Harry Potter, wuxia and the transcultural flow of fantasy texts in Taiwan
ABSTRACT The global success of the Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings franchises has become an entry point for the flow of Western fantasy texts into Taiwan, a society, which over many decades has been a stronghold for traditional Chinese wuxia texts. While Western concepts, themes and 'worlds', are coming to Taiwan, wuxia, defined as fantasy in this essay, in return is making an inroad into Western popular culture. By considering local traditions, reception and consumption habits, this essay analyses the market potential for international fantasy on the island, and provides a theoretical background for understanding the dynamics of this genre in one particular cultural location.
KEYWORDS: fantasy, transcultural flow, wuxia, Harry Potter, market, Taiwan, fandom
Petra Rehling is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Da-yeh University in Taiwan. Over the past decade she has published several articles on the Harry Potter phenomenon. Petra Rehling’s research interests include media and cultural studies with a strong focus on popular culture, television and new media. In Germany, her book on Hong Kong cinema, Schöner Schmerz – Das Hongkongkino zwischen Traditionen, Identitätssuche und 1997-Syndrom (2005), is considered as one of the few standard works on the market.