Friday, 22 March 2019

Bookish Déjà-Vu: Red Rose, White Rose by Eileen Chang

However hard we try to reach perfection, we’ll never succeed because we are just flawed human beings. In love preconceived ideas and great expectations of the perfect partner-to-be usually are a sure way to unhappiness. This is even more true when they combine with the general desire to create a world that is right in the sense that it always corresponds perfectly with personal plans and with set social standards. But life is in a state of continuous change – πάντα ῥεῖ or everything flows, as the Ancient Greek said – that naturally defies absolute control. Besides, the imperfect often has a very strong appeal. My bookish déjà vu Red Rose, White Rose by Eileen Chang proves all of this against the backdrop of Shanghai, China, in the 1940s where Tong Zhenbao lives torn between his wild lover and his (seemingly) perfect wife as well as between old traditions and modern times.
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