restricted access The Shanghai Foxtrot (a Fragment) by Mu Shiying: Introduction

Since at least the mid-1980s, the work of Mu Shiying (1912-1940) has received renewed attention as an example of early modernist writing in Chinese, and "The Shanghai Foxtrot" is one of his most well-known stories. First published in 1932, "The Shanghai Foxtrot" is notable for its use of montage and repetition, sometimes reproducing entire passages that appear to mimic the camera pan. However, while his narrative techniques were clearly inspired by international modernism, Mu Shiying's story also represents an allusive historical glimpse of a semi-colonial Shanghai in the 1930s, a decadent and sometimes violent metropolis during a period of war and occupation.