The scholarship has recognized G. L. Dickinson’s importance for Sino-British cultural communication but lacks an in-depth interpretation of his life-long interest in China and how it relates to the early twentieth century. Dickinson’s attitude towards China is paradoxica. He admires Chinese culture but this comes from an Eurocentric imagination, assimilation, and homogenization instead of from China itself. The relationship between Dickinson and China needs contextualization rather than a reductive conclusion that he idealizes China as a utopia. He turns to China to respond to the modern crisis of the West, but his conception of China never implies a total rejection of the West. This article will interpret the relationship between Dickinson and China from three aspects: the strategy of cultural transvestism in Letters from John Chinaman (1901); Dickinson’s narcissistic journey to the East; and the links between Dickinson’s affinity with China and his homosexuality.


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pp. 496-519
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