Chapter

Eileen Chang, <i>Dream of the Red Chamber</i>, and the Cold War

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888083794.003.0007
Eileen Chang, Dream of the Red Chamber, and the Cold War

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Through an exploration of Eileen Chang's two endeavors to rework the Qing dynasty novel Honglou meng in her later years, this chapter seeks to address how her diasporic writing career bespeaks Cold War cultural and political restraints and how in turn these affect her poetics and politics of writing. It reads Chang's Honglou meng screenwriting experience at the intersections of Hong Kong filmmaking histories and Chinese Cold War cultural diplomatic tactics that pertain to the novel’s adaptation to opera forms and reflects on her aesthetics of desolation and poetics of the quotidian by analyzing her Nightmare of the Red Chamber. It also considers the cultural significance of Chang's seemingly compulsive rewriting across disparate languages, genres, and media.

Keywords: Dream of the Red Chamber; Cold War; film adaptation; Hong Kong cinema; politics of rewriting

Chapter.  7429 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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