qifang’s Classical Poetry” (He Qifang de jiuti shi);84 Liang Yusheng’s “On Nie Gannu’s Draft Poems during the Recuperation”

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(Nie Gannu de Nanshan cao) and “Wang Xindi’s Mourning Poem on Tang Yunjing [pen name Liu Lang]” (Wang Xindi dao Liu Lang shi);85 Lan Duan’s “Criticism and Creation on Poetry” (Shilun yu shi de chuangzuo);86 Ying Xiang’s “Different Tastes between Modern Poetry and Traditional Poetry” (Yunwei butong de xinshi yu jiuti shi);87 Wong Wai Leung’s “Old Poetry and New Poetry: Thoughts of May” (Jiushi he xinshi: Wuyue de lianxiang), and so on.88 These commentaries made up in some ways for the limited number of classical poems published after 1980 and served some academic purposes. In China’s academia, numerous classical poems written by renowned writers in vernacular literature were not taken seriously until the beginning of the twenty-first century. In contrast, the commentaries on the classical poems of Yu Dafu, He Qifang (1912–1977), Nie Gannu (1903–1986), Wang Xindi (1912–2004), and so on, in Singaporean newspapers in the 1980s showed a forward-looking academic environment. In addition, Chen Jingsan wrote fourteen articles titled “The Evolution of Chinese Poetry” (Zhongguo shige de yanjin), serialized in the supplement of Nanyang Siang Pau, systematically discussing Chinese poetic history from the Book of Songs to the poetry revolution of the late Qing.89 On March 3, 1985, Lianhe Wanbao also published a full-page special-topic supplement titled “A Scholar’s Unconventional Way of Life” (Mingshi ye fengliu) on Khoo Seok Wan’s biography and stories to educate the public about Khoo’s cultural achievements.90 As CCPS gradually became marginalized in newspaper supplements, anthologies of poems became an important medium of dissemination of classical Chinese poetry. Due to the lack of publishing equipment and funds, few anthologies had been published in prewar Singapore. However, the situation was entirely different in the 1950s–1980s, when the publication of CCPS anthologies was at its peak. Over eighty anthologies were published by Li Xilang, Zhang Mingci, Lee Choon Seng, Pan Jiefu, Teo Eng Hock, Hong Laiyi, Cheng Tsu Yu, Zuo Binglong, Li Hanxiu, Liu Chucai, Chen Lixi, Tio Chee Chuen, Zheng Guanghan (1909–1971), Lee Ting Hui, Pan Shou, Gwee Ah Leng (1920–2006), Ma Zongxiang, Jiang Baoyi (born 1898), Chen Baoshu, Liu Si, and Cai Xueyuan. This great contrast between the prewar and postwar periods could be due to two reasons: first, supplements had reduced their publication of CCPS, and poets published anthologies to fill this void, and second, there was a rise in the poets’ awareness of the need to preserve poems in order to prevent their loss over time. This rise in the number of anthologies allowed readers easy access to a large number of a certain poet’s works, and it also aided the study of an individual poet’s works. The third mode of transmission of CCPS is through special publications of the works resulting from poetry gatherings. Of all the poems written during prewar poetry gatherings, only Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club was published due to the sponsorship of Tan Ean Kiam in 1926; the rest

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were published only in newspapers. Postwar literary gatherings were conducted mainly by the teachers and students of Nantah, and literary societies focused on classical Chinese poetry. The former led to the publication of Yunnan Garden Anthology of Poems and Southern Breeze Anthology of Song Lyrics in 1960. The latter consisted mainly of the publications of the Sin Sing Poets Society and the Lion City Poetry Association. In addition to the abovementioned Poets’ Day publications in 1957, 1958, and 1962, the Sin Sing Poets Society has published several special issues since the 1980s, including Selected Poems from 100 Vols. Club Topics of SSPS in 1981; The Fortieth Anniversary Issue of SSPS (Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe sishi zhounian jinian tekan), edited by Tio Chee Chuen, in 1997; Elegant Rhythm from SSPS (Xinsheng yayun), edited by Chan Soon Heng, in 2007; Elegant Rhythm from SSPS: The Fifty-fourth Anniversary Issue (Xinsheng yayun wusi qing) in 2012 and so on. The Lion City Poetry Association also published a special issue, Elegant Rhythm from Lion City (Shicheng yayun), in 2005 to celebrate the first decade after its establishment. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the Sin Sing held numerous literary gatherings for the Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-autumn Festival, Double Nine Festival, and Spring Festival; due to funding constraints, members’ poems written during these gatherings were not published but could be found in some newspapers and personal anthologies. In the twenty-first century, literary gatherings are still held among poets’ societies. For instance, the Sin Sing Poets Society and General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry (international) jointly organize literary gatherings once a month to conduct lectures, poetry exchanges, and so on. Occasionally, postwar literary magazines also published classical poetry. The Singapore Literature Society, which was founded in 1976, had a publication titled Singapore Literature (Xinjiapo wenyi) that included new and classical poetry. In 2016, the same society established another publication titled Singapore Poetry (Xinjiapo shikan) that also included new and a very small number of classical poems. This is a typical feature of postwar Chinese literary publications. With vernacular literature enveloping the world, to include several classical poems in contemporary publications was considered encouraging. Since the late twentieth century, several publications about Singapore’s literary scene have involved classical poetry. For example, the research branch of Tung Tak Newspaper and Magazine Agency published two installments of Tidal Wave in the Sea of the Arts in 1996 and 2000 to share the classical poems of its members. The Lion City Poetry Association published the quarterly Lion City Poetry to share classical poems and occasional modern poems, calligraphy, and seal carving. Century Wind (Shiji feng), founded in 2000, published both new and classical poetry and literary commentaries. New Wind (Xin feng), established in 2002, published mainly

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classical poetry but ceased publication in 2008. The General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry, which has its headquarters in Singapore, launched its journal, The Universal Voice of Poetry, in 2005, publishing classical poetry from different countries and regions. The same society also established a publication that targeted Singapore and Malaysia, Elegant Garden for Singapore’s Classical Poets, which published classical poetry composed by members of the Sin Sing Poets Society and university students. CCPS is also disseminated through the internet. The Singapore Literature Society created a “Classical Poems” section under its “Literary Works” Column (Wenxie zuopin) on its website, publishing poems that are close to life and have a local flavor. However, these poems are not particularly exceptional. In 2006, a new immigrant from China, Li Yeming, set up the first Singaporean literary website, “Sgwritings.com,” with a few of his friends. It has a literary column with sections including modern poetry, classical poetry, prose and lyrics, but classical poetry makes up only a small proportion of the published works. This site also has a forum, “World of Literature” (Wenxue tiandi), that has numerous classical poems under its “Poetry Salon” (Shici yazuo) section. Most of the works are by Chinese nationals with a few by Singaporeans, and the poetic themes and standards are in great contrast to those of the Singapore Literature Society’s website. Li Changzhi once compiled 300 poems and published them on “Sgwritings.com” for free reading by literature lovers. The General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry also uploads its magazine, The Universal Voice of Poetry, to its website and shares poems written by its members on the online platform. Unfortunately, poems by Singaporeans are only a small portion of these works. Some poets also publish poems through thematic or personal blogs. For example, “Selat Poetry” (Shile shici) belongs to the thematic blog category, publishing mainly classical poems by Lim Juay Phing, Cheng Lim Keak, and Cheng Bijuan. Personal blogs include Cheng Bijuan’s “Poetry from the Boundary” (Bianya shiqing) and Yang Tianxiong’s “Inadvertent Clouds” (Wuxin yun). Combining modern technology and seemingly conservative classical literature is an innovation. However, in Singapore’s situation, the use of the internet is an unwilling choice because there are no other ways to promote CCPS. With the decline in the Chinese standard, the decreasing number of poems composed, and a lack of readership, there is no better way to publish poems than on the internet. Doing so is inexpensive and provides a larger reach, allowing poetry lovers in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other countries the opportunity to read poems written by poets in Singapore. It should be noted that the classical poetry published via this medium varies in quality and standard, and some are even doggerel verses. In my opinion, the phenomenon of poetry transmission via the internet has not stopped the marginalization of CCPS.

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The above analysis shows that the diversification of postwar poetry transmission media has resulted in changes to Singapore’s literary scene. They are reflected mainly in the following aspects. First, more than seventy years after the war, the overall composition of Chinese poetry in Singapore shows a wave-shaped development. From 1945 to the early 1980s, although the number of classical poems published in newspapers declined greatly, the publication of personal anthologies was in full swing, and it was encouraging that the literary societies and Nantah in the 1950s produced a group of poetry lovers and writers. Unfortunately, most of the university students during that time focused on vernacular literature, and their poetic standards were elementary. The lack of poetry talent produced at this point led to the situation of the 1980s, when there were not enough trained younger men and women to take over from the older experts in the genre. After the closure of the Chinese schools, the younger generations had much less contact with the Chinese language, leading to its decline in Singapore. Beyond that, only a few classical poems by older poets were published in Lianhe Zaobao, and the literary societies became a community of a minority culture. In 1992, the Singaporean poet Tio Chee Chuen began running the General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry and the Sin Sing Poets Society, actively establishing close relations and organizing exchanges with many literary societies in other countries and thereby bringing the local Chinese literary scene out of the trough. In the twenty-first century, both the government of Singapore and the public have recognized the importance of traditional culture, and many activities related to traditional culture have been sponsored by governmental agencies. These have improved the situation of CCPS. In 2010, the Department of Chinese Studies at NUS launched classes on classical Chinese poetry that enroll more than twenty undergraduates every year. Elegant Garden for Singapore’s Classical Poets also launched a column, “Potential Youth” (Xinzhou houlang), to provide a platform for young writers to publish their poetry. Training classes in couplet writing and poetry have also been established by the community for middle-aged people and retirees. Second, the standard of CCPS declined dramatically after World War II, especially in the 1980s. Editor-in-chief Lam Lap wrote in Elegant Garden for Singapore’s Classical Poets, “There were still some literati who would write masterpieces after the war, such as the editors of Nanyang Siang Pau and members of the Sin Sing Poets Society, who consistently composed poetry in their free time. The situation was improved with Nantah promoting poetry teaching, but times have changed and poetry is now in a precarious state; such is lamentable.” Lam observed that there were still some learned poets after the war until the closure of Nantah, including Zeng Xinying, Xie Songshan, Pan Shou, and the Sin Sing members. He also noted that beginning in the

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1980s, the poems created were “substandard, written for flattery, entertaining, vulgar; its negativities are beyond description.”91 Evidently, with a lack of first-class poets, there is no way the classical poetry scene can return to the days before the 1980s. For the young who grew up in a bilingual environment, mastering the traditional poem formatting is already a challenge, and learning the allusions and other more advanced poetic devices would be beyond their abilities. Even the new Chinese immigrants have failed to change the lamentable situation of CCPS. Since the 1990s, other than Chinese teachers, most Chinese nationals who have migrated to Singapore have business, science, and engineering backgrounds and do not have the abilities of the prewar literati in Singapore. Therefore, I am not optimistic about the future of CCPS. However, there has been a renaissance of classical Chinese poetry in China since the twenty-first century, and China’s experience might serve as a reference for Singapore. Third, regarding the intention of creation, from the postwar period until the 1980s, CCPS poets retained the spiritual pursuit of the traditional literati and regarded the creation of Chinese poetry as an important part of their life. At the same time, they were highly patriotic and held a strong historical consciousness. A commentator said of Pan Shou’s poems: “Pan’s poetic style is defined by its humanitarian mission, patriotism and sense of urgency.”92 This creative tone came from the first-generation poet’s subjective intentions and objective social environment and life experiences. Except for a few older poets, most poets since the 1980s have lacked a traditional Confucian education and have composed poems not for a greater cause but simply for self-satisfaction. In fact, in the materialistic society, the existence of Chinese classical poetry itself represents a desire for traditional values. As a character in the film “Dead Poets Society” said: “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering—these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love—these are what we stay alive for.”93 SUMMARY Cultural historians have divided the history of cultural transmission into three stages: oral, print, and multimedia.94 Different mediums of transmission have different effects. Before the advent of print medium, Singapore’s dissemination of classical Chinese poetry was limited to face-to-face encounters in which poems were shared through spoken language. This medium created a sense of participation, but its coverage was small. With the publication of Lat Pau and other newspapers, CCPS entered the phase of print media, and

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its reach became much wider, allowing it to be disseminated to areas far from the authors. Though this system expanded CCPS coverage and created more space for it to be critiqued, as Mark Poster said: “In an opposite but yet complementary way print culture, by the materiality of the word on the page compared with the evanescence of the word in oral culture, promotes the authority of the author, the intellectual and the theorist.”95 In other words, print culture separates the reader from the author. On one hand, the reader is now a critic; on the other hand, the poet has entered the public sphere without losing his authority, and his poems still display their ability to affect a large audience. The emergence of electronic media in the twentieth century and the rise of network media in the twenty-first century caused a seismic shift in the transmission of CCPS, giving it a breath of fresh air by allowing it to share its localized poems with the world. Although the new media brought with them a whole set of problems, they are probably the only way to keep CCPS alive and on the world stage. Current poets must consider how best to make use of the advantages of network communication and to avoid vulgarization and commercialization while maintaining the charm of Chinese classical poetry.

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NOTES 1. Liang Qichao, “Zhongguo gebao cunyi biao” (“List of All Existing and Lost Chinese Newspapers”), Qingyi Bao (The China Discussion), vol. 100, December 21, 1901. 2. Chen Pingyuan, “Preface,” in Chen Pingyuan and Yamaguchi Mamoru, eds., Dazhong chuanmei yu xiandai wenxue (Mass Media and Modern Literature) (Bejing: Xin shijie chubanshe, 2003), 1. 3. See Fang Hsiu, Xin Ma Huawen xin wenxue liushinian (Sixty years of Chinese New Literature in Singapore and Malaysia) (Singapore: The Youth Book, 2006); Wong Meng Voon, and Xu Naixiang, eds., Xinjiapo Huawen wenxueshi chugao (A Preliminary Study of the History of Singapore Chinese Literature) (Singapore: Department of Chinese Studies of NUS and Global Publishing, 2002). Wong Yoon Wah, Post-colonial Chinese Literature in Singapore and Malaysia (Singapore: Department of Chinese Studies of NUS, 2002). 4. Phoon Kwee Hian, Xinjiapo Huawen xiandai zhuyi wenxue yundong yanjiu (A Study of the Singapore Chinese Modernist Literary Movement) (Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, 2010). 5. Yeo Song Nian & Chew Wee Kai, Xinjiapo zaoqi Huawen baozhang wenyi fukan yanjiu, 1927–1930 (Literary Supplements in Early Singapore Chinese Newspapers, 1927–1930) (Singapore: Jiaoyu chubanshe, 1980). 6. See M. H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition (New York: Norton, 1953), 2–29. 7. See James L. Y. Liu, Chinese Theories of Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975).

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8. Li Qingnian, Malaiya Huaren jiutishi yanjin shi (A History of Classical-Style Poetry of Malayan Chinese) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1998), 7. 9. See Chen Mong Hock, The Early Chinese Newspapers of Singapore 1881– 1912 (Singapore: University of Malaya Press, 1967). 10. Li Zhi, “Haiwai Huawen baokan dui lanshangqi haiwai Huawen wenxue jianshe de gongxian” (“The Contribution of Oversea Chinese Presses to the Early Oversea Chinese Literature”), Xueshu yanjiu (Academic Research), vol. 10 (2002): 109. 11. Chung Nan Morning Post (1930.02–1930.09) and New Yik Khuan Pao (1935.08–1936.09) was only in circulation for a short period of time and published limited numbers of classical poetry, hence, leaving it out. 12. Among Yeh’s 23 Songs of Bamboo Branches, 4 published in Thien Nan Shin Pao, “Ciren miaohan” (“Poets’ Masterpieces”), July 29, 1903; 8 in Lat Pau, “Shizhang zhailu” (“Selected Poems”), August 1, 1903; 11 in Lat Pau, August 3, 1903. 13. See Choi Kwai Keong, “Cong Zhongguo hua dao Malaiya hua: Xinjiapo Huawen jiaokeshu de shanbian (1946–1965)” (“From ‘China-Orientation’ to ‘Malayalization’: The Evolution of Singapore Chinese-Language Textbooks [1946–1965])” in Yeap Chong Leng and Wee Tong Bao, eds., Xin Ma Yin Huaxiao jiaokeshu fazhan huigu (A Historical Survey of Chinese-School Textbooks in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) (Singapore: Chinese Heritage Centre, 2005), 67–90. 14. See Lat Pau, “Shi jie” (“Poetic World”), May 14, 1925. 15. Shi Ruiyu, Ruiyu shangren shiji (Collected Poems of Master Ruiyu) (Singapore: Self-publishing, 1939), vol. 1, 10b. 16. Respectively see Modern Poetry Research Group, Department of Chinese, Beijing University, ed., Renjinglu jiwai shiji (Supplements of the Poems from the Hut in the Human World) (Shanghai: Gudian wenxue chubanshe, 1960); He Youduan ed., Guici sanbaishou (Three Hundred Poems on Female) (Guangzhou: Stereotype Edition, 1934), 16–19. This version is now collected in the Sun Yat-sen University Library in Guangzhou. 17. See Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. Thomas Burger (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1989). 18. Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge, Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere, trans. Peter Labanyi et al. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), 1–2. 19. Jürgen Habermas, “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article,” in Stephen E. Bronner and Douglas Kellner, eds., Critical theory and Society: A Reader (New York: Routledge, 1989), 136. 20. Roland Barthes, “Text Théorie Du,” Encyclopædia Universalis, See http:// www.universalis.fr/encyclopedie/theorie-du-texte/, accessed July 10, 2017. 21. Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, 49. 22. Chen Yuanguang, “Zhongqiu yue gan liushou” (“Six Poems on the MidAutumn Moon”), no. 5, Penang Sin Poe, October 8, 1917. 23. Ning Jinglan, “He Li jun Yaocong zhongqiu zagan” (“Response to Li Yaocong’s Poem on the Feeling in Mid-Autumn Festival”), Yik Khuan Pao, November 7, 1921.

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24. Huang Bai, “Yueye zagan bing bei guoshi choutang jiushou” (“Nine Poems on the Feeling of Moonlight and Lamenting the Turmoil of State Affairs”), no. 3, Nanyang Siang Pau, July 3, 1926. 25. Li Qingnian, Nanyang zhuzhici huibian (A Compilation of Nanyang Songs of Bamboo Branches) (Singapore: Jin’gu shuhua dian, 2012). 26. See Thien Nan Shin Pao, January 19, 1899. 27. Yeap Chong Leng, Huang Zunxian yu Nanyang wenxue (Huang Zunxian and Nanyang Literature) (Singapore: Singapore Society of Asian Studies, 2002), 75. 28. See Sing Po, April 3, 1895. 29. Shao Lan, “Zhe huo” (“Tragic Event in Zhejiang”), Chong Shing Yit Pao, August 20, 1907. 30. See Chong Shing Yit Pao, August 10, 1908. 31. See Chong Shing Yit Pao, August 17, 1908. 32. See Nanyang Siang Pau, Evening edition, July 3, 1939. 33. Xie Songshan, “Zhaonan zhuzhici zixu” (“Preface to Syonan Songs of Bamboo Branches”), Nanyang Siang Pau, June 6, 1946. The preface stated its date of composition as the late father of the nation, Sun Yat-sen’s birthday on the 34th year of Republic of China, that is, November 12, 1945. 34. Liang Qichao, “Xiaweiyi youji” (“Travel Stories in Hawaii”), in idem, Liang Qichao quanji (The Completed Works of Liang Qichao) (Beijing: Beijing chubanshe, 1997), vol. 2, 1219. 35. Huang Zunxian, Renjinglu shicao jianzhu (The Draft Poems from the Hut in the Human World with Annotations), annotated by Qian Zhonglian (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1981), “preface,” 3. 36. See Sing Po, November 12, 1892; also see Yeap Chong Leng, Huang Zunxian yu Nanyang wenxue, 91. 37. “Benguan gaobai” (“Statement of Newspaper”), Shun Pao, Lunar April 30, 1892. 38. See Khoo Seok Wan, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji (Collected Poems of Khoo Seok Wan) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1949), part 2, 24a. 39. “Chuan Shitailin pai ren zhi Mo xingci Tuoluosiji, Tuo shi juzhai yi jiebei” (“The Story Goes That Stalin Sent Someone to Mexico to Assassinate Trotsky, and His House Has Been Alert”), Nanyang Siang Pau, February 6, 1937. 40. “Tuoluosiji zai Moxige jingcheng yuci weisi, xingci zhe kaishe jiqiang” (“Trotsky was Assassinated in the Capital of Mexico, and the Assassins Fired Machine Guns”), Nanyang Siang Pau, May 26, 1940. 41. Nanyang Siang Pau, Morning edition, August 22, 1940. 42. Nanyang Siang Pau, Evening edition, August 22, 1940. 43. Khoo Seok Wan, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji, part 2, 37a. 44. “Aisi weiyi” (“No Stop Grieving”), Lat Pau, January 25, 1901. 45. Khoo Seok Wan, Xiaohong sheng shichao (Collected Poems of Xiaohong sheng) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1922), vol. 2, 3b. 46. Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan ji (Works from Awaking Garden) (Singapore: SelfPublishing, 1950), vol. 3, 47. 47. Tan Ean Kiam, Zhiyuan ji (Works from Resting Garden) (Singapore: Nanyang Printing, 1938), “poetry,” 10a.

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48. Li Xilang, Jiehui ji (Collection of Kalpa Ashes) (Hong Kong: Wing Fat Printing, 1946), 32a. 49. Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan xuji (A Sequel of Works from Awaking Garden) (Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1956), 49. 50. See Huang Zunxian, Renjinglu shicao jianzhu, annotated by Qian Zhonglian, 516–22. 51. See Khoo Seok Wan, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji, part 1, vol. 6, 17b. 52. See Nanyang Siang Pau, October 25, 1923. 53. See Nanyang Siang Pau, December 4–18, 1929. 54. One night in 1890, American astronomer, Percival Lawrence Lowell (1855– 1916), saw Mars through a large telescope and was shock by what he saw the surface of Mars was filled with items that looked like pipes. Later, Italian astronomer, Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835–1910), further claimed: These pipes are the canal systems of Mars and this plan might be similar to the highly developed Mars. Martians may be using the well-planned canal network, to build their world. For a time, speculation about the Martians spread like wildfire. 55. “Meiguo xiang Huoxing tong wuxiandian dan yi shibai” (“The US Has Failed to Pass Radio to Mars”), Nanyang Siang Pau, July 29, 1939. 56. Zuo Binglong, Qinmiantang shichao (A Representative Poetry Collection from the Dwelling for Diligence) (Singapore: Society of Southeast Asian Studies, 1959), vol. 4, 175. 57. See Lat Pau, April 23, 1910. 58. Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan xuji, 55. 59. See Wang Min, “Yan Fu ‘Tianyan’ Jinhualun dui jindai xixue de xuanze yu huishi” (“Yan Fu’s Selection and Interpretation of Modern Western Learning in His Theory of Evolution”), Dongnan xueshu (Southeast Academic Research), vol. 3 (2004): 58–66. 60. See Khoo Seok Wan, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji, part 2, 7a. 61. Khoo Seok Wan, “Ziyou zhong” (“Liberty Bell”), in Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji, part 1, vol. 5, 6b. 62. See Thien Nan Shin Pao, December 6, 1902. 63. See Chin Nam Poh, October 26, 1915. 64. Khoo Seok Wan, “Lun Nanyang qundao” (“On Nanyang Archipelago”), See Chin Nam Poh, June 22, 1914. 65. “American Election,” The Straits Times, November 4, 1908. 66. See Lat Pau, November 6, 1908. 67. Zuo Binglong, Qinmiantang shichao, vol. 4, 179. 68. Ibid., 166. 69. Khoo Seok Wan, Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji, part 1, vol. 3, 12b. 70. Lee Choon Seng, Jueyuan ji, vol. 3, 47. 71. Xia Xiaohong, Shijie shiji (Ten Events in the Poetic World) (Hangzhou: Zhejiang wenyi chubanshe, 1991), 81. 72. Khoo Seok Wan, “Keyunlu shilu fafan” (“Introduction to Selected Poems of Hut Gathered Guests”), See Sing Po, December 9, 1897. 73. Khoo Seok Wan, Wubaishi dongtian huizhu (Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves) (Guangzhou: Fuwen zhai, 1899), vol. 6, 38b.

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74. “Benbao gengshi gaobai” (“Restart Notification of Newspaper”), Jit Shin Pau, October 5, 1899. 75. Li Qingnian, Malaiya Huaren jiutishi yanjin shi (A History of Classical-Style Poetry of Malayan Chinese) (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1998), 522–25. 76. See Lat Pau, February 13, 1890. 77. Huang Boyao, “Yu Xingzhou qiumu denggao yougan” (“Feeling of Ascending Heights in Autumn in Singapore”), no. 1, Thien Nan Shin Pao, October 28, 1903. 78. See Kok Min Jit Pao, October 15, 1916. 79. Yeh Chi Yun, “Lebao fuzhang chushi ji” (“The Birth Note of Lat Pau’s Supplement”), in Tan Yeok Seong, Nanyang diyi baoren (The First Newspaperman of the South Seas) (Singapore: Shijie shuju, 1958), 10. The day’s copy of Lat Pau has been destroyed and this article has to be cited from Tan’s publication. 80. See Lat Pau, January 17, 1907. 81. Li Xilang, “Zeng Boqun Huiquan” (“To Boqun”), Sin Chew Jit Poh, October 20, 1945. 82. Zhao Yi, “Ti Yuan Yishan ji” (“On the Works of Yuan Yishan”), in idem, Oubei shichao (Poetry Collections of Zhao Yi) (Shanghai: Shijie shuju, 1937), 229. 83. See The Sun-Poo, November 1, 1980. 84. See Nanyang Siang Pau, November 10, 1980. 85. See Nanyang Siang Pau, June 28, 1980; Nanyang Siang Pau, December 19, 1980. 86. See Sin Chew Jit Poh, April 6, 1981. 87. See Nanyang Siang Pau, July 21, 1982. 88. See Lianhe Zaobao, June 18, 1984. 89. See Nanyang Siang Pau, from January 8, 1980 to February 10, 1980. 90. Organized by Toh Lam Huat, reported by Lee Eng Lock, Han Tan Juan (1942– 2016), Xu Yueying, Lianhe Wanbao, March 3, 1985. 91. Lam Lap, “Fakan ci” (“Foreword”), Xinzhou yayuan, 1 (2015): 1–2. 92. Chen Wangheng, “Pan Shou shige chuangzuo lun” (“On the Poetic Creation of Pan Shou”), in idem, Mei zai jingjie (The Realm of Aesthetics) (Wuhan: Wuhan University Press, 2014), 332–33. 93. Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society (Burbank, CA: Touchstone Pictures, 1989). 94. See Harold Innis, The Bias of Communication (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1951); Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964). 95. Mark Poster, “The Mode of Information and Postmodernity,” The Second Media Age (Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 1995), 64.

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Chapter 5

Conclusion

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Literary Value and Classification

Chinese literature in Singapore is deeply entwined with the identity of migrants, the role of literary works in a local cultural setting, and the relationship between literature and media. However, the study of Chinese literature in Singapore is fundamentally a literary topic. In the introduction, I noted that the sociocultural values of CCPS are underappreciated. In this chapter, I will acknowledge the status of CCPS from three different perspectives. First, CCPS is, without a doubt, one of the origins of Chinese literature in Singapore and Malaysia. Second, classical and modern literature have been able to coexist in peace, and CCPS encouraged the growth of modern Chinese literature in Singapore to a large extent. Such a literary scene is in great contrast to that of the May Fourth Movement in China. Third, CCPS played a crucial role as a catalyst for literary interactions in the regional and worldwide arenas. In addition, the literary classification of CCPS is widely debated in academia, causing its double marginalization both in SingaporeanMalayan literary history and in Chinese literary history. In this chapter, I will set aside the Sino-centric title “Overseas Chinese/Chinese-Language Literature” (haiwai Huaren/wen wenxue) and the all-encompassing view of “World Literature in Chinese/by Chinese” (shijie Huawen/ren wenxue). Using the modern interpretations of diasporic literature and Sinophone literature, I will provide a contrived denotation of the literary creations of the first and later generations of the diaspora migrants, respectively. LITERARY VALUE OF CCPS As mentioned in the previous chapter, the development of SingaporeanMalayan literature was accomplished largely through the Chinese newspapers. 135

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In other words, the emergence of local Chinese newspapers led to the flowering of Chinese literature in Singapore. Although records of the publication Lat Pau from December 1881 to August 1887 cannot be found, we have reason to believe that in 1881, the year when Yeh Chi Yun became the editor; there was a section in the publication known as “Modern Prose” (shi wen). In the August 19, 1887, edition of Lat Pau, the first text was “On Burial Ground for the Destitute Not Unsightly in the Straits” (Lun benpo yizhong shuwu suoai guanzhan). All the papers published this kind of prose articles related to current affairs and political issues every day. We can therefore deduce that Singaporean-Malayan literature officially began in December 1881 and has 136 years of history. From the viewpoint of Fang Hsiu and other literary historians, the modern literature in Malaya and Singapore began in 1919. In October 1919, Sin Kok Min Jit Pao was founded in Singapore, and its supplement, “Sin Kok Min Magazine,” and other columns, such as “Current Review” (Shiping) and “News” (Xinwen), published a significant number of articles in vernacular that expressed new ideas of the modern spirit; this is the origin of SingaporeanMalayan literature.1 As such, within the thirty to forty years before modern literature was developed, Singaporean-Malayan literature was written mostly in classical Chinese, and as a form of traditional literature, classical Chinese poems played a significant role. After the emergence of modern literature, classical literature remained strong and vibrant, albeit slightly limited by its modern counterpart. To this day, as modern literature takes the lead in the development of Chinese literature in Singapore, classical Chinese poetry dominates the classical literature scene; this trend demonstrates its tenacious vitality and artistic charm. The Origins of Malayan and Singaporean Literature In 1917, Zhao Lü commented in Lat Pau: “Since the day our publication was founded, we were given only a piece of paper, and apart from documenting serious events, there is no space left for Whimsical Texts (xie wen).”2 “Whimsical Texts” here refers not only to novels and stories but also to “poetry, essays, Cantonese music, etc.”3 Since political prose was the beginning of Singaporean-Malayan literature, it is clear that poems and lyrics emerged slightly later. The earliest-found articles of classical Chinese poetry in Lat Pau are the four quatrains of Zhang Rumei, published on December 19, 1887, four months after the earliest existing Lat Pau paper was discovered. Based on this timeline, the claim that this publication was one of the origins (in the poetry field) of Singaporean-Malayan literature should be indisputable. However, in studies of literary history, scholars seem to have collectively forgotten the fact that classical literature is a crucial component of Singaporean-Malayan literature. From the 1950s to date, all general histories of literature published in

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Singapore and Malaysia have spoken only of modern literature, and classical literature has either been overlooked or discussed only briefly. For example, Wong Meng Voon, who specifically mentioned Singaporean-Malayan literature in his discourse, refers to “modern literature, and not classical literature.”4 While conceptualizing the development of Singaporean Chinese literature, Yeo Song Nian recognized and noted this problem. He wrote:

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Before or during the emergence of modern literature in Malaya, there exist quite a number of classical literary works. These works form a significant part of Malayan Chinese literature too. When we attempt to compile the ­history of Malaysian and Singaporean literature, are we looking at modern ­literature or a mixture of modern and classical literature? This question must be contemplated. . . . If we decide to include both modern and classical literature in the compilation works, we must pay more attention when gathering the classical literary works.5

However, as a researcher in modern literature, he merely put forward these ideas and did not develop them. Thus, all contemporary Singaporean-Malayan literary histories are flawed and incomplete. As all academics acknowledge this problem, we must rethink the origins of Singaporean-Malayan literature. Should we trace the origins of modern literature or classical literature? Without any doubt, the latter choice is correct. In discussing the origins of Singaporean-Malayan literature, the relationship between Singaporean-Malayan and Chinese literature must be approached with caution. Because Singapore is a city of migrants, all aspects of its culture and arts underwent a process of overseas transplantation, evolution, and localization during the period of the colonial rule or independent statehood, and Singaporean Chinese literature is no exception. As the migrants settled in and adapted to this new land, the sense of diaspora was replaced by a sense of belonging as they assimilated to the Nanyang way of living. As Yeo Song Nian wrote: “In the course of history, the influence of foreign literature resembles the waves of an ocean; it rejects, absorbs and assimilates, ultimately growing into a form of literature with a national identity.”6 Some scholars argued: “In the era of old literature, Malayan Chinese literature has unconditionally accepted the nurturing of Chinese literature and become part of it.”7 This argument clearly noted Chinese literature’s impact on Singaporean-Malayan literature, but it observed the influence as an absolute effect rather than a gradual one on the immigrant literati’s creation process. For example, the first poet to publish his poems in a Singaporean Chinese newspaper, Zhang Rumei of Guangdong Jiaying, wrote a set of poems on southern tourism such as the Chinese literati had often written. However, the background of this poem was not China but the poet’s travels to Ipoh in Malaysia and his feelings about partings. The note to his poems said:

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Occasionally visiting Paloh (namely Ipoh), I fortunately met some friends such as Chen Jinyu and Li Shouchen, enjoyed the friendship of fellow countrymen and experienced the poets’ elegant taste. However, just knowing them, I must leave. Thinking that we will live far apart from each other in future, I cannot help but increase my feeling of reluctance to part.8

Evidently, the setting of the poems was Nanyang, even though he was writing about friends from similar ancestral homes. As his friends had left China and resided in Malaya for years, he wrote, “Roaming freely in the remotest region of the world, we enjoy the affection from the native place in a foreign land. 天涯随处闲寄身, 客里欢联梓里亲.”9 This line reflects the poet’s experiences and his true emotions, as can be seen in his usage of “remotest regions of the world” (tianya) and “foreign land” (keli), which were not exaggerations. However, few poems by these visiting poets were related to Singapore and Malaya, so in my opinion, they cannot be considered SingaporeanMalayan Chinese literature. However, this is not a reflection of the poets’ lack of interest in Singaporean-Malayan literature or a conclusion that their works had no influence on local literature. As I mentioned in chapter 2, these visiting literati actively participated in the construction of the early cultural spaces in Singapore. In addition, as for many sojourner poets such as Khoo Seok Wan and Shi Ruiyu, who lived in Singapore until their deaths, their classical poems must not be regarded as part of Chinese literature because they underwent varying degrees of change based on inheriting that tradition.

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The Gentle Advocate of the Shift from Old to New Literature Before the birth of Singaporean-Malayan new Chinese literature, classical poetry was the mainstay of the literary genre in Nanyang; its development was at its peak, and almost all newspaper supplements published it. At the same time, China was in the throes of the Poetic Revolution, and the representative member of the literati was none other than the Qing court’s consul general to Singapore, Huang Zunxian. He advocated, “Since I want to use my own words to express my feelings, how can I let myself be bound by the content and forms of ancient writings? 我手写我口, 古岂能拘牵”10 which became a slogan of the eventual Vernacular Movement. There were vigorous debates in China about vernacular and classical literature during the May Fourth Movement.11 This situation stood in stark contrast to that in Singapore and Malaya, where classical poetry was taking root and flowering. The eventual transition from old to new literature in Nanyang was a peaceful process, with many writers of old literature advocating and writing new literature. For example, Zhang Shu’nai, the editor of Sin Kok Min Jit Poh’s supplement, was

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well versed in classical literature but he was also an advocate and a pioneer of new literature. Yeo Song Nian said:

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Before the May Fourth Movement, newspaper supplements published mainly classical literary works, with limited appearances of new literature. The May Fourth Movement caused the intellectuals in Nanyang to reflect on literature and begin composing and supporting new literature. For example, Zhang Shu’nai, an expert in classical literature who wrote superb classical Chinese, promoted the new style of writing. This was reflected in the editorials he wrote, a good mixture of both classical and vernacular writing. However, he had a quite cautious attitude toward implementing the new literary style. . . . His efforts in advocating new literature can be seen in the “Sin Kok Min Magazine” he edited.12

The office of the newspaper that Zhang edited became the headquarters of Nanyang’s New Literature Movement from its inception on October 1, 1919. It also became the symbol of the birth of new Chinese literature in Nanyang. Many scholars of Singaporean-Malayan literature have written of the peaceful transition of classical to modern literature in Singapore, but few have been able to explain why this Vernacular Movement did not create confrontation, as it did in China. In my opinion, there are at least three reasons. First, the early classical literature in Nanyang did not sink roots, and there was no imperial examination in the region. As mentioned above, the classical literature of Singapore and Malaya began in 1881, only thirty-eight years before the first appearance of new literature in 1919. The visiting literati or the poets who made their way to Nanyang during the late Qing and early Republican era did not experience the burden of the imperial examination; hence, the poems they created were natural and sincere, in stark contrast to the traditional writing in China that carried a 3000-year historical burden. Second, the early writers of classical poetry in Nanyang displayed a high acceptance of and tolerance for new things and ideas, for example, the first two Qing consul generals to Singapore—Zuo Binglong and Huang Zunxian. The former was influenced by Western ideologies, while the latter was an advocate of poetic revolution. Their mentality was entirely different from that of other traditional Chinese literati. Even though the literary societies they established functioned more or less like academies of classical learning in China, they encouraged fellow poets to focus on the current affairs encountered by overseas Chinese and wrote poems with a unique Nanyang flavor. In addition, masters of classical literature such as Zhang Shu’nai, Lin Kexie (1892–1954), and Yu Dafu, spared no effort in advocating vernacular Chinese. Third, the cultural literacy of the early Singaporean and Malayan readers determined the popularity of the vernacular literature. Lat Pau editor Lin Kexie once commented about the Chinese textbooks of primary school:

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“Due to speaking matching writing, the meaning of the vernacular Chinese language is shallow. If vernacular Chinese can be applied to students from elementary school to higher senior primary school, who will read, record, speak and write it for seven years, I do not believe that students eventually cannot speak out what they learned.”13 Although this piece advocating vernacular Chinese was written in classical Chinese, it was a starting point for vernacular Chinese to take root in Nanyang. Zhang wrote in Sin Kok Min Jit Poh in October of the following year: “The newspaper is a medium for sharing all information and should be understood by all its readers. If it is written in a language that some cannot understand and only speaks classical texts such as Confucian classics, then it is only a medium for the traditionalist and not for the contemporary.”14 Zhang spoke from the perspective of the popularization of mass communication and put his words into action. When renowned classical literary writers such as Lin Kexie and Zhang Shu’nai began writing in vernacular Chinese and when newspapers started publishing in vernacular, the press and literary world would naturally engage in the vernacular writing style as well.

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The Strategic Location for Poetic Exchanges within Southeast Asia and the World Poets of the early CCPS arrived mainly from China and resided in Singapore for a long time. Due to Singapore’s important geographic location, it was the center of economic, trade and cultural exchanges in Southeast Asia. Many of the early Chinese newspapers in Southeast Asia were also published in Singapore. Thus, Singapore was a magnet that attracted various types of Chinese literati, who would carry out literary exchanges, gatherings, or communications, thereby creating a “Nanyang Literati Circle” beyond China. As mentioned earlier, a person such as Khoo Seok Wan already had a huge network of literati contacts that covered Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Southeast Asian states. Some literati moved from Mainland China to Taiwan; some moved from China to Singapore and then to other parts of the world or lived and died in Singapore. Therefore, their life experiences and poetry creation would be more complex, including the mentality of cultural adherents in the period of the Republic of China, the transition from old to new literature, and some homesickness for cultural China.15 However, their writings in Nanyang undoubtedly greatly expanded the cultural space of classical Chinese poetry in early Singapore. Due to their being away from home and to Singapore’s position as an intersection, it was natural for these literati to form literary societies and to keep in close contact with one another. When Huang Zunxian presided over the Hui Yin Poetry Club, he received literary works from as far away as Yangon and published them in Sing Po. In A

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Compilation of Nanyang Songs of Bamboo Branches, Li Qingnian recorded literary works published in Singaporean newspapers that reflected life and customs in Singapore, Malaya, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, and so on. In addition, the most prominent poetic form—Changhe poems—in Singapore was impressive in showing the Singaporean literati’s contact with those in Singapore, Malaya, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other Southeast Asian countries. After all, Singapore had two major advantages in having many Chinese newspapers and the congregation of literati; thus, the literati from other communities were willing to take the initiative to liaise with their counterparts there. Of course, the poems by foreign poets published in Singaporean newspapers would also motivate Singaporean poets to write better classical poetry. After the war, especially after the 1990s, there was an expansion of poetry exchanges through literary gatherings and local and international exchanges among literary societies, although the situation of poetry creation was not comparable to the prewar conditions. The Sin Sing Poets Society and General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry (International) played the largest role in this area. After the appointment of President Tio Chee Chuen, these societies conducted numerous literary exchanges with overseas literary societies and helped to establish the Chinese Poetry Society of China. Tio was elected the president of the General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry in 1992 and paved the way for more international exchanges among literary associations. The society is currently led by Choo Thiam Siew, CEO of the Singapore Chinese Culture Center. Thus, Singaporeans have directed this international society of Chinese classical poetry since 1992, reflecting Singapore’s important position on the global stage of literature. However, in the twenty-first century, the exciting number of poetry exchanges and number of literary publications have not improved the standards of poetic creation, which is worrisome. In my opinion, the Singaporean Chinese poetry community should seize the opportunity provided by the Chinese classical poetry rejuvenation in China to increase poetry exchanges, improve the local creative environment, and thus promote a higher poetic standard in their own country. THE CLASSIFICATION OF CCPS The uneven development of CCPS and the difficulties in poetic creation have prompted us to think seriously about the following questions: How should CCPS be categorized? Should it be defined by nation and region or by whether it employs the concepts of diasporic literature or Sinophone literature? These are the primary questions that we face in delineating CCPS.

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If we categorize CCPS from a national standard perspective, we encounter the problem of authors of one nationality who identify with another nation’s culture. National literature, such as Chinese, British, or German literature, categorizes poems by the nationality of the poet. However, national literature is also a product of the modern nation-state. Before the birth of the idea of the nation-state, there was no national literature. Therefore, the “Singapore” that is mentioned in the early classical poems is a British colony or a selfgoverning state in the federation of Malaya, a concept referring to a region rather than a country. After Singapore gained independence in 1965, many permanent residents from Malaysia, Mainland China, and Taiwan wrote classical poems, but they are not recognized as Singaporean citizens. Thus, can the poems by the early migrant poets and the later permanent residents be categorized as Chinese, Malaysian, or Taiwanese literature without any connection to Singapore? Obviously, the answer is no; the natural scenery, social customs, and traditions depicted by these poets are the scenery and traditions of Singapore. The history that they discuss and the emotions that they convey are inspired by Singapore. If we define these poems as offshoots of China’s literature, according to academic definitions, such a categorization would significantly affect the continuity of the evolution of CCPS. If we categorize CCPS from a regional perspective, we similarly encounter the problem of authors of one nationality who identify with another nation’s culture. Whether classical poems are written by early migrant poets, longterm resident poets, or contemporary new immigrants, there is a conflict between identifying with Chinese culture and the localization of creative writing. If we emphasize identification with Chinese culture, this focus leads to a Sino-centric situation and neglects the diaspora conditions in which these poems were created in Singapore. If we emphasize the localization of creative writing, this focus leads to a postcolonialism idea of “anti-China,” which disregards the connection between CCPS and Chinese literature. “Diaspora” originally referred to the dispersion of the Jews who were forced to leave their homeland after its destruction during the biblical times. Currently, “diaspora” refers primarily to migrant groups. The contemporary cultural researcher Stuart Hall (1932–2014) focuses on the relationship between the diaspora and their cultural identity. He believes that diasporic individuals must choose their own road to stimulate their desire to seek their “roots” and to determine “who I am” in a historical context.16 The British sociologist Robin Cohen initiated research on the diaspora type from a biological point of view. His main finding was that diaspora groups are experiencing a new environment but can still construct nostalgia and some form of reliance on their motherland.17 In contrast, John McLeod reasons that the second or third generation of diaspora has not lived in the cultural environment of the motherland; these “generational differences” mean the decline or

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disappearance of their awareness of their diasporic identity.18 These theories apply generally to postcolonial diasporic literature. Nonetheless, most of diasporic literati are willing to maintain their memories, dreams, and myths of their motherland or may view their ancestors’ home as their last spiritual home. This idea and perspective are particularly applicable to ethnic Chinese groups in Southeast Asia before the establishment of nation-states. Considering the situation of Chinese immigrants and the evolution of language policy in Singapore, CCPS in different generations, especially for those of different educational backgrounds, showed different characteristics. The first-generation diaspora migrants, who were educated in their homeland, focused on current affairs from their motherland and displayed a strong sense of homesickness in their poems. The second- and third-generation immigrants, who were educated in Singaporean Chinese schools, had a fair share of Chineseness and localization in their poems, but as they were educated with a purely English background they displayed a distinct identification as Singaporean Chinese as well as a sense of national identity. Therefore, to categorize the fluid concept of CCPS as diasporic literature is inappropriate. In my opinion, the notion of diasporic literature is better suited to the first-generation migrants. Their literary works were filled with their diasporic experiences, the memory of their motherland, and experiences of fitting in to local life. Obviously, Khoo Seok Wan and Pan Shou were representative examples. Khoo’s poems have been thoroughly discussed in the previous chapters, so I will confirm the diasporic characteristics through the interpretation of Pan Shou’s classical poetry. Pan Shou’s classical poems are characterized by “clear imagery of the times, strong scholarly flavor, a deep sense of vicissitude, and full of righteousness.”19 Whether political poems, that documented his times, or travel poems that recorded his travels, they reflected both historical events and Pan’s emotions from different angles. His political poems were filled with worry and a sense of urgency and showed concern for his country and the lives of his compatriots. During the War of Resistance, for example, Pan focused on China’s political situation and wrote a series of classical poems that recorded the most tragic history of China. These poems include “Han’gu Pass” (Han’gu guan), “Old Estuary” (lao hekou), and “Ten Poems about the Current Events” (hua shishi ganfu shishou), among others. In the first poem, “The Plum Blossom from Purple Mountain” (Zijin shan meihua) in Collection of Pan Shou’s Poems, Pan wrote: “The tombs of Sun Quan [182–252] and Zhu Yuanzhang [1328–1398] were adjacent; heroes in different times were of Han nationality. Fragrant breezes in spring blow endlessly, plum blossoms blooming at the foot of Purple Mountain. 孙陵路接孝陵料, 间代英豪起汉家. 千古春风香不断, 紫金山下万梅花.”20 This poem was written in 1937 when Japan occupied northern China and was nearing Nanjing. Pan hoped that

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someone such as Sun or Zhu could influence the support of the masses to resist the Japanese invaders. The poems regarding modern scenery were written when Pan was traveling in Europe, and he included metaphors from classical Chinese literature even in those poems. This synthesis of old and new created a flawless combination. For example, in the group “Fifty Poems from a European Tour” (Ouyou shi ji wushi shou), Pan described the people in the London Underground stations as an ant’s nest in the country of Huai’an, which gave the reader a realistic view of the subway congestion.21 Meanwhile, with his understanding of Singapore’s local customs and scenery, Pan created poems with a Nanyang flavor. He wrote a landscape poem for Chen Chong Swee’s (1910–1985) painting of an orchid: “A person who is fond of beauty without lust is a gentleman, while indulging in lust without beauty makes you a villain. It is fortunate that the orchid is different from others, as inherent quality is often revealed from outward appearance. 有香无色仍君子, 有色无香近小人. 差幸壶姬风骨异, 每从卓越见天真.”22 The orchid is beloved by Singaporeans and became the national flower because it can flower even in the most undesirable conditions, which is analogous to the Singaporeans’ spirit. In addition, living at the crossroads of the East and West, Pan was influenced by new objects and ideas from Western culture, and often created new images in his poetry. In his anthologies, several poems contain the words “science,” “democracy,” and “atom”;23 all these images are products of the modern age. Thus, although he uses a classical style, Pan employed new terms from the Western world in his poems. This practice of code mixing shows that the suffix “-phone” in “Sinophone” does not necessarily refer to the Chinese language or languages that share the same roots. In fact, this term reduces the importance of Chinese, allowing a discussion of its form based on the history, culture, races, and countries where the language is spoken. Although the use of a particular language does not directly denote the poet’s identification with a particular national identity, the study of how language is transmitted, controlled, or used must consider the confluence of racial history, local politics, postcolonial economics, and cultural production. However, as a symbol of the essence of traditional Chinese culture, the creation of classical poetry displays the writer’s identification with traditional Chinese culture, whether of the Mainland or of overseas Chinese. As David Wang wrote: Chinese poems suffered a drastic assault in the early twentieth Century. The May Fourth Literature Movement advocated dismantling anything associated with tradition, hence Chinese poems that emphasize forms and allusions bore the brunt of the movement. However, Chinese poetry never ceases spreading

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overseas and this has a profound significance. It is a way of calling out to the motherland, a way of rejecting diaspora and an action of retaining history.24

In Shu-mei Shih’s view, the diaspora has an end date. When (im)migrants settle and become localized, many choose to end their state of diaspora by the second or third generation.25 Shih’s conjecture is consistent with David L. Kenley’s view. Kenley asserts that even before Singapore became an independent city-state, the intellectuals who emigrated from China observed that their culture was centered in the land of their settlement and coined the category “Nanyang” for themselves. Many rejected the claim that their culture was an overseas Chinese culture.26 Therefore, classifying CCPS as diasporic literature seems to create a dilemma. “Sinophone studies” and “Sinophone literature” are new concepts in the field of Sinology, or Chinese studies. There is currently no agreement on who originated these concepts, but studies by Shu-mei Shih, David Der-wei Wang, Jing Tsu, and Tee Kim Tong have shown that there may be more than one understanding. In her Sinophone study, Shih tried to break the previous Han-centric or Sino-centric models and focused on the Chinese language, culture, and community beyond China, as well as the ethnic minority groups in China’s territory.27 Wang and Tsu focused on the production and criticism of contemporary literature and attempted to account for the literature of the continental Chinese, diaspora Chinese, overseas Chinese, and ethnic Chinese.28 Tee’s study on Malaysian Sinophone literature discussed how early China migration writers gradually blended racial relations and the political situation of Malaysia in their poems.29 Although these researchers have disparate theoretical ranges and perspectives, their studies all touch the core problem, which is how to position and assess Sinophone literature and culture beyond China. In fact, because of the geopolitical origins of Malaysia and Singapore, Tee’s study has provided a reference point for CCPS. In the past, the Chinese literary works that were produced in the regions and countries beyond Greater China were generally called “Overseas Literature in Chinese/by Chinese” and “World Literature in Chinese/by Chinese” in both Mainland China and Taiwan. These titles reflected the Han-centric or Sino-centric attitude of scholars regarding the writers’ identity, cultural field, and political reality.30 Moreover, this so-called universal vision did not reflect the uniqueness of Chinese literature in different regions. However, Sinophone literature, with the language family as the observation point, can deftly avoid the shortcomings of these concepts. Both Shih and Wang strongly emphasized the multiple composition of the “Sinophone language family.” Shih stated that, “Sinophone Malaysian writers, for instance, often incorporate English, Malay, and Tamil into their works, not to mention often crossing between different Sinitic languages such as Mandarin, Hokkien

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and Cantonese.”31 Wang also indicated, “Sinophone studies adopt the broadest definition of the Sinitic languages, which are also called hanyu, huayu, huawen, or zhongwen. Apart from standard parlance, the expanded definition allows for time- and locality-specific variations and embraces myriad accents and local vernacular.”32 Of course, in addition to emphasizing the complexity of the Sinitic languages, researchers have directed attention to the localization of Chinese culture in different regions outside China and to the writers’ complex identity. Obviously, Singapore, with the highest proportion of Chinese population in Southeast Asia and with its unique landscape of multiple languages and cultures, is the most favorable region for researching Sinophone literature. Because the evolution of identity and the development of localization are gradual processes, the complex CCPS until now can be considered Sinophone literature, a more inclusive concept. The English language entered the Singaporean and Malaysian field with colonialism and formed a hegemony that has lasted to the present day. However, in contrast, the Chinese script (also standard Sinitic script or standard Sinitic language) has never been a colonial language of Singapore and Malaysia, and the Chinese language in Singapore and Malaysia has become a minority language in the local mainstream culture. Hee Wai Siam once wrote of his concern about localization: It is necessary to make a distinction between “sinicization” and “Chineseness” in order to more accurately describe the development of Singaporean Chinese society and individuals through different levels from “de-sinicization” to “de-Chineseness.” “De-sinicization” is the partial acculturation process of Singaporean Chinese: individuals draw a clear dividing line in their relationship with Chinese nationalism while also retaining their local Chinese identity. “De-Chineseness,” on the other hand, is comprehensive acculturation taken to its extreme: the denial of any genetic or cultural Chinese identity.33

If this were the case, would Sinophone literature exist in Singapore? Thus, I agree with Jing Tsu’s opinion that “Sinophone literature” is a transitional title, unlike colonialism and deconstructivism.34 With the drastic decline of the Chinese-language standards in Singapore and the change in Singapore’s migration policies, I have my reservations regarding whether the younger generation of Singaporeans will or can compose literary works in Chinese. I am not optimistic that they can create classical poems because of the difficulties inherent in composing them.

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NOTES 1. Fang Hsiu, Mahua xin wenxue jianshi (A Brief History of Malayan-Chinese New Literature) (Singapore: Wan Li Book, 1974), 1. 2. Zhao Lü, “Kankan Fuzhang chushi” (“On the Birth of Supplement”), in Lat Pau, January 17, 1917. 3. Ibid. 4. Wong Meng Voon, and Xu Naixiang, eds., Xinjiapo Huawen wenxueshi chugao (A Preliminary Study of the History of Singapore Chinese Literature) (Singapore: Department of Chinese Studies of NUS and Global Publishing, 2002), 11. 5. Yeo Song Nian, “Bianxie Xin Ma Huawen wenxueshi de xin sikao” (“New Thoughts on Writing the History of Malayan-Chinese Literature”), in Tan Eng Chaw, ed., Xin Ma Huazu wenshi luncong (Collection of Essays on Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese Literature and History) (Singapore: Island Society, 1999), 28. 6. Wong Meng Voon, and Xu Naixiang, eds., Xinajipo Huawen wenxueshi chugao, 4. 7. Fang Hsiu, “Zhongguo wenxue dui Mahua wenxue de yingxiang” (“The Influence of Chinese Literature on Malayan Chinese Literature”), in idem, Xin Ma wenxueshi lunji (Critical Essays on Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese Literary History) (Hong Kong: Sanlian shudian; Singapore: Wenxue shuwu, 1986), 38. 8. See Lat Pau, December 19, 1887. 9. Ibid. 10. Huang Zunxian, “Zagan wushou” (“Five Poems on Random Thoughts”), no.1, in idem, Renjinglu shicao jianzhu (The Draft Poems from the Hut in the Human World with Annotations), annotated by Qian Zhonglian (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1981), 42. 11. See Vera Schwarcz, The Chinese Enlightenment: Intellectuals and the Legacy of the May Fourth Movement of 1919 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986). 12. Yeo Song Nian, “Wusi yundong qianhou de Xinma Huawen wentan” (“The Chinese Literary Circles in Singapore and Malaya before and after the May Fourth Movement”), in Chinese Classical Literature Society ed., Wusi wenxue yu wenhua bianqian (Proceedings of the Symposium on Literary and Cultural Change in the May Fourth Movement) (Taipei: Taiwan Student Book, 1990), 240–41. 13. Lin Kexie, “Yu yanyu tongyi, fei gaibian xiaoxue guowen keben wei baihuawen buwei gong” (“Primary School Textbooks must be Adapted through Vernacular Chinese in order to Speaking Matching Writing”), in Lat Pau, September 3, 1919. 14. Zhang Shu’nai, “Fakan ci” (“Foreword”), in Sin Kok Min Jit Poh, October 1, 1919. 15. See Ko Chia Cian, Yimin, jiangjie yu xiandaixing: Hanshi de nanfang lisan yu shuqing, 1895–1945) (Loyalists, Boundary and Modernity: Southbound Diaspora and Lyricism of Classical-Style Chinese Poetry, 1895–1945) (Taibei: Lianjing chubanshe, 2016). 16. See Stuart Hall, “Culture Identity and Diaspora,” in Jonathan Rutherford, ed., Identity: Community, Culture, Difference (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1990), 222–37.

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17. Robin Cohen, Global Diaspora: An Instruction (Seattle: University of Washington), 1997. 18. John McLeod, Beginning Post-colonialism (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2000). 19. Pan Xulan, “Pan Shou shiji de wenhua yiyun” (“Cultural Implications in Collection of Pan Shou’s Poems”), Shijie Huawen wenxue luntan (Forum for Chinese Literature of the World), vol. 3 (1998): 13. 20. Pan Shou, Pan Shou shiji (Collection of Pan Shou’s Poems) (Singapore: Singapore Cultural Studies Society, 2004), “Haiwai lu shi” (“Poems from Overseas Hut”), vol. 1, 3. 21. Ibid., “Haiwai lu shi,” vol. 8, 230. 22. Ibid., “Haiwai lu shi,” vol. 6, 150. 23. Ibid., 202–38. 24. David Der-wei Wang, Huayu yuxi de renwen shiye: Xinjiapo jingyan (Sinophone Humanities and the Singaporean Experience) (Singapore: Centre for Chinese Language and Culture of Nanyang Technological University, 2014), 47. 25. Shu-mei Shih, “Against Diaspora: The Sinophone as Places of Cultural Production,” in Jing Tsu and David Der-wei Wang, eds., Global Chinese Literature: Critical Essays (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2010), 45. 26. David L. Kenley, New Culture in a New World: The May Fourth Movement and the Chinese Diaspora in Singapore, 1919–1932 (New York and London: Routledge, 2003), 163–85. 27. See Shu-mei Shih, Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations across the Pacific (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007). 28. See Jing Tsu and David Der-wei Wang, eds., Global Chinese Literature: Critical Essays. 29. Tee Kim Tong, Rethinking Chineseness: Translational Sinophone Identities in the Nanyang Literary World (New York: Cambria Press, 2013). 30. See Chan Tah Wei, “Shijie Huawen wenxue yu ‘Zhongguo zhongxin lun’ siwei: Lun haiwai Huawen wenxueshi de xueshu shiye” (“World Literature in Chinese and China-Centric Thought: On the Academic Horizon of Overseas Chinese Literary History”), Shumu jikan (Bibliography Quarterly), vol. 38, 2 (2004): 143–49. 31. Shu-mei Shih, Chien-hsin Tsai, and Brian Bernards, eds., Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), 9. 32. David Der-wei Wang, “Huayu yuxi wenxue: Bianjie xiangxiang yu yuejie jiangou” (“Sinophone Literature: Imaginary Border and Cross-Border Construction”), Journal of Sun Yat-sen University (Social Science Edition), vol. 46, 5 (2006): 2. 33. Hee Wai Siam, “Huayu yuxi shequn zai Xinjiapo: Yi Liang Zhiqiang he Chen Ziqian de dianying weili” (“Sinophone Community in Singapore: A Case Study on the Films of Jack Neo and Royston Tan”), Zhongguo xiandai wenxue (Modern Chinese Literature), vol. 23, (June 2013): 83–109. 34. See Zhang Xi’na, “Shi Jingyuan jiaoshou zhuanfang: Yijuntuqi de huayu yuxi yanjiu” (“Interview with Professor Jing Tsu: The Sudden Rising of Sinophone Studies”), Lianhe Zaobao, November 29, 2014.

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Glossary

(hou) yimin (后)移/遗/夷民 “Badawei zhounian zhuiji Xu Xilin xiansheng” 八打威周年追祭徐锡麟先生 “Bu Xu Peiyu nüshi diao Qiu Jin nüshi yuanyun” 步徐佩玉女士吊秋瑾女史原韵 “Chen Xiaowei jianshi chou Meiguo Luo dazongtong shi suohe” 陈孝威见示酬美国罗大总统诗索和 “Chun huai” 春怀 “Chunmei de chenjiu: Jiuti shi” 醇美的陈酒:旧体诗 “Da zhao” 大招 “Deng zhugao shan” 登竹篙山 “Fanke fu yin” 番客妇吟 “Fanke pian” 番客篇 “Gengxu sanyue helixing xian, youkong xing yu diqiu xiangchu er shijie jiang zhong zhe, zuoci yi xiaozhi” 庚戌三月赫黎星见, 有恐星 与地球相触而世界将终者,作此以晓之 “Guan hai” 观海 “Guan Ouzhou nüyou zuo xiwenzi wu” 观欧洲女优作西文字舞 “Guan yinmu shang suo yanfang Nanyang qundao duanpian” 观银幕上所演放南洋群岛断片 “Haihe” 海鹤 “Han’gu guan” 函谷关 “He Qifang de jiuti shi” 何其芳的旧体诗 “Hongloumeng fenyong jueju” 红楼梦分咏绝句 “Hua shishi ganfu shishou” 话时事感赋十首 “Huanggong xiyuan canguan di’erci Ouzhan yingpian” 皇宫戏院参观第二 次欧战影片 “Huanleyuan zayong” 欢乐园杂咏 149

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150 Glossary

“Hui Yingjin xiangying podu Tangmusi furen zai Yinglun huyu jiuji zhanshi shangnan de shudian ganfu” 汇英金响应坡督汤姆斯夫人在英 伦呼吁救济战时伤难得书电感赋 “Huoxing bijin diqiu ganyong” 火星逼近地球感咏 “Jian chun” 饯春 “Jiaowai wanxing” 郊外晚行 “Jiehou shichao” 劫后诗抄 “Jin bieli” 今别离 “Jin youxian” 今游仙 “Jinlü qu” 金缕曲 “Jiushi he xinshi: Wuyue de lianxiang” 旧诗和新诗:五月的联想 “Kankan fuzhang chushi” 看看附张出世 “Ku Chen Zhuzhai xiansheng” 哭陈竺斋先生 “Landun shiyong” 兰敦诗咏 “Lao hekou” 老河口 “Lun benpo yizhong shuwu suoai guanzhan” 论本坡义冢殊无所碍观瞻 “Mingshi ye fengliu” 名士也风流 “Nanyang gedi fengsu youlie lun” 南洋各地风俗优劣论 “Nanyang xing ge” 南洋行歌 “Nanyang zhuzhici” 南洋竹枝词 “Nie Gannu de Nanshan cao” 聂绀弩的《南山草》 “Ouyou shi ji wushi shou” 欧游诗纪五十首 “Qingyun” 卿云 “Qiu gan” 秋感 “Ren shu dazhan ganyong” 人鼠大战感咏 “Shi qi tuoniao” 试骑鸵鸟 “Shi zhong bayou ge” 诗中八友歌 “Shilun yu shi de chuangzuo” 诗论与诗的创作 “Shishi yougan” 时事有感 “Shu tianyan hou lun” 书天演后论 “Sudan qiao wantiao” 苏丹桥晚眺 “Ti nian meihua tu” 题拈梅花图 “Ti Qiu Shuyuan feng yue qin zun tu” 题邱菽园风月琴尊图 “Ti Xiaohong sheng shichao” 题《啸虹生诗钞》 “Ting yu” 听雨 “Tuoluosiji yixiang tiba” 托洛斯基遗像题跋 “Wan Luosifu zongtong” 挽罗斯福总统 “Wanbo Xingjiapo” 晚泊星架坡 “Wang Xindi dao Liu Lang shi” 王辛笛悼刘郎诗 “Wen Tuoluosiji zai Moguo wei tongdang suo cibi” 闻托洛斯基在墨 国为同党所刺毙 “Wen xuanding zhengshi zongtong gan er youzuo” 闻选定正式总统感而 有作

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151

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“Wulaijiang ge” 巫来江歌 “Wushinian lai Zhongguo zhi wenxue” 五十年来中国之文学 “Xiannan jiyou” 暹南纪游 “Xiao xia” 消夏 “Xingzhou zayong” 星洲杂咏 “Xingzhou zhuzhici” 星洲竹枝词 “Xinjia’niang wushi shou” 新嫁娘五十首 “Xinjiapo zashi” 新加坡杂诗 “Xinjiapo zhuzhici” 新加坡竹枝词 “Yangguang lüci nanyou zagan” 仰光旅次南游杂感 “Yangke zashi” 养疴杂诗 “Yi lian ju tao zagong yipping zuoge” 以莲菊桃杂供一瓶作歌 “Yi mei” 忆梅 “Yingjili nüjun Weiduoliya wanci” 英吉利女君维多利亚挽词 “Yiwen zhi” 艺文志 “Yiyu baishawan” 移寓白沙湾 “Yuebao zai Oumei laogong shiyeshu da babaiwan ganzuo” 阅报载欧美劳 工失业数达八百万感作 “Yunwei butong de xinshi yu jiuti shi” 韵味不同的新诗与旧体诗 “Zhaonan zhuzhici” 昭南竹枝词 “Zhongguo shige de yanjin” 中国诗歌的演进 “Zhou feng” 骤风 “Zijin shan meihua” 紫金山梅花 “Ziti nanyang xingjiao tu” 自题南洋行教图 “Ziyou pian” 自由篇 Ah Heng (Yi Yin) 阿衡(伊尹) Anhui 安徽 Anqing 安庆 ba yue 八月 Baba 峇峇 bagu wen 八股文 Bai Juyi 白居易 bak kut teh 肉骨茶 bang 榜(傍) Baofa 宝筏 bei qing 悲情 Beijing 北京 bianya shiqing 边涯诗情 Bin Chun 斌椿 Binglangyu zhilue 槟榔屿志略 Cai Jianqiu 蔡剑秋 Cai Mengxiang 蔡梦香

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:43:33.

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152 Glossary

cai qing 才情 Cai Xueyuan 蔡学渊 Cai Yingcheng 蔡映澄 Cai Yuanpei 蔡元培 canlan 灿烂 Cao Xiangzhi 曹香芝 Cao Zhi 曹植 Cha Leung-yung (Jin Yong) 查良镛(金庸) Chan Soon Heng (Zhan Zunquan) 詹尊权 Chang Chien Chia (Zhang Jianjia) 张兼嘉 Changhe 唱和 Chao’an 潮安 Chaoyang 潮阳 Chen Baochen 陈宝琛 Chen Baoshu 陈宝书 Chen Baozhen 陈宝箴 Chen Bonian 陈柏年 Chen Chong Swee (Chen Zongrui) 陈宗瑞 Chen Dianbang 陈奠邦 Chen Dongling 陈东岭 chen guang 晨光 Chen Hongtao 陈红涛 Chen Huixian 陈惠仙 Chen Jingsan 陈儆三 Chen Jinyu 陈谨愚 Chen Jiuyan 陈旧燕 Chen Lianqing 陈炼青 Chen Lixi 陈丽樨 Chen Pingyuan 陈平原 Chen Qingshan 陈晴山 Chen Songyao 陈诵尧 Chen Tangzhen 陈堂珍 Chen Tuyuan 陈图渊 Chen Xiaoying 陈小英 chen xing 晨星 Chen Xiuli 陈修礼 Chen Xueting 陈雪汀 Chen Yuxian 陈愚仙 Chen Zhenxia 陈振夏 chen zhong 晨钟 Chen Zizhan 陈子展 Chen Zizhang (Chen Qi) 陈紫杖(陈颀)

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:43:33.

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Glossary

153

Cheng Bijuan 程碧娟 Cheng Lim Keak (Zhong Linjie) 钟临杰 Cheng Nam Jit Poh / Chin Nam Poh / Chin Lam Pao (Zhennan [ri]bao) 振南(日)报 Cheng Shewo 成舍我 Cheng Tsu Yu (Zheng Ziyu) 郑子瑜 Cheng Yanglü 程仰吕 Chenghai 澄海 Chew Wee Kai (Zhou Weijie) 周维介 Chong Shing Yit Pao (Zhongxing ribao) 中兴日报 Chongming 崇明 Choo Thiam Siew (Zhu Tianshou) 朱添寿 Chow Kue Nam (Zhou Junnan) 周君南 Chow Tse-tsung (Zhou Cezong) 周策纵 Chu ci 楚辞 Chu 楚 chuang 窗 Chunan Morning Post (Zhongnan chenbao) 中南晨报 ci lin 词林 ci yuan 词苑 Ci 词 ciren miaohan 词人妙翰 cizhang 词章 Cuiying shuyuan 萃英书院 Dabige shiji 大庇阁诗集 Daoguang 道光 daqian shijie 大千世界 Der-wei Wang (Wang Dewei) 王德威 Ding Huikang 丁惠康 Dingyou shirenjie shuanglinsi yaji 丁酉诗人节双林寺雅集 dongfang huayuan 东方花园 Dongfang Shuo 东方朔 Dongxiyang kao meiyue tongji zhuan 东西洋考每月统纪传 Douniu 斗牛 Du Chenghuang gumiao 都城隍古庙 Du Chongyi 杜崇义 Du Fu 杜甫 duan wu 端午 duhui 都会 duzhe julebu 读者俱乐部 Eng Hin (Yong Xing) 永兴 Fan Jingxing 范景星

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 14:43:33.

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154 Glossary

fan sheng 帆声 fan xing 繁星 Fan Zibai 范自白 Fang Hsiu (Fang Xiu) 方修 Fang Huanhui 方焕辉 fei fei 非非 Fei Xin 费信 Feixia shiji 飞霞诗集 Feng Lieshan 冯烈山 Feng Yinyue 冯印月 Feng yue qin zun tu 风月琴尊图 Fu Wumen 傅无闷 Fu Zhaobai 符昭柏 Fufei 宓妃 Fujian 福建 Gan Bofeng 甘柏峰 Gao Jianfu 高剑父 Gao Mengyun 高梦云 Gezhi huibian 格致汇编 Gong Zizhen 龚自珍 gongche shangshu 公车上书 gonggong yuandi 公共园地 Gongsheng 贡生 gongyu duzhe 工余读者 Guan Chupu 关楚璞 Guan Zhenmin 管震民 Guan Zhong 管仲 guan 观 Guangdong 广东 Guangfuhui 光复会 guanghua zazhi 光华杂志 Guangxu 光绪 Guangyi 广乙 Guangzhou 广州 Guanzhui bian 管锥编 Guici sanbai shou 闺词三百首 Guo Bifeng 郭碧峰 Guo Jiewu 郭介吾 guo xue 国学 guobao shiren 国宝诗人 guomin julebu 国民俱乐部 Guowen bao 国闻报

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Glossary

155

guti shici 古体诗词 Gwee Ah Leng (Wei Yaling) 魏雅聆 hai si 海丝 Haiguo shengyou cao 海国胜游草 Haike ritan 海客日谭 Hainan 海南 haitian chouchang 海天酬唱 haiwai Huaren/wen wenxue 海外华人/文文学 Haiwai lu shi 海外庐诗 Haiwai shisanjia shichao 海外十三家诗钞 Hakka (Kejia) 客家 Han 汉 Hanlin 翰林 Hanshi de yuejie yu xiandaixing: Chaoxiang yige lisan shixue 汉诗的越界 与现代性:朝向一个离散诗学 Hanyu Pinyin 汉语拼音 Hanyu 汉语 Haojie yusheng 浩劫余生 He Qifang 何其芳 He Xin’gu 何心谷 He Youduan 何幼端 He Zaoxiang 何藻翔 He Zhenjie 何镇捷 Hee Wai Siam (Xu Weixian) 许维贤 heng chun yuan 恒春园 Hengsheng 恒升 Hengyue 衡岳 heping 和平 Ho Hong (He feng) 和丰 Ho Ying Yuen (He Yingyuan) 何应源 Hoi Tong 海幢 Hong Kong 香港 Hong Laiyi 洪来仪 Hong Peng 洪鹏 Hong San See (fengshan si) 凤山寺 Hoo Ah Kay (Hu Yaji) 胡亚基 Hsieh Yun-sheng (Xie Yunsheng) 谢云声 Hsu Yun Tsiao (Xu Yunqiao) 许云樵 Hu Chaoqiu 胡超球 Hu Mai 胡迈 Hu Shi 胡适 Hu Shouyu 胡守愚

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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156 Glossary

Huai’an 淮安 Huaihai yousheng ji 寰海友声集 huajiang fenzhi 画疆分治 Huang Bojun 黄伯君 Huang Boyao 黄伯耀 Huang Chunqian 黄纯谦 Huang Fengxiang 黄凤翔 Huang Hezhong 黄和衷 Huang Jichen 黄吉辰 Huang Menggui 黄孟圭 Huang Shang 黄裳 Huang Shizhong 黄世仲 Huang Siwen 黄思问 Huang Yingliang 黄应良 Huang Yuanru 黄渊如 Huang Zaopan 黄藻泮 Huang Zhihong 黄志鸿 Huang Zunxian (Gongdu) 黄遵宪(公度) Huanqiu shisheng 寰球诗声 huanyu shisheng 寰宇诗声 Huaqiao gongyuan 华侨公园 Huawen 华文 Huaxiao 华校 Huayu 华语 Hui Xian 会贤 Hui Yin 会吟 Hujiang 沪江 Hunan 湖南 Hwang Sheo Wu (Huang Xuwu) 黄勗吾 I Lo-Fen 衣若芬 Jao Tsung-I (Rao Zongyi) 饶宗颐 Jia Yi 贾谊 jian ran yisu 渐染异俗 Jiang Baoyi 蒋抱一 Jiang Biao 江标 Jiangshan wanlilou shici chao 江山万里楼诗词钞 Jiangsu 江苏 Jiangzuo 江左 Jiao feng 蕉风 jiao shu 角黍 Jiaying 嘉应 Jichan 寄禅

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Glossary

157

jiehou Xingzhou 劫后星洲 Jing Tsu 石静远 jingmeng zhong 警梦钟 jinmalun gaoyuan 金马仑高原 Jinshi 进士 Jit Shin Pau (Rixin bao) 日新报 Jiuyong 玖永 juan juan 涓涓 Jueyuan ji 觉园集 Juren 举人 kafei zuo 咖啡座 Kang Yanqiu 康研秋 Kang Youwei 康有为 Kapitan 甲必丹 ke yun lu 客云庐 Kek Lok Si 极乐寺 keli 客里 Khoo Seok Wan (Qiu Shuyuan) 邱菽园 Khoo Tock Xin (Qiu Duxin) 邱笃信 Ko Chia Cian (Gao Jiaqian) 高嘉谦 Koh Lay Huan (Gu Lihuan) 辜礼欢 Koh Tai Seng (Xu Daxin) 许大新 Kok Min Jit Pao (Guomin ribao) 国民日报 Kua Bak Lim (Ke Mulin) 柯木林 Kuomintang 国民党 Kwong Wah Jit Poh (Guanghua ribao) 光华日报 Lai Kok Chong (Li Guochang) 黎国昌 laishi leilu 来诗类录 laishi zhaokan 来诗照刊 Lam Lap (Lin Li) 林立 Lan Duan 蓝端 Lat Pau (Le Bao) 叻报 Le Qun 乐群 lebao fuzhang 叻报附张 lebao julebu 叻报俱乐部 Lee Choon Seng (Li Juncheng) / Jueyuan 李俊承(觉园) Lee Guan Kin (Li Yuanjin) 李元瑾 Lee Kim Chuan (Li Jinquan) 李金泉 Lee Kuan Yew (Li Guangyao) 李光耀 Lee Tiat Ming (Li Tiemin) 李铁民 Lee Ting Hui (Li Tinghui) 李廷辉 lei shi 类士

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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158 Glossary

Lei Tieya 雷铁崖 Leong Weng Kee (Liang Rongji) 梁荣基 Leung Yuen Sang (Liang Yuansheng) 梁元生 Leung Yun Chee (Liang Runzhi) 梁润之 li 荔 Li Boming 李伯铭 Li Changrong 李长荣 Li Changzhi 李长枝 Li Guannan 李冠南 Li Hanxiu 李汉修 Li Jun 力钧 Li Letian 李乐天 Li Mengxian 李梦仙 Li Peh Khai (Li Bogai) 黎伯概 Li Qinghui 李清辉 Li Qingnian 李庆年 Li Shaoyue 李少岳 Li Shouchen 李守臣 Li Xilang 李西浪 Li Yaocong 黎耀聪 Li Yeming 李叶明 Li Zhongjue 李钟珏 Liang Chunlei 梁春雷 Liang Qichao 梁启超 Liang Tiejun 梁铁君 Liang Yusheng 梁羽生 Lianhe Wanbao 联合晚报 Lianhe Zaobao 联合早报 Liao Shunchen 廖舜臣 Lim Boon Keng (Lin Wenqing) 林文庆 Lim Chee Then (Lin Xudian) 林徐典 Lim Guan Hoo (Lin Yuanhe) 林源河 Lim Juay Phing (Lin Ruibin) 林锐彬 Lim Kim Lee (Lin Junli) 林君丽(笔名林子) liming 黎明 Lin Dapeng 林大鹏 Lin Guoxiang 林国祥 Lin Henian 林鹤年 Lin Hongsun 林鸿荪 Lin Jian’an 林健庵 Lin Jingqiu 林镜秋 Lin Jingren 林景仁

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Glossary

159

Lin Kexie 林克谐 Lin Shu 林纾 Lin Shuhua 凌叔华 Lin Yunfeng 林云峰 Lin Yuntai 林筠台 Lin Zhigao 林志高 Lingdong tongwen xuetang 岭东同文学堂 Lingnan 岭南 Liu Chucai 刘楚材 Liu Haisu 刘海粟 Liu Hanquan 刘汉全 Liu Runzhi 刘润芝 Liu Si 刘思 Liu Tai-hee (Liu Taixi) 刘太希 Liutang 柳堂 Liuxingshi yincao 留星室吟草 Lize 丽泽 Longchuan jiuke 垄川旧客 longya men 龙牙门 Loo Shaw Chang (Lu Shaochang) 卢绍昌 Lu Ge 鲁戈 Lu Yaotang 卢耀堂 Lu You 陆游 Lun xiao lu 论孝录 Lunyu 论语 Luo Bingnan 罗炳南 Luo Shisheng 骆世生 luodi shenggen 落地生根 luoye guigen 落叶归根 Ma Dieying 马蝶影 Ma Junwu 马君武 Ma Kangren 马康人 Ma Zongxiang 马宗芗 Malaiya Huaren jiutishi yanjin shi 马来亚华人旧体诗演进史 Manchu (Manzu) 满族 Maobin 懋斌 Mapo tiannan yinshe 麻坡天南吟社 Meizhou 梅州 Meng Xingyu 蒙星宇 Min Feng 民锋 Min Kuo Jit Poh (Minguo ribao) 民国日报 Min’nan 闽南

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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160 Glossary

Ming 明 Mingyi Li Bogai xiansheng shiwenji 名医黎伯概先生诗文集 Nan Chia1u Jit Pao (Nanqiao ribao) 南侨日报 nan huang 南荒 Nan Yang Si Pau (Nanyang shibao) 南洋时报 Nan’an 南安 Nanduo ribao 南铎日报 Nanfang wanbao 南方晚报 nanfeng bieshu 南风别墅 Nanfeng ciji 南风词集 nanguo shizong 南国诗宗 nanhua lou 南华楼 Nanjin erji 南金二集 Nanjin ji 南金集 Nanshan 南山 Nanshe 南社 Nanyang chongru xueshe 南洋崇儒学社 Nanyang shitan 南洋诗坛 Nanyang Siang Pau (Nanyang Shangbao) 南洋商报 Nanyang zhuzhici huibian 南洋竹枝词汇编 Nanyang 南洋 Ni Qishen 倪启绅 Nie Gannu 聂绀弩 Ningbo 宁波 Pan Chonggui 潘重规 Pan Feisheng 潘飞声 Pan Jiefu 潘洁夫 Pan Shou shiji 潘受诗集 Pan Shou shufa quanji 潘受书法全集 Pan Shou 潘受 pangyin 滂音 Pay Fong (Peifeng) 培风 Penang Sin Poe (Bingcheng xinbao) 槟城新报 Peng Shuxian 彭舒贤 Peng Song Toh (Peng Songtao) 彭松涛 Phoon Kwee Hian (Fang Guixiang) 方桂香 pian wen 骈文 Ping 萍 Poh Ern Shih (Baoen si) 报恩寺 Poit Ip Huay Kuan (Bayi huiguan) 八邑会馆 Qian Zhongshu 钱锺书 Qiangxue bao 强学报

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Glossary

161

Qin Lishan 秦力山 Qin 秦 qing 情 Qing 清 qingkong feisun 晴空飞隼 Qinmiantang shichao 勤勉堂诗钞 Qiu Fengjia ji 丘逢甲集 Qiu Fengjia 丘逢甲 Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji 丘菽园居士诗集 Qiyuan shiji 憩园诗集 Qu Yuan 屈原 Quanqiu Hanshi shiyou lianmeng zonghui 全球汉诗诗友联盟总会 Quanqiu Hanshi zonghui 全球汉诗总会 Quanzhou 泉州 Quek Yang Eng (Guo Yanying) 郭延英 qun 群 Rao Baiying 饶百迎 re qing 热情 Renhe 仁和 Renjinglu jiwai shiji 人境庐集外诗辑 Renjinglu shicao 人境庐诗草 renwen 人文 ri luo 日落 Rongjiang 榕江 Ruan Xiang 阮湘 Ruiyu shangren shiji 瑞于上人诗集 ruizhu gong 蕊珠宫 ruxiang suisu 入乡随俗 See Ewe Lay (Xue Youli) 薛有礼 Seng Wong Beo (Chenghuang miao) 城隍庙 Shang Yanying 商衍瀛 Shanghai 上海 shangyu zazhi 商余杂志 Shantou 汕头 She Xueman 佘雪曼 Shexian 歙县 shehui huaxu 社会花絮 Shen Qinghe 沈庆和 Shenzhou ke shici ji 神州客诗词集 shi cong 诗丛 shi jie 诗界 Shi Ruiyu (Chi Chan) 释瑞于(痴缠)

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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162 Glossary

shi sheng 狮声 shi wen 时文 shi xuan 诗选 shi yuan 诗苑 Shi Zugao 施祖皋 Shicheng shici xuehui 狮城诗词学会 Shicheng yayun 狮城雅韵 Shicheng yinyuan 狮城吟苑 Shici heji 诗词合辑 shici yazuo 诗词雅座 shici zhuanhao 诗词专号 shici 诗词 Shidafu 士大夫 shigao fudeng 诗稿附登 shigao zhaodeng 诗稿照登 shige shijie 诗歌世界 shiji feng / Shiji feng 世纪风 Shijian de heliu 时间的河流 shijie chaoyin ji 诗界潮音集 shijie geming 诗界革命 shijie Huawen/ren wenxue 世界华文/人文学 shile shici 石叻诗词 Shin Yik Khuan Pao (Xin yiqun bao) 新益群报 shiping 时评 shitan 诗坛 shitou po 事头婆 Shiwu bao 时务报 shiwu wen 时务文 shizhang fulu 诗章附录 shizhang jiuzheng 诗章就正 shuangxiang yishi 双乡意识 Shu-mei Shih (Shi Shumei) 史书美 Shun Pao (Shen bao) 申报 Shuyuan zhuitan 菽园赘谈 sikong jianguan 司空见惯 Siming 思明 Sin Chew (Xing Zhou) 星洲 Sin Chew Jit Poh (Xingzhou ribao) 星洲日报 Sin Chung Jit Poh (Xing Zhong ribao) 星中日报 Sin Kok Min Jit Pao (Xin guomin ribao) 新国民日报 Sin Sing (Xinsheng) 新声 Sing Po (Xing bao) 星报

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Glossary

163

Siong Lim 双林 Sishu 四书 Song Ziping 宋子平 Su Shi 苏轼 Su Xuelin 苏雪林 Suibi Nanyang 随笔南洋 suibo zhuliu 随波逐流 Sun Peigu 孙裴谷 Sun Quan 孙权 Sun Shinan 孙世南 Sun Songqiao 孙松樵 Sun Yat-sen (Sun Yixian) 孙逸仙 Tai Jia 太甲 Taiwan 台湾 Taixu 太虚 Tam Yong Huei (Tan Yonghui) 谭勇辉 Tan Ean Kiam (Chen Yanqian) 陈延谦 Tan Eng Chaw (Chen Rongzhao) 陈荣照 tan hui 谈汇 Tan Keong Sum (Chen Gongsan) 陳恭三(省堂) Tan Lark Sye (Chen Liushi) 陈六使 Tan Sitong 谭嗣同 Tan Xie 檀榭 Tan Yeok Seong (Chen Yusong) 陈育崧 Tan Youdian 谭攸钿 Tan Yunshan 谭云山 Tang Jingsong 唐景崧 Tang Juedun 汤觉顿 Tang Mingwu 汤明午 Tang 唐 Tansheng 叹生 Tanxie shiji 檀榭诗集 Tee Kim Tong (Zhang Jinzhong) 张锦忠 Teo Eng Hock (Zhang Yongfu) 张永福 Teo Liang Chye (Zhang Liangcai) 张良材 Teochew (Chaozhou) 潮州 The Sun-Poo (Xingzhou chenbao) 星洲晨报 Thien Nam (Tiannan) 天南 Thien Nan Shin Pao / Thien Nam Sin Pao (Tiannan xinbao) 天南新报 Thong Chai (Tong Ji) 同济 Thong Guan (Tong Yuan) 通源 Thye Ann (Tai An) 太安

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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164 Glossary

Thye Hin (Tai Xing) 太兴 Thye Hong (Tai Feng) 泰丰 Tian Songyue 田嵩岳 Tian Tong 田桐 Tianjin 天津 tianluo qinguo 天罗禽国 Tiannan huiyilu 天南回忆录 tiansheng zhi lai 天声之籁 tianya 天涯 Tingsonglu 听松庐 Tio Chee Chuen (Zhang Jichuan) 张济川 Tongfu shishe 同福诗社 tong shan 同善 Tong’an 同安 tongde shubao she 同德书报社 Tongmenghui 同盟会 Tongwen guan 同文馆 Tongwen shuyuan 同文书院 toujia niang 头家娘 Tsai Wang Ching (Cai Huanqing) 蔡寰青 Tu Kung-sui (Tu Gongsui) 涂公遂 Tu Nan 图南 Tu’nan ribao 图南日报 Tuan Mong (Duan Meng) 端蒙 wairen laigao 外人来稿 wan shi 顽石 Wang Bing 王兵 Wang Cangchao 王沧潮 Wang Cheng 王诚 Wang Enxiang 王恩翔 Wang Fu 王斧 Wang Gungwu (Wang Gengwu) 王赓武 Wang Huiyi 王会仪 Wang Junxia 王君侠 Wang Pan’gui 王攀桂 Wang Xindi 王辛笛 Wang Zhi 王芝 Wang Zhiwei 王志伟 Wangshuju yin’gao 望舒居吟稿 wei guang 微光 Wei Zhusheng 卫铸生 Weihai 威海

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Glossary

165

wen cong 文丛 wen yuan 文苑 wen zao 文藻 Wen Zihui 文子慧 Weng Yibo 翁奕波 wenxie zuopin 文协作品 wenxue tiandi 文学天地 wenyan 文言 wenyi cheng 文艺城 wenyi lan 文艺栏 wenyi 文艺 Wong Meng Voon (Huang Mengwen) 黄孟文 Wong Wai Leung (Huang Weiliang) 黄维樑 Wong Yoon Wah (Wang Runhua) 王润华 Woyun 卧云 Wu Dunmin 吴钝民 Wu Jun 吴俊 Wu Taishan 吴太山 Wu Xiao 吴萧 Wu Yanhan 吴炎汉 Wu Zhihan 吴之汉 Wubaishi dongtian huizhu 五百石洞天挥麈 wuxian diantai 无线电台 wuxin yun 无心云 wuyan bayun shi 五言八韵诗 Wuzhong 吴中 Xia Xiaohong 夏晓红 Xia Zengyou 夏曾佑 Xiamen 厦门 Xian Wu 仙悟 Xiang bao 湘报 Xiangxue bao 湘学报 Xianlai ge 闲来阁 xianxia 闲暇 xiao feng 晓风 Xiao Qingqi 萧庆祺 Xiao Yaotian 萧遥天 Xiao Yatang 萧雅堂 Xiaohan 笑罕 Xiaohong sheng shichao 啸虹生诗钞 Xiaoya 啸崖 Xie Jingxi 谢静希

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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166 Glossary

Xie Jinjia 谢晋嘉 Xie Songshan 谢松山 xie wen 谐文 Xie Wenhua 谢文华 Xie Xinzhun 谢心准 Xin feng 新风 xin guomin zazhi 新国民杂志 Xin qingnian 新青年 xin xue 新学 xin yuandi 新园地 Xing e’sheng 惺噩生 xing hai 星海 xing yu 星宇 xing yun 星云 xing 兴 Xingcha shenglan 星槎胜览 Xingfu de weiqiang 幸福的围墙 xingqi fukan 星期副刊 Xingzhou meishu xueyuan 星洲美术学院 xingzhou yugong 星洲寓公 Xinhai 辛亥 Xinjiapo fengtu ji 新嘉坡风土记 Xinjiapo Huawen jiutishi yanjiu 新加坡华文旧体诗研究 Xinjiapo Huawen xiandai zhuyi wenxue yundong yanjiu 新加坡华文现代 主义文学运动研究 Xinjiapo shikan 新加坡诗刊 Xinjiapo wenyi 新加坡文艺 Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe baiqi sheke xuanji 新加坡新声诗社百期社课选辑 Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe shici xuanji 新加坡新声诗社诗词选集 Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe sishi zhounian jinian tekan 新加坡新声诗社四十 周年纪念特刊 Xinjiapo zaoqi Huawen baozhang wenyi fukan yanjiu 新加坡早期华文报 章文艺副刊研究 Xinjiapo 新加坡 Xinmin congbao 新民丛报 Xinming ribao 新明日报 xinpai shi 新派诗 Xinshe jikan 新社季刊 Xinshe wenyi 新社文艺 Xinshe xuebao 新社学报 Xinshe 新社 Xinsheng yayun wusi qing 新声雅韵五四庆

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Glossary

167

Xinsheng yayun 新声雅韵 xinwen 新闻 Xinzhou houlang 新洲后浪 Xinzhou yayuan 新洲雅苑 Xiucai 秀才 Xu Beihong 徐悲鸿 Xu Chiqing 徐持庆 Xu Jijun 徐季钧 Xu Naiyan 许乃炎 Xu Nanying 许南英 Xu Xilin 徐锡麟 xue hai 学海 xue hua 雪花 Yan Diyuan 颜涤元 Yan Fu 严复 Yan Yiyuan 颜怡园 Yang Chengzu 杨承祖 Yang Qi 杨圻 Yang Qilin 杨启麟 Yang Tianxiong 杨天雄 Yang Wenyan 杨文彦 Yao Chuying 姚楚英 Yao Yuanchu 姚鹓雏 ye lin 椰林 Ye Qiutao 叶秋涛 Yeap Chong Leng (Ye Zhongling) 叶钟铃 Yeh Chi Yun (Ye Jiyun) 叶季允 Yeo Mang Thong (Yao Mengtong) 姚梦桐 Yeo Song Nian (Yang Songnian) 杨松年 Yeung Ching (Yang Zheng) 养正 Yi Hai chaoxi 艺海潮汐 Yi Hai gudian wenxue yanjiuhui 艺海古典文学研究会 Yi Junzuo 易君左 Yi Shunding 易顺鼎 Yihai wenlan 医海文澜 Yik Khuan Pao (Yiqun bao) 益群报 Yike xiangshu lihua tonglun 医科象数理化通论 yin’e tai 吟哦台 Yindu gu foguo youji 印度古佛国游记 Ying Fo Fui Kun (Yinghe huiguan) 应和会馆 Ying Xiang 应祥 Yingbi xuan 映碧轩

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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168 Glossary

Yinxiang shiji 吟香诗集 Yinxiang xuanji 吟香选集 yiqun zazhi 益群杂志 yizhi lu 益智录 Yong Ching Fatt (Yang Jinfa) 杨进发 Yong Yit Kin (Yang Yijian) 杨一肩 Yongchun 永春 Yongweng shicun 永翁诗存 you qing 幽情 youyi chang 游艺场 Yu Biyun 俞陛云 Yu Dafu 郁达夫 yu di 玉笛 Yu Hua 郁华 Yu Lan 毓兰 Yuan Zhen 元稹 yuan 怨 yue ke 月课 yue ou 粤讴 yuefu shi 乐府诗 yuge changwan 渔歌唱晚 Yung Wing (Rong Hong) 容闳 Yunnan yuan yinchang ji 云南园吟唱集 Zaoqi Nanyang Huaren shige de chuancheng yu kaituo 早期南洋华人诗歌的 传承与开拓 zazhu fukan 杂著附刊 Zeng Jize 曾纪泽 Zeng Juemin 曾觉民 Zeng Mengbi 曾梦笔 Zeng Qingping 曾青苹 Zeng Shengti 曾圣提 Zeng Xinying 曾心影 Zeng Xiying 曾希颖 Zeng Zhiyuan 曾志远 Zhang Binglin 章炳麟 Zhang Junguang 张君广 Zhang Kehong 张克宏 Zhang Mingci 张明慈 Zhang Rumei 张汝梅 Zhang Shizhao 章士钊 Zhang Shu’nai 张叔耐 Zhang Weiping 张维屏

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Glossary

169

Zhang Yuanji 张元济 Zhangzhou 漳州 Zhao Guanhai 招观海 Zhao Lü 兆吕 zhao xia 朝霞 Zhao Ying 赵颖 Zhejiang 浙江 Zhen Dong 振东 Zheng Guanghan 郑光汉 Zheng He 郑和 Zheng Jinlian 郑锦涟 Zheng Qiaosong 郑翘松 Zheng Ruzhen 郑儒珍 Zheng Shengbao 郑绳保 Zheng Yushu 郑玉书 Zhixin bao 知新报 Zhong Bichun 钟璧纯 Zhong Jiemin 钟介民 Zhong Rong 钟嵘 Zhongguo jindai wenxue zhi bianqian 中国近代文学之变迁 zhonghua shuju 中华书局 Zhongwai jiwen 中外纪闻 Zhongwai xinbao 中外新报 zhongwen 中文 Zhou Fobao 周佛宝 Zhou Jingzhi 周静稚 Zhu Liangren 朱梁任 Zhu Yuanzhang 朱元璋 Zhuang Zi 庄子 Zhuo Liuming 卓六铭 Zizhang shigao 紫杖诗稿 zonghui fukan 总汇副刊 Zongli geguo shiwu yamen 总理各国事务衙门 Zuo Binglong (Zixing) 左秉隆(子兴)

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Bibliography

Abrams, M. H. The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. New York: Norton, 1953. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso Editions, 1983. Berger, Peter. An Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective. New York: Doubleday, 1963. Berry, John W., et al. Cross-Cultural Psychology: Research and Applications. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Bin, Chun (斌椿). “Haiguo shengyou cao” (海国胜游草), Zouxiang shijie congshu (走向世界丛书), series 1, vol. 1, edited by Zhong Shuhe (钟叔河). Changsha: Yuelu shushe, 1985 (145–81). Chan, Tah Wei (陈大为). “Shijie Huawen wenxue yu ‘Zhongguo zhongxin lun’ siwei: Lun haiwai Huawen wenxueshi de xueshu shiye” (世界华文文学与“中国中心论”思维: 论《海外华文文学史》的学术视野), Shumu jikan (书目季刊) 38: 2 (2004): 143–49. Chen, Baoshu (陈宝书). Liuxingshi yincao (留星室吟草). Taibei: Haitian yinshua chang, 1976. ———, et al. Xinjiapo xinsheng shishe baiqi sheke xuanji (新加坡新声诗社百期社 课选辑). Singapore: Sin Sing Poets Society, 1981. Chen, Bonian (陈柏年). Tieti xia zhi Xinjiapo (铁蹄下之新加坡). Nanjing: The Chinese Economics Society, 1926. Chen, Hongtao (陈红涛). “Lun tuozhan Zhonghua shici ya wenhuaquan” (论拓展中 华诗词亚文化圈), Huanqiu shisheng (寰球诗声) 5 (1997): 119–20. Chen, Mong Hock (陈蒙鹤). The Early Chinese Newspapers of Singapore 1881–1912. Singapore: University of Malaya Press, 1967. Chen, Pingyuan (陈平原), and Yamaguchi Mamoru, eds. Dazhong chuanmei yu xiandai wenxue (大众传媒与现代文学). Beijing: Xin shijie chubanshe, 2003. Chen, Qingshan (陈晴山). A Scholar’s Path: An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poems and Prose of Chen Qing Shan, A Pioneer Writer of Malayan-Singapore 171

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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172 Bibliography

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Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Huang, Jiann Chen (黄建淳). Wanqing Xin Ma Huaqiao dui guojia rentong zhi yanjiu (晚清新马华侨对国家认同之研究). Taipei: The Society of Overseas Chinese Studies, 1993. Huang, Yingliang (黄应良), et al. Nanfeng ciji (南风词集). Singapore: Chinese Language Department, Nanyang University, 1960. Huang, Zunxian (黄遵宪). Renjinglu jiwai shiji (人境庐集外诗辑), edited by Modern Poetry Research Group of Department of Chinese, Peking University. Shanghai: Gudian wenxue chubanshe, 1960. ———. Renjinglu shicao jianzhu (人境庐诗草笺注), annotated by Qian Zhonglian (钱仲联). Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1981. I, Lo-fen (衣若芬). “Nanyang daxue shiqi de Ling Shuhua yu xin jiutishi zhizheng” (南洋大学时期的凌叔华与新旧体诗之争), Xin wenxue shiliao (新文学史料) 32: 1 (2009): 48–57. Innis, Harold. The Bias of Communication. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1951. Jao, Tsung-I (饶宗颐). Xinjiapo gushi ji (新加坡古事记). Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1994. ———. “Zhongwai guanxi shi: Xing Ma Huawen beike ji’nian” (中外关系史: 星马华文碑刻系年), Rao Zongyi ershi shiji xueshu wenji (饶宗颐二十世纪学术 文集), vol. 7. Taibei: Xin wenfeng, 2004 (831–963). Kang, Youwei (康有为). Kang Youwei quanji (康有为全集), annotated by Jiang, Yihua (姜义华), and Zhang, Ronghua (张荣华). Beijing: China Renmin University Press, 2007. Kenley, David L. New Culture in a New World: The May Fourth Movement and the Chinese Diaspora in Singapore, 1919–1932. New York and London: Routledge, 2003. Khoo, Seok Wan (邱菽园). Wubaishi dongtian huizhu (五百石洞天挥麈). Guangzhou: Fuwen zhai, 1899. ———. Huizhu shiyi (挥麈拾遗). Shanghai: Jiaozhu qianban xiaoziben, 1901. ———. Xiaohong sheng shichao (啸虹生诗钞). Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1922. ———, ed. Tanxie shiji (檀榭诗集). Singapore: Tanxie shishe, 1926. ———. Qiu Shuyuan jushi shiji (丘菽园居士诗集). Singapore: Self-Publishing, 1949. ———. “Six Poems,” translated by Bryant, Shelly and Wang, Xinlei, Manoa 26: 1 (2004): 165–67. Ko, Chia Cian (高嘉谦). “Hanshi de yuejie yu xiandaixing: Chaoxiang yige lisan shixue, 1895–1945” (汉诗的越界与现代性: 朝向一个离散诗学, 1895–1945). Ph.D. diss. National Chengchi University, 2007. ———. “Diguo, siwen, fengtu: Lun zhuXin shijie Zuo Binglong, Huang Zunxian yu Mahua wenxue” (帝国、斯文、风土: 论驻新使节左秉隆、黄遵宪与马华文学), Bulletin of Department of Chinese, National Taiwan University 32 (June 2010): 359–98. ———. “Diguo, shi yu kongjiao de liuwang: Lun Qiu Fengjia yu Kang Youwei de Nanyang shi” (帝国、诗与孔教的流亡: 论丘逢甲与康有为的南洋诗), Shuqing chuantong yu weixin shidai (抒情传统与维新时代), edited by Wu, Shengqing (吴盛青) and Ko, Chia Cian. Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi chubanshe, 2012.

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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174 Bibliography

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Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

Index

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Abrams, Meyer Howard, 94 acculturation, 25, 32, 146 amateur writing, 4, 8, 40 Anderson, Benedict, 27; “imagined community,” 27 Berry, John W., 24; assimilation, 24, 26; integration, 24–25, 63; separation, 24, 71; marginalization, 24, 127, 135 Bin Chun, 1, 11, 22; Draft of A Triumphal Mission Overseas, 11 British colonial government, 85; British colonial state, 110 Buddhism, 17, 57, 60–61, 63–65, 67–69 Cai Yingcheng, 30 Cantonese, 21, 86n14, 105, 145; Cantonese music (yue ou), 122, 136 Chan Soon Heng, 75, 80–81, 126 Changhe poems, 49, 61, 63–64, 66–67, 69, 83, 106, 119–20, 122, 124 Chao Foon (Jiao feng), 93 Chen Baoshu, 30, 69, 71, 73, 75, 84, 125; Poems Written in Singapore, 73 Chen Baozhen, 45 Chen Bonian, 55, 59; Singapore during the Japanese Occupation, 89n52

Chen Qingshan, 10n18, 78, 91n111, 98 Chen Xiaoying, 6, 10n16 Chen Zizhang, 56; Anthology of Zizhang, 56 Cheng Tsu Yu, 29, 37n59, 125; “Moving to White Sand Bay,” 29 Chin Nam Poh, 47, 95, 98, 115, 117 Chinese (im)migrants, 9n1, 13–16, 20, 24–26, 28, 34n13, 35n17, 52, 54, 58, 129, 143; first-generation (Chinese) (im)migrants, 16, 18, 21–25, 27–28, 32–33, 78, 143 Chinese character(s), 25, 43–44 Chinese schools (huaxiao), 27, 30, 34n5, 128, 143 Chong Shing Yit Pao, 95, 97, 107, 117, 119, 122, 124 Choo Thiam Siew, 82, 141 Chow Tse-tsung, 31, 38n66; “double traditions,” 31 Chunan Morning Post, 95 Civil War, 5 Classical Chinese poetry in Singapore (CCPS), 1, 6–8, 12, 15, 17–18, 22–23, 25–30, 32–33, 40, 49, 85, 103, 111, 117, 119, 123–25, 127–30, 135, 140–43, 145–46 Classical Chinese, 5–6, 31, 93, 136, 139–40; classical language, 5, 106

181 Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

182 Index

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classical poetry, 1, 3–4, 7, 10n17, 15, 30, 32, 40, 46, 61, 70, 72–74, 76– 79, 81–83, 91n108, 93–95, 113, 116–17, 122, 124, 126–27, 129, 131n11, 138–39, 141, 143–44; classical poems, 2–4, 32, 78, 81, 94–95, 103, 122, 124–28, 142–43, 146; classical Chinese poetry, 1, 3–8, 10–12, 15–16, 25–26, 28, 31, 37n54, 54, 59, 72, 84–85, 93, 108, 116–17, 121–23, 125–26, 128–29, 136, 140; Han poetry, 4, 6, 9n11, 81, 91n97; classical Chinese poems, 8, 10n18, 12, 91n111, 93–94, 116, 122, 136 classification, 8, 17, 135, 141 couplet, 3, 15, 31, 34n11, 43–44, 46–47, 50, 53, 55, 81, 84, 87n17, 128 cross-cultural, 17, 24, 106 cultural latency, 22; Parsons, Talcott, 22–23, 36n39 cultural shock, 18, 20; Oberg, Kalvero, 18, 35n20 cultural space, 39–41, 43–44, 49, 52, 54–55, 57, 59, 61, 80, 85, 92n117, 138, 140 cultural superiority, 21–22, 24 David Der-wei Wang, 3, 9n6, 36n38, 145, 148n24, 148n25, 148n28, 148n32; David Wang, 4, 15, 22, 144 Déjà vu, 22, 24, 36n33 dialects, 21, 30, 32, 79; Chinese dialects, 21, 25; diaspora, 6, 10n11, 34n5, 34n13, 51–52, 135, 137, 142–45; diasporic literature, 8, 135, 141–43, 145 Dongfang Shuo, 121–22 eight-legged essays (bagu wen), 47; eight-rhyme poetry, 53 Emperor Guangxu, 44, 51, 121 Fang Hsiu, 93, 130n3, 136

Fei Xin, 11, 33n1; “Dragon Teeth’s Gate,” 11; Overall Survey of the Star Raft, 11 First Opium War, 15 Four Talents of Sin Chew, 59, 89n65 Fu Zhaobai, 29, 37n61 Fujian, 8, 13–15, 17, 20, 47, 56–57, 60, 72, 80, 84; Min’nan, 21; Quanzhou, 14, 57; Yongchun, 56, 60; Zhangzhou, 14, 17, 20, 59, 61 General Society for Chinese Classical Poetry, 8, 71, 81–82, 85, 126–28, 141; The Universal Voice of Poetry, 4, 38n70, 82, 91n113, 127; Elegant Garden for Nanyang Classical Poets, 31, 37n61, 127–28 Gong Zizhen, 72 group of poems, 2; group poem, 15; a set of poems, 101, 106, 112, 137 Guan Zhenmin, 65, 68, 90n83, 96–97 Guangdong, 8, 13–14, 20, 50, 56, 60– 61, 73, 84–85, 122, 137; Jiaying (Meizhou), 20, 50, 137 Guangfuhui (Society for Restoration), 107; Xu Xilin, 107 Gutzlaff, Karl, 15, 34n10; Eastern Western Monthly Magazine, 14–15 Habermas, Jürgen, 101, 103; Öffentlichkeit, 101; public sphere, 94, 101, 103–6, 108, 130 Hadijah Bte Rahmat, 32, 38n71 Hainan, 8, 21; Hainanese, 105 Hakka, 21, 105; “Stories of Overseas Hakkas,” 2 Hall, Stuart, 142 Han-centric, 22, 145; Sino-centric, 85, 135, 142, 145; Sino-centrism, 6 He Youduan, 97, 101–2, 131n16; Three Hundred Female Poems, 101–2 Hokkien, 21, 25, 60, 63, 105, 145

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

Index

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Hong Kong, 8, 24, 27, 49–51, 76, 80–81, 108, 127, 140–41 Hsieh Yun-sheng, 69–72, 75, 99, 119 Hsu Yun Tsiao, 57 Huang Zunxian, 1–3, 5, 7, 20, 22, 39, 44, 46, 49, 60, 63, 67, 80, 101–2, 108–9, 112–13, 118, 138–40; Draft Poems from the Hut of the Human World, 101; Supplements of the Poems from the Hut of the Human World, 101 Hundred Days’ Reform Movement, 5, 45, 48 Hut Gathered Guests, 51, 118; Hut Gathered Guests Poetry Competition, 118 Huxley, Thomas Henry, 114; Evolution and Ethics, 114–15 Hwang Sheo Wu, 73, 75 I Lo-Fen, 77, 91n108 identity (identities), 1, 7–8, 11–12, 15–18, 24–26, 28–29, 31–34, 50, 67–69, 100, 135, 137, 142–46 imperial examinations, 2, 41, 43, 46–47, 53, 57, 61, 69, 80, 139; metropolitan graduate (Jinshi), 50; provincial examinations, 43, 47, 61; provincial graduate (juren), 47, 59, 66; tributary scholar (gongsheng), 57 Indonesia, 14, 24, 48, 50, 141 Island Society, 10n15, 70, 147n5 James J. Y. Liu, 94, 130n7 Jing Tsu, 145–46, 148n25 Jit Shin Pau, 95, 118 Kang Youwei, 1, 47–49, 51, 53, 66–67, 109, 116, 118–19; The Poems from the Hall of Obscured Brightness, 51, 88n46; The Poems from Resting Garden, 51 Khoo Seok Wan, 2–3, 5–7, 16–21, 25, 27–28, 43, 46–48, 50–56, 58–69,

183

72, 95–99, 111–13, 115–16, 118–19, 121–22, 125, 138, 140, 143; Collected Poems of Khoo Seok Wan, 3, 9n4, 35n24, 65, 89n66, 132n38; Collected Poems of Xiaohong sheng, 3, 9n4, 69; Gossips of Seok Wan, 3, 9n4, 51; Idle Talks in the Mist of Five Hundred Caves, 3, 9n4, 19, 35n23, 64; “Jade Flute,” 61; “Tempest,” 62; “Modern Wandering in Transcendence,” 112 Khoo Tock Xin, 43 Ko Chia Cian, 6, 22, 28, 50; “The Transcendence and Modernity of Han Poetry: A Poetics of Diaspora,” 6 Kok Min Jit Pao, 95, 98, 117 Kuala Lumpur, 95 Kuomintang, 107, 119 Kwong Wah Jit Poh, 95, 97 Lai Kok Chong, 71, 73, 75 Lam Lap, 28, 82, 128; An Anthology of Southern Talents, 82; An Anthology of Southern Talents II, 82; “consciousness of double homeland” or “double consciousness,” 28 Lat Pau, 4, 8, 12, 43–44, 47, 49, 56, 60, 64, 67, 94–96, 99–101, 111, 115, 117–18, 120–23, 129, 136, 139 Late Qing Dynasty, 6, 100, 107, 121; late Qing, 8, 15–16, 18, 30, 42, 49–50, 52, 61–63, 65–66, 109–10, 115–16, 122, 125, 139 Lee Choon Seng, 2, 7, 27, 59–62, 65, 67–71, 73–74, 112, 114, 116, 125; Works from Awaking Garden, 60 Lee Guan Kin, 17–18, 35n18, 67 Lee Kim Chuan, 28, 30, 75, 80, 83–84 Lee Kuan Yew, 31, 79 Lefebvre, Henri, 39, 86n3 Leung Yuen Sang, 43, 49

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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184 Index

Levenson, Joseph R., 41; “double amateur,” 41 Li Peh Khai, 56–58, 98, 119 Li Qinghui, 17, 49, 120 Li Qingnian, 5, 12, 16, 21, 48, 56–57, 93–95, 105, 117, 120, 122, 141; A Compilation of Nanyang Songs of Bamboo Branches, 21; A History of Classical-Style Poetry of Malayan Chinese, 5 Li Zhongjue, 49, 53; A Description of Singapore in 1887, 49, 87n31 Liang Qichao, 44, 48, 67, 93, 109, 116, 119; literary revolution, 93, 95, 109; poetry revolution, 30, 44, 109–10, 125 Lianhe Zaobao, 27, 82, 99n3, 123–24, 128 Lim Boon Keng, 47 Lim Juay Phing, 85, 127; Lim Juay Phing’s Poetry, 85 Ling Shuhua, 76–78, 91n108 Lion City Poetry Association, 31, 83–85, 126; Lion City Poetry, 83, 126 Literary genre, 5, 7, 21, 93, 122, 138 Literary supplement, 47, 96, 122 Literati gathering, 73–78, 80 Liu Tai-hee, 75–77 Lize Club, 46–48, 53, 55, 64, 96; Le Qun Literary Society, 47–48, 118 localization, 18, 25–26, 28–29, 31–32, 57–59, 100, 137, 142–43; native, 5, 22, 26–27, 29, 31, 106, 138; native-born, 4 Louis Cha Leung-yung (Jin Yong), 27, 124 Ma Zongxiang, 2, 30, 73, 75, 80, 125; A Compilation of Poems and Song Lyrics, 73 Mainland China, 5–6, 8, 22, 24, 27, 76, 140–42, 145, Malacca, 13–15, 17, 20, 51, 73, 105 Malay Peninsula, 9n1, 13–14, 23, 50 Malaysian Federation, 17; Malayanization, 100

May Fourth Movement, 135, 138–39, 147n11 medium, 4, 7, 57, 61, 79, 93–95, 101, 103, 110, 114, 120, 125, 127, 129, 140; Chinese-medium, 72; English-medium, 44, 84; modern media, 109 Min Kuo Jit Poh, 95, 99 modern literature, 94, 135–37, 139; modern Chinese literature, 76, 93, 135 monthly assessment class (yue ke), 43, 45, 55 multicultural and multiracial: aspects, 20; community, 105; environment, 28; society, 12 Myanmar, 46, 105, 141; Yangon, 46, 105, 140 Nan Chiau Jit Pao, 95, 97, 107–8, 117, 124 Nan Yang Si Pau, 95, 98 Nanshe, 56, 97–98 Nanyang Siang Pau, 48, 56, 74, 84, 93, 95, 99, 111, 113, 115, 117, 123–25, 128 Nanyang University (Nantah), 27, 31, 75–79, 84, 126, 128 Nanyang, 1–4, 6–8, 11–13, 15, 17–18, 20–22, 24, 26–33, 41, 45–48, 50–52, 58–59, 62–63, 68, 72–74, 77, 82, 95, 106–8, 115–16, 119–22, 124, 137–40, 144–45 National University of Singapore (NUS), 4, 12, 31, 78–79, 81–82, 128 New literature, 5, 7, 31, 95, 109, 122, 138–40; New Literature Movement, 40, 139; New People Miscellany, 109; “The Sounds of the Poetic World,” 109; Vernacular literature, 117, 125–26, 128, 139 New Society (Xinshe), 70–71, 74 Newbold, Thomas John, 13 new-type poetry, 109–10, 116

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

Index

nostalgia, 25, 32–33, 60, 119–21, 142; homesickness, 25, 29, 58, 103–4, 119–20, 140, 143

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old literature, 7, 137–38 “Out-of-business Hours,” 74, 97, 99, 124 Overseas Chinese, 2, 42–45, 50–51, 75, 82, 84–85, 100, 106, 108, 139, 144–45; Overseas Chinese/ Chinese-Language Literature, 5, 31, 135; Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), 60; Overseas Chinese Park, 98; Overseas Chinese School, 72 Pan Feisheng, 1, 53, 67, 96, 118 Pan Shou, 2–3, 6–7, 16, 27, 32, 96, 125, 128–29, 143; Collection of Pan Shou’s Poems, 3, 143 Penang, 13–15, 17, 20, 51, 61, 95, 106; Penang Sin Poe, 95–96, 117, 119, 121–22 Peranakan, 17, 24, 35n17, 41, 44, 48–49, 107; Baba, 44; Straits Chinese, 17, 47 Ping Club, 55 poem-bells, 48, 73 poetic exchanges, 140; poetry exchange, 49, 69, 75, 126, 141 poetic history, 100, 125 poetry clubs, 3–4, 21; poetry societies, 8, 27, 40–41, 46, 48, 55, 69, 80, 83–84, 95, 141; Hui Yin Poetry Club, 3, 8, 15, 43–44, 46, 53, 55, 72, 96, 140; Hui Xian Club, 43–47; Tu Nan Club, 3, 8, 15, 21, 45–47, 53, 55, 72, 96, 106, 108, 110 poetry communications, 39–40, 49–51, 53–54 poetry training, 74, 79, 82; poetry teaching, 84, 128 Poets’ Day, 69–71, 73–74, 80, 83, 126 (post)-barbarian, 15–16, 22, 34n13

185

prewar, 94–95, 125, 129, 141; postwar, 7, 123–26, 128–29 Purcell, Victor, 26; Persistence Theory, 26 Qiu Fengjia, 1, 5, 49–50, 52–53, 61, 64, 67, 96, 118; Anthology of Qiu Fengjia, 51 Qu Yuan, 69–70 Quasi-scholar (lei shi), 40–46, 48, 52, 66 Quek Yang Eng, 29, 37n62 Raffles, Stamford, 14, 17, 34n9 Remnant subject (yimin), 15–16, 34n13 Republican China, 40, 57, 63, 65, 85 Reuters, 111, 113 Revolution of 1911, 5, 100, 107 Schmidt, Jerry D., 63, 90n77 scholar-bureaucrat (shidafu), 40–42, 57, 66 School of Combined Learning, 42, 50 second- or third-generation immigrants, 16, 78, 142–43, 145; secondgeneration immigrants, 27; second- and third-generation: Chinese poets, 28; Chinese, 32  Second Sino-Japanese War, 5, 107 See Ewe Lay, 8, 12, 60 “settling down and sinking roots,” 17, 25 Sgwritings.com, 4, 20, 127 She Xueman, 76–77 Shi Ruiyu, 2, 7, 21, 57–62, 64–65, 67–68, 96, 100, 138; Collected Poems of Master Ruiyu, 66, 100; Hong San See, 57; Seng Wong Beo Temple, 57, 64 Shin Yik Khuan Pao, 95 Shu-mei Shih, 145 Shun Pao, 93, 110 Sin Chew Jit Poh, 47, 67, 84, 95, 99, 115, 119, 123–24 Sin Chung Jit Poh, 95, 99

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

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186 Index

Sin Kok Min Jit Pao, 56, 95, 98, 117, 136 Sin Sing Poets Society (Sin Sing), 3, 8, 27, 30–31, 69–76, 78–81, 84–85, 124, 126–28, 141; Selected Poems from 100 vols. of Club Topics of SSPS, 74; Selected Poems of SSPS in Singapore, 80; “Gathering of 1957 Poets’ Day at Siong Lim Temple,” 70, 73; The Universal Voice of Poetry, 4, 82, 127; Xin Sheng Poets Society, 71 Sing Po, 45–47, 95–96, 106, 118, 140 Singapore Literature Society, 4, 126–27; Singapore Literature, 126; Singapore Poetry, 126 Singaporean Chinese, 2, 18, 143, 146; identity, 18, 30; literature, 4, 23, 55, 137, newspaper, 96, 107, 137; people, 17, 30; poetry, 31, 100, 141; schools, 143; society; 12, 146 Singaporean-Malayan literature, 135–39; Malayan Chinese literature, 137–38; Malaysian and Singaporean literature, 137; Sinophone Malaysian literature, 15 Sino-Japanese War, 5, 48, 100, 106–107 Sinophone literature, 8, 31, 135, 141, 145–46; Sinophone studies, 145 Siong Lim Temple, 69–71 Skinner, G. William, 26; Chinese Assimilation Theory, 26 sojourner, 1, 15, 21, 27, 29, 48–49, 58, 104, 106; sojourner literati, 46–47, 55, 64; sojourner poet, 31, 33, 46, 55, 106, 138 Songs of Bamboo Branches, 21, 24–25, 30, 100, 105, 108, 122, 124, 141 Southeast Asia, 1, 7, 13, 26, 29, 31, 46, 48–49, 51, 57, 67, 75, 79, 105–6, 140, 143, 146 Southern Breeze Anthology of Song Lyrics, 76–77, 126 Southern China, 6, 30–31

Southern Press, 95, 99, 117 Speak Mandarin Campaign, 79 Straits Settlements, 17 Straits Times, 115 Su Xuelin, 76 Sun Peigu, 55, 57 The Sun-Poo, 95, 97, 107, 117 Sun Yat-sen, 1, 31, 56–57, 81, 102, 117, 119 “Swimming with the tide,” 25 Taiwan, 6, 8, 24, 27, 50, 72, 76, 80, 127, 140–42, 145 Tam Yong Huei, 6, 10n13 Tan Ean Kiam, 48, 56, 95, 112, 119, 125 Tan Eng Chaw, 28, 78 Tan Lark Sye, 9n6, 74 Tan Xie Poetry Club (Tan Club), 48, 54–57, 65, 69, 74, 96, 99; Poetry Anthology of the Tan Club, 55–58, 125 Tan Yeok Seong, 17, 42, 59, 100 Tee Kim Tong, 31, 145 Teochew, 14, 21, 50, 53; Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, 73, 77; Chao’an, 73, 84–85; Chaoyang, 73; Shantou, 50 Thailand, 13, 26, 80–81, 105; southern Thailand, 13 theory of evolution, 114–15 Thien Nan Shin Pao, 47, 50–51, 67, 95–96, 100, 115, 118, 120–21 Tio Chee Chuen, 2, 4, 7, 30, 73, 75, 80–81, 84, 125–26, 128, 141 Tong’an Association, 71–72, 79, 84 Tongmenghui, 56–57, 97, 107, 119, 121; Qiu Jin, 107 Trotsky, Leon, 111 Tu Kung-sui, 77 Tung Tak Newspaper and Magazine Agency (tongde shubao she), 60, 81, 126 The Union Times, 95, 97, 101, 107, 117, 119, 122, 124

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

Index

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 39 utilitarian, 54, 105; nonutilitarian, 54, 105

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Vietnam, 29, 105, 141 visiting literati, 2, 22, 49, 51–55, 58–59, 121, 138–39; visiting poets, 2, 6, 138 Wang Gungwu, 18, 26; multiple identities, 18, 26 Wang Huiyi, 43, 56 Wang Zhi, 1, 11, 19; Daily Record of the Voyager, 11 Wang Zhiwei, 6, 10n15 War of Resistance, 143 Wei Zhusheng, 49, 64, 67, 120 Weng Yibo, 12, 34n5 Western culture, 17, 23–24, 114, 117, 144 Whampoa Hoo Ah Kay, 42 “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” 25 Winkelman, Michael, 20 Wong Meng Voon, 78, 93, 137 Wong Yoon Wah, 31, 38n66, 93 World Literature in Chinese/by Chinese, 135, 145 World War II, 26, 61, 85, 100, 115, 123–24, 128 Wu Dunmin, 98, 120 Xiao Yaotian, 73 Xiao Yatang, 28, 96, 106 Xie Songshan, 96, 108, 124, 128 Xu Chiqing, 6, 10n17

187

Xu Naiyan, 69, 75 Xu Nanying, 1, 49 Yan Fu, 114–15 Yang Qi, 1, 23, 108; Poems from the Ten-Thousand Country Chamber, 108; “The Song of the Malay River,” 23 Yang Qilin, 23, 75, 80 Ye Qiutao, 69–72, 75, 96 Yeh Chi Yun, 2, 7, 49, 59–62, 64, 67, 96, 100, 119, 121, 136; The Remaining Poems of Yongweng, 59 Yeo Song Nian, 93, 137, 139 Yi Hai Research Society for Classical Literature, 81 Yi Junzuo, 72 Yik Khuan Pao, 95, 98, 117, 120 Yu Dafu, 5, 49, 96, 99, 119–20, 125, 139 Yu Lan Study Hall, 43, 86n14 Yunnan Garden, 75–77; Yunnan Garden Anthology of Poems, 76–78, 126 Zhang Rumei, 136–37 Zhang Shizhao, 32 Zhang Shu’nai, 56, 98, 122, 138–40 Zhao Lü, 122, 136; “On the Birth of Supplement,” 122 Zhao Ying, 6, 10n12 Zheng He, 11 Zheng Qiaosong, 59 Zhuang Zi, 121–22 Zuo Binglong, 1–3, 7–9, 12, 39, 42, 44, 46, 49, 60, 80, 107, 113, 115, 118, 120, 125, 139; A Representative Poetry Collection from the Dwelling for Diligence, 42

Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.

About the Author

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Bing Wang (王 兵), is an assistant professor at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He received his doctorate in Ancient Chinese Literature from Beijing Language and Culture University. Dr Wang’s teaching and research interests lie primarily in the areas of pre-modern Chinese literature and culture, especially classical Chinese poetry and opera in Singapore. So far, he has published dozens of academic publications in many countries and regions.

189 Wang, Bing. Classical Chinese Poetry in Singapore : Witnesses to Social and Cultural Transformations in the Chinese Community, Lexington Books, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rutgers-ebooks/detail.action?docID=5171240. Created from rutgers-ebooks on 2021-01-18 15:20:35.