If fiction is considered as “an art of alternative truth”, which can provide us an unconventional approach to “the truth of the world”; perhaps, in the pursuit of such truth, we will eventually arrive in the field of fiction. Troubled Laughter is a fiction and concurrently a reflection on how the moving images can affect human emotions in contemporary times. It moves backward and forward through the memories of those images that enriched our life, and it is an attempt of discovering the multiple relations between visual and literary narrations. Drawing an imaginary line that goes from Six Records of a Floating Life (1808) to Jen-chien Tz'u-hua, (1908-1909), from The Song of Youth (1958) to the film Troubled Laughter (released in 1979 after the Chinese culture revolution, from which the novel takes its homonymous title), and through a reenactment of the touching moments during the modernization process of China, Hu Fang’s narration explores how the inner spaces of human existence have been maintained, and how the emotional dynamics behind the grand narrations of History, manage to break through any kinds of ideological frameworks.
The Forking Paths
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