Ghosts and the Desire to See

Stephen Teo

in King Hu's A Touch of Zen

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9789622098152
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207110 | DOI:
Ghosts and the Desire to See

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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

Chapter.  6751 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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