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A Paradise in Miniature? The Island of Gulang in Literature

A Paradise in Miniature? The Island of Gulang in Literature.

Prof. Dr. Michael Lackner, Rujing Qiu

Supported by Fritz Thyssen Foundation

How come an island of only 300 odd hectares became one of the most famous places in China? The reason for the unabated attractivity of Gulang Island 鼓浪屿 for Chinese tourists, writers, and poets may be found in a) the mythological impact of „islands“ in Chinese tradition, b) in the fact that the international settlement of the Treaty Port of Xiamen moved to this island, and c) that this international settlement was a kind of „Shanghai in miniature“ with less threatening aspects compared to the more important treaty ports. Almost every writer/poet of the 20th century has devoted an essay or a poem to this island. Other reasons for the fascination with the island in literature will hopefully appear in the framework of this research project.