Selected Works of Ba Jin 4

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A well-known writer in modern China. Ba Jin, born in 1904, began his writing career in 1927. His novels and prose have been collected in fourteen volumes, which fully demonstrate his achievement as a prolific writer, He has also translated many foreign literary works.
This volume contains 43 articles on literary creation and other subjects by Ba Jin.
Most of the works describe the experience,thoughts and creative approach of the author. The author addresses his readers in a casual, almost chatty, manner, allowing his various emotions and feelings full rein.
These works, written in simple, graceful and fluent language, are full of lyricism and artistic charm.

Table of Contents

Earliest Memories
My Family Environment
My Childhood
Some of My Teachers
Erkel's Lamplight
Outside a Desolate Garden
The Lamps
An Autumn Night
An Autumn Moming
On My Prose
On My Short Stories
Memories of Gejiu
Photos Brought Back From Kamakura
In Memory of Xiao Shan
Giving My Heart to My Readers
Portrait Painted Three Times
Children, Adults and Leading Officials
Chinese People
Observing People
The Big Mirror
Baodi the Little Dog
Spring Silkworms
A Discussion About Dreams
Literature and Me
My Readers and Me
Museum of Modern Literature
A Ten-Year Dream
In Memory of Mr. Lu Xun
Little Duanduan
West Lake
Lines of Thinking
“Gossip Is A Frightening Thing”
A Desire to Tum into Dust
My Elder Brother Li Yaolin
My “Warehouse”
My Name
My Diary
My Nightmares
My Old Home
More Reminiscences of Xiao Shan

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“The baby was originally given to your sister-in-law. Thinking she might not treat him properly, I am giving him to you.”
This was what Mother had been told by the goddess of childbearing in her dream. She often recounted to we brothers and sisters (and sometimes my nanny too) that strange dream of hers while doing her sewing in her south-facing room after midday on a fine day.
“You were bom the very next day.”
Mother lifted her roundish face and looked at me,her eyes filled with love. I was then standing beside
“Who would have thought you would be such a naughty boy!”
Mother grinned and we all smiled too.
Mother loved me deeply. Though she would sometimes say with a smile that I was a naughty boy, she never used any harsh language toward me. She let me pass my childhood days in a happy and peaceful atmosphere.
A gentle roundish facc, slick and glossy hair combed with flower-sccntcd water and a frequently smiling face. A light-blue collarless tunic with wide sleeves and broad hems.
Whenever I delved into my remotest memories,Mother 's face would appear in my mind. My earliest memory is inseparable from Mother.
What I cannol forget, in particular, is the tender sound of Mother 's voice.
When I was about four or five years old, I followed Mother from Chengdu to Guangyuan County in northern Sichuan, where Father served as a county magistrate.
The yamen government office had a large compound. Once inside, there was a big open ground flanked on both sides by prison cells. There were the Great Hall, the Second Hall, the Third Hall, the Fourth Hall, a stretch of lawn and a wood of scattered mulberry trees. Altogether, the compound had about six or
seven buildings with courtyards.
We lived in the Third Hall.
At first, I shared the bed with Mother, that woodenframed bed of hers. On hot days, there hung a piece of gauze or a linen mosquito net. On cold days, there hung a white cloth canopy. Outside the net, there burnt a dim light. The light came from the wick of an oil lamp on the table.
The oil lamp, with a long neck and a round base gave out a dim light. Sometimes, a black mess formed on the wick, emitting a sputtering sound while burning.
I huddled under a quilt, often pondering the meaning of the word “mother.”
During the day, wc did some reading in a study,which was located beside the Second Hall. Outside the window there was a small garden.
The teacher was a gentle middle-aged man who looked very kind. Sometimes he drew maps. He also knew how to sketch with pencils. His colored pencils were what we admired most.
The pupils were my two elder brothers, two elder sisters and me.
An elderly man acted as our servant. He was called Jia Fu and was sixty years of age and his hair had already turned gray.
In the study, I learned scores of characters in the moming and read a few pages in the afternoon. We wound up our classes rather early every day. Third
Brother had a little more lessons than me. He was only one year older than me.
Jia Fu took us to Mother's room. Mother gave us a few candies. We enjoyed ourselves for a while in Mother's room
“Xiang,” Third Brother began to call.
I also called the name of that maid.
An oval-faced girl of 12 or 13 rushed in, her face wearing a smile.
“Keep us company and let's go play in the Fourth Hall in the back!”
She grinned gleefully.
“Xiang, you mind and take good care of them, “said Mother.
“Yes,” she replied and took us out.
We went through the back door.
We went down the stone steps and rushed toward the lawn.
On both sides of the lawn, there stood a few muberry trees. In the middle, there was a wide path.
The leaves of the mulberry trees were succulent and green, forming quite a shade.
Two or three chickens with colorful feathers ran about on the path.
“Hurry up! Let's pick some mulberries!” Xiang held my hand and trotted toward the mulberry trees.

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