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Zhu Ziqing

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Zhu Ziqing
BornZhu Zihua
(1898-11-22)22 November 1898
Died12 August 1948(1948-08-12) (aged 49)
OccupationPoet, essayist
Alma materPeking University
GenrePoem, essay
Zhu Ziqing
Zhu Zihua
Traditional Chinese朱自華
Simplified Chinese朱自华

Zhu Ziqing (November 22, 1898 – August 12, 1948), born Zhu Zihua, was a renowned Chinese poet and essayist. Zhu studied at Peking University, and during the May Fourth Movement became one of several pioneers of modernism in China during the 1920s. Zhu was a prolific writer of both prose and poetry, but is best known for essays like "Retreating Figure" (Chinese: 背影; pinyin: Bèiyǐng), and "You. Me." (Chinese: 你我; pinyin: Nǐ wǒ). His best known work in verse is the long poem "Destruction" or Huimie (Chinese: 毀滅; pinyin: Huǐmiè).

Early life[edit]

In 1916, Zhu graduated from Secondary school and entered Peking University where he fell in love and married Wu Zhongqian (武仲謙). A year later, he changed his name from Zihua to Ziqing, the name change was said to be due to his family's dire economic conditions. Zhu graduated in 1920, and went to various secondary schools in Hangzhou, Yangzhou, Shanghai and Ningbo to teach. During his time as a teacher, he was also active in the poetry circles, and became a well-known poet.

The essay "" (Green) was written by Zhu Ziqing about the beauty of Meiyu Pond (梅雨潭) and waterfall in the Middle Yandang Mountains in Xianyan Subdistrict, Ouhai District, Wenzhou of southeastern Zhejiang province in eastern China after his visits to the area in 1923. A selection from "" (Green) is among the sixty potential reading selections test takers may be asked to read for the Putonghua Proficiency Test.[1][2][3]


Later, he was appointed professor of Chinese Literature at Tsinghua University in 1925, and on August 1928, he published his first essay collection known as "Retreating Figure". The book became a wild hit and he soon established his name as a prolific author and poet. However, Zhu's wife soon died which was a terrible blow to Zhu.[4] From 1931 to 1932 he studied English Literature and Linguistics in London. He married his second wife Chen Zhuyin and continued to teach at Tsinghua University.

In 1937, when the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out, Zhu followed his university to move to Changsha, Kunming and Chengdu. During this time, Zhu continued to teach in other universities.

Later years and death[edit]

After the Second World War, Zhu encouraged his students in Kunming to oppose Chiang Kai-shek for starting the Chinese Civil War. In 1946, he returned to Beijing and was appointed the Head of the Chinese Language Department in Tsinghua University. When he heard of the assassination of patriotic authors Li Gongpu and Wen Yiduo, Zhu disregarded his own safety to attend the funeral of both men.[citation needed]

Zhu later died on August 12, 1948, after joining the rebellion of refusing aid from the United States. Though it is a common belief that Zhu died of starvation due to Mao Zedong's famous article "Farewell, Leighton Stuart". However, the real cause of Zhu's death was gastric perforation resulting from his severe stomach ulcers.[5]


  1. ^ 普通话水平测试实施纲要. 北京. Beijing: The Commercial Press. 2004. pp. 382–383. ISBN 7-100-03996-7.
  2. ^ Zhu, Ziqing (2014). 朱自清散文. 浙江文艺出版社 [Zhejiang Arts Press]. ISBN 9787533935993.
  3. ^ 电视文学艺术片《绿》在仙岩梅雨潭景区开机 [TV Literary Art Documentary 'Green' starts filming in Xianyan's Meiyutan Scenic Area] (in Simplified Chinese). Ouhai District People's Government. 3 December 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2018. 1923年朱自清先生来温州执教,同年先后两次来到仙岩梅雨潭景区,被仙岩浓厚的人文气息和那醉人的女儿绿深深吸引,于是就写下了脍炙人口的美文名篇《绿》。
  4. ^ Cf. his essay of 1932 about his wife Qian (武鍾謙, Wǔ Zhōngqiān) who died in 1929, translated by Wolf Baus into German as Meiner verstorbenen Frau in Hefte für Ostasiatische Literatur No. 14 (May 1993), p. 26–31.
  5. ^ Song, Xiaodong (宋晓东) (2014-08-12). 被歪曲的历史真相:朱自清是怎么死的? (in Simplified Chinese).


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