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Renowned Taiwan writer Chi Pang-yuan dies at 100

03/30/2024 06:05 PM
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Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan. CNA file photo
Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan. CNA file photo

Taipei, March 30 (CNA) Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan (齊邦媛), who was instrumental in introducing Taiwanese literature to the Western world through her translations, has died at the age of 100.

Feng Te-ping (封德屏), president of Wenhsun Magazine, said Friday that Chi's death was confirmed by friends who were familiar with the retirement home where she resided.

Chi was known for her autobiography "The Great Flowing River" (巨流河), which recounts the ups and downs of her eventful life in China during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) and then her relocation to Taiwan. Through the memoir, she addresses the world about the historical past that should not be forgotten.

Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan (right) receives the National Cultural Award from former Premier Mao Chi-kuo (left). CNA file photo
Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan (right) receives the National Cultural Award from former Premier Mao Chi-kuo (left). CNA file photo

The 250,000-word Chinese-language book was first published in 2009 and has since been translated into English, German and Japanese.

Born on Jan. 15, 1924, in China's Liaoning Province, she graduated from Wuhan University with a degree in English studies. In 1947, she relocated to Taiwan and then to the United States to further her education at Indiana University in 1968.

Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan (left) receives the Order of Propitious Clouds with Grand Cordon from former President Chen Shui-bian. CNA file photo
Renowned scholar, educator and writer Chi Pang-yuan (left) receives the Order of Propitious Clouds with Grand Cordon from former President Chen Shui-bian. CNA file photo

She later returned to Taiwan to become director of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Chung Hsing University.

While teaching English, Chi also worked for the National Institute for Compilation and Translation, where she initiated the translation of Chinese literature to English. Her efforts included the publication of "An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Literature" (中國現代文學選集), covering poems, letters and stories to provide a comprehensive compendium of traditional Chinese literature.

She subsequently retired as professor emeritus of English and comparative literature at National Taiwan University in 1988.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Culture (MOC) issued a statement describing Chi as a pioneer in promoting literary criticism and translation in Taiwan.

Throughout her life, she nurtured numerous talents, serving as a role model with exemplary literary standards, the MOC said, commending her for her profound influence on the history of Taiwanese literature.

(By Chiu Tsu-yin and Ko Lin)

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