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Research Article

Ah Q Travels to Europe

Christoph Hein’s Die wahre Geschichte des Ah Q (1983) and Dario Fo’s La storia di Qu (2011)

Nicoletta Pesaro    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia     ORCID iD



This study focuses on the adaptations of the novella “The True Story of Ah Q” by the Chinese writer Lu Xun (1881-1936), produced by two important European playwrights, Christoph Hein (b. 1944) and Dario Fo (1926-2016), who ‘translated’ Lu Xun’s famous character respectively into a problematic nihilist (Die wahre Geschichte des Ah Q, 1983) and into a revolutionary Chinese Harlequin (La storia di Qu, 1989; 2011). These two plays appropriate the ‘hypotext’ into a new cultural geography, which is neither Chinese nor completely German or Italian, but rather a transcultural space based on the European intellectual tradition of the ‘anarchist’. In this case translation means a thorough transformation and change which allows Lu Xun’s work to ‘live on’ (Fortleben, as in Walter Benjamin’s theory).

Keywords: Adaptation. Transcultural rewriting. Contact zone. Appropriation. Fortleben.

Language: en

Submitted: Feb. 6, 2020   Accepted: April 17, 2020   Published: June 30, 2020  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.30687/AnnOr/2385-3042/2020/56/018

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