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Encyclopedia > Francois Cheng

François Cheng (程抱一 Chéng Bàoyī) (born August 30, 1929) is a French writer, poet and calligrapher.

Born in China, he was elected to the Académie française in 2002, and was the first person of Asian origin to be a member of this Academy.

It took many years before he became a novelist. His first works were on Chinese poetry and painting. Later he began to write works of poetry himself, before finally turning to the writing novels.


  • Analyse formelle de l'œuvre poétique d'un auteur des Tang : Zhang Ruoxu (1970)
  • Le Pousse-pousse, by Lao She, translation (1973)
  • L'Écriture poétique chinoise (1977)
  • Vide et plein: le langage pictural chinois (1979)
  • L'espace du rêve: mille ans de peinture chinoise (1980)
  • Sept poètes français (1983)
  • Henri Michaux, sa vie, son œuvre (1984)
  • Chu Ta : le génie du trait (1986)
  • Some Reflections on Chinese Poetic Language and its Relation to Chinese Cosmology dans The Vitality of the Lyric Voice (1986)
  • The Reciprocity of Subject and Object in Chinese Poetic Language dans Poetics East and West (1988)
  • De l'arbre et du rocher (1989)
  • Entre source et nuage, Voix de poètes dans la Chine d'hier et d'aujourd'hui (1990)
  • Saisons à vie (1993)
  • Trente-six poèmes d'amour (1997)
  • Quand les pierres font signe (1997) (with Fabienne Verdier)
  • Le Dit de Tyanyi (1998) Prix Femina
  • Shitao : la saveur du monde (1998) Prix André Malraux
  • Cantos toscans (1999)
  • D'où jaillit le chant (2000)
  • Double chant (2000) Prix Roger Caillois
  • Et le souffle devient signe (2001)
  • Qui dira notre nuit (2001)
  • L'éternité n'est pas de trop (2002)

  Results from FactBites:
BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Asian joins French literary elite (313 words)
Francois Cheng, a 72-year-old writer and painter of Chinese origin, was born in the city of Nanchang and moved to France in 1948, just before the Communist takeover in China.
President Jacques Chirac praised Mr Cheng as a "tremendous writer" and a "wise man for our time", saying his appointment to the Academie illustrated "the fight for diversity and cultural diaologue, which is France's fight".
The advent of Communist rule in China meant that Mr Cheng, who arrived in France on a scholarship, was unable to return to his homeland for 36 years.
BOOK REVIEW OF SUMMER 2001 (1084 words)
Cheng, who was born in Nanjing in 1929 and settled in France in 1945, is a professor at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris.
Since Cheng's previous publications include art criticism, it is not surprising that the most intellectually engaging moments in the novel are actually extended commentaries on art.
Because Fran?ois Cheng is so well versed in the intellectual traditions of both China and the West (particularly France), he is especially insightful in the ways that cultures speak to each other across continents and oceans.
  More results at FactBites »



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