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Geography of Memory - Reading 『Three Times』 of Hou Hsiao-hsien

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2015, (30), pp.1-24
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2015..30.001
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture
  • Published : November 30, 2015

Sang Chul Kong 1

1숭실대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The 『Three Times』 of Hou Hsiao-hsien is a movie about rumination. He looks back coordinate of aesthetic time and space that he had walked on until that time. I read this movie as a road movie. A road movie of remembering the memory of ethnic-nation. For this, this study requires the concept of ‘tour’ as methodology. This study is a kind of exploring note in which thoughts risen in the course of ‘tour’ were organized. This study finds a clue to interpret this movie at a Taiwan song ‘farewell of seaport’ (1937). Hou Hsiao-hsien borrows modern emotional cords of ‘dream of love’, ‘dream of freedom’ and ‘dream of adolescence’ from lyric of this song. And then he put these as chapter titles of three episodes of this movie. In this way, this movie become a geography of memory on formation of Taiwan’s modern times or ethnic-nation. The memory is beyond of a path of simple rumination in this geography. So the ‘most beautiful time’ becomes no more a lacking form, but a existing form of now and here. There are two kinds of memories. The memory is a past tense to someone, but memory remains as eternal presence to someone. If we could call former one as a ‘memory which is only a trace and classification of the past’, the later one becomes a ‘memory without past’. Hou Hsiao-hsien looks like hovering between these two memories ceaselessly. The trace of this hovering is the itinerary of people’s walking that this movie shows.

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