Reception of George Bernard Shaw in China, 1918-1996

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“Wendi Chen delineates the varying reasons for Chinese acceptance of Shaw – both the writer and the playwright – focusing on four distinct historical moments in twentieth-century Chinese history since 1921. In so doing, she shows Shaw to have been a catalyst in opening the Chinese stage to Western drama, in affecting the way the theaters were run, and in educating audiences and actors alike to the demands of a drama radically different from the conventions of traditional Chinese drama. . . . Lucidly outlining the vicissitudes of a changing political landscape, she describes the Sinicization and interpretation of Shaw according to prevailing thinking, right up to the present and more Westernized Shaw. In addition to giving cultural and historical context coupled with her own insight, Chen synthesizes views from books available only in China and only in the Chinese language, thereby giving a sense of the large critical literature on Shaw. . . . In decoding the complex intertwining of the political, cultural, and artistic, Wendi Chen, with the utmost clarity and grace, does more than give an account of Shaw: she opens a door to China.” – Sally Peters

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Foreword; Introduction
1. Introduction of Western Drama to China and Its Impact
2. G. B. Shaw’s Plays on the Chinese Stage: The Production of Mrs. Warren’s Profession in 1921
3. G. B. Shaw’s Plays on the Chinese Stage: The 1991 Production of Major Barbara
4. Bernard Shaw in Pre-1949 China: Fierce Iconoclast, Defender of Justice; Moral Preacher
5. “Laugh Talk Master” in China: Amusing Clown or Serious Satirist?
6. A Fabian Socialist in Socialist China: Shaw Does His Bit for the Mao Regime
7. Conclusion: From Xiao Bona to Bonade Xiao: Reassessment of Shaw in Post-Mao China
Appendices; Bibliography; Index

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