1972–1973, 2000 : a subtle encounter : Tête-bêche and In the mood for love

Document Type

Book chapter

Source Publication

A New Literary History of Modern China

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



Belknap Press


Tête-bêche was written when Hong Kong was entering a period of rapid growth. By depicting two characters that shy away from the present of the 1970s. Tête-bêche aims to lead readers to critically engage with that very moment. It seems to indicate that reality is something still able to be grasped, if only we are willing, In contrast, In the Mood for Love presents a desolate picture in vibrant colors. Across Wong's oeuvre, critics tend to look for allegorical potential. It is in this vein that I offer the following interpretation: In the Mood for Love can be understood as a nostalgic reminiscence of a beautiful past, at a time when Hong Kong was presented with a boundless future in the post-1997 era. Ironically, this beautiful past appears as if behind dust-laden glass——visible, yet never reachable.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Belknap Press 2017.

Additional Information

ISBN of the source publication: 9780674967915



Recommended Citation

Wong, S.-h. (2017). 1972–1973, 2000: A subtle encounter: Tête-bêche and In the mood for love. In Wang, D. D. (Ed.), A new literary history of modern China (pp.703-707). United States: Belknap Press.

This document is currently not available here.