Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

The most important extant writings of Wu Jingzi (woo jihng-dzee), other than The Scholars, is a collection of poems he wrote before he was forty years old. The collection, known as Wenmu shanfang ji (1931, 1957; collection of the mountain retreat of literary trees), was secured in 1921 by the scholar Hu Shih, who first established Wu’s authorship of The Scholars. This work includes strongly autobiographical poems in various traditional forms as well as seven informative prefaces by Wu’s acquaintances and poems by his eldest son, Wu Lang. As a result of renewed interest in the People’s Republic of China after 1954, twenty-three additional poems were discovered and published in 1956 in the journal Wen-hsüeh yen-chiu chi-k’an. Three other poems and two prefaces to works of friends make up Wu’s extant oeuvre, which would be undistinguished if not for his novel.