Ba Jin

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Li Yaotang 李堯棠
BirthplaceChengdu, Sichuan

Ba Jin

Ba Jin or Pa Chin (both: bäˈ jĭnˈ), 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 Revolution (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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References in periodicals archive ?
At several points in the book Ng mentions Ba Jin [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Li Jieren's more famous younger contemporary and fellow Chengdu native.
However, and this is one of the key messages of this book, radical anarchist voices, despite all political pressures, could be heard at various times: from Ba Jin's extremely pungent critique of the Marxist concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the 1920s, to the bold statement by the deputy-editor of the national newspaper Renmin Ribao, Wang Ruoshui, that the government and the people were politically alienated in China's socialist state of the early 1980s, to the very recent (2010) call to overcome the current autocratic system by dissident Liu Xianbin.
Ba Jin ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]; also referred to as Pa Chin 1904-2005) is one of the most influential writers since the May Fourth Movement, the nineteenth-century anti-imperialist, political, and cultural movement that brought Chinese nationalism to the fore (see, e.g., Feng; Furth; Schwarcz).
He was best known for his English translations of the Chinese classic novel Outlaws of the Marsh , as well as works by the more modern authors Ba Jin and Mao Dun.
"The Autobiography of Ba Jin" looks at the life story of one of China's most famous and celebrated writers, to the point where he received a Nobel Prize nomination in 1975.
Similarly, Hualing Nieh, Xiao Quian, Ha Jin, Li Young-Lee (born of Chinese parents), and Bei Dao have served as jurors for WLT's Neustadt International Prize for Literature, whose candidates have included Dai Houying, Ba Jin, and Mo Yan.
Some of the writers are Ba Jin, Ding Ling, Lao She, Liu E, Lu Ling, Shen Congwen, Eileen Chang, and Zhang Tianyi.
Long-time Shanghai resident Ba Jin and his family were forced to leave their home once before.
Others listed included entertainers such as Hong Kong's Jackie Chan, South Korean heartthrob Rain and Chinese literary icon Ba Jin, who died in October at the age of 101.
Chinese author Ba Jin died at a hospital in Shanghai on Monday (17 October), aged 101, after losing his battle with cancer.
He also made numerous Chinese plays available in English for the first time, including classics such as Ba Jin's The Family and Lao She's Teahouse.
Many well-known writers, including Ba Jin and Shen Congwen, also came under attack.