FENG NAICHAO (1901—1983) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

FENG NAICHAO (1901—1983)
The Dictionary

FENG NAICHAO (1901—1983). Poet and fiction writer. Born in Yokohama, Japan, to parents who were prominent members of the local Chinese community, Feng Naichao studied philosophy and art history at Tokyo University. While in college, he participated in the activities of a Marxist society organized by Japanese students, where he was exposed to leftist literary theories of the Soviet Union. In 1926, his poems began to appear in Chuangzao yuekan (The Creation Monthly). In the following year, invited by Cheng Fangwu, Feng went to China to edit Chuangzao yuekan and other progressive journals. He joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1928. A founding member of the Left-wing Association of Chinese Writers, Feng edited the Chinese Communist Party’s journal Hong qi zhoukan (The Red Flag Weekly) for several years. After 1949, he held several relatively minor positions in the central government. In 1950, he was appointed vice president of Sun Yat-sen University and lived in Guangzhou till 1975, when he moved to Beijing to work as a consultant to Beijing Library.

Among his creative works the most significant is his poetry collection Hong sha deng (The Lamp with a Red Shade), published in 1928, which established his reputation as a symbolist poet. He was adept at using obscure imageries and the attention he gave to sound and color as well as the dark and gloomy sentiments expressed in his poems invoke comparisons with French symbolist poets, whose decadent aesthetics had a strong influence on Feng. In addition to these modernist poems, Feng also wrote some “revolutionary” verses that focus on exposing social injustice. His short stories, collected in two volumes that were published in 1929, exhibit strong modernist tendencies.