[New Publication] The Transcultural Flow and Consumption of Online Wuxia Literature through Fan-Based Translation

By Dang Li

This essay explores the role of fan-based translation in the transcultural flow and consumption of online wuxia literature. It first traces the origin and evolution of online wuxia literature. Some common characteristics of wuxia stories, such as their shared plots, tropes, and devices, are outlined. The essay then explores how online wuxia stories are introduced through fan-based translation to English-speaking countries and the possible reasons for their success. Bourdieu’s field theory reframed for digital sociology is used in placing fan-based wuxia translation within the network of relationships engendered and mediated by the functionality of the online site in which fan translators operate. A parallel corpus is built and employed to examine fan translators’ habitus with regard to cultural-specific items in wuxia novels. The essay concludes by discussing the implications of the current study.