Hey guys. Been a while. I’m studying Chinese IRL, so I’ve got less reason to focus on the blog, but I have been getting all the letters – thank you all. I’ve also received two guest posts that I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t put up yet. Apologies, it may be a while, but they’re coming. Right, on with the poetry.
Kinda kills me how little information is available on the modern Chinese writers, you know? A few of the most famous works have been translated, but most have only cursory mentions. Even the Wikipedia pages don’t have nearly the amount of content that the Chinese encyclopedias offer. Dai Wangshu, for example, is relatively unknown in the west. So who is this guy?
Dai Wangshu (戴望舒) was a famously-depressed modern Chinese symbolist poet, born in 1905, died from an accidental overdose of asthma medication in 1950 – asthma which he contracted when he was thrown in jail by the Japanese for advocating revolution. Seriously, this guy spent his entire life having the sadz. He threatened to kill himself a couple of times, once to force his girlfriend to marry him (she agreed, but then ran off with a refrigerator salesman, cuz I guess refrigerators were a big deal at the time), and once when his first wife fell in love with another man and asked for a divorce.