From Translating for the World to Translation as the World

Two Cinematic Poets from Hong Kong

In: Journal of World Literature
Tara Coleman The City University of New York LaGuardia Community College USA New York, NY

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Grounded in the heterogenous linguistic and cultural landscape of Hong Kong, this article proposes a translational approach to the practice of world cinema, focusing on director Wong Kar-wai, via World Literature and the poetry of Leung Ping-kwan. Wong is a lyrical cinematic stylist, while Leung had a strong scholarly interest in cinema and produced many collaborations with visual artists. Both are highly attuned to the distinctiveness of daily life in Hong Kong despite its infusion of international influences. Moving beyond a model which sees translation as a secondary process carrying a work beyond its local context, I use Sakai Naoki’s concept of the “heterolingual address” to trace how translation becomes foundational to these artists’ engagement with the multilayered space and uneven temporality of Hong Kong.

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