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Renowned Writer Ba Jin Dies at Age 101

Ba Jin, one of China's most revered writers, died of cancer at age 101 in Shanghai on Monday after a six-year battle with malignant mesothelium cell tumor and other diseases.


Ba died at 7:06 PM Monday in East China Hospital in Shanghai.


Born in Chengdu city, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Ba was recognized widely as one of greatest Chinese cultural masters in modern Chinese history and an outstanding publisher and editor.



Ba's true name is Li Fugan. He chose the pen name "Ba Jin" in memory of Baranpo, one of his schoolmates in France who committed suicide because he detested the world and its ways, whereas the word "Jin" was proposed by his Russian schoolmate studying philosophy.


Ba went to study France in 1926 and completed there his first novel Destruction. After that, he had written and translated numerous books, including novels, short stories, proses and essays, with a total of 13 million words.


"Since I'm not good at speaking, I have to turn to writing to express my feelings, my love and hatred, and to let out the fire within me," he said. "Never for a moment will I put down my pen. It is kindling a fire within me."


Ba's main works, including Family, Spring, Autumn, The Trilogy of Love, A Dream of Sea, Autumn in Spring, were viewed as a landmark of modern Chinese culture.



Ba was elected a deputy to the 1st through the 5th National People's Congresses (NPC) and a member of the Standing Committee of the 5th NPC and vice chairman of the 6th, 7th and 8th National Committees of the Ninth the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.


In July 1999, one of the asteroids found by Chinese scientists in 1997 was named after Ba, who was also chairman of the Chinese Writers' Association. In 2003, the State Council awarded him the title of "People's Writer".


As a teenager, Ba suffered from pulmonary tuberculosis. He was found heart disease in 1979 and afflicted with a form of Parkinson's disease since 1983.


Ba began to suffer more frequently from a symptom of faint in 1993. In February 1999, his illness worsened suddenly after he caught a cold and got a fever. He was transferred on February 9 to be under special medical care in East China Hospital where he had a slicing-off operation in his trachea.


In the next five years, the famous writer mainly suffered respiratory tract illness until a ascites symptom showed in April this year.


After a celiac haemorrhage on October 13, he was diagnosed suffering a malignant mesothelium cell tumor which eventually claimed his life four days later.



(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2005)

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