HKKH reflects the double lens through which this project looks at Hong Kong literature. The first lens corresponds to anthologising, as the database collects anthologies of Hong Kong literature in English and French. Anthologising involves selection, structuring and presentation, and the choices made by the editors in each of these steps favour a particular image of Hong Kong and its literature. The second lens would be that of translation, as the database is devoted to translated anthologies and thus excludes works originally written in Chinese or English. The choices made by translators reflect how they make sense of a culture. Translation anthologies thus involve a double mechanism of rewriting and have a strong representational value.
The database comprises anthologies that include English and French translations of Hong Kong literature originally written in Chinese (i.e. Sinophone Hong Kong literature). Anthologies that do not include translations have been excluded from the database. We have included all genres, such as poetry, fiction, drama and essay. One story has been classified as “Essay / Fiction”, as it involves elements of both and demonstrates the permeability of literary genres ("Uncle Che," by Donna Lok Siu-ping, compiled in Hong Kong Collage: Contemporary Stories and Writing).
The criteria for inclusion in the database has been that English anthologies should include at least two stories written by different authors described as "Hong Kong authors" in the anthology, and French anthologies should include at least one author. This has allowed us to broaden the scope of French anthologies, which are scarcer. We have included three issues of Renditions in the database because, although it is a literary magazine, it serves the purpose of collecting a selection of works and the editors themselves consider it an anthology (see the preface to issues 47 and 48 published in 1997).
Following the criteria set above, we have excluded, for example, Isabelle Rabut and Angel Pino's Le fox-trot de Shanghai et autres nouvelles chinoises (Paris: Albin Michel, 1996), which includes stories by Ye Lingfeng and Xu Xu, who, although they are considered Hong Kong authors in some anthologies in Chinese, are presented as Shanghai authors in the French anthology. We have also excluded book series dedicated to Hong Kong, as they are published separately, such as Hong Kong Atlas, with ten titles translated from Chinese by various publishers, and the Penguin Hong Kong series, with ten books among which only one was translated from Chinese.
The database entries correspond to chapters in anthologies and include comprehensive information about the chapter, the anthology, the author, the translator(s) and the editor(s). The information that appears under each entry is organised in four sections:
The database includes the following information about each chapter:
The database includes the following information about each anthology:
For Renditions, issues 47 & 48 (Spring & Autumn 1997), Special Issue on Hong Kong Nineties, the texts have been digitised and made available on the website of Research Centre for Translation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. We have therefore included the links to the digitised version of the individual texts.
The database exhibits book cover images front and back, and introductions and/or prefaces of the anthologies. The research team has been granted Copyright permission by the publishers to disseminate these images.
The research team has written biographies of authors and translators to give visibility to Hong Kong literature and to the role of translators. Various sources have been used to write these texts, such as the Hong Kong Literature Database of the Hong Kong Literature Research Centre at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Author and Translators Index of the Research Centre for Translation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the website of the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, Liu Yichang’s Biographical sketches of Hong Kong writers (《香港文學作家傳略》, Hong Kong: Hong Kong Public Libraries, 1996) and the biography section in some of the anthologies. The synopsis of the fiction pieces has also been written by the team to promote Hong Kong literature and offer a general overview of the stories to users of the database. The main source for writing the synopsis have been the stories themselves.
The romanisation of Chinese author and translator names into English has followed the Hong Kong Standard Romanisation and we have followed the common practice in Hong Kong of hyphenating first names. For example, 梁秉鈞 has been transcribed as Leung Ping-kwan. However, users will find the same search results if they look for non-hyphenated names, such as Leung Ping Kwan. We have included other pseudonyms, both in English and Chinese, under "alternate names". For example, in Leung Ping-kwan's case, other names include Ye Si, Xin Yuan, 也斯and 心猿. We have used the most widespread romanisation under "alternate names", so Ye Si (not Ya Si) for 也斯 and Xiao Si (not Siu Si) for 小思 (real name, Lo Wai-luen). Although we have included full names, such as Tammy Lai-ming Ho, users will also find the author if they search for Tammy Ho.
Various sources have been used for the compilation of the list of anthologies, including Hong Kong university library catalogues (Hong Kong Baptist University library catalogue, Chinese University library catalogue, City University catalogue, Lingnan University catalogue, Polytechnic University catalogue, etc.), the Modern Chinese Language and Culture database, WorldCat, and A bibliography of Hong Kong literature in foreign languages by Amanda Hsu Yuk-kwan (The Center for Humanities Research, Lingnan University, 2011).
If there is any anthology that fits our selection criteria and that has been overlooked by our team or if you find any corrections to be made to the existing entries, do not hesitate to contact us at HKKHdatabase@gmail.com