Renowned author Lin Wen-yue dies at 89
Taipei, May 27 (CNA) Renowned Taiwanese author, scholar and translator Lin Wen-yue (林文月) passed away at the age of 89 in the United States on Friday morning (U.S. time), according to a statement issued by the Taipei Chinese Center of PEN International on Facebook on Saturday.
Lin, who was born on Sept. 5, 1933 in Shanghai, China and moved to Taiwan when she was around 14 years old, dedicated her life to literary research, translation, writing and art, according to the organization of which she was a member.
Lin was an expert in Chinese Six Dynasties literature and Sino Japanese comparative literary research, the statement said. As a result, she translated important works of Japanese literature, including "The Tale of Genji (circa 11th century)," often described as the world's first novel, as well as"The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon (circa 11th century)."
Lin was also a writer, whose work is considered a model of contemporary Chinese prose, while her narratives won several awards and were selected as teaching materials in text books for junior and senior high schools, for example, "A Year in Kyoto" and "Raining in Florence."
"Her writing is clear and smooth and her style rich,"renowned author Pai Hsien-yung (白先勇) once said.
Yang Tsung-han (楊宗翰), an assistant professor in the Department of Chinese Literature at Tamkang University and secretary-general of the organization, told CNA that one of Lin's prose works, "A Lifetime in Chinese Literature," inspired everyone who studies Chinese literature.
When people see Chinese literature as a useless subject, Lin inspired those who study in the field to find their own place in this world, Yang said.
In addition to her achievements in academia, writing and translation, Lin was also an artist with an interest in portrait painting.
That is why people viewed Lin as very talented and having "four pens", indicating her wide ranging work across different fields of endeavor, the statement said.
"She constantly challenged herself and tried out special writing styles," Ho Chi-peng (何寄澎), Professor Emeritus at National Taiwan University's Department of Chinese Literature said, "she was a perfectionist."
Lin was initially schooled in Japanese while living in Shanghai and later educated in Chinese after moving to Taiwan with her family.
Lin earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Chinese literature at NTU, and started her teaching career at the school when studying her master's degree in 1958.
In 1969, when Lin was 36 years old and an associate professor at NTU, she studied at Kyoto University Institute for Research in Humanities as a foreign researcher for a year. Her publication "A Year in Kyoto" was also written at that time.
Lin retired from NTU in 1993, and moved to the U.S. She continued to work in the field of literature, translation, writing and art, and was a visiting professor at several universities across the U.S. and Europe.
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