The author Louis Cha, who has died aged 94, began writing fiction in order to fill pages in a Hong Kong newspaper. Serial publication had been a path to success for a handful of writers before him, but he can have had little inkling of the impact his stories would make. Under the pen name Jin Yong, Cha became one of the bestselling authors in the world. His tales of itinerant martial artists battling evil overlords in the turbulent years of Song dynasty China were the apotheosis of the genre known in Chinese as wuxia : the world of kung fu chivalry. They were escapist entertainment for hundreds of millions of people, and yet they could be read as allegories for the tyranny of the communist regime in China. Cha, who had begun a career in journalism in Shanghai in , had moved to Hong Kong the following year.
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Just as there was folk music before Bob Dylan. Wuxia literature gives birth to an imaginary world for martial artists in ancient China, where they have different schools and tenets to abide by.
Jin Yong is his pen name, and his real name is Louis Cha. He studied foreign policy in school and worked as a journalist before becoming a well known novelist. Back then, Ta Kung Pao, the oldest active Chinese language newspaper in China, was recruiting journalists across the country, and there were over 3, applicants competing for only two positions. Jin was then hired for his outstanding performances, and began to work as a telecommunications translator. Later, he started his own paper called Ming Pao with his high school classmate.
His second wife also joined the founding team. Through Ming Pao, Jin tried to convey four beliefs of his, which are strong patriotism, Confucianism, anti-war ideologies, and conservatism against radical attempts to change the established order. These beliefs are also found to be deeply rooted in his works. Jin is especially good at creating paradoxical settings for his characters. Lots of his fictional characters were born in a warring period of the history, and were, more often than not, confronted by dilemmas of having to choose between their own happiness or the well-being of their nation.
In one of his most popular works, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, the hero Qiao Feng, slit his own throat in front of the two armies of the Han Chinese-dominated Song Empire and the Khitan-led Liao Empire in hopes of putting an end to the conflict of the two sides. His sacrifice brought decades of peace for the two countries afterwards. He was a tragic hero, similar to the ones depicted in ancient Greek literatures.
He had always wanted to live a tranquil and peaceful life with the love of his life Azhu, raising sheep and cattle away from the hassles of life, but gave in to the tragic destiny that lay before him.
Throughout the ages of ancient Chinese history, writers and martial artists have always been faced with making a choice between living a secular or monastic life. This means they had to choose whether they wanted to be politically involved or take part in the chaotic disputes of Jianghu , or live in seclusion from societal affairs, banished into a spiritual or religious retreat to faraway lands.
According to Kaiser Kuo, Jianghu is the name of the brotherhood of outsiders that existed in ancient China. It is the counter-culture society of workers who made their living with the skills of their own two hands: craftsmen, beggars, thieves, street performers, fortune tellers, wandering healers, and many martial artists. In ancient China, where education was valued over physical ability, this was the lowest rank of social order.
Mainstream society belonged to the Confucian scholar-officials. Its underbelly was jianghu. Jianghu tradition still influences martial arts to this day. In short, they can be outcasts of societies who have not forsaken their own faiths and beliefs. Though crowned as the most successful wuxia writer of this century, Jin also had his woes in his love affairs during his younger days. Once interviewed by a reporter about his young love, Jin responded by saying that the most important thing to him was freedom.
She did not love me, but I really loved her, which consequently lead to my own deprivation of freedom. But it is really impossible for me. Throughout his life, the writer had three marriages, but Xia has been an unforgettable woman in his heart. But sadly when he met Xia, she was already happily married.
His personal emotional experiences must have inspired his writings. Unlike other famous wuxia writers including Gulong, Jin has always been more keen and exquisite in depicting the romance between characters.
Some of the couples do live happily ever after, but often find themselves mixed up in miseries and complicated affairs. Having been imprisoned in the Peach Blossom Island for decades, he became more naive and crazier than ever.
In his youthful years, he was paying a visit to the emperor of Dali when a concubine of the emperor, Ying Gu, fell in love with him studying martial arts together. But he realized that it was an act of betrayal to have made love to her and thus had to flee. Ying had been searching for him for over twenty years. She made him a handkerchief embroidered with mandarin ducks, which is a symbol for undying lovers in Chinese culture.
In the return of the Condor Heroes, the second book of the trilogy, she was an infamous and cold-blooded killer, yet a drop dead gorgeous beauty at the same time. Even her enemies fell easily at the mercy of her beauty. One of the techniques she invented to kill people is the Palm of Divine Serpent , which contains venomous extracts from five of the most poisonous creatures, including a centipede, a scorpion, a snake, a spider and a toad. However, ever since she was betrayed and abandoned by her lover at a young age, she changed completely and became vicious, cruel, and unforgiving.
She would hunt down anyone even with a similar name to her rival in love. Before becoming legendary figures in Jianghu, his characters all had their own moments of heartbreaks and broken promises, whether these heartbreaks were ones of love or hatred. And it is precisely in these mundane parts of their lives that we see the divine sparks of humanity. The below is a translation from the first of four parts of a 2-hour interview on March 20, , with Zhang Yiming, Bytedance founder and global CEO.
The suggestion mainly revolves around enforcing the use of the health tracking app introduced in the city several months ago even after the pandemic is over. Whilst efforts are being made to reduce educational inequality via EdTech, just how effective these policies and initiatives will be remains to be seen. As coronavirus continues to spread across the world, many companies are asking their employees to work-from-home as part of their social distancing response to the crisis.
On the evening of Oct. Jin Yong Through Ming Pao, Jin tried to convey four beliefs of his, which are strong patriotism, Confucianism, anti-war ideologies, and conservatism against radical attempts to change the established order.
Qiao Feng Throughout the ages of ancient Chinese history, writers and martial artists have always been faced with making a choice between living a secular or monastic life. Jianghu is more or less the essence of wuxia literature. But what is it exactly? Among the many broken hearts in his novels, one character Li Mochou caught me deeply.
Jin Yong: A Legend of Wuxia Literature
Louis Cha, who is ninety-four years old and lives in luxurious seclusion atop the jungled peak of Hong Kong Island, is one of the best-selling authors alive. Cha began publishing wuxia epics—swashbuckling kung-fu fantasias—as newspaper serials, in the nineteen-fifties. Ever since, his fiction has kept children, and their parents, up past their bedtimes, reading about knights who test their martial-arts mettle with sparring matches in roadside ale-houses and princesses with dark secrets who moonlight as assassins. Jin Yong novels are now largely known through their many TV, film, comic-book, and video-game adaptations. Cha has more female fans than any other wuxia writer, perhaps, in part, because the books have an emotional complexity that is rare in the genre. An American edition is currently under negotiation.
Jin Yong, 94, Lionized Author of Chinese Martial Arts Epics, Dies
After all the novels had been published, it was discovered that that first character in the titles of the first fourteen novels formed a couplet. The fifteenth and last book published, Sword of the Yue Maiden , was left out as a couplet needed an even number of characters, and the short story was not considered a novel anyway. Jin Yong said that he never intended for the titles to form a couplet. Nevertheless, it serves as a handy mnemonic for fans to remember the titles of his novels. Translation Shooting white deer in the endless drifting snow; Smiling while writing about the divine and chivalrous who leaned on a beautiful lover. They were most often published in Ming Pao , which was founded by Jin Yong with his friend. Due to the nature of serialised works, loopholes and inconsistencies were evident in the first edition.
Jin Yong novels
He is known to most by his penname Jin Yong or Kam-yung Cantonese , and is one of the most influential modern Chinese-language wuxia novelists of all time. He is widely regarded as the finest Chinese wuxia " martial arts and chivalry" writer, a reputation based on 15 wuxia novels and short stories he wrote from to He has a widespread, unchallenged, almost religious following in all Chinese-speaking areas, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. His books have sold over million copies worldwide over 1 billion if one includes bootleg copies making him by far the best-selling Chinese author still alive. His works have been translated into Korean, English, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesian, Thai and he has many fans abroad as well, thanks to the numerous adaptations of his works made into films and television series. He passed away on October 30th at the age of 94 of organ failure in Hong Kong. Rest in Peace.