Pa Chin

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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pa Chin


(pseudonym of Li Fei-kan). Born 1904 in the city of Chengtu. Chinese writer. Born into the family of a landowner.

Pa Chin’s first novella, Destruction (1929), and its continuation New Life (1932) are devoted to the story of a young revolutionary from a wealthy family. In the novels and novellas Setting Sun (1930), Miners (1932), Dream on the Sea (1932) the author lashes out against the world of cruelty and evil. The trilogy Love (1931–33; Russian translation, 1957) is devoted to the fate of Chinese youth during the revolution. The trilogy Turbulent Stream (1933–40; Russian translation, 1956–57), which is Pa Chin’s most important work, describes the decay of a feudal family. Pa Chin took part in the anti-Japanese front (1937–45). His novel Fire (1943) depicts the participation of Shanghai youth in the resistance movement against the Japanese invaders. He translated the works of M. Gorky, A. I. Herzen, and I. S. Turgenev into Chinese.


Pa Chin wenchi, vols. 1–9. Peking, 1958–59.
In Russian translation:
Sochineniia, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1959.


Petrov, V. “Tvorchestvo Ba Tszinia i ego roman Sem’ia,” in Ba Tszin’, Sem’ia. Moscow, 1956. (Translated from Chinese.)
Lang, O. Pa Chin and His Writings. Cambridge, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
thesis Editing and Translating Pa Chin's The Kao family, and Betty Wong's 1967 PhD dissertation Pa Chin in His Middle Period as a Novelist: An Analysis of Characters in the Torrent Trilogy and Fire.
Mao's 1978 Pa Chin, and Marie Walter Henshaw's 1977 doctoral dissertation The Influence of the Russia Populist-Anarchist Movement on the Chinese Revolution with Evidence in Pa Chin's Novel The Family.
Pa Chin and His Writings: Chinese Youth Between the Two Revolutions.
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (Research Materials of Pa Chin).
Bibliographic References to Documents of the Study of Pa Chin ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).
The names of Lu Hsun, Pa Chin, and Lao She acquired some renown in the Western world.