Book reviewLin Shu, Inc.: Translation and the Making of Modern Chinese Culture (Global Asias). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. 294 pp..
Reviewed by Duoxiu Qian
Beihang University, Beijing
Lin Shu (1852–1924), courtesy name Qin-nan, was the producer or co-producer of more than 170 Chinese titles, mainly translations of English and French novels. This remarkable achievement is all the more amazing given the fact that he was quite ignorant of any foreign language, forcing him to collaborate with others who knew the source language. His work contributed, for the first time in Chinese history, to systematically introducing Western literature to Chinese readers and influenced at least a whole generation of readers and authors. His work also made it possible for the Commercial Press (1897 to present), the first modern publishing house in China, to make big profits in its early years and survive in the then highly competitive brand-new publishing industry.