Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

I would like to thank Benjamin Lee, that great enabler, and the Center for Transcultural Studies for providing a space where many of the ideas for this book were first aired. I am also grateful to Kathleen Woodward and the Center for Twentieth Century Studies for many kindnesses. ...

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1. Introduction: Culture in a Space of Disappearance

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pp. 1-15

Living in interesting times is a dubious advantage, in fact, a curse according to an old Chinese saying. Interesting times are periods of violent transitions and uncertainty. People in Hong Kong, faced with the prospect of 1997, clearly live in interesting times. ...

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2. The New Hong Kong Cinema and the Déjà Disparu

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pp. 16-47

According to Gilles Deleuze, the various European cinemas became "modern" at different times, but always at the moment when they had to come up with new cinematic images in response to new historical situations: "The timing is something like: around 1948, Italy; about 1958, France; about 1968, Germany."1 ...

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3. Wong Kar-wai: Hong Kong Filmmaker

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pp. 48-62

The argument in the previous chapter is that Hong Kong cinema both produces and is produced by a specific cultural space, and therefore our response to and evaluation of individual films have to take this into account. Moreover, it is a space of the déjà disparu, of disappearance, one characteristic of which, particularly significant for cinema as well as for architecture, is the problematic nature of visuality. ...

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4. Building on Disappearance: Hong Kong Architecture and Colonial Space

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pp. 63-90

The remark that Hong Kong reinvents itself every few years becomes quite credible when we look at the changing skyline of the Central District. This skyline may not yet rival that of New York or Chicago, but it is nonetheless highly impressive in its own way, with its growing number of signature buildings by international architects like Norman Foster, I. M. Pei, and Paul Rudolf. ...

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5. Photographing Disappearance

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pp. 91-110

It is not a matter of producing more or better photographs of Hong Kong, but of using the photograph as a means of seeing what is involved in looking at and thinking about the city. ...

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6. Writing Hong Kong

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pp. 111-140

To speak of "Writing Hong Kong" implies something different from speaking of "Hong Kong Writing," even though it may sometimes be difficult to distinguish between them in any clear-cut way. The latter might involve embarking on a critical survey of local authors and of texts produced in and on Hong Kong. ...

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7. Coda: Hyphenation and Postculture

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pp. 141-146

Hong Kong culture as something that engages the urgencies in the life of its people is a recent phenomenon. Its accelerated development in the last decade or so, I have been suggesting, is largely a response to a social and political situation that has few clear precedents. ...

Notes

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pp. 147-150

Index

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pp. 151-154

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About the Author

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Ackbar Abbas is a senior lecturer in comparative literature at Hong Kong University. He has also held temporary appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Tsing Hua University (Taiwan), and Northwestern University. ...