Bing Xin

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Bing Xin bigraphy, stories - Chinese writer

Bing Xin : biography

October 5, 1900 – February 28, 1999

Bingxin ( pinyin: Bīng Xīn) (October 5, 1900 – February 28, 1999) was one of the most prolific and esteemed Chinese writers of the 20th Century. Many of her works were written for young readers. She was the chairperson of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.

Life and Literary Career

Names
Pen name Given name
Trad. 冰心 謝婉瑩

Bingxin was born into a patriotic family in Fuzhou, Fujian, but moved to the coastal port city of Yantai, Shandong, with her family when she was four. Such a move had a crucial influence on Bingxin’s personality and philosophy of love and beauty, as the vastness and beauty of the sea greatly expanded and refined young Bingxin’s mind and heart. It was also in Yantai Bingxin first began to read the classics of Chinese literature, such as Romance of Three Kingdoms and Water Margin, when she was just seven. In 1913, Bingxin moved to Beijing. The May Fourth Movement in 1919 inspired and elevated Bingxin’s patriotism to new high levels, starting her writing career as she wrote for a school newspaper at Yanjing University where she was enrolled as a student and published her first novel. Bingxin graduated from Yanjing University in 1923 with a Bachelor’s Degree, and went to the United States to study at Wellesley College, earning a Master’s Degree at Wellesley in literature in 1926. She then returned to Yanjing University to teach until 1936. In 1929, she married Wu Wenzao, an anthropologist and her good friend when they were studying in the United States. Together, Bingxin and her husband visited different intellectual circles around the world, communicating with other intellectuals such as Virginia Woolf. Later in her life, Bingxin taught in Japan for a short period and stimulated more cultural communications between China and the other parts of the world as a traveling Chinese writer. In literature, Bingxin founded the "Bingxin Style" as a new literary style. She contributed a lot to children’s literature in China (her writings were even incorporated into children’s textbooks), and also undertook various translation tasks, including the translation of the works of Indian literary figure Rabindranath Tagore. Bingxin’s literary career was a really prolific and productive one, and she wrote a wide range of works—-prose, poetry, novels, reflections, etc. Her career spanned more than seven decades in length, from 1919 to the 1990s.

Annotated Writings

  • , mouseover annotated edition of Bing Xin’s most famous short story. Put your cursor over the characters for popup English and pinyin definitions.

Works

  • Jimo (Loneliness) (1922)
  • Chaoren (Superman) (1923)
  • Fanxing (A Myriad of Stars) (1923)
  • Chunshui (Spring Water) (1923)
  • Liu yi jie (One six sister) (1924)
  • Zhi xiao duzhe (To Young Readers) (1926)
  • Bingxin Quanji (The Collected Works of Bingxin) (1932–1933)
  • Nangui (Return to South) (1933)

Works available in English

  • The Photograph. Beijing: Chinese Literature Press (1992)
  • Spring Waters. Peking, (1929)

Philosophy of Life and Legacy

Bingxin was known and respected for her philosophy of love, perseverance, integrity, and optimism. She was full of rich and beautiful emotions with love, as summarized in her life motto and quotation "Love makes everything possible", and she was also really perseverant in her writing career, continuing to write even if she was sick during her old years and saying, "Life begins at eighty". Her writings, enriched with her life philosophy, are among the most insightful and beautiful in Chinese literature. People praised and loved Bingxin for her deep love and optimism, and on her memorial people paid the last respects with thousands of red roses, Bingxin’s favorite flower. To this day, people in China (which include lots of children) still remember Bingxin affectionately.

There is a Bing Xin Literature Museum in Changle in Fujian Province.