Fan Zhongyan - Prominent Statesman and Literary Figure in the Northern Song Dynasty
Fan Zhongyan (989-1052) was a prominent statesman and literary figure from Suzhou of Jiangsu in the Northern Song Dynasty.
Fan Zhongyan was born into a poor family, but he was diligent in learning. When he was a xiucai (a person who passed the imperial examination at the county level in the Ming and Qing dynasties), he took the world as his own responsibility and was best known for being outspoken. He submitted reports to the authorities for a number of times, criticizing the Prime Minister in power. As a result, he was demoted for three times. Due to his outspoken character, he was among the advocates of "the Qingli Reforms", which ended in failure and led to his demotion. He died from illness on his way to Yingzhou and was given the posthumous name Wenzheng.
Fan Zhongyan was an accomplished poem, ci and prose writer. His literary works, containing a lot of political ideas, were written in elegant language and with a broad mind. "Feel worried before the world starts to worry; and feel happy after the world has rejoiced" are the two most quoted lines from his Yueyanglou Ji or "Note on Yueyang Tower", a reflection of his patriotism. His works handed down to modern times also include Fan Wenzhenggong Wenji (A Collection of Lord Fan芒鈧劉s Literary Works).