Chen Yingzhen

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Chen Yingzhen
Chenyingzhen.jpg
Chen Yingzhen and his wife in Taipei, March 2003
Native name 陳映真
Born (1937-11-08) 8 November 1937 (age 79)
Shinchiku Prefecture, Japanese Taiwan
Died 22 November 2016(2016-11-22) (aged 79)
Beijing, China
Occupation author
Language Chinese, English, Japanese
Nationality Taiwanese
Alma mater Cheng Kung Senior High School
Tamkang University
Period 1959-2006
Genre prose, novel
Subject left-wing politics, humanitarianism, Marxism, modernism
Literary movement Taiwan Nativist Literature
Spouse 陳麗娜 (m. 1977; his death 2016)

Chen Yingzhen (陳映真; 8 November 1937 – 22 November 2016) was a Taiwanese author. Since the 1980s, he has been viewed by many as "Taiwan's greatest author", according to Jeffrey C. Kinkley.[1] Chen is also notable for having served a prison sentence for "subversive activity" between 1968 and 1973. He was active as writer from the late-1950s until his death in 2016.

Chen was again imprisoned in 1979.

The Collected Works of Chen Yingzhen is 15 volumes long, and was published in 1988.[2] Some of his stories were also included in Lucien Miller's Exiles at Home.

Biography[edit]

Chen Yingzhen was born in northern Taiwan, the son of a devout Christian minister. Despite this, he never was a Christian himself while growing up. He was arrested in 1968 by the Kuomintang for "leading procommunist activities", and was imprisoned until 1973.[3] Chen died in Beijing on 22 November 2016 at the age of 79 following a long illness.[4]

Style[edit]

Some critics have seen Chen's work as featuring important moral dimensions while lacking technical proficiency. For example, Joseph S. M. Lau said of Chen, "his output is relatively small and his style is at times embarrassing, yet he is a very important writer... Almost alone among his contemporaries, he addresses himself to some of the most sensitive problems of his time".[5]

Thought[edit]

Chen was a supporter of the notion of a unifying Chinese national identity in Taiwan, as opposed to "nativist" writers like Zhang Liangze, who support the development of a native Taiwanese consciousness.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kinkley, Jeffrey C. (Jul 1990). "From Oppression to Dependency: Two Stages in the Fiction of Chen Yingzhen". Modern China. Sage Publications, Inc. 16 (3): 243–268. JSTOR 189226. doi:10.1177/009770049001600301. 
  2. ^ Kinkley (1990), 243.
  3. ^ Wang, David Der-Wei (Autumn 1998). "Three Hungry Women". Boundary 2. Duke University Press. 25 (3): 66–67. JSTOR 303588. 
  4. ^ http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aedu/201611220028.aspx
  5. ^ Quoted in Kinkley (1990), 243-244.
  6. ^ Kleeman, Faye Yuan (2003). Under an Imperial Sun: Japanese Colonial Literature of Taiwan and the South. University of Hawaii Press. p. 79. ISBN 0-8248-2592-6.