Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010
SHI TUO, A.K.A. LU FEN, PEN NAMES OF WANG CHANGJIAN (1910—1988)
SHI TUO, A.K.A. LU FEN, PEN NAMES OF WANG CHANGJIAN (1910—1988). Fiction and screenplay writer and essayist. Shi Tuo spent his childhood in the backwaters of the eastern Henan countryside. In 1931, he went to Beijing and his involvement in the protests against Japanese aggression led to the publications of his first short stories. Encouraged by Ding Ling, Shi continued writing stories that exposed the evils of the government and the bitter sufferings of the poor. In 1937, his story “Gu” (Rice) won the Dagong Daily Prize, marking the beginning of the most productive period of his career, which saw the publications of three more collections of short stories: Limen shiji (Notes of Limen), Yeniao ji (Wild Birds), and Luori guang (Light of the Setting Sun). Shi’s stories contain vivid descriptions of scenery, a distinct local flavor, and a biting satirical tone, but, lacking in plot development, they are essentially lyrical prose. In the 1940s, Shi, living in the Japanese-occupied Shanghai, began to work on longer pieces, producing one novella and two novels, Jiehun (Getting Married) and Ma Lan (Ma Lan), which are considered his representative works. He also wrote screenplays during this period.
After 1949, Shi worked as a screenplay writer and editor for the Shanghai Film Studio and became a member of the Shanghai Writers’ Association. He published one novel, Lishi wuqing (History Is Unsympathetic) and some historical plays, including Ximen Bao (Ximen Bao), before the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution. See also SINO-JAPANESE WAR.