Locating the Third Culture in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
This chapter explores a paradigmatic East-West and city-country cultural encounter through the lens of a film director adapting his own bestselling novel, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (novel 2000; film 2002). Set in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, both the novel and film describe the experience of two urban teenagers sent to the countryside to be re-educated by peasants. An inside-outsider with a unique perspective, Dai Sijie writes in French about his intimate but distant Chinese memories and constructs a dialogic picture of China that has a complex, evolving cultural and class makeup. While Dai’s novel highlights, often humorously, divisive and discursive cultural practices—official Communist discourse, antiofficial Western romanticism, and nonofficial local parody, among many others—his film imagines a native land that mitigates class conflicts and nostalgically personifies a magnanimous “China.”
Hawaii Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.