Adapting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage  book cover
1st Edition

Adapting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage

ISBN 9780367733827
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

Adapting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage presents a comprehensive study of transnational, transcultural, and translingual adaptations of Western classics from the turn of the twentieth century to present-day China in the age of globalization. Supported by a wide range of in-depth research, this book

  • Examines the complex dynamics between texts, both dramatic and socio-historical; contexts, both domestic and international; and intertexts, Western classics and their Chinese reinterpretations in huaju and/or traditional Chinese xiqu;

  • Contemplates Chinese adaptations of a range of Western dramatic works, including Greek, English, Russian, and French;

  • Presents case studies of key Chinese adaptation endeavors, including the 1907 adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by the Spring Willow Society and the 1990 adaptation of Hamlet by Lin Zhaohua;

  • Lays out a history of uneasy convergence of East and West, complicated by tensions between divergent sociopolitical forces and cultural proclivities.

Drawing on disciplines and critical perspectives, including theatre and adaptation studies, comparative literature, translation studies, reception theory, post-colonialism, and intertextuality, this book is key reading for students and researchers in any of these fields.

Table of Contents


1. First Contact: Early Chinese Encounters with Western Drama

2. Black Slave's Cry to Heaven, the Birth Cry of Modern Chinese Drama, and a Group of Post-’80s Amateurs in Search of a Director

3. Guess Who’s Coming: Brecht, Beckett, Miller, and the Revival of Modern Chinese Drama

4. Tragic Hero and Hero Tragedy: Reimagining Classic Greek Drama as Chinese Xiqu Today

5. Old Man Shakespeare, the All but Forgotten Shaw, and the Importance of Being Oscar Wilde

6. An Old "Mentor and Friend" from Afar: Adapting Classic Russian Drama for the Chinese Stage

7. The Tragic, the Comic, the Absurd, and the "Grand Feast" of French Classics


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Shouhua Qi is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the College of Liberal Arts, Yangzhou University and Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Western Connecticut State University.