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Thinking With Food, Writing Off Center: Notes On Two Hong Kong Authors

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Chapter Summary

Eating is among the most frequently used allegories in modern and contemporary Chinese literary culture. If taste may be described as a kind of nativism, the nativism of the palate, a connection at once private and collective, it is important to note that taste itself is not exactly being sentimentalized. From the dazzling array of objects in Leungs poems, it is possible to trace, steadily, the contours of a certain method of consumerism, an unusual kind of consumption at work. Like Leung Ping Kwan's poems, John Ma Kwok Ming's writings, critical essays of a scholarly and autobiographical nature, are full of flavorful references to food, in particular the kinds that are unique to Hong Kongs hybrid everyday culture, such as milk tea, lemon tea, red bean ice, smelly bean curd, toast buttered with sweetened condensed milk, pineapple buns, cream buns, and other delights.

Keywords: Chinese literary culture; Hong Kongs culture; John Ma Kwok Ming; Leung Ping Kwan



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