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Tsui Hark's Peking Opera Blues$
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Tan See Kam

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208852

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208852.001.0001

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Three-Women Fiction, Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies

Three-Women Fiction, Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies

(p.148) Act 5 Three-Women Fiction, Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies
Tsui Hark's Peking Opera Blues

Tan See Kam

Hong Kong University Press

At work in Peking Opera Blues is a deeply intertextual relation to the film adaptations (three-women films) of a popular form of sentimental romance fiction - mandarin duck and butterfly fiction (yuanyang hudie) - which emerged when China, after thousands of years of dynastic rule, first experimented with democracy as an alternative mode of governance and lifestyle. This “fiction of comfort” came under attack by the May Fourth Movement after 1919, and was eventually consigned to the margins of modern Chinese literature. Reading through the lens of “three-women” films like Fate in Tears and Laughters (1932), Three Modern Girls (1933), Sun Moon Star (1960), and The Story of Three Loves (1963), and their women-centered narratives, enables a reading of Peking Opera Blues which reveals some of the ways in which Tsui Hark is able to emphasize the idea of women as narrative images; to highlight female agencies and subjectivities and to explore the rising status of women in the more globally connected, post-Confucian, and post patriarchal consumerist society of Hong Kong.

Keywords:   Three-women films, Mandarin Duck and butterfly fiction, Female agency, Female subjectivities, Women-centered narrative, Revolution of the heart, Reading by way of woman, Fate in Tears and Laughters, Three Modern Girls, Sun Moon Star, The Story of Three Loves

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