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The Story of Diaochan: From Chinese fiction to English drama — on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and G.G. Alexander’s Teaou-Shin

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image of Ming Qing Yanjiu

This is a descriptive case study which attempts to explain how the story of Diaochan 貂蟬, the famous episode in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, gained its afterlife in the western milieu by being translated and rewritten. This article focuses on the analysis of G.G. Alexander’s Teaou-shin, A Drama from the Chinese, in five Acts, and proposes that during the transformation of a Chinese fictional script to an English theatrical text, the themes and spiritual entity of the story were shifted in order to appeal to the European audiences in the nineteenth century. Furthermore, it argues that the differences between Chinese fiction and English drama are generated from distinct literary genre as well as heterogeneous cultural background.

Affiliations: 1: * Humanities and Communications College, Shanghai Normal University, People’s Republic of China.


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