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Franz W. Kuhn (1884-1961) was a lawyer and a translator chiefly remembered for translating many Chinese novels into German, most famously the Dream of the Red Chamber.



Kuhn studied law at the University of Leipzig and the University of Berlin, passing his state examination in 1908 and obtaining his doctorate in 1909. He began to practice law in Dresden in 1909. He was soon assigned to the German delegation to Peking as an interpreter, having completed a course of Chinese during his study at Berlin. He stayed in China until 1912.

After the First World War, Kuhn began to translate classic Chinese literature into German. Eventually he ran into conflict with the Nazi authorities who considered his works to be harmful. After the end of World War II, Kuhn's work began to be more widely known and appreciated. He received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1952.

Jorge Luis Borges attributes the discovery of a "paradoxical list of animals" to Kuhn. The list has become the subject of much modern commentary after it was cited by Foucault. However, Borges's attribution is the only known evidence that either such a work existed or that Kuhn discussed it.[1].

Franz Kuhn is not to be confused with Franz Felix Adalbert Kuhn.


  • Chinesische Staatsweisheit, Darmstadt 1923
  • Chinesische Meisternovellen, Leipzig 1926
  • Eisherz und Edeljaspis oder Die Geschichte einer gl√ľcklichen Gattenwahl, Leipzig 1926
  • Die Rache des jungen Meh oder Das Wunder der zweiten Pflaumenbl√ľte, Leipzig 1927
  • Das Perlenhemd, Leipzig 1928
  • Kin Ping Meh oder Die abenteuerliche Geschichte von Hsi Men und seinen sechs Frauen, Leipzig 1930
  • Fr√§ulein Tschang, Berlin [u.a.] 1931
  • Der Traum der roten Kammer, Leipzig 1932
  • Die R√§uber vom Liang-Schan-Moor, Leipzig 1934
  • Die Jadelibelle, Berlin 1936
  • Das Juwelenk√§stchen, Dresden 1937
  • Mao Dun: Schanghai im Zwielicht, Dresden 1938
  • Die dreizehnst√∂ckige Pagode, Berlin 1939
  • Mondfrau und Silbervase, Berlin 1939
  • Die drei Reiche, Berlin 1940
  • Das Rosenaquarell, Z√ľrich 1947
  • Das Tor der √∂stlichen Bl√ľte, D√ľsseldorf 1949
  • Und Buddha lacht, Baden-Baden 1950
  • Der Turm der fegenden Wolken, Freiburg i. Br. 1951
  • Kin Ku Ki Kwan, Z√ľrich 1952
  • Goldamsel fl√∂tet am Westsee, Freiburg i. Br. 1953
  • Wen Kang: Die schwarze Reiterin, Z√ľrich 1954
  • Blumenschatten hinter dem Vorhang, Freiburg i. Br. 1956
  • Altchinesische Liebesgeschichten, Wiesbaden 1958
  • Die sch√∂ne Li. Vom Totenhemd ins Brautkleid, Wiesbaden 1959
  • Li Y√ľ: Jou pu tuan, Z√ľrich 1959
  • Goldjunker Sung und andere Novellen aus dem Kin Ku Ki Kwan, Z√ľrich 1960

See also


  • Dr. Franz Kuhn (1884-1961): Lebensbeschreibung und Bibliographie seiner Werke: mit einem Anhang unveroffentlichter Schriften, KUHN, Hatto. Wiesbaden: Steiner, Sinologica Coloniensia; 1980. 180 pp. Bd. 10 ISBN 3-515-03231-2. ISBN 3-515-03351-3
  • Franz Kuhn, Hartmut Walravens, Hamburg 1982
  • Modernisierung und Europ√§isierung der klassischen chinesischen Prosadichtung, Peng Chang, Frankfurt am Main [u.a.] 1991

External links



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