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Xu Zhuodai

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

Pen-name of Xu Fulin (1880-circa 1958), who flourished as a humorist during the 1920s in the cosmopolitan Chinese city of Shanghai, gaining the sobriquet Huaji Dafu ["The Master of Laughter"]. Among his other professions, he ran a school for acrobats, was a sometime playwright and translator, dabbled in the nascent film business, and even set up a soy sauce factory.

Among his many works of film reviews, essays and short stories, Yingxixue ["Shadowplay Studies"] (1924) was the first work in Mandarin to lay down elements of film theory, while his film script for Li Amo yu Jiangshi ["Li Amo and the Reanimated Corpse"] (1940) was an early treatment of Zombies and/or Vampires. His short story "Mimi-shi" (1912 venue unknown; trans Christopher G Rea as "The Secret Room" November 2012 Renditions) uses Hypnosis as a device to put a character from 1826 into a state of narcolepsy, awaking in 1910 (see Sleeper Awakes) to be confronted by his great-grandnephew and future shocks such as newsprint and an expansionist Japan. [JonC]

Xu Fulin

born Suzhou, China: 1880

died circa 1958

works (selected)

  • Yingxixue ["Shadowplay Studies"] (Shanghai: Nianhua, 1924) [nonfiction: binding unknown/]


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