Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010
ZHOU LUNYOU (1952— )
ZHOU LUNYOU (1952— ). Poet. A native of Xichang, Sichuan Province, Zhou Lunyou is the founder of Feifeism and its visionary and controversial theorist and spiritual leader. As chief editor of Feifei and Feifei Criticism as well as several collections of essays and poems, Zhou has guided the movement as its authoritative voice from its inception to the present. His importance is based not only on his own creative and theoretical work but also on his charisma, his devotion to poetry, his perseverance, and his self-confidence. Zhou’s own poems, in particular “Ziyou fangkuai” (Freedom Squares) and “Tou xiang” (Head Portrait), represent the early stage of the Feifei movement. “Ziyou fangkuai” is a long text consisting of various genres, including lyrics, prose poetry, essays, quotations, insertions, and illustrations, randomly arranged like a collage, to achieve a kind of ecstatic chorus of words, images, and concepts. “Tou xiang” is about an artist who is trying to paint a head portrait in five ways, each version acting as a chapter of the long poem. In 1992, Zhou published another milestone essay, “Hongse xiezuo” (Red Writing), which aims its criticism at obsequious or escapist writers, including some former Feifeists who have surrendered to the establishment. Zhou challenges Chinese poets to write about real life, on forbidden themes, and against all forms of brutality. “Daofeng ershi shou” (Twenty Poems Written on the Blade) and “Dun ci” (Escape) embody this period of his creative work. “Daofeng ershi shou” deals with the meaning of brutality, its powerful effects on society, and the challenges it imposes on the individual. “Dun ci” uses many traditional rhetorical tropes, such as similes, analogies, parallelism, and reduplication, to subvert the accepted norms in order to return the language to its original meaning. See also GENERATION III POETS.