A study on the rhetoric of Feng Zikai’s prose
Feng Zika (1898-1975), a prominent artist, educator, and outstanding litterateur in modern China, made a remarkable achievement in paintings and literature throughout his lifetime. This study focused on Feng Zika’s prose-related works using contemporary Mandarin Chinese rhetoric rules to analyze and discourse about the rhetoric of Feng Zika’s prose-related works.
First of all, this study reorganized the basic theories of Mandarin Chinese rhetoric, discoursed about the development of rhetoric in ancient China, categorized various scholars’ views of rhetoric in different epochs as well as their contributions to Mandarin Chinese rhetoric, summarized the rhetoric rules adopted by scholars in different dynasties in a chronological sequence, and reviewed the contemporary Mandarin Chinese rhetoric using the rules listed in the classical treatise of contemporary Mandarin Chinese rhetoric An Introduction to Rhetoric as the guideline to explore the implications of contemporary Mandarin Chinese rhetoric, i.e. the distinction between passive rhetoric and active rhetoric.
Secondly, this study portrayed Feng Zika’s life in details – childhood, college time, study abroad, teacher, wartime refugee, transformation period, and later years, followed by a full discourse upon the paintings, music, and literature created by Feng Zika throughout his lifetime as well as his thoughts associated with his artworks and literature.
This study focused on the rhetoric of Feng Zika’s prose using the definitions and descriptions made by various rhetoric scholars in connection with active rhetoric (rhetoric devices) to analyze Feng Zika’s informal essays and skits, and fairy tales sentence by sentence. In conclusion, this study presented how Feng Zika applied rhetoric to his artworks and how his artworks and literature reveal art features based on the findings and discourses stated above.
Keywords: Feng Zika, rhetoric, art, prose, fairy tale