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Intellectual Narratives

Theory, History and Self-Characterization of Social Margins in Public Writings

Alex Ching-Shing Chan

This book aims to study the intellectual lives of three Hong Kong intellectuals by narrating their lives as self-reflections on theories related to social margins. Drawing on insights from Paul Ricoeur, Hannah Arendt and Zygmunt Bauman, the author analyses their narratives through in-depth interviews. Their stories point to an interpretative understanding of the works they had cursorily read when creating their historical narrations of Hong Kong from the 1970s to 2003. These stories of individual intellectuals, together with their interpretations of what they have individually read about various western theories, challenge theoretical prescriptions of historical contingent events in their narration. Such narration unfolds self-characterizations of intellectuals the author interviewed, and represents a neglected social marginal which demands that immediate attention in the public through their intellectual writings.

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Preface vii

Extract

Preface This book aims to study of intellectual lives of three Hong Kong intellec- tuals by narrating their lives as self-refl ections on theories related to the social margins. Drawing on insights from Paul Ricoeur, Hannah Arendt and Zygmunt Bauman, the author analyses the narratives of these intel- lectuals through in-depth interviews. Their stories point to an interpreta- tive understanding of the works they had read out of intellectual curiosity when creating their historical narrations of Hong Kong from the 1970s to 2003. The stories of these individual intellectuals, together with their interpretations of what they have individually read about various western theories, challenge theoretical prescriptions of historical contingent events in their narration. Such narration unfolds the self-characterizations of the intellectuals the author interviewed; these self-characterizations represent neglected social marginals whose situations demand immediate attention from the public. vii

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