By Keen Zhang
Taiwan's renowned writer Bo Yang died of lung disease this morning at 1:12 AM in Taipei. He was 88.
Bo had been undergoing pneumonia treatment at Taipei's Cardinal Tien Hospital since February 24. He passed away peacefully, the hospital said.
Originally known as Guo Yidong, Bo was born in Henan in central China in 1920. He moved to Taiwan in 1949 where he wrote under the name of Guo Yidong. In the early 1950's he adopted the pseudonym "Bo Yang". In 1968, Bo was arrested after he made a translation of the American comic strip Popeye, which was interpreted by the Taiwan authorities as a method to poke fun at Chiang Kai-shek installing his son Chiang Ching-kuo as heir.
Bo was jailed as a political prisoner on Green Island for nine years. However, during his dark years in prison, he finished three books on Chinese history.
He wrote many popular but controversial books pointing out many shortcomings in Chinese culture. The books offended many and was also applauded by many.
According to media reports, Bo Yang's body will be cremated and his remains will be sprinkled over the seas near Green Island, where he was once isolated from the world.
Chen Jiangong, the vice chairman of China Writers Association, mourned Bo's death when accepting an interview today. "Bo's many works furiously attack the stubborn diseases and dark sides of society, yet he never lost sight of his unique vision and in-depth analysis. He alerted an entire generation of readers to the need of facing their own problems. I think his works will be a timeless spiritual treasure for future generations of Chinese people."
(China.org.cn April 29, 2008)