Intermedial translation as circulation chu tien-wen, Taiwan new cinema, and Taiwan literature

Jessica Siu-Yin YEUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


We generally believe that literature first circulates nationally and then scales up through translation and reception at an international level. In contrast, I argue that Taiwan literature first attained international acclaim through intermedial translation during the New Cinema period (1982–90) and was only then subsequently recognized nationally. These intermedial translations included not only adaptations of literature for film, but also collaborations between authors who acted as screenwriters and filmmakers. The films resulting from these collaborations repositioned Taiwan as a multilingual, multicultural and democratic nation. These shifts in media facilitated the circulation of these new narratives. Filmmakers could circumvent censorship at home and reach international audiences at Western film festivals. The international success ensured the wide circulation of these narratives in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-586
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of World Literature
Issue number4
Early online date4 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

I am grateful to Wiebke Sievers, Peggy Levitt, my anonymous reviewers, Christine S. Bellen, Michael Ka-Chi Cheuk, Tom Cunliffe, Elaine Chung, Yue Han, Ting-Ying Lin, Jacob Meister, and Emilie Yueh-Yu Yeh for their help in enabling the writing of this essay.

Publisher Copyright:
© jessica siu-yin yeung, 2020


  • Allegory
  • Cultural policy
  • Film
  • Screenplay
  • Taiwan


Dive into the research topics of 'Intermedial translation as circulation chu tien-wen, Taiwan new cinema, and Taiwan literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this