The Reception of Wuthering Heights in China: English-Chinese Translation, Dissemination, and Adaptation

Qingqing Zhang, Charity Lee, Huzaina Abdul Halim


Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has been translated, disseminated, and adapted for various Chinese audiences. This study employed historical and archival research methods to probe this phenomenon. We retrieved data from Wuthering Heights and its Chinese-translated versions, children’s literature works, monographs, academic papers from China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and comments from the Douban Movie website. First, the researchers investigated Wuthering Heights’ translation in China from monographs and academic papers to explore the features of representative Chinese-translated versions. Second, the researchers explored Wuthering Heights’ dissemination in foreign literature education and literary study in China by analyzing the literature textbooks and academic papers. Third, the researchers examined the features of children’s literature works adapted from Wuthering Heights and the comments viewers made on the films adapted from the novel. The researchers found that the past nine decades witnessed the successful reception of Wuthering Heights in China for four reasons. First, the policies in the literary field contributed to its translation. Second, the reviews of the work in British literature textbooks and academic studies promoted the original text’s dissemination. Third, disseminating the movie adaptations enables more Chinese readers to know the classic, contributing to the original text’s dissemination. Fourth, the transmission of the children’s extracurricular bilingual reading material adapted from it gave Chinese teenagers a chance to know the novel’s plot and enhanced their reading ability, promoting the dissemination of Wuthering Heights in China.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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