Publication details [#12841]

Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Title as subject


The article discusses the practice whereby creative writing by some Westerners was passed off as genuinly Chinese at the dawn of the twentieth century. The author focuses on the case of Ernest Bramah Smith, who sought to transcreate Chineseness in his English-language works. In the nineteenth century a style of writing was developed, which was taken to be 'Chinese' by the reading public. It is the style of these translations that Smith build on to create his effects. Thus translation of Chinese works into English was responsible, to a great extent, in creating the notion of Chineseness. The author first outlines the general characteristics used by Smith in #The Wallet of Kai Lung#, and then traces these back to various nineteenth-century translators. [Source: A. Matthyssen]