The most common colors on the market are the kind you cannot name, the not quite blues, not quite grays and the not quite yellows that are used only for background and referred to as neutral colors, camouflage, “civilized colors,” or secondary colors. Amid these secondary colors, there are splashes of enigmatic brilliance and coy allure, like the sun of another world shining on one’s body. But I always feel that even these splashes are never enough, like Van Gogh, who always bemoaned that his colors were not strong enough, until he painted sunflowers suffused in the intense sunlight of southern France and was finally compelled to pile colors on top of one another in such staggering amounts that layers of oil paint began to protrude from the canvas, transforming painting into a kind of sculpture. Written on Water, Eileen Chang.

I can’t wear these wishy-washy English colours with my sarees. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay.

Returning to India the first thing your eyes drink in is the colours in the market, a change from racks and racks of civilised and fashionable “neutrals” in many parts of the world. But the Indian love affair with colours is not a simple matter of a love of bright colours or a fixation on certain colours (Pink is the Navy Blue of India!).

More here.

In the pics: Melancholy Courtesan, Kamaladevi Chattopadhay, Sardar Akhtar, Paoli Dam. 

Still from Ang Lee’s espionage thriller, “色, 戒 / Lust, Caution” (2007) showing a group of women playing mahjong. The film is based on Eileen Chang’s novella of the same title, and stars Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Tang Wei, Joan Chen, and Wang Leehom. Set in 1938 in Hong Kong and in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in 1942, the film depicts a group of Chinese university students plotting to assassinate Mr. Yee, the Chinese head of the secret police and Japanese collaborator.

Source: 影视工业网 107Cine

For Perry Link, it was embarrassing to read Eileen Chang for the first time, because her work revealed things about China it took him too long to learn on his own. In The New York Review of Books, he writes about how Naked Earth, which the magazine’s publishing arm is republishing in June, cut through the jargon of Chairman Mao’s regime. FYI, Jamie Fisher wrote an essay on the book for The Millions.

They were in love. He told her all kinds of things: who was on his die at the bank and who secretly opposed him; how his family squabbled; his secret sorrows; his schoolboy dreams…unending talk, but she was not put off. Men in love have always liked to talk; women in love, on the other hand, don’t want to talk, because they know, without even knowing that they know, that once a man really understands a woman he’ll stop loving her.
—  Sealed Off, Eileen Chang
Yee wants Wang not in spite of his suspicion, but “it is precisely because he suspects her that he desires her… And so lust and caution are, in Chang’s work, functions of each other, not because we desire what is dangerous, but because our love is, no matter how earnest, an act, and therefore always an object of suspicion”.
—  Scriptwriter James Schamus invokes Zizek to explain Eileen Chang’s Lust, Caution 
She could hardly believe it, but he rarely so much as touched her hand. She was continually on edge, fearing he would suddenly drop the pretense and launch a surprise attack. But day after day he remained a gentleman; it was like facing a great enemy who stood perfectly still.
—  From Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang; translated into English by the author and Karen S. Kingsbury.