Qi Deng Sheng (1939-2020) was born in Liu Wu-Hsiung in Miaoli County's Tunghsiao Township and was an art graduate of the Taiwan Provincial Normal School. In 1962 he published his first short story, “Unemployment, Poker, and Fried Squid”, in the United Daily News literary supplement, then edited by Lin Hai-yin. In 1966 he founded the Literature Quarterly magazine with Wei Tian-Chong, Chen Ying-chen, and Shi Shu-ching. He received the first and second Taiwan Literature Award two years in a row, in 1966 and 1967. In 1976 he won the first United Daily News Novel Award. He was invited to attend the University of Iowa's International Writing Program in 1983. He picked up the paintbrush again in 1989, refocusing his creative efforts on painting, showing his works in two solo exhibitions in 1991 and 1992. Throughout his life, he published 124 works of fiction, 137 prose writings (including miscellaneous writings and forewords), and 56 poems. He was recognized for his life’s work in 2010 by the 14th National Award for Arts. While writers from National Taiwan University’s Foreign Languages and Literature Department took their cue from Western aesthetic forms and literary themes, engaging in a Modernist “experiment”, Qi Deng Sheng rooted his writing in his life’s history, presenting an unflinching and profoundly probing look into his personal existences and interior self, breaking constraints to seek absolute freedom in his artistic expression and individual spirit.
寫作一步一步地揭開我內心黑暗的世界。 —— 七等生
1967 年，七等生在《文學季刊》發表了臺灣文學史上著名短篇小說《我愛黑眼珠》，主角李龍第在末日洪水中，選擇拯救妓女而無視妻子的作為，引起文壇 極大的討論與爭議。當年評論家認為，這類離經叛道、萎靡頹廢的文學作品，恐影響國家安全而應杜絕。從此，七等生極富自傳色彩的小說，被批評為深奧 艱澀的個人主義或虛無主義。然而，在時代的推移洗練下，七等生卻成為影響 後世文壇最重要作家之一，並被稱為臺灣「內向世代」作家的開端。
《削瘦的靈魂》紀錄片以導演口述旁白和小說文本字幕，描摹出這位臺灣當代 最受爭議小說家的家庭、童年、挫折、愛情。導演朱賢哲突破拍攝困難與作家 心防，多次採訪已多年不公開露面的七等生，與其談論文學、哲理、生命體 察，並得以一窺作家隱世的生活面貌，以及他內在世界瘋狂又孤寂的觀點。 並 藉由作家身邊不同身份、面向的重要他人訪談，建構出作家的生命脈絡與創作 形象。
七等生曾言：「我的寫作一步一步地在揭開我內心黑暗的世界，將我內在積存 的汙穢，一次又一次地加以洗滌清除。」在面對當代集體內在不可測的心靈， 七等生個人的創傷與黑暗，似乎也正是人類的創傷與黑暗。