Different Approaches, Same Achievements --- Aesthetic Wilde VS. Realist Cao Xueqin

Xiaoyuan Zheng, Wenfeng Wei


The charmingly written Chapter 11 of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorain Gray seems overlooked by the critics, but actually, it is a best footnote of Wilde’s literary creation of aestheticism and a great achievement of his writing with extreme simplicity. Its presentation of luxurious arts, though strikingly different from that of The Dream of the Red Mansion by Cao Xueqin, results in the same excellence. Making an analysis of the different approaches to the “display” of the four luxurious artistic works: fragrance, music ,jewelry and embroidered work, this paper finds that although there seems no comparison between Wilde’s aestheticism and Cao’s realism, simplest as Wilde and most elaborate as Cao, they both delivered the world the extraordinary beauty of arts with their pens and both revealed their thoughts on literary creation through the extreme beauty.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ass.v5n12p32

Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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