‘Everyone knows Hong Kong, with its roadstead, its junks, its sampans, the buildings of Kowloon and the narrow dress, with the hobble-skirt slit at the side up to the thigh, which is worn by the Eurasians, tall, pliant girls moulded in their silk sheaths cut cleanly at the arm-pits and the neck, sleeveless and with small stand-up collars.

The thin shiny material is worn next to the skin, hugging the contours of the belly, the breasts and the hips and gathering at the waist in a sheaf of tiny ripples, when the young woman, who has stopped in front of a shop-window, turns her head and bust towards the pane of glass where, motionless, her left foot touching the ground only by the tip of a very high-heeled shoe, ready to resume her walk in the middle of the interrupted step, her right hand stretched forward, a little away from her body, and her elbow half flexed, she contemplates for a moment the young woman in wax, wearing an identical dress of red silk, or her own reflection in the window ...

... or the plaited leather lead that the dummy is holding with her left hand, her bare arm held away from her body and her elbow half flexed to keep in check a large black dog with a gleaming coat that is walking in front of her.’—Alain Robbe-Grillet, from The House of Assignation (1965) Trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith.

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