The Poetic and Cultural Translation of Goodbye, Eagle
The paper focuses on Goodbye, Eagle by Ebau, an aboriginal female writer in Taiwan. She describes her nostalgia in a special way. Ebau chooses to “leave” her home to search what’s “home”. The choice is different from Taiwan’s aboriginal writers who wrote about returning home for two decades from 1980 to 2000. Unlike men’s writing, Taiwan Aboriginal women express their nostalgia by bringing up issues related to gender, marriage, and identity. They choose different images for nostalgia and memory. How could nostalgia be a metaphor in their writing? How do they connect nostalgia with race, gender, and family?
Ebau represents both the landscape in Tibet and memorial scenery in her tribe. The former is the route to recall her home. In her writing, the folklore as well as animatism is the main motif. Furthermore, from this novel we could understand the culture of Pai Wan, which includes traditional customs, taboo, myths, and tales. Goodbye, Eagle provides lots of Pai Wan aboriginal information for its readers. In the context, the meaning of cultural translation is not only on the reader’s part in his/her relationship with the culture of the “Other” but also on the aboriginal writer’s in her dealing with the Tibetan culture.
In Ebau’s home, eagles always fly in the sky, and hence become an important metaphor signifying “home” in this story. In my reading of Goodbye, Eagle, the true meaning of the bidding gesture could be “see the eagle again”.