Last Summer (Hong Kong SAR)

May Revue

my thanks to
Jeanne Graff

Last Summer (Hong Kong SAR)

In Atlas, the writer Dung Kai-cheung constructs a history of islands scattered within a vast river delta: islands that could very well be Hong Kong. His fiction is put together from maps and stories, things passed from mouth to mouth in the street or recollected in more certain form: on sheets of paper or in books. It is a history that is as much a truth of Hong Kong as official narratives that describe the development of a fishing village into an international trading port in less than centuries, driven by the violence and subjugation of trade and finance. The improbability of a city where hills are no higher than towers and ocean inlets have been engineered into vast freshwater reservoirs. Atlas shares a lineage of tall tales passed from Marco Polo via Calvino through Barthes: a place more impossible than cities described from memory with the passing of time.