Born Dec. 19,1898, in the city of Wenchou, Chekiang Province; died Oct. 17, 1958. Chinese literary scholar, writer, and public figure.
Cheng Chen-to graduated from the Peking Institute of Railroad Transportation. He edited progressive journals and took part in the May Fourth liberation movement of 1919. In 1921 he helped found the Society of Literary Studies. He taught at the universities of Peking and Shanghai beginning in 1931 and also directed the institutes of literature and archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the People’s Republic of China. Cheng wrote poetry collections, short stories, and essays. He advocated the study of Chinese literature as a distinct form of world literature; he also studied literary genres that had previously been ignored by literary historians. He was the author of Illustrated History of Chinese Literature (1932), History of Chinese Folk Literature (1938), and The Problem of Periodizing the History of Chinese Literature (1958). Cheng translated A. P. Chekhov’s The Seagull, A. N. Ostrovskii’s Poverty Is No Crime, Goethe’s Reynard the Fox, and poems by R. Tagore.
WORKSChungkuo wenhsüeh yanchiu, vols. 1–3. Peking, 1957.
Cheng Chen-to wenchi, vols. 1–2. Peking, 1959–63.