Yen Fu

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Yen Fu


Born 1853 in Fuchou; died there Oct. 27, 1921. Chinese publicist and translator of books by Western European authors.

From 1877 to 1879, Yen Fu attended the Royal Naval War College in Greenwich, Great Britain. He was close to the liberal movement for reform. He published translations of T. H. Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics in 1895–98, A. Smith’s An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in 1902, J. S. Mill’s Essay on Liberty in 1903, and C.-L. Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws in 1909. Yen Fu was active in the 1905–11 movement for a constitutional monarchy.


Schwartz, B. In Search of Wealth and Power: Yen Fu and the West. Cambridge, Mass., 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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(78) (3) The same can be said about the verses from a poem by Yan Fu (1854-1921), "Jiachen chu du cheng tongli zhugong" [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ("To my Fellow Townsmen, When Leaving the Capital in 1904"), quoted in the Appendix I, which omits some words from the original publication.
In his analysis of how the ancient Chinese system of fengjian came to be understood as similar to the "feudalism" of the European Middle Ages, Gengsong Gao shows how these reassessments of some of the core texts of the Chinese historical and philosophical tradition were read and reread in light of translations produced by prominent men of letters such as Yan Fu (1854-1921) and Liang Qichao (1873-1929).
Allen who enlightened through publications and education; examines the flow of Western learning from the East; spotlights Yan Fu and Lin Shu, the twin pillars of translation; presents an analysis of the social response to Western learning; and concludes with the subject of westernization and converting the West.
Near the judges' podium as the parade turned the corner off 11th Avenue and south on Pearl Street, Link and Yan Fu watched with their 6-month-old son Wayne.
Chapter three covers the translations of books of logic by the famous late nineteenth-century Chinese scholar Yan Fu, who was the first in China to propagate the need to adapt to the external environment for national survival, through his translation of Thomas Huxley's Evolution and Ethics.
Their topics include the competition between the newly translated terms invented by Yan Fu and by the Japanese in the late Qing, the problem of Wang Guowei in the translation of ethics, the translator's style in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (1956), transmitting and translating Aleksandra Kollontai in the early Soviet Union and May Fourth China, and issues in translating Chinese visual poetry.
Yan Fu, one of the most noted social reformers and a translator of English political philosophers, was the first to raise the threat of racial extinction by the end of the nineteenth century: "They will enslave us and hinder the development of our spirit and body ...
In this paper, I will focus on how Yan Fu (1854-1921), one of the most influential translators and intellectuals in the late Qing period, rejected and reaffirmed the equivalence between fengjian and feudal.