分享文章

【開學DayDayBook】Paper Cuts

Paper Cuts is a love story on the surface, but it goes beyond the theme.

"The reason I digress is because I believe that whether is a person's attitude to love, or their attitude to the arts, both are linked to their outlook on life, and both have developed naturally. So, if someone in a story sees or fails to see something, using this kind of language or that to express themselves, it's naturally linked to what kind of people they are", he said in the afterword to the first edition.

Written by Hong Kong renowned writer Leung Ping-kwan (梁秉鈞; also known by his pen name Ye Si 也斯), the story is structured as two parallel narratives. The odd numbered chapters tell the story of Qiao, a young girl who is deeply influenced by western culture and knows little about traditional Chinese culture, while the even numbered chapters tell the story of Yao, who is a real lover of Chinese traditions.

Qiao and Yao do not meet each other in the story, however, the book clearly depicts a dichotomy between tradition and modernity in the 1970s in Hong Kong, and society's negative stereotypes of western/modern cultures. Although Qiao and Yao see things so differently, both of them fail to communicate with society, resulting in the loss of their identities and hence a tragic end. 

"I lift the curtain, breeze shake the bamboo;  / I wonder if my love is on his way…" from Zichai ji (紫釵記)

Brian Holton, a friend of Ye Si and also the translator of Paper Cuts, finds it difficult to translate this story. Not to mention the challenge of translating Cantonese (which Holton is not familiar with), he also admits that his little knowledge of the Chinese traditions depicted in the story, including Cantonese opera and paper cutting, makes this task even harder. Nevertheless, Holton's translation does full justice to the beauty of Ye Si's original version, enabling readers around the world to learn more about Hong Kong and Chinese culture through this little story.

 

Paper Cuts
Author / Leung Ping Kwan
Publisher / Renditions Paperback
s

Success!

Thanks for subscribing.

19

約翰・勒卡雷(John le Carré)

19

《戲台前後七十年——粵劇班政李奇峰》新書分享會

3:00pm-4:30pm