AN EARLY CHINESE CONFESSIONAL PROSE SHEN FU'S SIX CHAPTERS OF A FLOATING LIFE BY MILENA DOLEŽELOVÁ-VELINGEROVÁ AND LUBOMÍR DOLEŽEL To Professor Jaroslav Prûšek Six Chapters of a floating Life (Fu-sheng was written around l8zo 1) by Shen Fu a poor Chinese literatus and painter from the southern city of Soochow 2). Of the six original chapters, only four were found when the manuscript was discovered in 1877 ; until now, Shen Fu's work remains a torso3) . 138 This charming masterpiece of classic Chinese prose is well-known to the Western public; it has been translated into several European languages and published in many editions 1). Its popularity is certainly due to what Professor Prusek has called the "originality" and "modern character" of the work 2). In another connection, Prusek summarizes the historical importance of Shen Fu's book in the following words: "In Shen Fu's work we already find all those qualities which are so characteristic of the literature between the two wars: subjectivism, individualism, the disregard for traditional bars and considerations, the awareness of the tragedy of life. It is, without doubt, the most interesting document of the close connection between revolutionary literature and the literature of the
T'oung Pao – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1972
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