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First thing, which must be admitted, is that the piece of fiction under analysis is something rather remarkable with respect to literal traditions of China. A novel by Yü Ta-fu, One Intoxicating Evening of Spring Breeze (July 15, 1923), distinguishes itself from that whole phenomenon, which Asian literature is considered to be.
Being separated from Europe by mountains and waters, Far Eastern civilizations have managed to create unique culture. Political and social conditions in China by the beginning of the XX century justify that interest, which Asian men of culture and genius have been watching Russia with. The article admits Ta-fu’s love of Russian literature.
Yü Ta-fu (1896-1945) was Chinese novelist, short-story writer and literary critic. He was a person, who took an active part in political and social life of his country. Together with Kuo Mo-jo and others, was a founder of ‘Creation’ Societry. In 1930 he was a member of ‘The League of Leftist Writers‘. A novel ‘Fatalist’, which was published in a digest of progressive literature “Rain” (1935), is author’s magnum opus. Ta-fu resfers to Zhuangzi, quoting on of his paroemia.
New Culture Movement (1917-1923) was a historical background to the New Chinese Literature. Though being a literary period it traces back the late Qing period (1895–1911), sparked by pressure and national crisis. Writers began to pay more attention to issues of concern. Traditional writing and national peculiarities pale into insignificance. However, vernacular language largely displaced the classical in all areas of literature and writing. Hu Shi (1891–1962) and Chen Duxiu (1880–1942) are key persons, if to speak about literary reform. Lu Xun (1881–1936) is usually said to be the first major stylist in the new vernacular prose. The Republican Era (1911–1949) followed the Qing period. Guo Moruo (1892–1978), a poet, historian, essayist, and critic, Mao Dun (1896–1981), the first of the novelists to emerge from the "League of Leftist Writers", are pioneers of New Literature.
In 1932 ‘The League of Leftist Writers’ had adopted the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism. A story under analysis is written with the best traditions of realistic prose; it has the flavor of modern psychological novel, and a lot of aspects of European modernism are kept. The main hero of the story is a penman, who tries to earn the living by sending stories of his own and his translations of foreign authors. Ta-fu admits that his hero imitates Edgar Poe. When speaking about what is this story about, one may say that it is about survival and two souls, who seek their chance to live (not to survive) and work (but not to toil). Will the main hero and his inmate Chen Ehr-mei be happy? Yet the final remains – the story has no peculiar ending. Though, in one of the final episodes the author throws out a hint, and let each reader to decide for themselves what happens next. It is hard to foresee the relationship of two heroes.
One overplays his hand while trying to compare authors and their creations. On the other hand, one must not fear to do that just to find one’s own position. But what is remarkable while taking onto account Japanese novelists like Yasunari Kawabata and Ryunosuke Akutagawa, is the uniqueness of philosophy which results in something one may call mental formula of the whole gallery of traits.
The story curves, sovereigns and ruling regimes change, but what remains is love. Love of things created by people thousand years ago, in our case – love of philosophical concepts, love of nature, and love of life. What is the story about? One may say that no matter what each story tells about, it tells about what happens in life and in between people. What is the main idea? Everyone is born with a chance to find his own truth.