Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Given name||Pen name|
|pen name created by splitting last character of given name|
Louis Cha, (born June 6, 1924), known to most by his penname Jinyong, or Kam-yung, or Kim Dung (Vietnamese), is one of the most influential Chinese-language novelists. He is widely regarded as the finest Chinese wuxia ("martial arts and chivalry") writer, and has a widespread, unchallenged, almost religious following in all Chinese-speaking areas, including mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. His works have even been translated into Korean, and he has many fans in South Korea as well.
A native of Haining county, Zhejiang province, mainland China, Cha was a founder of the popular Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao in 1959. He has published fifteen novels (all in wuxia style), most of which first appeared on his newspaper. His style, which contains some European elements, is widely derived from the classic style.
Cha rewrote the Chinese wuxia genre by adding history and popular culture to a previously formulaic genre. His novels are marked by strong characterizations and plot, and are classified as the "new school (xīnpài) wuxia", as opposed to the fanciful "old school" (jiùpài).
Cha's Chinese martial arts novels have earned great popularity in Chinese-speaking areas. Most of his novels has been adapted into films, TV series and radio series so many times in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China that the comparison of these renditions is an independent obsession of the media and of fans. Important characters in his novels are very well-known to the public, and can be alluded to with the assumption that everyone knows who they are.
The study of Jin Yong's work has even spun off an individual area of study: Jinology. For many years, readers of his novels have been discussing, debating, and analyzing the fictional world of martial arts in his novels. Even famous scholars have written books on characters, martial arts, martial arts schools in Jin Yong's novels. One of Jin Yong's closest friends and famous Chinese novelist, Ni Kuang, has written a series of books analyzing the personalities of several characters in Jin Yong's canons.
Some of his novels used to be banned in the People's Republic of China as they were thought to be a mockery of Mao Zedong, others were banned in the Republic of China as they were thought to be in support of the Chinese Communist Party, and some were banned by both Chinese governments. With popularity soaring to cult-like status everywhere, none of these bans exist today.
Cha has also written many nonfiction work on the history of China. For his achievements, he has been made an honorary professor by Peking University (in Beijing) and Zhejiang University, as well as an honorary doctor by Hong Kong University and the University of British Columbia.
In addition to his career in writing, Cha served as Editor in Chief of Ming Pao for years. His editorials were well respected. In later years, he also got involved in Hong Kong politics. He was one of the writers who drafted the Hong Kong Basic Law (resign after the Tiananmen Square massacre).
Cha wrote a total of 15 tales, of which one ("Sword of the Yue Maiden") was a short story and the other 14 were novels of various length. In order of publication these are (alternate translation in parentheses):
- - T: 書劍恩仇錄 S: 书剑恩仇录 (1955)
- Sword Stained with Royal Blood - T: 碧血劍 S: 碧血剑 (1956)
- The Legend of the Condor Heroes (The Condor-Shooting Heroes) - T: 射鵰英雄傳 S: 射雕英雄传 (1957)
- Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain - T: 雪山飛狐 S: 雪山飞狐 (1959)
- The Return of the Condor Heroes (The Condor & The Lovers) - T: 神鵰俠侶 S: 神雕侠侣 (1959)
- The Young Flying Fox - T: 飛狐外傳 S: 飞狐外传 (1960)
- Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse T: 白馬嘯西風 S: 白马啸西风 (1961)
- Blade-dance of the Two Lovers T: 鴛鴦刀 S: 鸳鸯刀 (1961)
- The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber - T: 倚天屠龍記 S: 倚天屠龙记 (1961)
- Requiem of Ling Sing (A Deadly Secret) - T: 連城訣 S: 连城诀 (1963)
- Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (Eightfold Path of the Heavenly Dragon) - T: 天龍八部 S: 天龙八部 (1963)
- Way of the Heroes (Ode to the Gallantry) - T: 俠客行 S: 侠客行(1965)
- The Smiling, Proud Wanderer - 笑傲江湖 (1967)
- The Deer and the Cauldron (Duke of Mount Deer) - T: 鹿鼎記 S: 鹿鼎记 (1969)
- "Sword of the Yue Maiden " - T: 越女劍 S: 越女剑 (1970)
Of these, three novels (The Legend of the Condor Heroes, The Return of the Condor Heroes, and The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber ) make up a trilogy that should be read in that order; a number of the other works also link to this trilogy (Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils is somewhat of a precursor to the Condor series in that they share common characters and the events occur within the same timeframe). Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain and The Young Flying Fox are companion pieces. The more popular works that have been converted into TV series many more times than the others include the trilogy, The Smiling Proud Wanderer , Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, and Deer and the Cauldron .
After he finished all his novels in early 70s, some titles were renamed. Interestingly, it was discovered that the first characters of all 14 titles can be joined together to form a couplet with 7 characters on each line:
With flying snow covering the sky, [one] shoots the white deer;
And smiling, [one] writes about the divine chivalrous one leaning against the crimson lovebird
Cha himself has stated that he has never intended there to be any such couplet, or even intended there to be 14 books in the first place, despite his effort to revise the original titles of his books during 70s-80s; the couplet itself is also somewhat forced on the second line, showing that it was not originally planned. Nevertheless for Jinyong fans it is a handy mnemonic to remember all of his work.
Currently, Jin Yong has started to revise his novels for the third (and perhaps last) time, which will be completed in Spring, 2006. Leading to more material for readers and scholars of Jinology. So far the following novels have been revised
- Sword Stained with Royal Blood
- The Legend of the Condor Heroes
- The Return of the Condor Heroes
- Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain (this canon has two alternative short stories i.e. "Blade-dance of the Two Lovers " and "Swordswoman Riding West on White Horse ")
- The Young Flying Fox
- Requiem of Ling Sing
- Way of the Heroes (this canon has an alternative short story too: "Sword of the Yue maiden ")
- The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
Chinese nationalism is a strong theme in Jinyong's work. Throughout most of his books, Jinyong places a great amount of emphasis on Han Chinese self-determination and Han Chinese identity; many of his novels are set in time periods when China proper is occupied or under the threat of occupation by northern peoples such as Khitans, Jurchen, Mongols, or Manchus. Jinyong also has his protagonists participate in historical battles such as the siege of Xiangyang by Mongols. Jinyong also devotes a lot of attention to the regions and landscapes of China, especially the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, which are the general vicinities of Jinyong's own hometown at Haining , Zhejiang.
On the other hand, Jinyong (somewhat paradoxically) expresses a fierce admiration for non-Han Chinese peoples like the Mongols and Manchus. In The Legend of the Condor Heroes, Jinyong extensively describes Genghis Khan and his sons, casting them as capable and intelligent leaders contrasted with the corrupt and ineffectively bureaucrats of the Khitan Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) or the Han Chinese Song Dynasty. Similarly, in The Deer and the Cauldron Jinyong portrays the Manchu Kangxi Emperor as a leader of compassion and ability, and even has him lament to his confidant (the protagonist Wei Xiaobao ): "Why do people hate me for being a Manchu, even though I am far better than any Han Chinese emperor they've had?" In Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, Jinyong also casts the Kingdom of Dali (in modern Yunnan) as an idyllic Shangri-La-like place untainted by the negative effects of hierarchical and ritualized civilization. (Europeans appearing in Jinyong's work, however, are not so positively described; part of the action in The Deer and the Cauldron takes place in Russia, which is portrayed very unflatteringly.)
Jinyong expresses a great amount of respect and approval for traditional Chinese, especially Confucian ideals, such as the proper relationship between empire and subject, father and son, elder brother and younger brother, and (particularly strongly, due to the wuxia nature of his novels), between master and disciple, and fellow disciples. This is particularly obvious in the ostracism experienced by his two main characters -- Yang Guo and Xiao Long Nuu in The Return of the Condor Heroes. Jinyong also places a great amount of emphasis on traditional values such as face and honour.
But similarly to the way he treats Chinese nationalism, Jinyong questions some of these Confucian ideals, starting with Yang Guo's romantic relationship with his martial arts master Xiao Long Nuu (which would be considered highly improper) in The Return of the Condor Heroes, and Xiao Feng 's identity crisis and split loyalty between the Khitans and Han Chinese in Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. Finally, Jinyong breaks all the rules down in his final work The Deer and the Cauldron , whose anti-hero protagonist, Wei Xiaobao , is a bastard brothel boy who is greedy, lazy, and utterly disdainful of traditional rules of propriety.
Lead male Characters of Jin Yong novels are often portrayed from a young age (around adolescence); the plot follows their trials and tribulations, before they eventually (usually) attain the highest levels of martial arts:
- Chen Jialuo (陳家洛) Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge
- Yuan Chengzhi (袁承志) Sword Stained with Royal Blood
- Guo Jing (郭靖) The Legend of the Condor Heroes
- Yang Guo (楊過) The Return of the Condor Heroes
- Hu Yidao (胡一刀) Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain
- Hu Fei (胡斐)The Young Flying Fox
- Zhang Cuishan (張翠山)The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
- Zhang Wuji (張無忌) The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
- Di Yun (狄雲) A Deadly Secret
- Xiao Feng (蕭峰) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
- Duan Yu (段譽) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
- Xuzhu (虛竹) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
- Shi Potian (石破天) Ode to the Gallantry
- Linghu Chong (令狐沖)) The Smiling Proud Wanderer
- Wei Xiaobao (韋小寶) The Duke of the Mount Deer
Female Lead Characters are usually there for love interest only. There are a few exceptions, however, such as Huang Rong in The Legend of the Condor Heroes, who, in addition to serving as the love interest to male protagonist Guo Jing, is also extensively characterized on her own as an independent character, and whose name has almost become synonymous with "the sly but sweet girl":
- Princess Fragrance (香香公主) Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge
- Huo Qingtong (霍青桐) Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge
- Li Yuanzhi (李沅芷) Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge
- Xia Qingqing (夏青青) Sword Stained with Royal Blood
- A Jiu (阿九) Princess Changping(長平公主) Sword Stained with Royal Blood
- Huang Rong (黃蓉) The Legend of the Condor Heroes
- Xiaolongnu (小龍女) The Return of the Condor Heroes
- Yuan Ziyi (袁紫衣) The Young Flying Fox
- Cheng Lingsu (程靈素) The Young Flying Fox
- Miao Ruolan (苗若蘭) Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain
- Yin Susu (殷素素) The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
- Zhao Min (趙敏) The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
- Zhou Zhiruo (周芷若) The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
- Qi Fang (戚芳) A Deadly Secret
- Shui Sheng (水笙) A Deadly Secret
- A Zhu (阿朱) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
- A Zi (阿紫) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
- Wang Yuyan (王語嫣) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
- Mu Wanqing (木娩清) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
- Zhong Ling (鐘靈) Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
- Xiao Zhonghui (蕭中慧) 鴛鴦刀
- Li Wenxiu (李文秀) 白馬嘯西風
- Ding Dang (丁當) Ode to the Gallantry
- A Xiu (阿繡) Ode to the Gallantry
- A Qing (阿青) "Sword of the Yue Maiden" - 越女剑
- Ren Yingying (任盈盈) The Smiling Proud Wanderer
- Yue Lingshan (岳靈珊) The Smiling Proud Wanderer
- Yi Lin (儀琳) The Smiling Proud Wanderer
- Shuang Er (雙兒) The Duke of the Mount Deer
- Su Quan (蘇荃) The Duke of the Mount Deer
- Zeng Rou (曾柔) The Duke of the Mount Deer
- Fang Yi (方怡) The Duke of the Mount Deer
- Mu Jianping (沐劍屏) The Duke of the Mount Deer
- Princess Jianning (建寧公主) The Duke of the Mount Deer
- A Ke (阿珂) The Duke of the Mount Deer
- Huang Yaoshi (黃藥師) the Condor trilogy
- Ouyang Feng (歐陽峰) the Condor trilogy
- Hong Qigong (洪七公) the Condor trilogy
- Zhou Botong (周伯通) the Condor trilogy
- Yideng (一燈) the Condor Trilogy & Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
Jinyong was very free with adapting actual historical characters into his books, often making them important support characters and attributing to them fictional dialogue, actions, and so forth. For example; Borjigin Tolui, the son of Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan and eventual emperor of China, appears as a boyhood friend of Guo Jing, protagonist of The Legend of the Condor Heroes; Wei Xiaobao , protagonist of The Deer and the Cauldron , becomes confidant and close friend to Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty.
- Genghis Khan (成吉思汗) Legend of the Condor Heroes
- Borjigin Tolui (拖雷) Legend of the Condor Heroes
- Zhu Yuanzhang (later Hongwu Emperor of China) (朱元璋) The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber
- Kangxi Emperor (康熙) The Deer and the Cauldron
- Qianlong Emperor (乾隆) Book and Sword: Gratitude and Revenge
In Jin Yong's books, several sects of martial arts are repeatedly featured; many of these also exist in real life (though their details are, of course, subject to the artistic license of Jin Yong). Books comparing the martial arts under Jinyong's sects have been written.
The most frequently occurring martial arts schools, sects, and cults in Jin Yong's works are:
- The Shaolin Monastery Sect (少林派)
- The Wudang School (T: 武當派 S: 武当派)
- The E Mei School (峨嵋派)
- The Ming Cult (大明教)
- The Quanzhen School (全真派)
- The Five Sacred Mountain Sword Schools (T: 五嶽劍派 S: 五岳剑派), which are:
- The Beggars' Sect (T: 丐幫 S: 丐帮)
|6th century BC||"Sword of the Yue Maiden "|
|12th century||Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils||The Legend of the Condor Heroes|
|13th century||The Return of the Condor Heroes|
|14th century||The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber|
|17th century||The Deer and the Cauldron|
Unspecified: The Smiling Proud Wanderer (It is thought to have taken place during early Ming because of the existence of Wudang and E Mei sects. Most likely early Ming because you don't hear of any Manchu threats)
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