From East Lynne to Konggu Lan: Transcultural Tour, Trans-Medial Translation
This paper traces the travels of a Victorian best-selling novel entitled East Lynne (1861) and its various translations as serialized novels, stage plays, and films produced in Japan and China in the early twentieth century. The author argues that all versions of the story reflected a global trend for what may be termed “popular consumption of sensation plus sentiment.” The principle agents in the formation of this global trend in the popular spheres are to be found in the development of print capitalism and the cultural industries on the one hand, and in the public’s desires for sensation and sentiment in a time of rapid social changes on the other. As such, this study presents an early example of the global flow of cultural products. It demonstrates that global flows of cultural products along with commodities and concepts not only helped shape imagined communities that were called nations, but also linked people at mental levels across national boundaries.