Ba Jin said he wrote ``to expose enemies. They include all the old traditional concepts, the irrational systems that obstruct progress, all the forces that destroy human nature.''
``Since I'm not good at speaking, I have to turn to writing to express my feelings, my love and hatred, and to let out the fire within me,'' he said.
Ba Jin was branded a counterrevolutionary and purged during the 1966-76 ``Cultural Revolution,'' during which many writers and artists were persecuted and art was completely subordinated to politics. He was labeled a class enemy, banned from writing and forced to clean drains.
He did not reappear until 1977.
Later, at a time when writers were just beginning to take chances again and feel some security about their status, he complained, ''Why is it that our writing cannot be at the forefront of world literature? Where else have authors in the world throughout history gone through something so terrifying and ridiculous, so bizarre and agonizing?'' he asked.
Ba Jin proposed that the government create a museum to the Cultural Revolution so that later generations could learn from its horrors and avoid a repetition. The suggestion was ignored.
Previous fighters for freedom: Majer Bogdanski, Hannah Arendt, Alina Pienkowska and Jacek Kuron, Antonio Téllez Solà
Previous China: Jung Chan's Mao, Deptford's new overlord (or, The new Chinese imperialism)
Tag: totalitarianism and freedom
File under: heroes of freedom