Detecting Chinese Modernities

Rupture and Continuity in Modern Chinese Detective Fiction (1896–1949)


Author: Yan Wei
In Detecting Chinese Modernities: Rupture and Continuity in Modern Chinese Detective Fiction (1896–1949), Yan Wei 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. Wei identifies two divergent, or even opposite strategies for appropriating Western detective fiction during the late Qing and the Republican periods. She further argues that these two periods in the domestication of detective fiction were also connected by shared emotions. Both periods expressed ambivalent and sometimes contradictory views regarding Chinese tradition and Western modernity.

Prices from (excl. VAT):

Add to Cart
Yan Wei, Ph.D. (2009), Harvard University, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Chinese at Lingnan University. She has published many articles on modern Chinese literature, including "Detective Fiction, Cultural Meditations and Chinese Modernity," in Crime Fiction as World Literature (Bloomsbury, 2017).
 1 A Brief History of Modern Detective Fiction in China
 2 Global Form and Local Expressions: Alternative Modernities in Modern Chinese Detective Fiction
 3 Overview

Part 1: The Formative Stage: Chinese Detective Fiction during the Late Qing Period

1 Meeting Detective Fiction: Western Detective Fiction in Chinese Translation
 1 The Spirit of Chivalric Vengeance: Lin Shu’s Translation of A Study in Scarlet
 2 New Civilizations and Old Morals: Zhou Guisheng, Wu Jianren, and The Serpents’ Coils
 3 Quwei: Zhou Zuoren and “The Gold-Bug”

2 The Detective Story in Traditional Clothes: the Embryonic Form of Native Chinese Detective Fiction
 1 Sherlock Holmes and the “Quickening Incense”: the Poisoning Case in The Travels of Lao Can
 2 To Be a Detective or a Cruel Judge: Judge Lu’s Dilemma in The Shining Light in the Sea of Aggrieved Cases
 3 An Alternative View of Chinese Detective Fiction: the zhiguai Tale “The Shouzhen” in Chinese Detective Cases
 4 The New Woman and the New Fiction: Lü Simian’s Chinese Female Detectives

Part 2: The Golden Age: Chinese Detective Fiction in the Republican Period

3 “Disguised Textbooks for Science”: Detective Fiction as a Pedagogical Tool
 1 Chinese Detective Writers and the Community of Scientific Discourse
 2 Three Aspects of Scientific Discourse in Republican Detective Fiction

4 Justice and the Chivalric Detective
 1 Private Detective Huo Sang and Mozi’s Ideas of jian’ai and youxia
 2 Burglar-Detective Lu Ping and the Philosophy of Thieves in Zhuangzi

5 Shanghai Modern: the Metropolitan Landscape in Chinese Detective Fiction
 1 Shanghai Cosmopolitanism and Republican Detective Fiction Writers
 2 Redrawing the Spectacle of Shanghai Modernity
 3 The Transnational Imagination of Republican Detective Fiction

6 Domestic Crimes in Everyday Life
 1 Local Clues from Daily Life
 2 Family Crimes during the Transitional Period
 3 Shanghai Alleyways in Cheng Xiaoqing’s Huo Sang Detective Stories

Conclusion: the Legacies of the Late Qing Mode and the Republican Mode: Echoes and Variations after 1949
 1 The Republican Mode and the Detective Fiction of Postwar Hong Kong
 2 The Late Qing Mode and Robert van Gulik’s Judge Dee Series
Character List
Works Cited
All interested in the history of Chinese detective fiction, and anyone concerned with the topic of the production of popular fiction in global context.