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Li Meng. Li Meng was created by the Chinese author Hong Xisheng and appeared in “Haidi Luxing” (Xin Xiaoshuo, 1902-1903).
Li Meng is a disaffected submarine captain modeled on Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo. A Chinese oceanographer goes in search of a mysterious creature which is said to be “sharp in the head and tail, as huge as an island, as fast as an arrow, and as bright as phosphorous.” After combat with the creature, the oceanographer and his servants fall into the sea, only to be rescued by the creature, which turns out to be a submarine. The submarine’s creator and pilot is the mysterious Li Meng, who has stocked his submarine with the latest in Western technology. Li Meng is a misanthrope, however, who has abandoned the surface world to escape “the annoying worldly matters and ostentatious social trivialities.” The oceanographer is tempted to stay with Li Meng but finally decides to return home, but Hong Xisheng did not finish the story and so no resolution is provided.
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