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Temporalizing urban space: The making of place by three Hong Kong writers

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The formation of a place and community involves both a spatial definition and a coherent narrative of its historical existences. If a cohesive nation relies heavily on a unified and linear narrative of itself, then the acknowledgement of diverse and multiple temporalities would challenge and disturb that nation’s political discourse, which would, in turn, render its identity fluid and provisional. The three works discussed in this review touch upon different issues concerning Hong Kong and China. In various ways, the three writers put temporality on centre stage in order to challenge the notions of cohesive political discourse and fixed identity.
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Keywords: China; Hong Kong; fiction; identity; national discourse; poetry; spatiality; temporality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Hong Kong

Publication date: 01 June 2014

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  • Cities have been increasingly at the forefront of debate in both humanities and social-science disciplines, but there has been relatively little dialogue across these disciplinary boundaries. Journals in social-science fields that use urban-studies methods to look at life in cities rarely explore the cultural aspects of urban life in any depth or delve into close readings of the representation of cities in individual cultural products. As a platform for interdisciplinary scholarship from any and all linguistic, cultural and geographical traditions, the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies prioritizes the urban phenomenon in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities.
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