|Although the ancient oral literature of Zhejiang appeared much earlier than the Chinese characters, the development of the written literature lagged behind the central China region. However, it grew into one of the most vigorous branches of the nation's literature. After the Six Dynasties in history, the literature of Zhejiang gradually became prosperous. With the eastward movement of Jin Dynasty, some nobles moved to the east part of Zhejiang and the central China region's culture influenced the Zhejiang literature. As a result, the Zhejiang literature developed greatly. Xie Lingyun started the Chinese ancient landscape poetry style which had great impact on Chinese poems. In Sui, Tang and Northern Song Dynasty, there were a lot of Zhejiang native poets like Luo Binwang, He Zhizhang, Meng Jiao, Luo Yin and Zhou Bangyan. Lots of eminent poets like Bai Juyi, Yuan Chen, Du Mu, Fan Zhongyan, Wang Anshi and Shu Shi took their official occupations in Zhejiang successively whose literary talent and grace have been praised by the people of all times.
In Southern Song Dynasty, Zhejiang literature presented a splendid sight. Lu You was a polygraph whose works were pure and colorful and enjoyed a high reputation in Chinese literature history. The female duo, Li Qingzhao and Zhu Shuzhen was very famous in Song dynasty. There were lots of Zhejaing native Ci (classical poetry conforming to a definite pattern) poets like Chen Liang, Wu Wenying, Wang Yisun, Zhou Mi and Zhang Yan in Southern Song Dynasty. The ancient vernacular Chinese novels and drama literature also originated in Zhejiang during this period.
In Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Zhejiang literature had been flourishing continuously and presented such giants like Zhao Mengfu and Yang Weizhen. Hangzhou became the center of Za-Ju (a kind of Chinese drama form) in its later stage. In late Ming Dynasty, the essays of Zhang Dai, poems and articles of Xu Wei and Yuan Mei and the Western Zhejiang Ci School represented by Zhu Yizun and Li Hu formed a strong force in Chinese literature. In early Qing Dynasty, Hong Sheng wrote a classic play The Palace of the Eternal Life. Gong Zizhen and Wang Guowei were two great masters in late Qing Dynasty.
In modern times, Zhejiang literature made great contributions to the development of the Chinese literature. In May 1918, Lu Xun released his novel The Bedlamite's Diary on the magazine New Youth that made the first try to the modern Chinese novels. And his collections Whoop and Hesitation are very important vernacular Chinese novel collections. Moreover, Lu Xun was also the exploiter of the modern Chinese scribbles. Mao Dun was the go-better of the Literature Observation Association. Yu Dafu was the representative of Creation Association whose collection Sinking was the first vernacular short story collection. In 1922, the Riverside Poetry Association was established in Hangzhou. In the period, a lot of writers like Xu Zhimo, Dai Wangzhu, Xia Yan, Shi Zhecun and Ai Qing also made great influence to the Chinese literature.
After liberation, Zhejiang Literature stepped into a new era. In early 1950s, such writers as Xu Qinwen, Chen Xuezhao and Ji Fang made many achievements. The literature fell into depression in the Culture Revolution years. Thanks to the Open and Reform Policy, the literature had a chance to recover. The novelettes of 1980s and river novels of 1990s caused great social influences, such as Zhang Tingzhu's novel The Fifty-forth Neighborhood, Ye Wenling's Dreamless Valley, Wang Xufeng's Tea Culture Trilogy, i.e., The Southern Woods, Marquis without Nights and Build the City with Grass. During this period, Zhejiang literature has made lots of achievements in poem, prose, scribble, literature theory and children's readings. In 2002, China Writers' Association awarded the fifth national excellent children's reading award to the allegory collection Gastrologist's Hunting written by Sun Jianjiang with the pen name Yuyu.
Zhejiang literature is an important part of the refulgent Chinese literature.