在批評家眼中，王爾德一直是個人勝於文的作家。一般讀者也常混淆其人與其筆下的角色，彷彿虛構的人物皆是他的化身，皆是代他發聲的傀儡或替身。但即使作為一個作者，王爾德的形象如此縈繞大眾的想像，他身後所留下真正可算是自傳性的作品，嚴格來講，卻只有《深淵書簡》（De Profundis）。這封致其戀人道格拉斯（Lord Alfred Douglas）的長信，與其他傳統自傳性作品大不相同。信中他者的印記無所不在。「你」是信中的「我」訴說的對象，是作者在追溯、想像及重建過去經驗中不可或缺的角色。彷彿書寫者必須透過一個依戀的訊息收受者，一個不在場卻又好像面對面的他者（不
In the popular imagination, Wilde seems always established more by his
personality than by his writing. Naïve readers tend to confound the writer himself and the characters created by him, treating these fictional figures simply as his incarnations, puppets, or substitutions. However, even if this image of author haunts the imagination of readers, or even critics, when examining the works left behind Wilde, strictly speaking, we can label only
De Profundis safely with the epithet - “autobiographic”. Destined originally to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, this long prison letter, impregnated with bitter remembrance, is quite different from other traditional autobiographic works. For the traces of the other are ubiquitous. “You” -the addressee of the letter- is the predominant figure, indispensable to the writer’s recollection, imagination and reconstruction of the past. It seems that he cannot relate his own story or construct himself except through a beloved receiver, an “other” absent but at the same time seemingly present. The “you” revealed in the writing is both the object of desire and the counterpart of fantasy. In this mirror-like labyrinth, the incessant quest for “I”, by way of the derivation and transformation of “you”, generates its manifold shapes. This essay attempts, thereby, to detect not only a deformed, repressed mental image of a specific time but also a hidden visage of Wilde, an Anglo-Irish who tends to rid himself of the “English” by pretending to be the true English. Fascinated and revolted by the dominant values and gaze of the high society, Wilde strives to search for the meaning of his own existence by merging himself into fictions, disguises and simulated poses. In such an unresolved dilemma between “for” and “against”, the life-writing of the individual and that of community are deeply entangled with the (re-)imagination of the “other”.