From Jiang Rong to Jean-Jacques Annaud: An Ecological Rewrite of Wolf Totem

  • Runlei Zhai
Part of the Chinese Literature and Culture in the World book series (CLCW)


Based on Jiang Rong’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same title, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Wolf Totem is an ecological rewrite. To better understand and evaluate the rewrite, this chapter adopts a comparative approach and argues that Annaud’s rewrite works as a trans-national and trans-cultural bridge in contemporary ecological discussion. It has impressive visual and audio effects and has done pioneering work in translating Chinese ecological and cultural ethics and aesthetics to the global audience. Yet, the translation is not perfect. It neglects the social and cultural backgrounds and fails to harmonize the eastern and western perspectives in the understanding of ecological issues. With both gain and loss, Annaud’s rewrite proves that the multicultural strategies are needed in contemporary ecological studies, especially trans-national and trans-cultural studies.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Runlei Zhai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foreign Languages and LiteraturesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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