This chapter explores the interaction between phone and graphe. The first part reflects on the frequent silencing of the Chinese language in Western theory by isolating script from its real linguistic complexity. An analysis of Hou Hsiao-hsien's film City of Sadness (Beiqing chengshi) shows how the figure of muteness can serve to contest such a bias by staging a complex, nonconventional interaction between different Sinophones, the Chinese script, and the medium of film. The second part provides a critique of the media politics in recent theory that equate the sonic with resistance and marginality. It looks at texts—such as Chinese glossolalic poetry and Han Shaogong's novel A Dictionary of Maqiao (Maqiao cidian)—that avail themselves of the complex, flexible, and multifaceted interaction between script and sound in Chinese.
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