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Review essay

The Reception of Victor Segalen in China

Between Literature and Ideology
Bai Yunfei
Translated by Jonathan Hall
p. 59-63


The French doctor, archaeologist, novelist, and poet Victor Segalen (1878-1919) was known above all for his works inspired by China and his theory of the “Diverse.” Despite the numerous studies devoted to him in recent years, very few Western researchers have taken any interest in the reception of his work in China. By focusing critically on the latest research by Chinese specialists on the author of Stèles, this review essay will attempt to show that Segalen owes his undeniable success in China not only to the intrinsic worth of his literary output, but also to ideological considerations that combine to make him the “best” representative of learned “Sinophilia.”

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Index terms

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Bibliographical reference

Bai Yunfei, « The Reception of Victor Segalen in China », China Perspectives, 2016/1 | 2016, 59-63.

Electronic reference

Bai Yunfei, « The Reception of Victor Segalen in China », China Perspectives [Online], 2016/1 | 2016, Online since 01 March 2016, connection on 26 April 2018. URL :

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About the author

Bai Yunfei

Bai Yunfei is currently a doctoral student at Rutgers University in the United States. His main field of research is French Orientalism.131 George Street, Ruth Adams Building, Room 103, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA (

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