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Hu Feng
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    (November 2, 1902-June 8, 1985)
    Born in Qichun County, Huanggang, China
    Zhang Mingzhen (also called Zhang Guangren)
    Noted Chinese writer, philosopher and art critic
    Studied English literature at Keiō University, in Japan
    Published the literary journal Qiyue ('July'), in 1937, and later Xiwang ('Hope')
    Drew controversy for critiquing the government's role in dictating to writers and artists within the People's Republic of China
    Arrested and imprisoned by the Maoist government on charges of being a counterrevolutionary
    Spent over twenty years in prison, from 1955 to 1979 (was rehabilitated in 1980)
    Theoretical works include 'Lun minzu xingshi wenti' (1941; 'On National Forms'), 'Minzu zhanzheng yu wenyi xingge' (1943; 'The National War and the Disposition of Literature and Art'), and 'Lun xianshizhuyi de lu' (1948; 'On the Road of Realism')
    Later became the subject of an acclaimed memoir penned by his wife, Mei Zhi, 'F: Hu Feng's Prison Years' (1989)
    He left China to study in Japan, in 1929, but was expelled by the government four years later for joining the Communist Party.
    He was an ardent supporter of the Chinese government's Marxist policies overall, he just disapproved of its presence in literary work.
    Actually, his argument seemed to be that China's literary output wasn't Marxist ENOUGH (he felt literary realism should focus on the lives of the everyday proletariat who would eventually make for a sound Marxist society).
    He (understandably) exhibited erratic behavior after being released from prison, such as hearing voices, drinking his own urine, and threatening his wife with a kitchen knife for misplacing his pro-Mao poem.
    He was a close associate of Lu Xun.
    He demonstrated in the 1919 May Fourth movement, in Beijing.
    His 'Qiyue' literary journal eventually fostered a school of literature (it was banned shortly after its formation).
    His outspokenness about government censorship of the arts made him such an enemy of the state that the term 'Hu Fengism' was coined in the campaign against him.
    He submitted a famous 'three-thousand character petition' to argue on behalf of creative expression and individualism, in hopes that it would influence change within the government, but it only sealed his fate.
    Not only was he, himself, imprisoned, but his wife was spent over three years in a detainment facility.
    Also any person even suspected of sympathizing with his 'counterrevolutionary' views were rounded up by police and jailed (some of whom had never even met Feng).
    He was tortured both physically and psychologically during his years in prison. He was never the same after his release and repeatedly attempted suicide as a result of the sustained post-traumatic stress.
    It is widely believed that Mao was intent on making an example of him in the early years of the PRC, so as to show what happened to dissenters who resisted giving of themselves to the Party and State.
    As many believe that his former rivals within the League of Left-Wing Writers of Shanghai - many of whom had since moved up to high-ranking bureaucratic positions - were targeting him out of a personal vendetta for his having criticized their works in the past.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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