The rise of the New Culture Movement in 1915 gave birth to many well-known literary revolutionaries, such as Lu Xun, Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao, Qian Xuantong, Liu Bannong and Hu Shi. They were born in the historical period of alternating times and made many achievements for the establishment of our country’s ideological culture.
But one of them, also a professor at Peking University, was scolded for inventing a Chinese character for three years, during which he didn’t even dare to go out on the street openly.This professor is called Liu Bannong.
Liu Bannong was born in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province, in 1891, into a farming family for generations. Since childhood, he has learned and been exposed to the "primary school" knowledge learned by traditional China literati. This "primary school"refers toThe phonology, writing and exegesis of ancient Chinese philology today..
Although Liu Bannong is naughty, he often has some fantastic ideas and delves into crooked ways, but he is an out-and-out "scholar". At the age of six, he was able to combine poems with others. At the age of 20, he was hired by his alma mater to teach and compiled Jiangyin Magazine.
After the Revolution of 1911, western thoughts and cultures poured into the conservative land of China, and Liu Bannong was deeply impressed by the surging tide.After two years of self-study in foreign languages, I got the position of compiling foreign works in Zhonghua Book Company. More than 40 foreign novels translated by him were published in the famous publications of the time, Fiction Circle and Current Affairs News.
Liu Bannong’s translation works are not limited to English, but also the works of Tolstoy and Turgenev in Russia, so he became a famous translator.In 1917, Liu Bannong, who followed the trend of the New Culture Movement, published an article "My View of Literature Improvement" in New Youth, and was hired as a Chinese professor in the preparatory course by Cai Yuanpei, president of Peking University..
At that time, all of them were professors of literature, history and philosophy at Peking University, such as Xu Beihong, Liang Shuming, Hu Shi and Liu Wendian. Although they are all in their early twenties, they all graduated from famous universities at home and abroad, and only Liu Bannong is a young man who has only attended high school.
Liu Bannong’s academic attainments are not limited by academic qualifications. His literary and linguistic innovations under the banner of the New Culture Movement not only shocked the cultural circles at that time, but we are still enjoying his cultural achievements a hundred years later.
In the TV series The Awakeing Age, students from Peking University directed and performed a drama.Wang Jingxuan, an old pedant and an old fogey played by Liu Mei, is the protagonist, and other students are hiding behind the curtain and dubbing with ventriloquism, criticizing Wang Jingxuan’s feudal and traditional thoughts.
The name of this play is called.Letter of reply to Wang Jingxuan, it is for Liu Bannong and Qian Xuantong and others in the "new youth" in the form of articles, you come and go to the stage performance of the public opinion war.
Qian Xuantong fictionalized the identity of "Wang Jingxuan", criticized the various crimes of the "New Culture Movement" in "New Youth", and branded the people who promoted new culture and new ideas with a hat of forgetting their ancestors, just like the stubborn position of a group of old scholars.
butLiu Bannong, on the other hand, made an ancient "hype" with Qian Xuantong based on New Youth, and wrote a book "Reply to Wang Jingxuan" to refute all the critical contents of "Wang Jingxuan" one by one, attracting the attention and discussion of readers and public opinion.
Because of the ample arguments and sharp writing, the effect of the play is surprisingly good, and it also attracts more scholars and students to participate in the new culture movement, transform old ideas and give up old dross.
During the ten years of subversion in the Qing Dynasty, especially since the founding of New Youth in 1915, the degree of openness and enterprising spirit of Chinese people have never been higher. Improvement and innovation were the themes of the times, and those who supported the New Culture Movement were all concentrating on exploring how to draw a clear line between social reality and the decadent face of the past.
With the rise of vernacular Chinese and the introduction of foreign literary works, there are a large number of third persons in popular language expressions, and it is difficult to clearly distinguish the differences and specific directions in the text by using only one word "he".
Liu Bannong, as an accomplished person in language and literature, deeply felt the differences and abuses in the translation of different personal pronouns in Chinese and foreign literary works.The third person pronouns in English can be divided into "he", "she" and "it", which refer to male, female and gender-neutral objects in person respectively.
However, in the consistent usage of Chinese, only one word "he" refers to all the third persons, and there is no pronoun difference between men and women and things.If you want to distinguish it, you should add a note after the word "he". For example, when referring to a woman in the third person, that is, "he (female)" is used, and when referring to asexual objects or animals, "he (object)" is used as a distinction.
Translation of foreign literary works is long and complicated, and it is necessary to distinguish the gender and attributes referred to by "he", which undoubtedly increases the difficulty and workload, and does not conform to the theme of "vernacular, simplicity" advocated by them.
thereforeIn his early literary works, Lu Xun borrowed the word "Yi" from "Yi people" to refer to women, but it was not widely used and was not accepted by the whole people.
In 1917, Liu Bannong first put forward the structure of the word "she", which was an accurate translation of "she" in English and distinguished it from "he". Lu Xun’s younger brother, Zhou Zuoren, agreed with this very much. He mentioned in the New Youth published on August 5, 1918: "China’s third person pronoun has no sexual distinction, which is very inconvenient. Semi-peasants created the word’ she’ and’ he’ for both purposes.. "
According to Liu Bannong’s understanding,Women’s third-person pronouns should have their own names as in foreign languages, which is not only convenient to use, but also more aesthetic. And with the opening of thought and the promotion of women’s status, the translation of "he (female)" is still used, as if women were still regarded as accessories of men, full of the flavor of the old society..
The word "she" was first popularized in the classrooms of Peking University and newspaper articles published by Liu Bannong, and many people accepted it, which also made a group of conservative people see Liu Bannong’s innovation, thinking that it was a rebellion against traditional customs and culture and should be refuted and suppressed.
Shanghai’s "Newcomer" magazine also published an ice-cold article.This is Liu Bannong’s fault.The article holds that there is no gender difference between "I" and "Ru" in ancient Chinese, and "He" and "She" are not as different in pronunciation in Chinese as in English, which is an act of gilding the lily.
All kinds of remarks emerged in an endless stream. The old and new forces United to express their opposition to Liu Bannong’s word-making, and scholars used the biggest public opinion at that time-newspapers and editorials to attack Liu Bannong. Especially some people who have no insight but are easily provoked, so that except for a few women with independent thoughts, all the women in China who are bound by conservative thoughts are scolding Liu Bannong. However, it is not clear how many of them sincerely oppose it and how many fish in troubled waters stir up trouble.
In short, within three years after her invention, Liu Bannong suffered a comprehensive blow from public opinion, which triggered another round of war of words between old and new literature.As far as Liu Bannong himself is concerned, as soon as he goes out, it is easy to encounter newspaper interviews and students’ attacks, which makes him afraid to go out on the street openly for three years for fear of being caught and scolded.
Therefore, Liu Bannong specially wrote an article "The Question of" She "during her study abroad and sent it back to China for publication, explaining her original intention of creating the word" She ".In order to express the meaning more clearly, it is also to distinguish the personal names of women and men.. After the article, Liu Bannong also proposed to recreate a representative of the word "it".
In 1925, Liu Bannong completed the French version of "Experimental Record of Chinese Phonetic Characters" and won the "Constanyine Linguistics Award", which was the first linguist in China to win this international award. At the same time, Liu Bannong successfully graduated from experimental phonetics in France, and obtained a doctorate in French national literature. He is still the first person from China to be awarded the highest academic title by the state.
On the way home, Liu Bannong thought of his wife sacrificing herself to take care of the family on the ship, and always supported her studies and career without regrets, and wrote a vernacular new poem with the word "she" emotionally.Teach me how not to think about her：
There are some clouds floating in the sky and some breezes blowing on the ground.
Ah! The breeze blew my hair and taught me how to miss her.
Moonlight is in love with the ocean, and the ocean is in love with moonlight.
Ah! How can I miss her on such a honey-like silver night?
Flowers fall on the surface of the water and flow slowly, while fish swim slowly at the bottom.
Ah! Swallow, what did you say? Teach me how to miss her.
Dead trees are shaking in the cold wind. Wildfire burned in the twilight.
Ah! There are still some afterglow in the Western Heaven. Teach me how to miss her.
A month later, he returned to teach at Peking University and became the founder of experimental phonetics in China.Liu Bannong’s achievements soon made him famous in China, and this poem used to praise his wife was also arranged into a song, which spread all over the country with the word "she". Some die-hard conservatives insist on resisting the word "she", which has been unable to stop her from moving forward.
At this time, people generally accepted the existence of the word "she", and history also accepted Liu Bannong’s choice. In 1932, the Ministry of Education included the word "she" in the common words, which set the tone for this debate from the official level, and also had the distinction of "he", "she" and "it" that we have become accustomed to.
Lu Xun also expressed negative views on Liu Bannong’s pioneering work of creating characters.However, in the later "Recalling Liu Bannong", he obviously had a deep understanding of Liu Bannong’s original "rebellious" behavior: "Just advocating new punctuation, there will be a large group of people who are "bereaved" and eager to "eat meat and sleep", so it is indeed a "big battle"."
Later, someone created the word "you" to distinguish it from "you" on the basis of Liu Bannong, which was all the rage for a while, but it was not accepted by the public in the end and became a short-lived second person pronoun in that era.
In fact, the word "she" was not created by Liu Bannong, which is ancient Chinese.Ji Yun Shang Sheng Ma YunIn the middle ""She" and "Sister Min" are tied., allPronounced as "jiě", refers to the meaning of "elder sister". Liu Bannong didn’t notice this uncommon word or intentionally used it as another meaning of modern Chinese. People have long been accustomed to the word "she".
When people are in different historical stages and development stages, they will make different behaviors or actions because of the ideological environment at that time, but put it in the long river of the whole history or the development of human culture, the temporary resistance of human beings is just dust, which is invisible in front of the grand narrative.
The same is true of the reform of Chinese characters. The curse that once kept Liu Bannong from going to the streets for three years has long since disappeared, but the wealth of Chinese characters, language, punctuation, phonetic symbols and so on that he left to the people of China in just 44 years’ life will last forever.