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In the post-war mid-century Robert van Gulik produced a series of stories set in Imperial China and featuring a Chinese Judge: Judge Dee. This book examines the author’s unprecedented effort in hybridising two heterogenous crime writing traditions – traditional Chinese gong’an (court-case) fiction and its Anglo-American counterpart – bringing to light how his fiction draws elements from these two traditions for plots, narrative features, visual images, and gender representation.

Relying on research on various sources and literary traditions, it provides illumination of the historical contexts, centring on the cultural interaction and connectedness that occurred during the multidirectional global flows of the Judge Dee texts in both western and Chinese markets. This study contributes to current scholarship on crime fiction by questioning its predominantly Eurocentric focus and the divisive post-colonial approach often adopted in accessing works concerning foreign peoples and cultures.
Volume Editor:
Shakespeare as German Author, edited by John McCarthy, revisits in particular the formative phase of German Shakespeare reception 1760-1830. Following a detailed introduction to the historical and theoretical parameters of an era in search of its own literary voice, six case studies examine Shakespeare’s catalytic role in reshaping German aesthetics and stage production. They illuminate what German speakers found so appealing (or off-putting) about Shakespeare’s spirit, consider how translating it nurtured new linguistic and aesthetic sensibilities, and reflect on its relationship to German Geist through translation and cultural transfer theory. In the process, they shed new light, e.g., on the rise of Hamlet to canonical status, the role of women translators, and why Titus Andronicus proved so influential in twentieth-century theater performance.

Contributors are: Lisa Beesley, Astrid Dröse, Johanna Hörnig, Till Kinzel, John A. McCarthy, Curtis L. Maughan, Monika Nenon, Christine Nilsson.