Abstract

As an undergraduate at Oxford, Oscar Wilde uncritically accepted the prevailing stereotype that the Chinese were a conformist and inartistic race—a view he repeated in early works and interviews. His first encounters with Chinese people in San Francisco and with the writings of the philosopher Chuang Tzu [Zhuangzi], however, led him to revise his ideas about Chinese culture and argue for the vital aesthetic influence of Chinese immigrants on American culture. The juxtaposition of poverty and beauty Wilde discovered in San Francisco’s Chinatown also directly influenced the development of his social and political opinions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 923-941
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-01
Open Access
No
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