China Focus: Swordsman farewell: readers saddened by death of Chinese martial arts novelist Jin Yong – Xinhua English.news.cn
In this file photo, Jin Yong receives an interview with Xinhua in Hong Kong, southern China, August 11, 2004. Famous Chinese martial arts novelist Louis Cha Leung-yung, better known by his pseudonym Jin Yong, has passed away at the age of 94. Tuesday in a Hong Kong hospital. Cha created many popular martial arts novels between 1955 and 1972. Cha, who also co-founded the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao, has been considered one of the greatest and most popular martial arts writers. . (Xinhua / Tao Ming)
By Xinhua Writers Bai Xu and Ren Liying
BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) – What are martial arts and swordsmen like? For most Chinese, the answer lies in the works of the late novelist Jin Yong.
Jin, real name Zha Liangyong (also known as Louis Cha), died Tuesday night in Hong Kong at the age of 94. The news quickly went viral on the Chinese mainland, where it inspired a generation, bringing them into the world of Wuxia. (the swordsmen).
Wang Xiaolei, better known by his nickname Liushenleilei, has an official WeChat account with over 100,000 subscribers. His articles focus on the novels of Jin Yong.
âI started reading Jin’s novels when I was in middle school,â he told Xinhua. “At that time, reading books like these was forbidden by parents and teachers, who feared it would distract us from studying at school.”
âUpon hearing of Mr. Jin’s death, I had dinner,â he said. “I suddenly felt lost. Later, I sat in the toilet for a while to calm down.”
Early Wednesday morning, he published an article mourning Jin. âI haven’t got a chance to meet you. You didn’t even know about my official WeChat account,â Wang wrote. “If I met you, I would have asked you if you liked my article and if I could be considered your disciple?
“I’m just one of tens of thousands of Jin readers. He was loved by so many people. I never feel lonely.”
Wang said he believed the reason Jin had so many fans was that the Chinese had a deep-rooted admiration for chivalry and love for the country. “So the swordsmen under Jin’s feathers were their idols.”
He noted that Jin had a vast knowledge of traditional Chinese culture, as his books show.
In terms of writing technique, Jin borrows from Western pieces. âSome of his plots looked like an ancient Greek tragedy,â he said. “For example, in his ‘Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils’, the hero was like a tragic figure from Greek mythology.”
Zhang Fang also has an official WeChat account on Chinese history and literature. On Wednesday, he published a prose written in the classic literary style in memory of the novelist.
âWhen I was a kid I watched TV series not knowing they were adapted from his books,â he said. “When I entered elementary school, I started reading his novels, only to find them so intriguing.”
To some extent, her parents fell in love because of Jin Yong. âThey were watching a movie adapted from Jin’s novel in theaters when they met,â said Zhang.
Upon learning of Jin’s death, he was reading the writer’s book. âIn his book, you can learn more about Chinese calligraphy, painting, music, medicine and wine,â he said. âHe was the most successful writer in popularizing traditional Chinese culture.
Zhang noted that when their generation started reading Jin’s books, they were at an age where their sense of worth was just taking shape. âAfter I grew up I found that my personality was so affected by the heroes in his books,â he said.
Meng Yuan, who was supposed to be working overtime at his company, felt too sad to continue hearing of Jin’s passing.
âHe took me to such a wonderland,â she said. When she was in college, she made up stories of similar swordsmen with her friends, some of which she still remembers.
“Western writers have created new worlds like that of The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter,” she continued. “If there is a fantasy world in China, it is the world with martial arts and swordsmen that Jin wrote for us.”
People living as far away as Australia mourned Jin on Wednesday.
Ouyang Dipin, director of Asian collections at the National Library of Australia, told Xinhua that they have a collection of 28 books by Jin Yong and are preparing an exhibition.
Ouyang arrived in Australia 23 years ago, but that hasn’t stopped her from reading Jin’s books. âHe had such a great portrayal of humanity and human emotions,â she said. “In Australia, I know there are scholars who study his work.”
Fan Shengyu, a senior lecturer at Australian National University, said Jin’s influence knows no national boundaries. âIt doesn’t matter in New York, Singapore or Vancouver, where there are Chinese, there are its readers,â he said. “His death marks the end of an era for martial arts novels. We can hardly expect to see other writers with such influence and artistic achievement as he.”
(Xinhua writer Liu Enli contributed to this story)