Ba Jin
Ba Jin in 1938
Ba Jin in 1938
BornLi Yaotang[1] / Li Feigan[2]
(1904-11-25)25 November 1904
Chengdu, Sichuan, Qing dynasty, China
Died17 October 2005(2005-10-17) (aged 100)
Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Pen nameBa Jin
Notable worksTurbulent Stream: The Family, Spring, and Autumn
Love Trilogy: Fog, Rain, and Lightning
Notable awards1983: Legion of Honour
1990: Fukuoka Prize (special prize)
Xiao Shan
(m. 1936; died 1972)
ChildrenLi Xiaolin
Li Xiao
Ba Jin
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese李堯棠
Simplified Chinese李尧棠

Li Yaotang (simplified Chinese: 李尧棠; traditional Chinese: 李堯棠; pinyin: Lǐ Yáotáng; 25 November 1904 – 17 October 2005), better known by his pen name Ba Jin (Chinese: 巴金; pinyin: Bā Jīn) or his courtesy name Li Feigan (Chinese: 李芾甘; pinyin: Lǐ Fèigān), was a Chinese anarchist, translator, and writer. In addition to his impact on Chinese literature, he also wrote three original works in Esperanto,[3] and as a political activist he wrote The Family.


He was born as Li Yaotang,[1] with alternate name Li Feigan or Li Pei Kan (in Wade–Giles).[2][4] The first word of his pen name may have been taken from Ba Enbo, his classmate who committed suicide in Paris, which was admitted by himself,[5][6] or from the first syllable of the surname of the Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin;[7][1] and the last character of which is the Chinese equivalent of the last syllable of Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin (克鲁泡特金, Ke-lu-pao-te-jin).[8][9][10]


On November 25, 1904, Li Yaotang was born in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, into a wealthy Li family. The family's wealth came mainly from the land acquired by his grandfather and father when they were officials, and Li Yaotang sometimes described his family as a "typical landlord's family".[11][12] In 1919, Ba read Kropotkin's An Appeal to the Young and converted to anarchism.[13]

It was partly owing to boredom that Ba Jin began to write his first novel, Miewang 灭亡 (“Destruction”).[14] In France, Ba Jin continued his anarchist activism, translating many anarchist works, including Kropotkin's Ethics, into Chinese, which was mailed back to Shanghai's anarchist magazines for publication.[15]

During the Cultural Revolution, Ba Jin was heavily persecuted as a counter-revolutionary.[1] His wife since 1944, Xiao Shan, died of cancer in 1972.[1] He asked that a Cultural Revolution Museum be set up in 1981.[16] The Shantou Cultural Revolution Museum referenced the influence of Ba Jin on its establishment through displaying a depiction of his at the entrance[17] as well as a quote of his, "Every town in China should establish a museum about the Cultural Revolution."[18]

Ba Jin's works were heavily influenced by foreign writers, including Émile Zola, Ivan Turgenev, Alexander Herzen, Anton Chekhov, and Emma Goldman.[19]

Ba Jin suffered from Parkinson's disease beginning in 1983. The illness confined him to Huadong Hospital in Shanghai from 1998.[2]


English translations

Ba Jin stories in collections


Short story collections
  • Vengeance 《复仇》, 1931
  • Dog 《狗》, 1931
  • Brightness 《光明》, 1932
  • The Electric Chair 《电椅》, 1933
  • Wiping Cloth 《抹布》, 1933
  • The General 《将军》, 1934
  • Gods, Ghosts and Men 《神·鬼·人》, 1935
  • Sinking 《沉落》, 1936
  • The Story of Hair 《发的故事》, 1936
  • Thunder 《雷》, 1937
  • Resurrection Grass 《还魂草》, 1942
  • Little People, Little Events 《小人小事》, 1943
  • Heroic Tales 《英雄的故事》, 1953
  • Pigs and Chickens 《猪与鸡》, 1959
  • Li Da-hai 《李大海》, 1961
  • Stories Outside the City, 1992
Children's literature
  • The Immortality Pagoda 《长生塔》, 1937
  • The Pearl and the Jade Concubine 《明珠和玉姬》, 1957
Novels and novellas
  • Destruction 《灭亡》, 1929
  • The Dead Sun 《死去的太阳》, 1931
  • The "Love" Trilogy 《爱情的三部曲》 (1931-5)
    • Fog 《雾》, 1931
    • Rain 《雨》, 1933
    • Lightning 《电》, 1935
  • New Life 《新生》, 1933
  • Miners 《砂丁》, 1933
  • Germination 《萌芽》, 1933
  • A Dream of the Sea 《海的梦》, 1932
  • Autumn in Spring 《春天里的秋天》, 1932
  • The "Torrents" Trilogy 《激流三部曲》
    • The Family 《家》, 1933
    • Spring 《春》, 1938
    • Autumn 《秋》, 1940
  • Lina 《利娜》, 1940
  • Fires 《火》(in three volumes), 1940–1945
  • Stars 《星》(English-Chinese bilingual), 1941
  • A Garden of Repose 《憩园》, novella, 1944
  • Ward No 4 《第四病室》, 1946
  • Cold Nights 《寒夜》, 1947
Autobiography and memoirs
  • Ba Jin: An Autobiography 《巴金自传》, 1934
  • I Remember 《忆》, 1936
  • Thinking Back on Childhood 《童年的回忆》, 1984
  • (coauthor) Anarchism and its Practical Problems 《无政府主义与实际问题》, 1927
  • From Capitalism to Anarchism 《从资本主义到安那其主义》, 1930
  • A Walk by the Sea 《海行》, 1932
  • Travel Notes 《旅途随笔》, 1934
  • Droplets of Life 《点滴》, 1935
  • Confessions of Living 《生之忏悔》, 1936
  • Brief Notes 《短简》, 1937
  • I Accuse 《控诉》, 1937
  • Dreaming and Drunkenness 《梦与醉》, 1938
  • Thoughts and Feelings 《感想》, 1939
  • Black Earth 《黑土》, 1939
  • Untitled 《无题》, 1941
  • Dragons, Tigers and Dogs 《龙·虎·狗》, 1941
  • Outside the Derelict Garden 《废园外》, 1942
  • Travel Notes 《旅途杂记》, 1946
  • Remembering 《怀念》, 1947
  • Tragedy of a Still Night 《静夜的悲剧》, 1948
  • The Nazi Massacre Factory: Auschwitz 《纳粹杀人工厂—奥斯威辛》, 1951
  • Warsaw Festivals: Notes in Poland 《华沙城的节日—波兰杂记》, 1951
  • The Consoling Letter and Others 《慰问信及其他》, 1951
  • Living Amongst Heroes 《生活书局在英雄们中间》, 1953
  • They Who Defend Peace 《保卫和平的人们》, 1954
  • On Chekhov 《谈契河夫》, 1955
  • Days of Great Joy 《大欢乐的日子》, 1957
  • Strong Warriors 《坚强的战士》, 1957
  • A Battle for Life 《—场挽救生命的战斗》, 1958
  • New Voices: A Collection 《新声集》, 1959
  • Friendship: A Collection 《友谊集》, 1959
  • Eulogies: A Collection 《赞歌集》, 1960
  • Feelings I Can't Express 《倾吐不尽的感情》, 1963
  • Lovely by the Bridge 《贤良桥畔》, 1964
  • Travels to Dazhai 《大寨行》, 1965
  • Ba Jin: New Writings, 1978–1980
  • Smorching Smoke 《烟火集》, 1979
  • Random Thoughts 《随想录》, 1978–86
  • Thinking Back on Writing 《创作回忆录》 1981
  • Exploration and Memories 《探索与回忆》, 1982
  • Afterwords: A Collection 《序跋集》, 1982
  • Remembrance: A Collection 《忆念集》, 1982
  • Ba Jin: On Writing 《巴金论创作》, 1983
  • Literature: Recollections (with Lao She) 《文学回忆录》 1983
  • To Earth to Dust 《愿化泥土》, 1984
  • I Accuse: A Collection 《控诉集》, 1985
  • In My Heart 《心里话》, 1986
  • Ten Years, One Dream 《十年一梦》, 1986
  • More Thoughts 《再思录》, 1995
  • To Our Young Friends Looking for Aspirations 《寻找理想的少年朋友》, 1987
  • The Collection of the Snow and Mud – All the Remaining Letters Written by Ba Jin to Yang Yi 《雪泥集》, 1987
  • Collected Letters of Ba Jin 《巴金书信集》, 1991

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Obituary: Ba Jin, Chinese novelist and anarchist". The New York Times. 17 October 2005. Archived from the original on 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Gittings, John (18 October 2005). "Ba Jin (Obituary)". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 30 July 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  3. ^ Geoffrey Sutton, Concise Encyclopedia of the Original Literature of Esperanto Archived 2021-02-02 at the Wayback Machine, p. 180, Ed. Mondial, New York, ISBN 978-1-59569-090-6
  4. ^ Van der Walt, Lucien; Schmidt, Michael (2009). Black Flame: The Revolutionary Class Politics of Anarchism and Syndicalism. AK Press. p. 20. ISBN 9781904859161.
  5. ^ Gandini, Jean-Jacques (1995). "Ba Jin revisité [Destruction et A la mémoire de Ba Jin traduits et présentés par Angel Pino et Isabelle Rabut]". Perspectives Chinoises (in French). 31 (1): 69–71. Archived from the original on 25 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021. que Ba était un hommage à un camarade de classe, Ba Enbo, rencontré lors de son séjour en France en 1927 et dont il apprit......
  6. ^ "Pa Kin, grande figure de la littérature chinoise du XXe siècle". Le Monde (in French). 2005-10-18. Archived from the original on 2021-06-24. Retrieved 17 June 2021. le "Pa" n'a rien à voir avec Bakounine (prononcé en chinois Pa-ku-ning), mais s'inspire d'un certain Pa Enbo, un ami chinois de Château-Thierry qui s'était suicidé en se jetant dans une rivière.
  7. ^ Many sources claim it comes from the Chinese transliteration of Mikhail Bakunin, and he refused to admit because of communists' harsh condemnation of Bakunin, who was an open rival of Marx. See: Rapp, John A.; Youd, Daniel M. (2015-04-03). "Ba Jin as Anarchist Critic of Marxism: Guest Editors' Introduction". Contemporary Chinese Thought. 46 (2): 3–21. doi:10.1080/10971467.2015.1003017. S2CID 143212159. Archived from the original on 2021-06-24. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  8. ^ Rapp, John A.; Youd, Daniel M. (2015-04-03). "Ba Jin as Anarchist Critic of Marxism: Guest Editors' Introduction". Contemporary Chinese Thought. 46 (2): 3–21. doi:10.1080/10971467.2015.1003017. S2CID 143212159. Archived from the original on 2021-06-24. Retrieved 17 June 2021. ......from the name for Peter Kropotkin (Ke-lu-pao-te-jin).
  9. ^ "Ba Jin". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 24 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Obituary: Ba Jin". the Guardian. 2005-10-18. Archived from the original on 2016-07-30. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  11. ^ Lang, Olga (1967). Pa Chin And His Writings: Chinese Youth Between The Two Revolutions. Harvard University Press. p. 7. ISBN 9780674650503.
  12. ^ Kong, Haili (5 June 2012). "Disease and Humanity: Ba Jin and His Ward Four: A Wartime Novel of China". Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. 6 (2): 199. doi:10.3868/s010-001-012-0012-8. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  13. ^ Ng, Mau Sang (1981). "Ba Jin and Russian Literature". Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR). 3 (1): 69. doi:10.2307/495337. ISSN 0161-9705. JSTOR 495337. Retrieved 20 February 2023.
  14. ^ Jaroslav Průšek and Zbigniew Słupski, eds., Dictionary of Oriental Literatures: East Asia (Charles Tuttle, 1978): 135-136.
  15. ^ See Angel Pino, “Ba Jin as Translator,” tr. Ian MacCabe, in Peng Hsiao-yen & Isabelle Rabut (eds.), Modern China and the West: Translation and Cultural Mediation. Leiden-Boston: Brill, “East Asian Comparative Literature and Culture” (2), 2014, 28-105.
  16. ^ Sippel, Nana (18 May 2017). ""Mystifizierung der Kulturrevolution" (Interview with Nora Sausmikat)" (in German). de:Gerda Henkel Stiftung. Archived from the original on 14 August 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  17. ^ Li, Jie (2020). Utopian Ruins: A Memorial Museum of the Mao Era. Duke University Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-147-801-018-0.
  18. ^ Coonan, Clifford (27 June 2005). "Shining a light on Mao's dark era". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 9 April 2022. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  19. ^ He described Goldman as his "spiritual mother", and dedicated The General to her. See Preface, The General, and Olga Lang, Pa Chin and His Writings: Chinese Youth Between the Wars (Harvard University Press, 1967).

Further reading


Cultural offices Preceded byMao Dun Chairman of China Writers Association 1984–2005 Succeeded byTie Ning