Madame White, <i>The Book of Change</i>, and Eileen Chang: On a Poetics of Involution and Derivation

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:
Madame White, The Book of Change, and Eileen Chang: On a Poetics of Involution and Derivation

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This chapter discusses Chang's aesthetic of revision and bilingualism by examining her two English novels, The Fall of the Pagoda and The Book of Change, These two novels were written in the late fifties, when Chang had just settled in the Unites States. In many ways, they provide a missing link in Chang's (re)writing of her own life story, from English to Chinese and vice versa, from lecture to fiction and photo album, and from autobiographical “whispers” to dramatized exposé. The two novels, one referring to the Leifeng Pagoda of the White Snake legend, and the other the esoteric classic The Book of Change, suggest Chang's effort to integrate her writings into a broader cycle of Chinese poetics of involution and derivation.

Keywords: Involution; Derivativeness; Modernity; the I ching

Chapter.  12087 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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