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Eileen ChangRomancing Languages, Cultures and Genres$
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Louie Kam

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083794

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083794.001.0001

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From Page to Stage: Cultural “In-betweenness” in (New) Love in a Fallen City

From Page to Stage: Cultural “In-betweenness” in (New) Love in a Fallen City

Chapter:
(p.33) 2 From Page to Stage: Cultural “In-betweenness” in (New) Love in a Fallen City
Source:
Eileen Chang
Author(s):
Kam Louie
Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888083794.003.0003

This chapter examines Eileen Chang's novella, Love in a Fallen City, and its stage adaptations by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre from 1987 to 2006. The author argues that what Homi Bhabha called the “Third Space” can be constructed in Eileen Chang's novella and its stage adaptations intertwined with both familiarity and novelty, thus producing the liminal space in which the boundaries between adapted texts and adaptations, femininity and masculinity, and the colonized and the colonizer are blurred. Instead of a faithful copy of the “original text” created by Eileen Chang, the adaptations are seen as ongoing cultural recreations that have both perpetuated and transgressed the earlier versions. The analysis shows that the adaptations have re-evaluated the female sensibility embedded in Chang's text and re-appropriated the story as a quest for true love, thanks to the new gender relations in modernized Chinese communities and the contributions of the adapters. The adaptations also present an indeterminate hybridity of nationality and identity, with intensified contrast between the tale's settings, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Keywords:   Love in a Fallen City, Stage adaptation, Liminality, Gender, Colonialism, Postcolonialism, Hong Kong, Shanghai

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