Ba Jin

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Li Yaotang 李堯棠
BirthplaceChengdu, Sichuan

Ba Jin


Pa Chin

(both: bä` jĭn`), pseud. of Li Yaotang (also Li Feigan), 1904–2005, one of China's most acclaimed modern novelists, b. Chengdu. Born into a wealthy family, he received a broad education in China, graduating in 1925, and traveling to France in 1927–28. Early in life he became a committed anarchist and socialist, and in France wrote his first novel, Miewang [destruction] (1929), a tale of romance and revolution. Ba is best known for his trilogy Jiliu [torrent] (1931–40); its first volume, Jia, was translated into English as Family (1958). Enormously popular with China's young readers at the time, these semiautobiographical novels attack the traditional Chinese family structure, pitting age against youth and Confucian orthodoxy against individualism in a saga of familial decline. His other works include two other trilogies (1931–33; 1941–45), many single novels, e.g., Han ye (1947, tr. Cold Nights, 1978), short stories, essays, translations, and his memoirs (1979, partially tr. Random Thoughts, 1984).

Ba Jin's reputation and fortunes, like those of many other Chinese intellectuals, rose and fell with the fluctuations in the government. As a critic of the socioeconomic ways of old China he was lauded by the new Communist regime in the 1950s (during which he renounced anarchism) and early 60s. During the Cultural RevolutionCultural Revolution,
1966–76, mass mobilization of urban Chinese youth inaugurated by Mao Zedong in an attempt to prevent the development of a bureaucratized Soviet style of Communism.
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 (1966–76), he was condemned as a counterrevolutionary and publicly humiliated, but was rehabilitated in 1977. Subsequently Ba became a fixture of China's literary establishment, and was elected (1981) head of the Chinese Writer's Association, a post he held until his death, even though by then he was hospitalized and unable to move or speak.


See S. Shapiro and W. Mingjie, tr., Selected Works of Ba Jin (1988); biography by N. K. Mao (1978); study by O. Lang (1965); H. Martin and J. Kinkley, ed., Modern Chinese Writers (1992); Return from Silence (documentary film, 1982).

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Chinese author Ba Jin died at a hospital in Shanghai on Monday (17 October), aged 101, after losing his battle with cancer.
Born in 1905 in the city of Chengdu, in the southwestern Sichuan Province, Ba Jin was most renowned for his novels from the 1930s based on family hierarchies in China prior to the Communist regime, which included Family, Spring and The Trilogy of Love.
Cosmos publishes literature from popular novel authors including Liang Yu-Sheng, Gu Long, Wan Du-Lao, Junichi Watanabe, Yi Shu, Lee Pi-Hua, Choi Lan, Li Min to classic series by Gao Xing-Jian, Lau Zoi-Fuk, Chung Shue-Chin, Ba Jin, Gaa Ping-Nap, Yu Qiu-Yu, Sou Tung, Wong On-Jik, and Zhang Li.
Writer Ba Jin, China's most famous living author, turned 100 on 25 November 2003, and the event has been marked with numerous events across China.
Other luminaries elected as vice chairmen included 94-year-old writer Ba Jin, China's Federation of Industry and Commerce chairman Jing Shuping and Hong Kong business magnate Henry Fok.
For Lu Xun alone Fang has chosen three stories, while contemporary with Lu were many other effective writers such as Lao She, Ba Jin, and Xiao Hong.
With the rounding of Short Story Magazine (1932), Ding Ling, Ba Jin, Lao She, et alia earned a reputation.