Robert Hans van Gulik and the Reinvention of Chinese Detective Fiction

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


This article studies how the Dutch sinologist Robert van Gulik absorbed the rich materials of classical Chinese popular literature and reinvented the original character of Judge Dee as a Chinese detective welcomed by Western readers. I argue that in the Judge Dee series, van Gulik not only made use of many elements of Chinese culture, including superstition, religion, crime and justice, sexuality, and illustrations, but more importantly, he reinvented the narrative method of classical Chinese fiction, shedding light on the deep philosophical and ethical ideas behind the unique narratology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Western Reinvention of Chinese Literature, 1910-2010 : From Ezra Pound to Maxine Hong Kingston
EditorsZong-qi CAI, Stephen RODDY
PublisherBrill Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)9789004515031
ISBN (Print)9789004515048
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Robert Hans van Gulik and the Reinvention of Chinese Detective Fiction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this