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Ba Jin's memoir reflecting Cultural Revolution hot after his death

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BEIJING, Oct 20, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Ba Jin's "Random Thoughts", a long memoir that caught like a fever among readerships in the 1980s for its reflection on China's chaotic turmoil of Cultural Revolution, has once again become a bestseller following Ba's death on Monday.

Xidan Bookstore and Wangfujin Xinhua Bookstore, Beijing's two biggest bookstores, have set aside special shelves for the book of one of China's most acclaimed novelists, who died at the age of 101 in Shanghai.

Writers Press, which bought the copyrights of Ba Jin works, received many phonecalls from around the country ordering the book.

"We planned to print 10,000 copies, now we have to work overtime to print 20,000 for market sales next Tuesday," said Dong Wen, a marketing director of Writers Press.

Known for his criticism of traditional Chinese feudal society, Ba Jin spoke his own mind on the 1966-1976 period of turmoil in "Random Thoughts" serialized in a Hong Kong newspaper between 1978 and 1986.

In the memoir, he calls for human dignity and human rights and for self-examination, and asserts that "thinking independently" and "daring to speak out the truth" have utility in avoiding another Cultural Revolution.

"The writing of Random Thoughts marks Ba Jin's moral resurrection. Chinese scholars were then still hesitating and the situation was changing and hard to adapt to. Many preferred staying silent. But Ba Jin didn't. He chose to speak out in his own voice," said Beijing scholar Li Hui.

Ba Jin was the pen name of Li Fugan, who was born into a well-off family in the southwestern city of Chengdu in 1904. His main works include "Family", "Spring", "Autumn", semi-autobiographical novels published in the 1930s.

Copyright 2005 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.

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