Melancholy and Nostalgia are not only two connected types of emotion, but also the irresistible motifs frequently appearing in Chinese North American diasporic literature. As two important Chinese North American writers, Bai Xianyong’s melancholy and Chen He’s nostalgia are themes in the former’s short story “Winter Nights” and the latter’s novella “Two Tales of the City in That Black-and-White Movie” “Winter Nights” is set against the backdrop of 1950s Taibei, but through employment of literary montage, readers may feel overwhelmed by reminiscences of the old days in mainland China when the protagonists were radical intellectuals with their youthful idealism. “Two Tales of the City in That Black-and-White Movie” tells its story mixing the present with the past. The main character realizes that the city he comes to visit is exactly the same one appearing in a touching, old black-and-white movie. Although black-and-white movies are no longer in the mainstream, they always remind us of the good old days and become the unique accompaniment to travel back to the time of our youth and “the slower rhythms” of our fantasy and imagination – whether with melancholy or nostalgia. This paper will exam how black-and-white movies and literary montage play essential roles to present Bai’s melancholy and Chen’s nostalgia in their stories.


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