Zhang Ruogu 張若谷(1905-1967), now known primarily as an urban writer,2 began his literary career by translating and commenting on French literature in newspapers and journals and subsequently published several urban stories. He was also an active advocate of urban life and played an important role in the introduction of the ideas of the French-style café gathering and European cultural trends. Zhang Ruogu’s literary activities, his admiration of French literature and culture, and his works inspired by the French literary works that he admired or translated, are the focus of investigation of this paper. From Paris to Shanghai and from 19th-century French literature to urban stories of Shanghai of the 1930s, these literary trends and works advanced through a process of translation and interpretation. What occurred during this translation and interpretation process? How does this examination aid us in understanding Zhang Ruogu’s own work and modern Chinese literature? This paper addresses Zhang Ruogu’s translations, adaptations and interpretations of French literature as well as his own literary works.
Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, 13(1-2), 260-287