Between Science and Fiction: The Transmission of the Film Frau Im Mond (1929) in Chinese Periodicals, 1929-1933
Publication in refereed journal


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AbstractRecent scholarship on canonical late Qing and early Republican science fiction has accentuated the role of translation as a channel of import that contributed to the birth of the genre in China. The paper proceeds from this view of translation, but contends that the current historiography does not confront the complexity of the emergence of the genre, which took place in the vast textual landscape of the periodical press through the appropriation of foreign verbal and visual sources. This mode of emergence is described in the paper with a case study of the transmission of the images of the German science fiction film Frau Im Mond in Chinese periodicals during the period 1929–1933.
The case study, inspired by keyword searches in the National Periodical Index and Shenbao databases, explores how the film was reported, synopsized and advertised in the film magazine Silverland and the newspaper Shenbao in the years preceding its first screening in Shanghai in 1933. In the next decade, the media coverage was followed by a surge of interest in space missions to the Moon in a wide range of periodicals. Tracking the transmission of the cinematic images and examining later periodical publications about lunar exploration, the paper observes that the borderline between scientific writing and science fiction in this period was not only indistinct, but that indistinctiveness was also self-strengthening, as it became a source of wonder in the Chinese periodical press that motivated the continuous inflow of visual and verbal sources of science and fiction from abroad. With its method and observations, the paper hopes to open up new materials and analytical paths for the study of the role of translation in the emergence of science fiction in China.
Acceptance Date19/03/2019
All Author(s) ListMichelle Jia Ye
Journal name翻譯學報 / Journal of Translation Studies
Year2019
Month6
Volume Number3
Issue Number1
PublisherThe Chines University Press
Place of PublicationHong Kong
Pages69 - 96
ISSN1027-7978
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsscience fiction film, translation, periodicals, early Republican China

Last updated on 2019-29-07 at 14:07