Abstract

My article uncovers themes of circulation in comparative literature regarding how the early twentieth-century Chinese May Fourth generation read and translated the literature produced by the Irish Literary Revival, in a reciprocal process. I discern Postcolonial Modernism as the answer the Irish Revivalists discovered to the twin evils of Colonial Modernity and Capitalism Modernity and read this as an alternative modernizing model for the Chinese writers, one that does not automatically assume that the Irish, or the Chinese, are subaltern or “other.” I accessed archives in the databases of the Wan Qing qikan quanwen shujuku (1833–1911) 晚清期刊全文数据库 (Late Qing dynasty periodical full-text database 1833–1911), the Minguo shiqi qikan quanwen shujuku (1911–1949) 民 国时期期刊全文数据库 (Chinese Republican era periodical full-text database 1911–1949) alongside the Quanguo Baokan Suoyin 全国报刊索引 (National Newspaper Index). These Chinese-language journals formed a material link between the Irish Renaissance and the Chinese Enlightenment. I discovered many Irish Revivalist plays, once translated by Chinese intellectuals, took on new meanings, crossed class, gender, and racial boundaries and were performed by Chinese peasants throughout China, during the 1920s and 1930s.

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