This paper aims to chart the diachronic progression of the English retranslations of Xi You Ji (The Journey to the West) and the intercultural trajectories of this ancient Chinese fictional canon. Empirically informed by WorldCat, the world’s largest library catalogue, this study shows that retranslation progressively enables a national literature from a third world to exert a global influence. The century-long retranslation of The Journey to the West has undergone four cohesive phases from religious hybridism, secularisation, religious restoration to multimedia adaptation, registering an enormous proliferation since the twenty-first century. In addition, inter-semiotic translation, in the form of children’s books, films, and television products, contributes strikingly to the literary impact of the source text. Reformulation and reinterpretation are also important themes in the process of retranslation, and they can be regarded as an intricate result of the relevant ideology, poetics, patronage and other socio-cultural factors.