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Ba Jin fans celebrate a literary giant
www.chinaview.cn 2004-11-26 11:27:16

    BEIJING, Nov. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Devotees of Ba Jin - one of China's great 20th century writers - celebrated his 101st birthday yesterday by taking part in a series of events saluting the author's contributions to contemporary literature.

    Ba's works and manuscripts are being exhibited for 10 days at Shanghai Library.

    Nephew Li Zhi is giving talks in which he recounts rare stories about Ba's career.

    "Family"- a drama adapted from Ba's signature novel of the same title - was re-staged to mark the occasion. And the new Ba Jin Literature Museum, housing most of his works, pictures and memorabilia, was unveiled in Chengdu, the writer's hometown.

    Ba, whose real name is Li Yaotang, is now living in Shanghai's Huadong Hospital. He was visited yesterday by top city officials and received hundreds of birthday cards and dozens of flower baskets.

    He suffers from Parkinson's disease and is unable to walk and speak.

    Ba is one of the most revered Chinese authors of the 20th century, standing in the ranks of Lu Xun, Mao Dun and Guo Moruo.

    He was born into an official's family in Sichuan Province and received a good education under private tutorship.

    But Ba was a high-spirited youth who rebelled against the bondage of feudal family life. The May 4th Movement in 1919 filled him with democratic ideals.

    He went to France for studies in 1927 and from there released his first work "Destruction," an expression of his sadness over China's status in the world and his hope for revolution.

    He wrote at a furious pace. During the 1929-1937 period, he was so productive that Lu Xun, the father of modern Chinese literature, praised Ba as "a writer with passion and progressive thinking."

    His collection of writing includes novels, short stories and essays, totaling more than 6 million words. Enditem

(Shanghai Daily)

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