About Xi Xi’s Flying Carpet
Xi Xi’s manuscript of Flying Carpet shows many careful edits. In the two manuscript pages below, she is writing about “Holland Water,” a sweet drink that plays a key role in the plot of the book.
Critics’ views on Fly Carpet
Natalia Chan Sui Hung (Lok Fung): “Historical Imagination and the Construction of Cultural Identity: On Xi Xi’s Flying Carpet and Dung Kai Cheung’s The Atlas”
Xi Xi’s Flying Carpet (1995) is a novel developed from her earlier short piece “The Story of Fertile Soil Town” (1982). It centers on the rise and fall of the Fa family, showcasing Hong Kong history from its earliest days to the 1990s…As a voluminous work of historical reconstruction, it mixes fact and fiction, adopting the structure of myths and allegories combined with a magical realist technique, using the linear succession of a family’s ups and downs, transformations and rebirth, to write a history of the secular life of colonial Hong Kong. In the process of this historical reconstruction, the novel delivers a sense of “provincialism” and “local consciousness.”…The ending of Flying Carpet reveals that within the novel, “Fertile Soil Town” is more of an allegory than an entity, a legendary place of which one may only dream, namely the utopian world of Xi Xi.
(Translations on this page are by Chen Yanyi and Jennifer Feeley)
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