The translation and adaptation of Arthur Miller's 1941 radio drama “The Pussy Cat and the Expert Plumber who was a Man” in 1980s China not only conveys the witty humor and intriguing critique of the original, but also carries unique marks of its receiving culture. A comparative close reading of the original and the translation shows how the original survives in a translation. Instead of antagonizing the east and the west as mutually unintelligible, my analysis of the translated Chinese radio drama “Cat and the Plumber” explores ways in which interlingual, intermedia, and intertextual references and variations help build the “image” of the west in post-Mao China through sound media. The literary event of a 1940s American radio drama traveling to 1980s China not only provides us with a new perspective in looking at the social soundscape as well as popular culture of 1980s China but also contributes to the repertoire of Sino-American cultural exchanges during the last decade of the Cold War. At the dawn of a new era in the history of China, the introduction of this American radio drama shows both achievements as well as limitations of the early post-Mao cultural reforms.

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