Fortress Besieged


Fortress Besieged

infobox Book |
name = Fortress Besieged
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption =
author = Qian Zhongshu
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = China
language = Chinese
series =
genre = Novel
publisher =
release_date = 1947
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages =
isbn = [http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Booksources&isbn=9901549507 9901549507]
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"Fortress Besieged" (Simplified Chinese: 围城; Traditional Chinese: 圍城; Pinyin: wéi chéng) was written by Qian Zhongshu, published in 1947, and is widely considered as one of the masterpieces of twentieth century Chinese literature. The novel is a humorous tale about middle-class Chinese society in the 1940s. It is also one of the most well-known contemporary Chinese novels in China, and was made into a popular television series in the early 1990s.

Origin and History

The book was begun while Qian Zhongshu and wife Yang Jiang were living in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation. According to Yang Jiang, the successful production of several of her plays inspired Qian to write a full length novel.

The novel was begun in 1944, and completed in 1946. Much of the characters and plot are taken from the experiences of Qian and Yang abroad and in China. For example, the opening scene at sea reflects their journey from France to China onboard the ship Athos II.

The title is based on a French proverb:

:"Marriage is like a fortress besieged: those who are outside want to get in, and those who are inside want to get out. "

The novel is known for its acerbic asides, such as describing one young lady in the following way:

:"At first, they called her "truth" because "the truth is naked". But then, she's not actually completely naked. So they amended it to "partial-truth"."

The novel was published in Shanghai in 1947. The second edition was published 1948. The third edition in 1949. After the Communist Revolution, the book was not printed again in mainland China until 1980. In the mean time, it was also banned in Taiwan because of its satire of the Nationalist government.

The novel has been translated into many languages. These include the Russian version which appeared in 1979, the American English version in 1979; and the German version in 1982.

Plot Summary

Influences

Since its re-publication in 1980 in mainland China, "Fortress Besieged" has become nationally famous. Part of its popularity grew from its popular television series adaptation of 1990 and later radio series adaptation.

Aspects of the novel have entered the Chinese idiomatic lexicon. For example, "Carleton University", from which the novel's character obtained his PhD paper, is used as an idiom meaning an illegitimate degree qualification or academic institution. Likewise, the novel's title, deriving from the French proverb, has given rise to a similar proverb in Chinese.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fortress (Osprey) — Fortress ... Pays  Royaume Uni Langue Anglais Genre Histoire militair …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fortress of Deva — The Fortress of Deva Cetatea Devei Deva, Hunedoara County, Romania Ruins of The Deva Fortress …   Wikipedia

  • Zamość Fortress — ( pl. Twierdza Zamość) is a set of fortifications constructed together with the city of Zamość (southeastern Poland). It was built between 1579 and 1618, and the construction was initiated by Chancellor and Hetman Jan Zamoyski. [… …   Wikipedia

  • Golubac Fortress — Infobox Historic building caption=Golubac Fortress name=Golubac Fortress location town=Golubac location country=Serbia architect= client= engineer= construction start date= completion date=1480s date demolished= cost= structural system=… …   Wikipedia

  • Kłodzko Fortress — ( pl. Twierdza w Kłodzku, de. Festung Glatz) is a unique fortification complex of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship in southwestern Poland. The fortress once was one of the biggest strongholds in Prussian Silesia, however, in the whole German Empire …   Wikipedia

  • Toruń Fortress — (Festung Thorn), built in 1872 94 by Kingdom of Prussia, located in Toruń (now in Poland) is one of the largest fortresses in Central and Eastern Europe. The fortress complex a chain of forts surrounding the city, as well as numerous smaller… …   Wikipedia

  • Akershus Fortress — Infobox Military Structure name=Akershus festning location=Oslo, Norway caption=Akershus Fortress built=1290s materials=Stone used=1290s today type= controlledby=Norway garrison= commanders= battles=Akershus Fortress or Akershus Castle ( Akershus …   Wikipedia

  • Belvoir Fortress (Israel) — This article is about the Crusader castle in Israel. For the castle in England, see Belvoir Castle. The remains of Belvoir Castle. Note the two circuits of defensive wall, one inside the other. Belvoir Fortress (Hebrew: כוכב הירדן‎, Kohav… …   Wikipedia

  • Kufstein Fortress — The Kufstein Fortress ( de. Festung Kufstein) is the main landmark of Kufstein, a city of Tyrol in Austria. It is sometimes wrongly referred to as Geroldseck . It is located on a hill commanding Kufstein proper.HistoryThe fortress is mentioned… …   Wikipedia

  • Qian Zhongshu — Names Simplified Chinese: 钱锺书 Tradition …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.