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Yu Dafu

Updated: August 3, 2016 L M S


[Photo from en.gotohz.com]

Yu Dafu was a popular short-story writer of the 1920s in China and one of the founding members of the Creation Society, which was devoted to the promotion of modern literature.

Yu received his higher education in Japan, where he met other young Chinese writers and together founded the Creation Society in 1921. His first collection of short stories, Chenlun ( “Sinking”), was written in vernacular Chinese, as advocated by the new generation of writers. Chenlun was a success in China because of its frank treatment of sex.


[Photo from en.gotohz.com]

Yu continued his work with the Creation Society and edited or contributed to literary journals. He also continued to write short stories until 1923. When he contracted tuberculosis he abruptly changed his major themes from one of self-preoccupation to one of concern with the state of the masses. In 1927, following a disagreement with the communist members of the Creation Society, Yu attempted to reorganize the group but was forced to resign.

Yu published his first novel in 1928, which found moderate success. He published his second novel four years later. In 1935, he published his last major work of fiction, Chuben (“Flight”). During the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), Yu wrote anti-Japanese propaganda from Wuhan and Singapore. When Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942, he fled to Sumatra, only to be executed by Japanese military police shortly after the end of the war. 


[Photo from en.gotohz.com]

Of Yu’s many works, the most popular was Rijijiuzhong (“Nine Diaries”), an account of his affair with the young left-wing writer Wang Yingxia. The book broke all previous sales records in China. The critics’ favorite is arguably Guoqu (“The Past”), praised for its psychological depth. Yu also wrote numerous essays and classical poetry.

The former residence of Yu Dafu is situated in Fuyang, Zhejiang province. It is a traditional Chinese house made of bricks and wood, with three rooms at the front and is two stories. This is the birthplace of Yu Dafu as well as the place where he spent his childhood. The residence opened to the public in December 1996, the 100th birthday of Yu Dafu. Nowadays, it is also a Patriotism Education Base of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

Chinese name: Yu Dafu Guju (literally meaning former residence)

Address: Former Residence of Yu Dafu, No.2 Huanshan Road, Fuyang.

Opening time: 8:00~17:00

City: Fuyang City

Ticket: Free

Phone: 0571-63322404

Website: http://www.efuyang.com