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Sons and Dragons: Death of a Salesman as a Cultural Icon

  • Shelby Kar-yan Chan
Part of the New Frontiers in Translation Studies book series (NFTS)

Abstract

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman is one of the most staged and best loved translated plays in Hong Kong. It was first introduced to the local audience by Chung King-fai in 1964. Since then, it has been mounted in Hong Kong 11 times. Salesman is considered almost by consensus a classic of Western drama. It was among the first contemporary American plays to be staged in the territory and the most famous, if not the most familiar, to the Hong Kong audience. During interviews with local practitioners, many of them identified Salesman as the most popular foreign play without hesitation. All the productions in Hong Kong were invariably faithful renderings of the original play, in terms of setting, language and performance style. Dominic Cheung, who mounted Salesman on the Hong Kong stage in 1995, and Hardy Tsoi, who did so in 2006, both insisted that the play must be produced in its entirety and that it could not and should not be changed. They were confident that the story of Willy Loman, the pitiful American salesman of the 1940s, would resonate with the present-day Hong Kong audience (Cheung 2009; Tsoi 2009). The story of Salesman, as confirmed by the play’s producers in newspaper coverage and interviews, is in many ways similar to the situation of Hong Kong, and its protagonist Willy Loman has become a local cultural icon.

Keywords

American Football Identity Construction Television Serial Local Audience American Play 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelby Kar-yan Chan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of TranslationHang Seng Management CollegeHong KongHong Kong SAR

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