Shelves: china , modern-and-contemporary-literature , chinese-literature , fiction , short-stories , historical-fiction , translation , asian-literature Literature in Republican-era China was dominated by concerns of "Nation", "Progress", and "Revolution"; themes that promised national salvation through literature by the like of noted authors such as Lu Xun, Mao Dun, Ding Ling, or Guo Moruo. Literature that deviated from this aim was often disparaged or looked down on for its "bourgeois" tendencies and its lack of concern for the future of China, the quality of the literature notwithstanding. Eileen Chang Zhang Ailing was one such author looked down on by the May Fourth writers for her portrayals of love and life in wartime Shanghai or Hong Kong. The highlight of the collection is of course "Lust, Caution" - both a taught, atmospheric spy story and a powerful story of love and betrayal. In a few sentences, Chang captures perfectly the sights and sounds of s Shanghai, the struggles of occupation and collaboration, and the psychological drama to which a double agent is subjected.
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He is the man who will negotiate and collaborate with the invading Japanese forces to form a government in China. The radical group plans to assassinate Mr. Yee Yi , a co-collaborator of Wang Jingwei. Chia-chih is assigned a role to disguise as the wife of Mr. Her task is to seduce Mr. Yee and facilitate the ambush. Initially, the student conspirators plan to assassinate Mr. Yee during his stay in Hong Kong. However, the Yees unexpectedly have to leave for Mainland China. The group is disbanded due to a lack of funds and the low chance of Mr.
Yee to be close in proximity. During this period, the female student conspirators denounce Chia-chih as a whore because of her sexual relations with Liang Jun-sheng, who is tasked to train Chia-chih as a seductress. The mission resumes after Wu, a member of the anti-Japanese underground resistance in Shanghai, offers to sponsor its continuation in Shanghai.
In Shanghai, Chia-chih becomes a part of Mrs. She seduces Mr. Yee and has a secret affair with him. Throughout their liaison, Chia-chih struggles internally between her personal attachment to Mr. Yee and her task to lure him into an assassination trap.
On the day of the impending assassination, Mr. Yee offers to buy Chia-chih a rare diamond ring when they visit a jeweler to replace a gem from one of her earrings. As they wait for the jeweler to prepare a receipt, Chia-chih presumes that Mr. At the last minute, she simply tells him to run, a discreet way of warning him of the impending assassination. He successfully flees. Chia-chih and her fellow conspirators are captured in a blockade and executed on the information given by Mr.
After the execution, Mr. Yee realizes his love for Chia-chih. Nevertheless, he deludes himself that the executions avert rumors of his affair from spreading. The novella ends with him leaving the room filled with the socializing Tai tais. Mai, a fictional Hong Kong businessman. Yee in order to make his assassination possible. His identity as a spy is Mr. Since he is the only member who can drive, he serves as the chauffeur. He initially funds the mission until his father financially cuts him off.
He is tasked with training Chia-chih to become a seductress. It is implied that due to his experience, he has sex with Chia-chih to train her to seduce Mr. A member of the anti-Japanese underground resistance movement -who is based in Shanghai.
After knowing of the assassination plot, he offers financial support for its continuation. The Collaborators[ edit ] Mr. Yee is the object of the political assassination plot. Wang formed a Chinese collaborationist government in Japanese-occupied Nanking between and Yee who has a good social position and material wealth.
The central figure in the assassination plot, her task is to befriend the Yees and seduce Mr. She follows her assigned script religiously, without question even when she was ostracized by her female co-conspirator for her alleged sexual encounters. At the end of the assassination journey, she finds herself in a conflict. She chooses not to betray Mr. According to scholar Yao Sijia, this is a radical notion in comparison to the conventional belief that individuals are subordinate to the nation.
Chia-Chih uses her youth and beauty to ensnare Mr. Yee and helps plan for his assassination. Mak, the spouse of a wealthy businessperson. She initially befriends Yee Tai-Tai, Mr.
The two protagonists eventually begin an affair that sets in motion the planned assassination at a jewelry store. Chia-Chih uses her charm to enchant Mr. Yee, a honey-trap technique used in politics. In the jewelry scene, Chia-Chih ponders on whether she had fallen in love with Mr. She informs him of the imminent ambush, and Mr. Yee dodges the attack. It is conceivable that his demise would trouble Chia-Chih. Yee contends that she loved him but signs her execution to avoid inquiries into his life and protect his reputation.
In the novella, lust plays a vital role in depicting love as a commodity that is easily exchangeable and disposable. For example, the affluent characters use golden chains to tie their cloaks. The author chooses precious chains to portray the desire to flaunt wealth.
Yee decides to buy a diamond ring for Chia-Chih instead of a gem for her earrings. In addition, the description of feminine dresses, jewels, and a luxurious curtain in Mr. Eileen Chang uses an unconventional narrative technique in Lust, Caution.
Although those thoughts are introduced abruptly, the readers are able to decipher to whom they belong. Translated by Julia Lovell. New York: Anchor Books, The adaptation by Ang Lee aroused controversial topic related to sex and nationalism.
City Pages. Archived from the original on 20 April Retrieved 6 December Writing in the afterword to a recently republished version of the page story, which took Chang more than two decades to complete, Feminist Formations. Focus Features. Retrieved 2 March
Lust, Caution: The Story
He is the man who will negotiate and collaborate with the invading Japanese forces to form a government in China. The radical group plans to assassinate Mr. Yee Yi , a co-collaborator of Wang Jingwei. Chia-chih is assigned a role to disguise as the wife of Mr. Her task is to seduce Mr. Yee and facilitate the ambush. Initially, the student conspirators plan to assassinate Mr.
Lust, Caution and Other Stories
English Julia Lovell : "Apparently, Liang Jun-sheng is the only one who has any experience, " Lai Hsiu-chin, the only other girl in the group, told her. Liang Jun-sheng. Of course. He was the only one who had been inside a brothel. Why did it have to be Liang Jun-sheng!