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

Edited by Kam Louie

in Eileen Chang

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9789888083794
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209060 | DOI:
From Page to Stage: Cultural “In-betweenness” in (New) Love in a Fallen City

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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

Chapter.  6530 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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