JIN YONG, PEN NAME OF ZHA LIANGYONG (1924— ) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

JIN YONG, PEN NAME OF ZHA LIANGYONG (1924— ). Novelist, screenplay writer, and newspaperman. Arguably the best-known and most widely read Chinese writer, Jin Yong was born in Zhejiang and finished his college education in Chongqing, the war capital during the Sino-Japanese conflict. He worked as a journalist, editor, and translator for various news organizations and moved to Hong Kong in 1948 to serve as a translator of international news for Dagong Daily.

Inspired by Liang Yusheng’s martial arts novels, Jin Yong wrote Shujian enchou lu (The Book and the Sword) and its success led to many more novels. His works combine traditional features, such as the theme of revenge and magical elements found in late Qing martial arts novels, with the chivalry and romantic love of 18th-century British and French novels. After Deng Xiaoping implemented his open-door policy, Jin Yong gained millions of readers in the mainland. It seems that everyone, from college professors to transient workers, reads his books. He is a household name in not only Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the mainland, but also throughout the Chinese diapora. He is also well known in many other Asian countries and overseas through the many kung fu movies based on his books. The popularity of Jin Yong’s works does not seem to diminish as Chinese society undergoes radical transformations through its modernization campaigns.

In addition to martial arts novels, Jin Yong has written several screenplays, including Juedai jiaren (The Peerless Beauty), Wuye qinsheng (Sound of Music at Midnight), and San lian (Three Loves). He is also a newspaperman and founder of Mingbao Daily and the Mingbao publishing house.