Identity and ambivalence in Xu Xi’s History’s fiction

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Hong Kong society has been characterized by its democracy and diversity, encompassing people from different cultural backgrounds. However, what lurks behind the umbrella of plurality is likely to be conflicts and compromises. Hong Kong literature and culture has been beset by the ambiguities and antitheses of class, gender, and politics. The 1997 handover that saw the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty renders the always already self-conflicted Hong Kong identity politics much more complicated. Apparently the once-colonized land severs its connection with the British rule and reunifies with its Mother Land, yet the shift in political system, language, and ideology is blatantly marked by ambivalence, if not reluctance. Such ambivalence is embedded and internalized in the mentality of Hong Kong people. For example, the controversy over national education proposed by the SAR government and the following protests and boycotts launched by opponents in 2012 to a certain extent re-present the intricately entangled Hong Kong identity. In this paper I plan to discuss the aforementioned ambivalence typical of many Hong Kong people by reading three stories (“Until the Next Century,” “Insignificant Moments in the History of Hong Kong,” and “Blackjack”) under the rubric of The Nineties collected in Xu Xi’s History’s Fiction: Stories from the City of Hong Kong. Hopefully the analysis and the dialog afterwards can contribute to disentangling the mystery of Hong Kong identity in the post 1997 Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

ambivalence
Hong Kong
boycott
politics
mentality
political system
sovereignty
protest
compromise
ideology
dialogue
democracy
present
gender

Citation

Chang, T. C. H. (2013, June). Identity and ambivalence in Xu Xi’s History’s fiction. Paper presented at the Eighth International Convention of Asia Scholars, Macao, China.