The Name Is Changed, but the Tale Is Told of You

Michael Gibbs Hill

in Lin Shu, Inc.

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199892884
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980062 | DOI:

Series: Global Asias

The Name Is Changed, but the Tale Is Told of You

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This chapter analyzes Lin Shu's rise to prominence in the late-Qing cultural scene. Many translations Lin Shu and his collaborators produced before the 1911 revolution constituted a substantial agenda for reconfiguring the relationships between language, literature, and society. Versions of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1901), Aesop's Fables (1903), and Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe (1905) brought together “foreign” texts, the rhetoric of anticolonialism and domestic reform, the cultural prestige ascribed to ancient-style prose (guwen), and a keen sense for commercial publishing, producing a formula that enjoyed far-reaching influence in intellectual circles and brought unprecedented commercial success to Lin’s main publisher, the Commercial Press. These early works also constitute an attempt to revive ancient-style prose as a medium to both convey and critique the “universal principles” (gongli) of citizenship, national identity, and equality Lin believed could be found in the texts he translated.

Keywords: translation; Stowe, Harriet Beecher; Uncle Tom's cabin; Aesop; Scott, Sir Walter; Ivanhoe

Chapter.  20625 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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