Charlie Chan

18 April 2019
Charlie Chan Returns
Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Collection

In 1924 Earl Derr Biggers read about a Chinese detective living in Hawaii named Chang Apana who had arrested someone for opium possession; it was this story that inspired Biggers write and publish a mystery novel titled The House without a Key in 1925. The title character of the novel, Charlie Chan, was modeled off of the Hawaiian detective. Biggers never visited China nor knew anything about Chinese culture, but his books were a hit in the United States. In total he published 6 novels in the Charlie Chan series. Thereafter the iconic detective has appeared in comics, television, and film. While Biggers said that the idea of Charlie Chan was to fight the fears of yellow peril and caricatures such as Fu Manchu that portrayed Chinese in a negative light there are some that still feel that Chan is no more than another stereotype due to his broken English, subservience, and effeminate. It is also important to note that every film iteration of Chan was played by a Caucasian actor in yellowface. What do you think; was Chan a positive or negative portray of the Chinese?

1924年,厄尔德尔·比格斯(Earl Derr Biggers)读到关于一位住在夏威夷的中国侦探的故事,这位侦探的名字叫常阿帕纳(Chang Apana),他以持有鸦片罪名逮捕了某人。1925年,正是这个故事启发了比格斯创作并出版了一本名为《没有钥匙的房子》(The House without a Key)的推理小说。小说的主人公陈查利(Charlie Chan)正是以这位夏威夷侦探为原型。比格斯从未去过中国,也不了解中国文化,但他的书在美国很受欢迎。他一共出版了六本《陈查利》系列小说。此后,这位标志性的侦探出现在漫画、电视和电影中。虽然比格斯说创造陈查利是为了对抗对于“黄祸”的恐惧,叫板诸如傅满洲之流的丑化中国人的讽刺漫画。但是也有一些人仍然认为,陈查利不过是另一个刻板形象,因为他蹩脚的英语,谄媚的态度和娘娘腔的气质。值得指出的是,每一部相关的电影,陈查利都是由一位白人化装成黄脸的演员所扮演。你认为呢?陈查利的形象到底是对中国人的正面还是负面的刻画?

Countdown to the TCS NYC Marathon on November 3, 2019: 216 Days.

2019年是美国第一条横贯大陆铁路建成150周年,为了纪念第一批华人来美建设这条铁路所做出的巨大贡献, MOCA将其2019 TCS NYC Marathon的活动命名为 MOCA Spike 150 – Running Forward With Our Stories! 鼓励大家通过马拉松公益跑,全国线上接力,以及一天一个故事的方式讲述150个华人的历史故事,敬请大家持续关注, 讲出华人自己的故事,回顾过去,立足现在,展望未来,共同书写美国历史,使之更加充实完整。

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