ZGJEDHA E ARTË (The Golden Cangue) – Author: Zhang Ailing

ZGJEDHA E ARTË (The Golden Cangue) – Author: Zhang Ailing

The Golden Cangue is a 1943 Chinese novella by Zhang (Eileen) Chang. The author’s own English translation appeared in the anthology Modern Chinese Stories and Novellas: 1919–1949 published by Columbia University Press. Fu Lei was an enthusiastic critic of the story, while C. T

The Golden Cangue illustrates the decadence of the idle rich. Set in Shanghai, the novelette unfolds the degeneration of the heroine, Qi Qiao, and her family. The golden cangue symbolizes the destructiveness of the protagonist, who metaphorically bears the frame used to hold prisoners in old China; she is both imprisoned and imprisoning. She uses the golden cangue as a way of mutilating others psychologically, while the instrument ironically stands for her own exploitation. The motifs of moon, madness, and mutilation and the themes of exploitation, moral degeneration, and destruction merge with images and symbols of the moon, gold and green, and the cangue.

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