Ba Jin

Name in Chinese
巴金
Name in Wade-Giles
Li Fei-kan
Related People

Biography in English

Li Fei-kan (1904-), anarchist writer known as Pa Chin, whose novels and short stories achieved popularity in the 1930's and 1940's. Born in Chengtu, Szechwan, Li Fei-kan came from a wealthy and educated gentry family. His early childhood was spent in Chengtu except for three years in Kuangyuan, where his father was magistrate from 1906 to 1911. Li's mother died when he was ten, and two years later his father died. His life was also darkened by the deaths of an elder sister and of a maid-servant who had been his playmate. The remainder of his childhood and youth were spent in his grandfather's house in Chengtu, an extensive establishment which Li later described as "a despotic kingdom." From his early experiences in this household grew Li's lifelong detestation of the traditional Chinese family system.

After several years of traditional Chinese studies under the supervision of a tutor, Li entered a modern school in Chengtu which emphasized the study of foreign languages. He remained there until 1923 and acquired a knowledge of English and French. He also became aware of social problems. Li's interests in foreign literature and social reform soon led him to explore the radical writings then available to Chinese readers. He was impressed by the anarchist writers Peter Kropotkin and Emma Goldman, by Leopold Kamf's play On the Eve (which depicted Russian revolutionaries of 1905 and which Li and his friends staged several times), and by magazines published by partisans of the May Fourth Movement. Li's socialist convictions began to take form at this time, and he also began to write. He joined a youth group, participated in agitation against the local warlord, and contributed articles to socialist and anarchist publications. This period of Li's life provided the main material for his autobiographical trilogy Chi-liu [turbulent stream]. About this time, he adopted the pen name Pa Chin, in honor of the eminent anarchists 5akunin and KropotA-z«.

In 1923 Pa Chin and his elder brother went to Shanghai and then to Nanking, where he entered the middle school of Southeastern University. He w^as graduated in 1925. His strongest impressions of this period—the Shanghai demonstrations of 30 ^.Iay 1925 and the political developments that followed—were recorded in the novel Ssu-ch'ü-ti fai-yang [the dying sun], published in 1930. From 1925 to 1927 Pa Chin lived in Shanghai as a freelance political writer. At this time, he identified himself with the anarchist movement, writing articles on anarchism and corresponding with Emma Goldman.

Pa Chin left China for France in 1927. His journey from Canton to Marseilles by way of Indo-China, Ceylon, and the Suez Canal is described in his book Hai-hsing tsa-chi [notes of a sea voyage], published in 1932. He spent two years in Paris and its environs, with occasional trips to London. He studied French ('language and literature;, philosophy, economics, political science, Russian literature, and the history of the French Revolution and of the anarchist movement. He also studied the Russian "populist" movement of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His life and acquaintances in France provided him with the material for a number of short stories. He also continued to correspond with prominent anarchists. The execution, on 23 August 1927, of Sacco and 'anzetti in the United States shocked him deeply. The articles collected in 1929 as Tuan-t'ou Cai-shang [on the scaffold] were written in this period, as were the biographies of several Russian women revolutionaries, a number of theoretical treatises on the ideology of anarchism, and a Chinese translation of Peter Kropotkin"s Ethics. He also wrote a novel based on his experiences in China just before his departure. Mieh-wang [destruction] was completed in 1929 and published the same year in Hsiao-shuo yueh-pao {Short Story Magazine). The novel was a great success, and when Pa Chin returned to China in 1929, he found himself famous.

From 1929 to 1934 Pa Chin lived in Shanghai. He continued to work on translations and to write on social problems for anarchist periodicals, but his main concern was the writing of novels and short stories. During this period his great success w-as the novel Chia [family] of 1931, the first volume of the autobiographical trilogy Chi-liu. He also wrote Ssu-ch' ü-ti faiyang; Hsin-sheng [new life], published in 1931; Hai-ti meng [sea dream], published in 1932; Ch'un-t^ien-li ti ch'iu-Vien [autumn in the midst of spring], published in 1932; and Ai-ti san-pu ch' a [three songs of love]. Most of these works describe the life of the Chinese intelligentsia. During a trip to north China, he had an opportunity to observe the life of Chinese coal miners. In 1933 he published a novel exposing their plight, Hsueh [snow]. It clearly emulated Zola's Germinal; in fact, its original title ^vas Meng-ya [young shoots]. Li wrote a similar novel about the antimony miners of south China, Sha-ting [toilers in the sand]. During this period, he wrote with enthusiasm about his literary work as a mission; he felt ''an inner urge to describe my life, feelings and ideas of Chinese youth and to influence life by my writings." His dedication to his political and social dreams, what he called "something which has a more perennial value than art," led him on more than one occasion to shun the striving for excellence which characterized his contemporary Mao Tun (Shen Yen-ping, q.v.) and to pursue immediate propagandistic ends. Pa Chin refused to acknowledge himself as an artist, depicting his process of creation as a kind of frenzy or daemonic possession in which he figured merely as an instrument through which overmastering passions were channeled. For all his political fervor, he did not align himself with any of the literary groups of the time. Unlike the majority of left-wing writers, who sympathized with the Communists, he continued to belong to the small group of Chinese anarchists.

In January 1932 Pa Chin saw the destruction of his home and property during the looting and burning of Chapei. This experience and the Japanese occupation of Manchuria made him acutely aware of the danger of Japanese aggression and led him to participate in the struggle against the Japanese. Perhaps as a result of renewed Kuomintang pressure on Communists and other left-wing elements in 1933, he found it prudent to leave China. Although he was an outspoken foe of Japanese policy in China, he went to Japan and remained there from October 1934 to July 1935. His impressions vvere reflected in the stories collected under the title Shen, kuei, jen [gods, demons, and men] and in the collection of essays called Tien-ti [drips and drops]. After returning to Shanghai in 1935, Pa Chin devoted most of his time to editorial work and to the writing of essays and book reviews. He was chief editor of the series Wen-hua sheng-huo [culture and life], which published translations of works by foreign writers as well as original Chinese works. He and the novelist Chang Chin-i established the Wen-hsueh yueh-k' an [literary monthly], which was suspended after only seven weeks by government order.

Despite his writings and activities on behalf of the left. Pa Chin was attacked by the Communists and their supporters. His opponents called his works "politically wrong and artistically inadequate," and he was reproached for his "vague humanitarianism" and for his continued adherence to the anarchist movement. His defense of the Spanish anarchists during the Spanish civil war also made him the target of Communist attack. Through all this, he defended his point of view, proclaimed his opposition to historical materialism, and asserted his right to dissent. As early as 1935 he unswervingly supported the united-front movement; and in October 1936, together with Lu Hsün (Chou Shu-jen, q.v.), Mao Tun, Kuo Mo-jo and others, he signed the "Manifesto for Consolidation of the Whole Literary World in Resistance to the External Enemy and for the Freedom of Speech." The outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war in 1937 obliged Pa Chin to leave Shanghai; he spent the next eight years moving from one city to another, visiting Canton, Kunming, Kweilin and Chungking in the course of his wartime travels. In 1941 he visited Chengtu for the first lime in 18 years. On 8 May 1944 he paused from his journeyings long enough to marry Ch'en Yun-chen.

During the war Pa Chin was active as a polemicist and as a creative writer. On 19 October 1937 he wrote an open letter to Yamakawa Hitoshi asserting the Chinese people's determination to resist the Japanese menace. He also was one of the leaders of the All-China Association of Artists and Writers to Resist Aggression and, at one time or another, served as co-editor of the militantly anti-Japanese magazines Na-han [call to arms], Feng-huo [the beacon], and Wen-tsung [literature]. He also continued to edit the Wen-hua sheng-huo series. The novels Ch'un [spring] and Ch/iu [autumn] appeared in 1938 and 1940 respectively, completing the trilogy Chi-liu. He also wrote Huo [fire] a novel in three volumes which appeared in 1940, 1942, and 1945. Chieh-yuan [garden of rest] and Ti-ssu ping-shih [ward four] were published in 1946. He also found time to write short stories and essays and to translate two novels of Turgenev and some of Kropotkin's treatises.

After the war, Pa Chin returned to Shanghai, where he finished Han-yeh [wintry night]. In 1947 he wrote Huai-nien [reminiscences], in which he recalled those of his friends w^ho had fallen in the struggle against Japan. He continued to edit the Wen-hua sheng-huo series.

After the People's Republic of China was established, reprints of Pa Chin's works began to appear, evidence of his good standing with the new Communist regime. Chang Chin-i and he established a magazine called Shou-huo [harvest]. Pa Chin did not join the Chinese Communist party, but he repeatedly expressed his sympathy with its aims. Even before the Central People's Government had been inaugurated, he had been elected a member of the national committee of the All-China Federation of Literary and Art Circles. In October 1949 he was made a member of the culture and education committee of the Government Administration Council. In 1953 he became vice chairman of the Union of Chinese Writers and a member of the presidium of the All-China Federation of Literary and Art Circles. In 1952-53 he visited Korea as a member of the writers delegation and spent some time at the front. His 1953 collection of stories, Ying-hsiung-ti ku-shih [tales about heroes], is based on his Korean experiences. He was elected a deputy from Szechwan to the first and second sessions of the National People's Congress, which met in 1954 and 1959. After the Hundred Flowers campaign of 1957, Pa Chin was sharply criticized several times for his utterances during this period, but his "deviations" did not appear to injure his standing with the Communist authorities. Pa Chin renounced his anarchist ideas, and, when preparing a new edition of his works in the late 1950's, he deleted every sympathetic reference to anarchism that he had written. Pa Chin owed his generally acknowledged popularity among young Chinese readers in the 1930's and 1940's mainly to the fact that they identified themselves with his heroes. In his novels they saw the reflection of their own lives, sufferings, and struggles. A particular target of attack in his works was the Chinese family system, which deprived the youth of their freedom of action and of their right to love and to marry people of their own choice. The young heroes of his novels and short stories feel their social responsibilities deeply; they fight for freedom, for a better future for humanity. He shared the national aspirations of his people and resented the dominant position of foreigners in China. But, except in times of acute crisis, the struggle for political freedom and social justice figures more prominently in his works than does the national struggle. His simple, emotional, and often poetic language also contributed to Pa Chin's success and helped his readers to disregard the poor organization of many of his novels. An important study. Pa Chin and His Writings, by Olga Lang, was published in 1967. Li Fu-ch'un ^

Biography in Chinese

李芾甘
笔名:巴金
李芾甘(1904—),无政府主义作家,以巴金之名为人所知,他的小说风行于三十年代和四十年代。

李芾甘出生于四川成都的一个富有并有学识的士绅家庭,他的幼年除三年在广元外,都在成都渡过,他父亲于1906—1911年任广元知县。他十岁时母亲去世,两年后,父亲也去世。他的长姊和儿时的伴侣一名丫环的死去,给他的生活涂上了阴影。他的青少年时代,生活在成都外祖家,他外祖家有一所大宅院,李芾甘后来把它描写成为一座"专制王国”。在这样一个家庭中所得的经历,使他终生对中国的旧家庭制度产生了憎恨.

他从塾师学了几年旧学之后,进了成都的一所新式学校,该校注重外国语学习,李芾甘在校三年,取得了英语和法语的知识,也开始对社会问题有所认识。他对外国文学及社会问题的兴趣,使他对当时流行在读者中的激进作品进行探索。克鲁泡特金、哥尔德曼的无政府主义思想的著作;康夫的剧本《前夜》(这是描写1905年俄国革命者的剧本,李芾甘与他的友伴曾上演过多次);以及五四运动爱国者的杂志,给他的印象很深。他的社会主义信念这时候开始形成,同时也开始了写作。他加入了一个青年团体,反对地方军阀,在社会主义和无政府主义思想的出版物上写文章。李芾甘这一时期的生活是他的自传性的三部曲《激流》中的题材。那时,他用了巴金这个笔名,以纪念著名的无政府主义者巴枯宁和克鲁泡特金。

1923年,巴金和他长兄去上海后又去南京,进了东南大学附中,1925年毕业。1925年五卅运动及随之而来的政治发展,给他深刻的印象,都记录在他1930年出版的小说《死去的太阳》中,1925—1927年,巴金在上海当了一名以卖文为生的具有政治性的作家。他参加无政府主义运动,撰写有关无政府主义的文章并与哥尔德曼通信。

1927年,巴金去法国,从广州经印度支那、锡兰、苏伊士运河到马赛,这一行程,记录在他于1932年出版的《海上杂记》中。他在巴黎及其附近地区度过了两年,偶尔去过伦敦。他学习法语(语言及文学),哲学,经济学、政治科学,俄国文学,法国革命史,无政府主义运动史,他又研究了十九世纪和二十世纪初俄国的"民粹派”运动。1927年9月23日,美国处死了沙珂和凡若第两人使巴金深为震惊。1929年收集在《断头台上》一书中的几篇文章,如几名俄国妇女革命家的传记,一些无政府主义思想的理论性文章和克鲁泡特金的《伦理学》的译文,都是在这个时期写出的。1929年他写成了《灭亡》在同年的《小说月报》上发表,这篇小说获得很大成功,当1929年巴金回国时,他已经很有名望了。

1929年到1934年,巴金在上海从事翻译和为一些无政府主义的刊物写有关社会问题的文章,但是他的主要工作是创作小说。1931年,他写的自传性三部曲《激流》的第一部《家》是很大的成功。1931年他又发表了《死去的太阳》、《新生》,1932年发表了《海底梦》、《春天里底秋天》、《爱底三部曲》。这些作品大都是描写中国知识分子的。他有一次去华北旅行,有机会看到中国矿工的生活,1933年他写了一部小说《电》,揭露了他们的苦难,这部小说明显地脱胎于左拉的《幼芽》,并且事实上最初的篇名也叫《萌芽》。他又写了《砂丁》,描写南方的矿工人。这一时期,他热情写作,认为文学创作是他的使命,他感觉到"内心迫切地要描写中国青年的生活,感情和理想,并以此而影响他们",他献身于他的政治和社会理想,认为它"比美术有更为永恒的价值”,导致他避免追求他的同时人矛盾的那种优美特点,而寻求达到当前的宣传目的。巴金并不认为自己是一名艺术家,他说他的创作过程不过是把激情和挚诚塑造成形象,藉得以倾泄.他虽然有政治热情,但并不参加当时任何一个文学团体。他不像大多数左翼作家那样同情共产党,他仍是属于少数的中国无政府主义者.

1932年1月,在闸北的烧杀抢掠中,他看到他的家属和财物化成灰烬。日军占领东北,他深切感到日本侵略的危险,投身于抗日斗争。可能由于1933年后国民党加紧对共产党和左翼人士的迫害,他觉得还是离开中国为妥.他虽然公开反对日本的对华政策,但仍在1934年10月到1935年7月住在日本。他在那里的印象反映在小说《神、鬼、人》和杂文集《点滴》中。

巴金于1935年回到上海,大部份时间用在编辑、撰写论文和书评,他主编《文化生活》丛书,编选出版国外作家作品的译文和中文原著,他和小说家章靳以创办《文学月刊》,但出版后七个星期就被政府下令停刊了。

巴金的写作和活动虽然倾向于左翼,但仍受到共产党人及其支持者的攻击,他的反对者称他"在政治上是错误的,在艺术上是不成熟的”由于他的“思想模糊的人道主义”、和他的坚持无政府主义活动而受到谴责。他为西班牙内战中的无政府主义者辩护也成了被攻击的对象。就此种种,巴金为自己的观点辩解,他反对历史唯物主义,保留他本人坚持意见的权利。1935年初,他毫不含糊地支持统一战线,1936年10月,他和鲁迅、茅盾、郭沫若共同在《文艺界同人为团结御侮与言论自由的宣言》上签了名.

1937年中日战争爆发后,他不得不离开上海.此后八年中,他到过广州、昆明桂林重庆等地。1941年又到了阔别十八年的成都。1944年5月8日,他
停止了漫游,与肖珊结婚。

战争期间,作为一个撰写辩论性文章和创作文艺作品的作家,巴金非常活跃。1937年10月190,他给山川均的公开信,申言中国入民反对日本威胁的决心。他也是全国文艺界抗日联合会领导人之一,他有时担任过富于战斗性的抗日杂志《呐喊》,《烽火》、《文丛》的联合编辑。他仍继续编选《文化生活》丛书,1938年,1940年先后出版了《春》和《秋》,完成了《激流》三部曲。他写了三卷本的小说《火》,分别在1940、1942,1945年出版,1946年又出版了《憩园》、《第四病室》此外,他又写了一些短篇小说,翻译了屠格涅夫的二篇小说和克鲁泡特金的一些文章。

战后,巴金回到上海,写莞了《寒夜》。1947年,他写了《怀念》,以纪念在抗日斗争中牺牲的友伴,同时继续编选《文化生活》丛书。

中华人民共和国成立后,巴金的作品重印出版,这说明他对共产党政权的良好关系。章靳以和他创办了《收获》杂志。巴金并未加入共产党,但他一再表示对共产党事业的同情。甚至在中央人艮政府成立前,巴金已被选入中华全国文学艺术界联合会全国委员会。1949年10月,他任政务院文教委员会委员,1953年选为作家协会副主席,全国文艺界联合会主席团成员。1952—53年他作为作家代表团成员访问朝鲜,在战地前线过了一些时间。1953年出版的《英雄的故事》小说集,即以他在朝鲜的经历为题材。1954年,1959年,他两次被选为四川代表出席第一、第二届全国人民代表大会,1957年百花齐放期间,他的发言曾多次受到尖锐批判,但看来并未影响他和共产党当局的关系。

巴金放弃了他的无政府主义思想,在五十年代重印他的作品时,他删去了这方面的内容。

巴金在三十年代,四十年代国内青年读者中获得广泛赞赏,他们把自己当作是巴金小说中的角色,在他的小说中反映了他们的生活、苦难和斗争。巴金作品中攻击最烈的是中国传统的家庭制度,它剥夺了青年们的行动自由,恋爱和婚姻自由。他小说中的角色使他们感到自己的社会责任,他们为自由、为人类美好的未来而斗争。他怀有和人民所共有的民族志气,反对外国人在中国的统制地位。但是,除了在民族危机深刻的时候外,巴金作品中追求政治自由、社会平等的内容远较以民族斗争为题材的更为显著。他朴素、热情而富于诗意的文笔是巴金取得成功的原因,并且使读者对他的小说结构很差这一点就不大理会了。一本研究巴金的重要著作:奥尔加•兰所著的《巴金与其作品》,出版于1967年。

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