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King Hu's A Touch of Zen$
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Stephen Teo

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9789622098152

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622098152.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Ghosts and the Desire to See

Ghosts and the Desire to See

(p.28) (p.29) 3 Ghosts and the Desire to See
King Hu's A Touch of Zen

Stephen Teo

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter dwells on the matter of ghosts and the psychological illusions preying on the mind of the male hero as the narrative progresses into the realm of the ghost story. A Touch of Zen begins with the proposition that the Chinese fort where the bulk of the story takes place is a haunted place and that the xia nü may be a ghost. This afforded Hu the means to delve into questions of superstition and belief in the supernatural. While A Touch of Zen is generally recognized as a wuxia film, Hu inducts a ghost story into the first hour of the film, the purpose of which is to prepare for the metaphysical exploration of the genre and the delivery of the “touch of Zen” towards the end.

Keywords:   ghosts, psychological illusions, ghost story, superstition, A Touch of Zen, wuxia

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