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China's Stefan ZweigThe Dynamics of Cross-Cultural Reception$
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Arnhilt Johanna Hoefle

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824872083

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824872083.001.0001

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Introducing Zweig in Turbulent Times

Introducing Zweig in Turbulent Times

From the New Culture Movement to Illegal Communist Propaganda

(p.21) Chapter 2 Introducing Zweig in Turbulent Times
China's Stefan Zweig

Arnhilt Johanna Hoefle

University of Hawai'i Press

Stefan Zweig’s works were first introduced in Republican China after the fall of the Qing Empire (1644-1911) during a period of transition, re-orientation, and civil war. This chapter focuses on two cases, Geng Jizhi’s (1899-1947) translation of the novella The Governess of 1927 and Sun Hanbing’s (1902-1940) translation of the novella Letter from an Unknown Woman of 1934. Geng Jizhi served as a diplomat of the Nationalist government at Chinese consulates in the Soviet Union and was one of the most important translators of classical Russian literature. Eager to introduce European notions of psychology and psychoanalysis to a Chinese readership during the New Culture Movement, he translated Zweig’s novella from a Russian source. Sun Hanbing, a professor of economics who had extensively studied in the US, based his translation on an English edition and attached not only an American but also a Soviet review to his translation. Active in Shanghai’s illegal Marxist circles he published the novella as a negative example of decadent bourgeois literature in a Marxist journal that was banned shortly after. This chapter therefore showcases the introduction of Zweig in China as a result of multiple interweaving linguistic, cultural, intellectual, and, in particular, diametrically opposed political systems.

Keywords:   Republican China, Soviet Union, New Culture Movement, Civil War, Psychoanalysis, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Governess, Geng Jizhi, Sun Hanbing

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