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The Humanities Conference 2003

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From West to Far East: Journey in Oscar Wilde and Tian Han

Dr Linda Pui-ling Wong.

The Wildean themes that Chinese intellectuals considered relevant to their intellectual and literary concerns were iconoclasm, love, and individual freedom, to name a few. “The Fisherman and his Soul” is of particular interest in my discussion because Chinese readers who also saw its affinity with Salomé (1894) considered it as the most beautiful and representative story. The affinities of the selected texts are characters who travel extensively and restlessly, and lovers who wait until they die. They try to defy culturally specific and gendered norms and assert their individual desires and freedom by yearning for otherness. Going on a journey is a physical means of finding a new life free from conventional constraints. Tian Han revised and redefined his reading of Wilde to suit his own personal and artistic cause amidst the constant tension between “art for art’s sake” and “art for life’s sake,” with the hope of resolving these two impulses.


Dr Linda Pui-ling Wong  (China)
Assistant Professor
Department of English Language & Literature
Hong Kong Baptist University

Dr Linda Wong is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research interests are comparative literature, Chinese-Western literary relations, modern Chinese literature, the Pre-Raphaelites, Victorian studies, translation, Irish studies and image of woman in literature.

  • Journey
  • Aestheticism
  • Iconoclasm
  • Assimilation
  • Gender issues
Person as Subject
  • Oscar Wilde Tian Han

(Virtual Presentation, English)