Zhou Lunyou


Zhou Lunyou
b. 1952, Chengdu
Poet, editor and critic
Zhou Lunyou is the principal founder and leading member of the ‘Not Not’ (Feifei) poetry society, established in 1985. Zhou’s poetic and theoretical work may be described as an effort to strip language down to its essence. This manoeuvre marked a distinct departure from the grandiose lyricism and powerful sense of mission of Misty poetry (Menglongshi), and immediately established Zhou’s reputation as an innovative critical force. In Zhou’s estimation, poetry should be self-sufficient and ideally independent of the symbolic structures that pervade social systems. The deconstructive thrust of Zhou’s theoretical writings and his poetry is also indicative of the influence of Western critical theorists, particularly Jacques Derrida.
Zhou’s major poems include ‘Free Blocks’, ‘Twenty Poems on a Knife’s Edge’ and ‘Escape’. Though his poems vary considerably in structure, running in length from ten lines to as many pages, Zhou’s style is highly consistent in its terse phrasing and quotidian diction. ‘Escape’ is exemplary of his highly complex meditations on metaphor and signification couched in plain language. Zhou’s other major poetic and theoretical works are collected in the magazines Feifei [Not-Not] and Feifei pinglun [Not-Not Theory], of which he is editor-in-chief. The journals, both inaugurated in 1986, have been largely sustained by personal contributions from writers. A collection of Zhou Lunyou’s poems and theoretical articles entitled Opening the Door of the Flesh: Not-Not-ism, From Theory to Practice (Dakai ruoti de men/Feifei zhuyi: cong lilun dao zuopin), was published by Dunhuang Press in 1994.
PAUL MANFREDI

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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