Commemorative activities after the death of the renowned novelist Jin Yong are continuing in China. Writers and scholars from Chinese literary circle have mourned and showed their respect, speaking highly of his work.
Jin Yong (real name, Zha Liangyong or Louis Cha) died aged 94 at a hospital in Hong Kong Tuesday. He is universally regarded as the most influential Wuxia (swordsmen) novelist of the 20th century, influencing generations of Chinese and overseas readers.
"The earliest Chinese network writers regard Jin as a guru of martial arts novels and a source of inspiration. They tried to imitate his writing styles and paid great respect for him," said Xia Lie, deputy dean of Network Literature Institute affiliated to China Writers Association.
"If these groups of network writers had never read Jin's novels, they may not be able to embark on creating network literature," Xia said, noting that from martial stories to fantasy stories, they learned about writing popular novels from Jin, who opened up a new era for novel writing.
Jin published a total of 15 novels, which were sold worldwide and adapted for various into many movies and TV series.
"As a connoisseur of Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy, Jin integrated these elements into his novels and created a number of classic characters," said Su Xing, an editor with Shanghai Painting and Calligraphy Publishing House.
Su said that most heroes in Jin's Wuxia novels were proficient in traditional lyre-playing, chess, calligraphy and paintings. His perspectives on Chinese art were reflected through the characters in his novels, which helped such traditional Chinese culture become popular among young people.
"In Jin's works, the protagonists were always nobody at the beginning, who had experienced all kinds of suffering and pain in the processes of becoming heroes by persevering and indomitable fighting spirit," Xia said.
Ning Jiayu, a professor with School of Literature of Nankai University in Tianjin, said: "These characters embodied in his novels meet readers' expectation for heroes in their minds. They can find their own heroes or idols from his books easily."
Lu Dunji, one of Jin's students and editor-in-chief of Zhejiang Academic Journal, said: "Although readers generally speak highly of Jin's novels, no consensus on the evaluation of his works has been reached in the academic world."
"The stories of his novels mainly set in the ancient times but the core thoughts of these stories are modern."
Zhou You, a lecturer with Tianjin University, said the mesmerizing plots of Jin's novels had sometimes overshadowed the literary value of his work.
"It is a pity that the thematic significance of Jin's work is not yet fully recognized by China's literary circle," Zhou said.
Chen Hong, the chairman of Tianjin Federation of Literary and Art Circles, said: “The omissions of stories due to serialization and the limits of Wuxia literature both made his works arguable. However, the full aesthetic value will become classic and exert a great influences as time passes by."