Ba Jin

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Ba Jin, 1938

Ba Jin ( Chinese  巴金 , Pinyin Bā Jīn ; born November 25, 1904 in Chengdu , Sichuan , † October 17, 2005 in Shanghai ) was a Chinese writer, novelist, essayist, publicist, translator and anarchist .


Ba Jin is one of the most important and most widely read Chinese authors of the 20th century . He mainly wrote novels. His real name was Li Yaotang ( 李堯 棠  /  李尧 棠 , Lǐ Yáotáng ) or Li Feigan ( 李 芾 甘 , also Liu Fangan). Ba Jin chose his pseudonym from the composition of the name of the Russian anarchist Bakunin ( 枯宁 ) and Kropotkin ( 克鲁泡特 ) that he, like Emma Goldman revered. He comes from a rich and powerful scholar family and after attending a foreign language school he worked as a translator for Russian and other foreign-language poets. At times he studied in Shanghai and from 1926 in France . His literary work began in the 1920s. He also worked as an editor of literary periodicals and publications, and translated foreign literature into Chinese with the help of Esperanto translations.

During the Sino-Japanese War , he was involved in anti-Japanese propaganda with Mao Dun and Liu Baiyu . After 1949 he was a member of the People's Congress. He was considered a counterrevolutionary during the Cultural Revolution and then rehabilitated in 1977.

Ba Jin was an advocate of the planned language Esperanto.

His literary work was influenced by the French and Russian novels, especially Chekhov , Turgenev and Émile Zola . His novels express strong emotions, while by his own admission he never bothered about the technical side of his writing. His early works are characterized by strong subjectivity and romanticism , while a critical-realistic streak appears in his later works .

From 1980, Ba Jin was chairman of the Chinese PEN . In the 1980s he was also chairman of the Chinese Esperanto Association ( Ĉina Esperanto-Ligo ). He had been seriously ill with Parkinson's disease and cancer since the 1990s .

The official Xinhua news agency recognized Ba Jin as "one of the greatest cultural masters of modern China".

The asteroid (8315) Bajin , discovered by Chinese scientists, was named after Ba Jin in 1999. In 1985 he was elected as an honorary foreign member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters .

Ba Jin died in 2005 a few weeks before his 101st birthday.

Works (selection)

  • 《灭亡》 (Mièwáng, Downfall , 1929)
  • 《爱情》 (Àiqíng, love , romance trilogy , 1936)
  1. 《雾》 (Wù, fog )
  2. 《雨》 (Yǔ, rain )
  3. 《电》 (Diàn, lightning )
  • 《激流》 (Jīliú, Violent Current , Novel Trilogy 1940),
  1. 《家》 (Jiā, The Family )
  2. 《春》 (Chūn, spring )
  3. 《秋》 (Qiū, autumn )
  • 《火》 (Huǒ, fire , 1940–1945)

Works translated into Western languages

  • Garden of Tranquility ( qì yuán《憩 园》), translated by Joseph Kalmer . Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 1954.
  • Ward Four: A Novel of Wartime China . ISBN 0-8351-2646-3 .
  • Cold nights . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1981, ISBN 3-518-03329-8 .
  • Die Familie , translated by Florian Reissinger on the basis of the 31st Chinese edition in March 1949 by Kaiming-Verlag, Shanghai. Oberbaumverlag, Berlin 1980, ISBN 3-933314-38-0 .
  • Sha Ding . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main, 1981, ISBN 3-518-01725-X .
  • Autumn in spring . Foreign Language Literature Publishing House, Beijing 2005, ISBN 7-119-03625-4 .
  • Sick room No. 4 ( Dìsì Bìngshì《第四 病 室》), translated by Alexander Saechtig. Foreign Language Literature Publishing House, Beijing, 2009, ISBN 978-7-119-06017-0 .

Web links

Commons : Ba Jin  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Minor Planet Circ. 35491
  2. Honorary Members: (Pa Chin) Ba Jin. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed March 4, 2019 .