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Eileen Chang and Stanley Kwan

Eileen Chang and Stanley Kwan

Politics and Love in Red Rose (and) White Rose

(p.61) Chapter 3 Eileen Chang and Stanley Kwan
Adapted for the Screen
Hsiu-Chuang Deppman
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter adds race to the complications of gender politics in Red Rose/White Rose (1994). Writing in a lucid, satirical, yet profoundly humanistic style that one could call “postrealist,” Eileen Chang’s 1942 story illustrates the sexual and ideological confusions of a Western-educated Chinese man, Tong Zhenbao, as he oscillates between two self-images: an exalted manly colonist and an emasculated colonized subject. In his adaptation, Stanley Kwan—one of the most important directors of the Hong Kong New Wave—picks up on Chang’s fine-grained study of the power relationships involved in seeing and being seen. Taken together, Chang’s mixed-media fiction and Kwan’s literary adaptation propose a more diverse and symbiotic future for Chinese culture.

Keywords:   postrealist style, Red Rose/White Rose, Eileen Chang, Stanley Kwan, Hong Kong New Wave, power relationships, race politics, gender politics, mixed-media fiction

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