Publication details [#8862]

Ping, Zhang. 2005. Sherlock Holmes in China. Perspectives 13 (2) : 106–114.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Person as a subject
Title as subject


This article discusses issues concerning the impact of translations on literature in a given target culture, as exemplified by British detective stories translated into Chinese in the early twentieth century. In China, the introduction and popularisation of British detective stories played a decisive role in introducing new narrative techniques and modes in popular fiction and gave rise to modern Chinese detective stories. The first translations were adapted to traditional Chinese narrative structures, but subsequent translations rendered those of the source texts adequately, thus illustrating an evolution in cultural receptivity. Furthermore, translated British detective stories inspired Chinese authors to create detective fiction largely dependent on the European genre and different from the crime stories of Chinese traditional fiction: the Gong-an stories. The article concentrates on the work of Cheng Xiao-qing, whose protagonist, Huo Sang, embodies elements from both Western and Chinese cultures. The present study thus highlights the importance of cultural confrontation and fusion, that is, in translation of popular literature in the target culture.
Source : Based on abstract in journal