Translating an ancient work entails not only rewriting a work in a new language but also reorienting it for a contemporary audience. The Shanhai jing 山海經 is a particularly interesting case because of the rich paratextual tradition associated with it, including both commentary and illustrations; at the same time, its fantastical content poses special challenges to translators. Topics of particular concern in this review are the use of paratextual elements, excerpting, and titles to reshape and present the text, and the ways in which various translators have used (or eschewed) transliteration and other strategies to convey the strangeness of the imaginary places and fantastical beings of the Shanhai jing. This essay engages in a retrospective review of four Anglophone translations of the Shanhai jing and also reviews two recent publications, a modern Chinese rendition of the Shanhai jing and a translation of this work.

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