We are happy to bring out The Hong Kong Review, and hope it will add some new dimensions to our existent international literary community.
Ours is a time in which, while people in general are more educated and the access to books has become ever easier, a lot of people just feel less motivated to read and more likely to be diverted by screens, big or small, desktop or mobile. The Hong Kong Review may not be able to change this completely, but it is our goal to make it clear to the public that literature is more relevant to our time and experience than ever before. It is a time when things occur so rapidly and, at times, so detrimentally, that people, paradoxically, need to slow down. We believe that literature is an elixir for this rapidly changing and amorphous world, an elixir that empowers people to slow down and really see things with their eyes and their minds.
Ours is a time in which the dialogues between writers and academic critics have not worked really well. The theories that have dominated academic criticism for a huge part of the 20th century and this new millennium have become more or less a trench that divides the world of literature, while writers, on one side of the trench, and academic critics, on the other side of the trench, seem not completely confident in and comfortable with their “literary brethren.” This is alarming, because the development of critical theories, while definitely increasing the intellectual depth of literature and criticism, has inadvertently distanced them from the general reading public. The Hong Kong Review takes it as part of its mission to bridge this divided world of literature and to make the dialogue between literary criticism and literary creation become easy and essential again. We encourage the kind of criticism that combines the beauty of thought and the beauty of language, that helps bring the readers in but not drive them out, and that believes that literary criticism itself is a kind of literary creation.
Ours is a time in which, while globalization has made the world we live in smaller, it fails, to some extent, to bring us closer. It is disturbing to see that nationalism is rising in many parts of the world and new walls and fences, visible or not, are being built to stop or slow down the integration of human world and the exchange of human thoughts. Although, in some ways, there has never been a time when the voices of different cultures, races, classes and genders are being given equal chances to speak, these new walls are making it ever-more challenging for us to hear these voices, not to mention to understand them. Thus, an integral part of The Hong Kong Review's mission is to feature a variety of voices, to include work that represents voices from all over the world and voices that cover the whole spectrum of society. We want to offer a chance for all these voices to be heard and understood, we want to offer a space for people to slow down and think, and we want to offer our efforts, no matter how small they appear to be, to make this world a slightly more harmonious and more closely knitted whole.