Zeng Pu

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Zeng Pu (simplified Chinese: 曾朴; traditional Chinese: 曾樸; pinyin: Zēng Pǔ; Wade–Giles: Tseng P'u; 1872-1935[1]) was a Chinese novelist.

Zeng Pu published a scholarly work on the later Han Dynasty in 1895. He later enrolled in the College of Foreign Languages in Beijing to learn the French language. Zeng Pu returned to Jiangsu in 1898 and built a school. In 1903 he began a business in Shanghai. The business failed. He returned to his focus in literature.[2] Zeng Pu was a Francophile.[1]

Writing style[edit]

The language in Zeng Pu's novels borrowed illusions and images from classical Chinese literature and Zeng Pu used symbolism in his novels. Therefore, his works appealed to readers who had a classical education and were considered sophisticated in their society.[3]

Zeng Pu knew the French language. David Der-wei Wang, author of Fin-de-siècle Splendor: Repressed Modernities of Late Qing Fiction, 1849-1911, wrote that Zeng Pu was "probably" the sole late Qing novelist who knew a foreign language.[4] David Wang explained that since Zeng Pu knew French he had "direct access to European literature without the mediation of distorted translations."[4]

The First Sino-Japanese War had a large effect on Zeng Pu.[2]


Jin Tianhe (Jin Songcen) started A Flower in a Sinful Sea as a political novel criticizing Russian advances into China.[5] Zeng Pu took control of the novel in 1904.[2] Zeng Pu completed the novel, transforming it into a historical novel.[5]



  1. ^ a b Idema, p. 387.
  2. ^ a b c McDougall and Louie, p. 90. "This was also the year when China was defeated in the War against Japan, an event which had a tremendous effect on Zeng Pu. Moving away from classical learning, he enrolled in the College of Foreign Languages in Beijing to learn French"
  3. ^ Doleželová-Velingerová, p. 724.
  4. ^ a b Wang, Dewei, p. 103.
  5. ^ a b "Zeng Pu's "Niehai Hua" as a political novel--a world genre in a Chinese form" (database listing with abstract) (Archive) The University of Hong Kong Libraries. Retrieved on October 26, 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]