Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City

Hardcover | July 17, 2012

byKai-cheung DungTranslated byAnders Hansson, Bonnie S. McDougall

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Set in the long-lost City of Victoria (a fictional world similar to Hong Kong), Atlas is written from the unified perspective of future archaeologists struggling to rebuild a thrilling metropolis. Divided into four sections-"Theory," "The City," "Streets," and "Signs"-the novel reimagines Victoria through maps and other historical documents and artifacts, mixing real-world scenarios with purely imaginary people and events while incorporating anecdotes and actual and fictional social commentary and critique.

Much like the quasi-fictional adventures in map-reading and remapping explored by Paul Auster, Jorge Luis Borges, and Italo Calvino, Dung Kai-cheung's novel challenges the representation of place and history and the limits of technical and scientific media in reconstructing a history. It best exemplifies the author's versatility and experimentation, along with China's rapidly evolving literary culture, by blending fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in a story about succeeding and failing to recapture the things we lose. Playing with a variety of styles and subjects, Dung Kai-cheung inventively engages with the fate of Hong Kong since its British "handover" in 1997, which officially marked the end of colonial rule and the beginning of an uncharted future.

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Set in the long-lost City of Victoria (a fictional world similar to Hong Kong), Atlas is written from the unified perspective of future archaeologists struggling to rebuild a thrilling metropolis. Divided into four sections-"Theory," "The City," "Streets," and "Signs"-the novel reimagines Victoria through maps and other historical doc...

Dung Kai-cheung was born in Hong Kong in 1967 and received his B.A. and M. Phil. in comparative literature from the University of Hong Kong. He teaches part-time in several Hong Kong universities and writes novels and short stories in Chinese. His major fictional works include The Age of Apprenticeship; Histories of Time; Works and Cr...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:192 pages, 7 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:July 17, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023116100X

ISBN - 13:9780231161008

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Table of Contents

Preface: An Archaeology for the Future, by Dung Kai-cheungIntroduction, by Bonnie S. McDougallPart One: Theory1. Counterplace2. Commonplace3. Misplace4. Displace5. Antiplace6. Nonplace7. Extraterritoriality8. Boundary9. Utopia10. Supertopia11. Subtopia12. Transtopia13. Multitopia14. Unitopia15. OmnitopiaPart Two: The City16. Mirage: City in the Sea17. Mirage: Towers in the Air18. Pottinger's Inverted Vision19. Gordon's Jail20. "Plan of the City of Victoria," 188921. The Four Wan and Nine Yeuk22. The Centaur of the East23. Scandal Point and the Military Cantonment24. Mr. Smith's One-Day Trip25. The View from Government House26. The Toad of Belcher's Dream27. The Return of Kwan Tai Loo28. The Curse of Tai Ping Shan29. War GamePart Three: Streets30. Spring Garden Lane31. Ice House Street32. Sugar Street33. Tsat Tsz Mui Road34. Canal Road East and Canal Road West35. Aldrich Street36. Possession Street37. Sycamore Street38. Tung Choi Street and Sai Yeung Choi Street39. Sai Yee Street40. Public Square Street41. Cedar StreetPart Four: Signs42. The Decline of the Legend43. The Eye of the Typhoon44. Chek Lap Kok Airport45. The Metonymic Spectrum46. The Elevation of Imagination47. Geological Discrimination48. North-Oriented Declination49. The Travel of Numbers50. The Tomb of Signs51. The Orbit of TimeAcknowledgmentsAuthor and Translators

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Well worth the experiment.