Welcome to Former Residence of Xu Zhimo
Xu Zhimo, the most romantic poet in modern China, has always been a legend in the China literary history. He is extremely romantic, also a little profligate. His poems described the most beautiful scenery and most passionate love.
He is romanticized as pursuing love, freedom, and beauty all his life. He promoted the form of modern Chinese poetry, and therefore made tremendous contributions to modern Chinese literature.
To commemorate Xu Zhimo, in July, 2008, a white marble stone has been installed at the back of King's College, University of Cambridge, on which is inscribed a verse from Xu's best-known poem, 'Saying Goodbye to Cambridge Again'.
In 1918, he went to America to study economics and political science. While there, he changed his courtesy name to Zhimo. In 1920 he received an M.A. in political science from Columbia University in New York City and then traveled to England to study at the University of Cambridge, where he became fascinated with English Romantic poetry and decided upon a literary career.
Returning to China in 1922, Xu began writing poems and essays in the vernacular style. He fell under the influence of the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore while serving as interpreter for him during a lecture tour of China. The foreign literature to which Xu had been exposed shaped his own poetry and helped establish him as a leader in the modern Chinese poetry movement. He served as an editor (1925–26) of the literary supplement of the Chenbao (“Morning Post”)—the most important literary supplement in Beijing at that time—and as a professor of literature and law at various universities. In 1927 he helped organize the Crescent Moon Book Company, and the following year he began editing Crescent Moon, a literary monthly featuring liberal ideas and Western literature.
Xu was killed in a plane crash. In addition to four collections of verse, he produced several volumes of translations from many languages.
The former residence of Xu Zhimo is situated in Haining, Zhengjiang province. The house is the residence where Xu Zhimo lived for a short time after his marriage with Lu Xiaoman, his third wife. The house was built in 1926 with luxury appearance at that time. It is a villa that integrates Chinese features and western features, with two stories and a balcony. There are more than 20 rooms, electrical lights and bathrooms. The ground tiles of the first floor were imported from Germany.
In 1922, Xu Zhimo divorced with his first wife Zhang Youyi in Berlin, Germany, and married Lu Xiaoman in Beijing. Xu Zhimo’s father didn’t admit this marriage as well as the public. So he built a house in hometown and planned to live there in quietness and wrote poems. However, only one month later, the war broke his beautiful dream and he fled to Shanghai immediately. Even the lovely house couldn’t keep the “Chinese Keats”.
Gorgeous Exhibition
Among former residences of Chinese celebrities, the one of Xu Zhimo is comparatively modern and luxury: the light in the first floor lit automatically as visitors walking in, and the light is as gentle and soft as this poems. The most famous poem “Say goodbye to Cambridge again” is placed at a eye-catching place. Numerous photos in different times bring visitors into his legendary and romantic life, as well as the beautiful stories with two beautiful women.
Exhortation on Wedding
When Xu Zhimo and Lu Xiaoman held the wedding, Liang Qichao, the teacher of Xu, criticized Xu Zhimo strongly for his flirtatious attitude towards marriage. There was a sentence saying that “I hope this is your last wedding”. This bitter and strong criticize placed the normal greetings, and is now exhibited in the former residence of Xu Zhimo.
Literary Works
During his short life, Xu Zhimo had published four poetry anthologies, four collections of essays, and some outstanding poems. Besides, he was once in charge of supplement of Morning Paper; he established crescent moon bookstore and published literary magazines. All these works are can be seen in the former residence here.
Admission fee: Free
Opening hours: All day
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