By Michael Ingham, Xi Xu
Urban Voices is the 1st exhibit of postwar Hong Kong literature originating in English. Fiction, poetry, essays and memoirs from greater than 70 authors are featured to illustrate the wealthy kind and power of the city’s literary construction. including paintings from proven authors, either bilingual writers who decide to write in English and expatriate authors who've made Hong Kong their domestic, a piece of ‘New Voices’ introduces the paintings of unknown and younger writers who're a part of today’s surge of latest creativity.
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Extra info for City Voices: Contemporary Hong Kong Voices in English
The Japanese, Pakistani, Filipino and French voices, to name but a few, have their Hong Kong stories too. In conclusion, it is important that this collection of poems, novel extracts and selfsufficient shorter pieces should be seen as a representative sample of the creative work of disparate Hong Kong voices, rather than as a definitive canon. The literature of a small minority cannot constitute a canon, which is probably a distinct advantage for newer, younger writers, since there are fewer burdens of tradition on their shoulders.
Tourist women in off-the-shoulder dresses gaze at embroidered silk underwear and ornate Chinese coats. Shanghai bankers and businessmen in twos and threes, all in natty sharkskin suits, flamboyant American ties, with fountain pens in their coat pockets, talk business in earnest sibilant tones. Wounded lost soldiers of the Kuomintang, dirty and ragged, A Many Splendored Thing 29 some on crutches, stand against the walls of the shops, and watch the street with an angry scowl on their dark faces. Under the covered archways of the sidewalk glide, flow, rattle and clatter the anonymous common men of Hong Kong.
Although at the outset of the course students often lack a sense of how the past is contained in the present, they become more conscious of this relationship, especially vis-a-vis Hong Kong, as the course progresses. The older liberal arts tradition encouraged the use of literary texts in learning language, since it sensitized the learner to the effects that language can create. This is exactly how and why an older generation of fluent English speakers in Hong Kong became so proficient. To teach only Anglo-American literature would clearly be inappropriate now, but the lesson provided by those who fell in love with English through reading Pride and Prejudice in Secondary Four (or perhaps Secondary Two in the so-called 'brand-name' schools) remains as true today as in the 1950s.