(né Li, Shizheng)
b. 1951, Beijing
Duoduo has been one of the most important Misty poets (Menglongshi) (see Misty poetry) of his generation, and one of the best Chinese poets writing both in and outside of China today. Duoduo’s poetry career began in the early 1970s, during the Cultural Revolution, inspired by his private reading of Baudelaire and other Western authors. His early poems were full of intense, estranged and surreal images and visions, and thus created a strong shock effect, such as the opening lines from his Wuti (Untitled, 1973): ‘Yige jieji de xue liujin le/yige jieji de jianshou haizai fashe [The blood of one class has drained away/the archers of another class are still loosing their arrows]’. These early poems, including Zhi taiyang (To the Sun, 1973) and Jiaohui (Instructions, 1976), all critiqued the Cultural Revolution and modern Chinese history from an insider’s point of view and in a highly sophisticated and original style. Almost the last to gain public recognition among his Misty peers, Duoduo was awarded the first Today Poetry Prize with his unofficial collection of poetry, Milestone (Licheng), in 1988. After the Tiananmen incident in 1989, Duoduo went into exile and he currently resides in Holland. He has kept up a strong output of poetry and prose writing, which for the most part have been published in the exile Chinese literary journal Today (Jintian). Without doubt Duoduo is one of the most unforgettable voices ever heard in contemporary Chinese poetry.
Duoduo (1989). Trans. Gregory Lee and John Cayley.
Looking Out From Death: From the Cultural Revolution to Tiananmen Square. London: Bloomsbury.
Cayley, John (trans.) (1994). ‘Underground Poetry in Beijing, 1970–1978’. In Henry Y.Zhao and John Cayley (eds), Undersky Underground: Chinese Writing Today 1. London: Wellsweep, 97–104.
Lee, Gregory (trans.) (1997). ‘Selected Translations of Duo Duo (Part I)’. Interpoetics: Poetry of Asia and the Pacific Rim 1.1 (Summer).
——(1998). ‘Selected Translations of Duo Duo (Part II)’. Interpoetics: Poetry of Asia and the Pacific Rim 1. 2 (Spring).
Van Crevel, Maghiel (1996). Language Shattered: Contemporary Chinese Poetry and Duoduo. Leiden: CNWS Research School.
Zhao, Henry Y.H., Yanbing, Cheng and Rosenwald, John (eds) (2000). Fissures: Chinese Writing Today. Brookline, MA: Zephyr Press, 58–63. [Trans. Gregory Lee: ‘It’s Just Like Before’, ‘Five Years’, ‘Those Islands’, ‘Never a Dreamer’ and ‘Returning’.]

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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