Taipei-Yu Tien-tsung (???), a literary pioneer and educator, died Tuesday at Taipei Municipal Wan Fang Hospital at the age of 84.
Yu had been confined to a wheelchair since 2014 when he was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, and his last appearance in public was in October when he attended an event for the release of a new novel by Huang Chun-ming (???), a Taiwanese literary figure and teacher.
Yu was born in 1935 in Jiangsu province in China and relocated to Taiwan in 1949.
From the 1950s to 1980s, Yu devoted himself to publishing literary magazines and is considered a pioneer and major mover in the literary realm.
He then served as a professor in the Department and Graduate Institute of Chinese Literature at National Chengchi University, and many of his students now play major roles in literary circles.
In his early years as a writer and critic, Yu focused on Taiwan's modernist literature movement and his advocacy of literary realism.
Starting in the 1970s, Yu proposed that literary works should be created from a Taiwanese perspective and be freed from political restrictions, arguing that literature should mirror the lives of people from different sectors of society.
Yu used to be the chief editor of the monthly literary journal Writer's Forum (??), and he founded Literature Quarterly (????).
The magazines catapulted several writers to fame, including Chen Ying-zhen (???), Huang Chun-ming (???), Wang Chen-ho (???) and Chi Teng-sheng (???).
Huang, an influential short-story writer, satirist and teacher, has consistently said that Yu was instrumental to his career, asserting that without Yu Tien-tsung there would be no Huang Chun-ming.
In 2011, a selection of Yu's prose titled "A Look Back at Our Time" was published that compiled 23 essays on contemporary writers and the strong bonds that exist between writers.
Another writer, Chi Chi (??), said Yu's sharp insight enabled him to spot people with literary talent and praised him for inspiring and encouraging talented creators to write.
One of Yu's best known works is a collection of 74 articles on discussions of Taiwan nativist literature following the Taiwanese nativist literature debate, which took place between April 1977 and early 1978.
The debate refers to attacks launched by the nativist faction led by Yu, Chen Ying-zhen and Wang Chen-ho on modernist writers such as writer and poet Yu Kwang-chung (???) and writer Peng Ge (??) after the nativists were accused of communist leanings.
The accusations stemmed from the nativists' interest in delving into social problems through their depictions of the daily lives of ordinary citizens.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel