City at the End of Time 形象香港

Poems by Leung Ping-kwan 梁秉鈞詩選

Leung Ping-kwan 梁秉鈞 著. Edited and introduced by Esther M. K. Cheung 張美君 編. Poems translated by Gordon T. Osing and Leung Ping-kwan 歌頓‧奧城、梁秉鈞 譯.

ISBN : 978-988-8139-36-1

Literary Studies Echoes: Classics in Hong Kong Culture and History

June 2012

272 pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″

  • HK$210.00

Written by Leung Ping-kwan in the 1980s and 1990s, this volume of poetry evokes the complexity of Hong Kong city life in the critical moments preceding the 1997 handover. The poet muses upon the problems of cultural identity and the passing of time, and explores the relationship between poetry and other genres and media within a cross-cultural and cross-border context. An introduction by Ackbar Abbas in the original edition relates Leung’s writing to the cultural and political space of Hong Kong in the 1990s. This expanded bilingual version adds a new essay by Esther Cheung, and also a recent conversation between Leung and three critics, which provides insights on how Leung’s poetry still resonates powerfully after two decades. The book invites readers to look afresh at Leung’s meditative poetry and probe into the contradictory realities of this changing postcolonial city.

Leung Ping-kwan, better known under his pen name Ye Si, is the author of Foodscape (1997), Clothink (1998), Travelling with a Bitter Melon (2002), Islands and Continents (2006), Shifting Borders (2009), Hong Kong Culture (1995), and Hong Kong Literature and Cinema (2011). He is Director of the Centre for Humanities Research and Chair Professor of Comparative Literature at Lingnan University. Esther M. K. Cheung is Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature and Director of the Centre for the Study of Globalization and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong.

“This book, re-issued in a greatly expanded and enriched form, captures a poignant Hong Kong moment in time. American poet Gordon Osing’s fine translations transmit the unmistakeable voice of the poet, speaking ‘like a cab-driver in the front seat, speaking directly to the inner life, intimately to his friend.’ The poems are as fresh as ever.” —John Minford, Chinese University of Hong Kong

“Readers acquainted with Leung Ping-kwan’s work rightly observe in it a lyricism that is as cosmopolitan as it is attuned to the singularity of the local. But what that work conveys is something more subtle and more radical: the Chinese language, deterritorialized and demonumentalized, is redeemed in Leung’s poems for an entirely new way of being, knowing, and living.” —Rey Chow, Duke University

“The republication of City at the End of Time could not be more timely at the present moment in Hong Kong’s history. Leung’s poetry renews and refines our perceptions and experiences of places and things that appear at once familiar yet enigmatic, cosmopolitan yet peculiar, splendid yet squalid.” —Sheldon Lu, University of California, Davis

“In an enormous oeuvre translated into many languages, [Leung Ping-kwan] began, before almost anyone else, to sift through Hong Kong’s edgy, overlooked identity, in poems that looked at life using images of ordinary things—a papaya, a colonial building, a car ferry, a fish. He wrote of Hong Kong’s handover from British colonial to Chinese rule in 1997, an event that lay at the core of the poems in City at the End of Time.” —Didi Kirsten Tatlow, The New York Times