<eng>This book turns to the past to trace how the genre took root in the nation from the late Qing period to the Republican era (1896–1949). It historicizes the two stages in the development of Chinese detective fiction and discusses the rupture and continuity in the cultural transactions, mediation, and appropriation that occurred when the genre of detective fiction traveled to China during the first half of the twentieth century. This book also identifies two distinct strategies for appropriating Western detective fiction: the first is characteristic of the late Qing period while the second emerged in the Republican period. Late Qing translators and writers tried to assimilate the foreign genre into their own literary tradition, while Republican writers accepted the new genre on its own terms and chose to use Western-style detective narratives as an educational tool to popularize science or to reveal the hazards in everyday life in modern China. Yet after identifying two divergent, or even opposite modes of domestification, this book further argues that there is also a continuity between the detective fiction of the late Qing and Republican periods, which taken as a whole attests the affective experience shared among Chinese people who witnessed the dialogue between the traditional and the modern during these decades of change. Chinese detective fiction of the earlier twentieth century did not accept Western detective fiction and its value system uncritically. It was alert to the danger of materialism and considered traditional morality as an effective antidote. Facing a chaotic time of corruption and bureaucratic malpractice, Chinese detective writers tended to be skeptical of the courts and frequently meted out poetic justice to their characters as a corrective to the flawed judicial system. By treating detective fiction itself as an embodiment of modernity, my close examination of the reception of this genre during the late Qing and the Republican era not only illustrates the varying attitudes, struggles, and negotiations that characterized Chinese engagement with Western modernity during these two periods, but also reflects an ontological issue of the evolution of detective fiction: Detective fiction is a modern genre issued from the West, yet when it gradually became a global presence, its global diversities in turn expand our understanding of the original connotations and possibilities of this genre.
|Original language||Chinese (Simplified)|
|Place of Publication||北京|
|Number of pages||348|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2019|
本书写作受到中国香港特别行政区大学教育资助委员会的基金 (LU13601117) 支持。