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Essay | Barkin: How can the candle lamp that has warmed two lifetimes be extinguished?

2023-02-28 04:17:44

       I vaguely remember that I had read "Family Spring and Autumn" twice as early as half a year ago, and the "Youth Daily" subscribed to at home was also a column about him for a long time after he left, and I was both sad and excited to see it, because those reports made me understand the real Ba Jin outside the novel, and from his every word, I saw sincerity and feelings


Winter rainy night, always with a trace of cold, cold from the cracks in the drill, invaded one by one the people. After work from the subway exit, I stood for a while, see the rain is not big, opened an umbrella to rush to the bustling crowd out.

Along the edge of the city's familiar roads, I stepped onto an overpass shrouded in yellow light, which illuminated only me and my own shadow with an umbrella. Looking to both sides, only to see the traffic flashing lights, the light rain will be pouring out of the street lamp sprouts. Under the light of the night seems to put on a layer of mist, become ethereal one, my mind was touched in an instant, stop staring eyes closed as if forget everything, quietly immersed in this long-lost quiet and wonderful to go.

Rainy night

A gust of cold wind blowing, I inadvertently hit a shiver, this trace of coolness also immediately to the trance of their own back to the reality, suddenly feel a trace of fatigue, dare not stay and turned to not far away from the community walk. I smiled and thought, isn't that what life is all about? We are always used to the trivial fatigue in the forward, and that hidden in the autumn dream winter rain a little poetic and instant will be our tired heart to warm, after the ease was involved in the new sorrow, but never stop such reincarnation, life will continue day after day. Feeling between, a flash has been home.

The night was deep and the rain was still falling.The undulating heart gradually became calm under the washing of the winter rain; The indifferent cold wind covered the tall cedar trees outside the window, leaving only the sound of dripping rain falling on the windowsill.I closed the curtains, lit a pale yellow desk lamp at the end of the bed, held a copy of "Compendium of Ba Jin's Works", and read the old books I bought more than ten years ago and the corners of the pages had long been slightly yellowed, but the endless sentimentality did not know when it soaked into my heart, and my thoughts slowly moved away, and the words and memories about Ba Jin rippled in my mind wave after wave.


It was the early autumn of 2005, I can no longer remember, 101-year-old Ba Lao left, the whole of Shanghai is crying for him. Now that I think about it, he and Xiao Shan's ashes were scattered together in the East China Sea, and he was probably very happy. The sea and his wife were both his beloved, and they were finally reunited on their birthday, it is a good thing that all the long-cherished dreams of this life have been ended.

I vaguely remembered that I had read the spring and autumn in my family completely twice as early as six months ago. The youth newspaper that I subscribed to at home was also a column about him for a long time after he left, it made me feel both sad and excited, because the reports made me realize the real Ba Jin outside the novel, and I saw sincerity in every word of his, and I felt a kind of longing passion, I know, it must have been a hysterical cry for the coming of a new era with nowhere to vent! His emotion in“Home” is like a burning flame, hot and true, and the present version of the“Dream of Red Mansions” also gave at that time his imprint too deep on life and the world perception. If, at the time, my reading of Tolstoj in the resurrection made me realize just how unfair and dark the western institution was, then the Sad Ba Jin, who accused the feudalism of ethics, is the person who inspired me to love words and enjoy reading.

I love his kind of expression with the kind of heart-to-heart communication, I can feel as if the more he wrote, as if the more in an effort to find what, is the sin? Is it decay? No, it's my sensitive, intense soul! The more such a soul is dug up, the more his grief and pain will be engraved on his heart. Reading his words, you will be unconsciously called by a force that urges you to want to change something more urgently, either your current self or the world of boredom. In short, such a people both distressed but happy him, bring us, more is that tears moved and admiration!

While studying in Latin Quarter, Ba Jin used a hot pen in a small apartment in Paris, to gather all his past love and Hate, sorrow and joy, suffering and sympathy, hope and struggle into the tip of his pen, and then to write on sheets of paper, the tip of the pen burning, and the anger in his heart was gradually extinguished, and then he found self-help and peace, as he wrote in the preface to the torrent trilogy, “I left Shanghai at the age of twenty-three to find a way to save people, a way to save the world, a way of my own. It is an exaggeration to say that we save people and the world, but it is true to say that we save ourselves. It was like this: I had feelings that I couldn't express, feelings that I couldn't express, feelings that I couldn't express, feelings that I couldn't find in a Sea of pain, a heart that couldn't find a place to rest, and I couldn't live without calming my heart, his heart was too painful, but there was a text to let him get a temporary relief, soon after returning to China, those thoughts and manuscripts were soon born into a series of amazing classic works.

I suddenly remembered a sentence from Ba Jin in "The Lamp": "A few lamps or even the glimmer of a lamp cannot illuminate the darkness, but it will also bring a little courage and a little warmth to some sleepless people in the cold night."And Mr. Barkin himself may be like the faint candlelight, even if it is faint, but it can guide the confused people of the last century, and can continue to shine afterlight, to encourage the people of this new century to go farther.Thinking of him when you are overshadowed, you feel like a shaky light flickering in your heart, and the warm and firm power is instantly burst out, allowing yourself to break through the shackles of life's confusion.You say, how can the candlelight that has warmed for two lifetimes be easily extinguished?



After more than 14 years, after we knew that his favorite eldest brother was the "Juexin" of "Zuoxinism" and "non-resistance" in the book, we knew why Ba Jin could write "Family Spring and Autumn" so sadly, and after several struggles, he did not kill Juexin, but the news of his eldest brother's death came like bad news one day after the novel was published, and the eldest brother really became an unnecessary victim of that era.

Ba Jin with the eldest brother and the third brother

His eldest brother, like chueh-hsin in the story, once loved a young girl, but was chosen by his father by lottery to marry another girl; he endured so much injustice with tears in his eyes, there was never a word of resistance. “Chueh-hsin is not dead, but my brother is,” is all that remains of the book, and I don't know how much of it reflects what Ba Jin went through, but he gave the best answer, “There is not a single thing in this book that is my own (though there are many that I have seen or heard) , but the sorrow that runs through it is my own sorrow,” he said, reading the novel, also both love and endure the suffering of fire and hate, not to mention us?

Reading "Home" again, thinking about the completely different fates of the characters in the book, I couldn't help but be amazed.Remembering reading Ming Feng's death, Cousin Mei's sad departure, and Rui Jue's death in childbirth when he was young, tears couldn't stop soaking the scroll, but he had long forgotten whether he was crying, or the author was crying to tell him about his depth and pathos.Old Lady Gao and those feudal old school used invisible knives to pierce the chests of those lovely young women, devouring innocent young lives and suffering and oppressed "slaves" like wolves.And these unbearable stories remind me of the first time in the opening of "Dream of Red Mansions": "Full of absurd words, a handful of bitter tears, all clouds of the author is stupid, who understands it.""No one will understand, but the author is obsessed with it, just like the real Ba Jin's enlightenment in the book, his heart-filled heart is full of ruthless accusations against feudal rites, he longs for freedom and equality all the time, and how can those old ladies understand or understand?

For Juexin and Juemin, the shackles of feudal rules are like a heavy iron cage, imprisoning these young people who have too many missions of the family and are helpless to move forward, and in the end, the "Juemin" in life also died, and the third brother Li Yaolin, who once had ideals and talents, took up the burden of supporting a large family of more than a dozen people instead of the eldest brother after the death of his eldest brother Li Yaoyuan, and finally died untimely after the accumulation of work and illness.When the third brother left, Ba Jin said, "I didn't have a single tear, but I felt that many needles were piercing my heart."To this end, he spent a lot of effort writing about his guilt and self-blame.And Juexin, Juemin, and Juehui are like him and his eldest brother, and the third brother generally have different personalities and must have different endings, but he describes his future with complete firmness, "I will not die."I want to live. I'm going to write, I'm going to write what I'm going to write with this pen of mine.”


113 Wukang Road Street, where Ba Jin has lived for half a century. On a sunny morning in early winter, I was walking down the long Wukang Road Street when I stumbled upon a medium-sized iron gate in the shade of a sycamore tree. Beside the gate were the words “Ba Jin's old house”, full of surprises. It stood there inconspicuously, like a visit to a neighbor's home, very kind, but also like stepping into a literary sanctuary, where the joys and sorrows of the rest of his life were interwoven, the footprints of his happiness as he walked with his wife, Xiao Shan, through the house and the garden, and the way he buried his head in the plot of “Capriccio,” which he had spent the last years of his life working on, my heart was pounding with excitement.

Visit the Barkin House
Barkin with wife and children

Entering the courtyard, the turquoise vines climbed all over the gray fine pebble exterior wall, and the flowers and plants in the yard were planted by the owner himself, which looked particularly quiet and ancient, and it was also gratifying to think that I could step on the footprints left by Ba Lao in this life.

Barkin's home has three floors, and the first and second floors have scenes of life everywhere, restoring his real life everywhere: the reception room has his free conversation and laughter with writers or leaders, the showroom contains the things he used to write during his lifetime, all pouring out his concentration and contemplation, and all the fireworks in the bedroom are also completely warm.Looking at all this, I suddenly felt that the owner of this house still lived here.

And all this is not enough to resist my amazement by his amazing collection, the first and second floors are already full of books, and the third floor is full of various books, which is not open to the public.And I looked at the large bookcase at the entrance of the stairs on the second floor for a long time, and the various reference books, translation dictionaries in various languages, and anthologies were almost all turned out to be worn out.I heard from the docent that this place has been copied many times by the Wen Guard, and these books are still well preserved after the years, which shows that with his love of books like life, it ignited my deepest admiration and touching.

Barkin's House
Elderly Barkin writing

In a stormy life, writing is the only thing that never stops. He came from the vicissitudes of the old feudal society, experienced the ups and downs of the 20th century, the 21st century has become a full head of grey hair, disease-ridden lonely old man. The Candle Light Flickers, but his works are still emitting light and heat in the hearts of everyone who likes him, never going out.

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