The National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) in Tainan launched a five-volume compilation of literary works "Sin-pian Lua Ho Tsuan-tsip (新編賴和全集)" on May 28 to mark the 127th birthday of late novelist Lai Ho (賴和).
The collection is a joint effort by NMTL and Lai Ho Memorial Hall in Changhua County, central Taiwan, where manuscripts, personal items, books, and letters Lai Ho are preserved and displayed. The five volumes of the collection, namely Chinese poetry, novels, modern poems, essays and database index, consist of original manuscripts, related historical materials, as well as newly unearthed articles and documents.
Newly unearthed articles and documents include in the collection are articles printed by magazines in the Japanese colonial era and some poems, such as the well-known "In Memory of My Bosom Friend Xi-Lie (別後寄錫烈芸兄)." With newly found resources, mistakes in documentation 20 years ago due to limited resources have been corrected in the collection.
Born in Changhua in 1894, Lai was a leading figure in Taiwanese literary circles and is often hailed as the "Father of Modern Taiwanese literature." He had a solid foundation in classic Chinese literature. As a practicing medical doctor, Lai had also devoted himself to creation of modern literature. He was elected as the first director of Taiwanese Cultural Association(臺灣文化協會). Through writing novels, essays and poems, he expressed the sufferings of the Taiwanese people during the period of Japanese colonial rule.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the book launch has been moved online. During the session, there will be an introduction about the five-volume collection and its significance. At the same time, a virtual exhibition showcasing Lai’s works will be launched on the Taiwan Literature Thematic Platform.
For more information, please visit NMTL’s Facebook page.