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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2022, 5(15); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2022.051507.

Ghostly Matters in Wong Bik-wan’s Re-imagined Hi/stories


Leyan Pan

Corresponding Author:
Leyan Pan

School of the English Language and Culture, Xiamen University Tan Kah Kee College, Zhangzhou, China


It is no doubt that Wong Bik-wan is a unique voice in contemporary Hong Kong literature. In Tenderness and Violence (1994), most of the characters are twisted and they are haunted by the ghost from the repressed past, while in Children in the Darkness (2012), the characters are marginalized by the mainstreamed society, and they can only gain the sense of belongingness in the forgotten spaces. Her stories can be regarded as the hi/stories of Hong Kong in Esther Cheung’s sense. Although they are extremely different from the official narrative constructed by authority, they do represent another version of history that explore the problematic aspects of dominant rhetoric such as legacy, heritage, urban revitalization, and modernization. In this sense, Wong’s hi/stories exemplifies her aesthetics of making visible the invisible. What’s more, her works need to be understood along with the spectral criticism since haunting is a particular way of knowing what has happened or is happening, what can be seen and what is in the shadow. Thus, the ghostliness in the dissertation do not refer to the literal ghost or the specific human, but to an abstract social figure which reveals the ghostly aspects of social issues.


Hong Kong literature, Wong Bik-wan, Spectral criticism

Cite This Paper

Leyan Pan. Ghostly Matters in Wong Bik-wan’s Re-imagined Hi/stories. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2022) Vol. 5, Issue 15: 38-48. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2022.051507.


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