This book traces the contours of the ways in which Western literature (in both the broad and narrow sense) was introduced and received in China from the 1840s to the present. It is an attempt to navigate and unpack the complex dynamics, or fault zones, of texts (literary and sociopolitical), contexts (Chinese and Western), intertexts (translation and creative writing), dominance (language, culture, ideology) and resistance, and of tension and convergence. It is the story of China's uneasy response to the West, its perilous march toward modernity, and its epic, costly struggle to reclaim the nation's past glory—both real and imagined.
'Understanding China's emergence as a twenty-first-century power requires an awareness of the complexities of its history, culture, and often damaging past interaction with foreign nations. Qi has made an important contribution to the understanding of the forces that have shaped China with his examination of the impact of translations of Western texts on China's development as they were 'assimilated' into the Chinese consciousness. Qi provides a new framework that highlights the tensions caused by the need to preserve Chinese culture while pursuing Westernization and globalization.' - June Grasso, associate professor, Boston University
'Western Literature in China and the Translation of a Nation is a fascinating story of modern China and its relations with the West told through the eventful, often tragic and sad, history of its intellectuals and their translations. Based on solid research, informative, insightful, and beautifully written, this book offers much more than its title seems to suggest, and anyone interested in the intellectual and sociopolitical history of modern China will find it of great value and enjoyable reading.' - Zhang Longxi, chair professor of Comparative Literature and Translation, City University of Hong Kong