Hong Kong literature is 20th-century and subsequent writings from or about Hong Kong or by writers from Hong Kong, primarily in the poetry, performance, and fiction media. Hong Kong literature reflects the area's unique history during the 20th century as a fusion of British colonial , Cantonese , and sea-trading culture.
It has mainly been written in Vernacular Chinese which is based on Mandarin Chinese and, to a lesser extent, English. Hong Kong fiction and performance including Cantonese opera , television, plays, and film are many and varied, though only a few film and theatrical works were widely known internationally until the late 20th and early 21st century. Hong Kong's wuxia Jyutping : mou 5 hap 6 martial arts fiction is one of Hong Kong's most famous exports, and provided many internationally recognised films and televisions programmes during the latter half of the 20th century, almost single-handedly bringing Hong Kong literature out of relative obscurity towards a global audience.
Many modern vernacular Chinese publications in Hong Kong have their origins in Chinese writers who fled from Communist and Nationalist fighting during the Chinese Civil War. A significant number of Chinese intellectuals and artists moved to Hong Kong between and Many of these people viewed themselves as outsiders in the Hong Kong community, and often wrote of the "barbaric" and "strange" practices of the southern Chinese people a view evident even in the Tang dynasty.
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While some in this second wave expressed the intention to "Northernise" Hong Kong, many of them began to recognise the valuable traditions that existed in local Hong Kong culture, and their efforts to preserve these traditions helped shape Hong Kong's literary landscape.
Because Hong Kong was a British colony for nearly all of the 20th century, it was spared the harsh censorship that the People's Republic of China and Taiwan endured at the hands of their political leaders.
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Hong Kong literature flourished domestically under these two different styles. Until , modern literature in Hong Kong was dominated by writers who had fled fighting in northern China, and vestiges of their influence were still present in Hong Kong literature until around These writers fell into three main categories:. In addition to Vernacular Chinese writing, there is also a smaller body of literature in English.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Los Angeles: University of California Press, Asian literature.
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