Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9782360570607
Collection: Taiwan Fiction
16.5 x 20 cm
Weight: 346 gr
Pages: 200
First publication: 03/06/2015
Last printing: 06/2015

Read an excerpt

La Cité des douleurs

Translation: Gwennaël Gaffric

Preface : Wafa Ghermani

The first original screenplay published in French of a Chinese-language film, the screenplay for the City of Pain (Golden Lion in Venice in 1989), a masterpiece of Taiwanese cinema directed by Hou Hsiaohsien, is presented here as a literary work. Co-written by Chu Tien-wen and Wu Nien-jen, it makes us feel intimately, through the abundant and tragic story of the Lim family, the “pains” of the island of Taiwan following the dramatic events of February-March 1947, a tragic episode that no film had yet dared to mention. The reader will be able to appreciate the complexity of the political situation and social relations at the time when the Japanese colonizer is giving way to the authoritarian government of the Republic of China. They will (re)discover a brilliant woman of letters well known for her novels and short stories, and a remarkable screenwriter-dialogue writer (and director). They will also gain an in-depth understanding of a powerful and original cinematographic work through both its political and its memorial approach.

Paper book


Chu Tien-wen

Chu Tien-wen is a world famous writer. It is published in France and has won the 2015 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature. She is also a screenwriter, with, among others, The City of Pain (published in the Asiathèque in 2015).

Wu Nien-jen

WU Nien-jen is a Taiwanese screenwriter, actor, director and producer. He has co-written several films by Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Gwennaël Gaffric

Gwennaël Gaffric (born 1987) is a lecturer in Chinese studies at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, where he teaches Chinese language and culture. He is the author of several articles in French, English and Chinese on Chinese-language literature (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan). His recent research focuses on contemporary science fiction in Chinese. He is also one of the leading translators from Chinese of general literature, science fiction, fantasy and the humanities (literary studies, philosophy). His translations include the best-selling volumes of Liu Cixin's Three-Body Problem trilogy. He regularly translates for L'Asiathèque, where he heads the "Taiwan Fiction" collection. He has also published at L'asiathèque: La littérature à l'ère de l'anthropocène (2019).

Wafa Ghermani

Wafa Ghermani, author of the preface, recently defended his doctoral thesis: “Cinema and national identity: the case of Taiwan from 1895 to the present day”. Since 2006, she has contributed to several publications on Taiwanese cinema.


Taiwan Fiction
ISSN : 2429-7496
The "Taiwan Fiction" collection of books, created in 2015, features literary works by contemporary Taiwanese authors which approach with an original writing the crucial questions of our times.