The Nomadic Time :
On Syaman Rampoan’s Memories of the Sea
This paper looks into the composition of time in Syaman Rampoan’s writing on the sea. It is well known that memory dominates Syaman’s writing so that his works are heavily haunted by the past. More significantly, Syaman constantly characterizes himself and the protagonists of his works as “the nomad,” which in turn constitutes a unique narrative structure and subjectivity. This paper pinpoints this particular aesthetics exhibited by the nomad, arguing that the author through his writing creates a time passage where the past and
the present converge; it also produces an effect surface where time displays itself as phantasm of history. In other words, the author and his protagonists are engaged in a repetitive movement by which the self is open to a preindividual existential territory corresponding to the natural environment. Seen in this light, Syman’s memories of the sea should not simply be considered as re-presentation of the cultural tradition of his tribe, but rather singularization of an individual and re-production of collectivity.
Keywords: Syaman Rampoan, Taiwan aboriginal literature, nomad, memory, history, nature writing