Louise Ho and the Local Turn: The Place of English Poetry in Hong Kong

Edited by Kam Louie

in Hong Kong Culture

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028412
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206960 | DOI:
Louise Ho and the Local Turn: The Place of English Poetry in Hong Kong

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This chapter is about the intersection between history and the local in the English poetry of Louise Ho. The “Home to Hong Kong” poem is not a poem of intellectual complexity or emotional intensity. Its language is neither original nor beautiful. What it does is to tell a lively story about a Chinese cosmopolitanism, apparently available to Hong Kong people, although still, in the 1980s when the poem was written, not much more than a dream to most mainland Chinese. It builds a cumulative structure that resembles that of a joke. The act of invitation narrated in its main verb is one that places the inviter in the position of host—at home, wherever the invitation is actually issued. It is a cosmopolitan illocution. Here is a life of international friendship, of eclectic taste, of frictionless mobility between scholarly, spiritual and commercial centres, old world and new, West and East.

Keywords: English poetry; Louise Ho; Home to Hong Kong; China; cosmopolitanism; act of invitation; history

Chapter.  8919 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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