Wang Zengqi


Wang Zengqi
b. 1920, Gaoyou, Jiangsu; d. 1997, Beijing
Writer
During the war and Japanese occupation, Wang Zengqi moved to Kunming (Yunnan), where he attended the lectures of Shen Congwen, whose views on literature had a deep influence. During the Cultural Revolution, Wang was assigned to write texts for revolutionary theatre (see Xiqu). After Mao’s death, he published short stories, including ‘A Tale of Big Nur’ (Danao jishi, 1981) and ‘Ordination’ (Shoujie, 1980), which are considered masterpieces and stand as major steps in the rebirth of Chinese literature in the New Culture era. He advocates a kind of ‘cultural literature’, by which he builds a bridge, through personal remembrances, between the past and present, as a way to assist people in the reconsideration of their Chinese cultural inheritance, and focuses on human relationships and feelings, such as generosity, loyalty, purity. Wang is also famous for his creative and theoretical essays. His taste for the Chinese language, after years of rigidification and impoverishment, is now highly appreciated, and his contribution with respect to this is significant. He also created a narrative form that broke through the strict barrier between stories and essays, and was willing to write in a natural, highly visual way, close in fact to some concepts of Chinese painting.
Wang, Zengqi (1985).
‘A Tale of Big Nur’. Trans. Xu Qiaoqi. In Prize-winning Stories from China, 1980–81. Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 240–61.
——(1989). Les trois amis de l’hiver. Trans. Annie Curien. Paris: Gallimard.
——(1995). ‘Buddhist Initiation’. In Fang Zhihua (ed., trans.), Chinese Stories of the Twentieth Century. New York: Garland, 173–201.
ANNIE CURIEN

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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