From Xu Xi to the Chief Executive: Hong Kong in the Dock

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:
From Xu Xi to the Chief Executive: Hong Kong in the Dock

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This chapter discusses one of Xu Xi's most critically acute recent essays, “A Short History of Our Shores,” and Herman Yau's controversial 1999 film essay Danghau Tung Chee-hwa Fatlok and argues that they are among the most uncomfortably critical and stylistically virtuosic works made in the Special Administrative Region and designed to prick Hong Kong's post-1997 self-congratulatory bubble. It presents the case for encouraging the development of more critically polemical work in arts and literature in Hong Kong. It refers to other examples of implicitly critical artistic works and discusses the thin line between fiction and non-fiction that the essay form so often, as here, successfully straddles. The concept of the academic essay based on argumentation derives from the original literary form. The main difference is that the professional writer usually allows her or himself the license to engage in what is known as creative non-fiction, and to disregard formal register and conventional structure.

Keywords: Xu Xi; Herman Yau; Hong Kong; fiction; non-fiction; creative non-fiction; essays

Chapter.  7223 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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