A titan, forefather, and legend of the wuxia scene passed away today. Jin Yong, author of The Legend of the Condor Heroes, The Deer and the Cauldron, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, to name just a few, has gone off in search of new adventures in the jianghu.
He's one of the most popular wuxia authors out there, with 15 works written between 1955 and 1972 that've sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Considering that his books were written half a century ago, it's stunning to think that they're still spawning adaptations, remakes, and spin-offs!
I just wanted to share because growing up in Taiwan, Jin Yong was an author that definitively shaped my childhood and that of many others. Harry Potter is everywhere these days with the books themselves, theme parks, and pop culture references. That's kind of how Jin Yong's like in Taiwan. You can't go anywhere without seeing a drama, movie, or game based off of one of his works.
Instead of binging webnovels, we binged his series. If you wanted action, adventure, and romance -- Jin Yong was the default. His works are a legit conversation topic between me and my mom. We both fangirl over one of the male leads or coo over awesome fight scenes. Summer vacations were spent ploughing through his books, though I'm ashamed to say that my last reread was so long ago I barely remember anything. :\
There are some people in this world whose influence is so vast and deep that humanity would be the worse off without them. Chalk this next statement up to excessive hyperbole if you will, but I genuinely believe that Jin Yong is one of them. He helped make mainstream a genre in which many of the webnovels we read nowadays are derived from, and set many an imagination on fire.
Thank you for bringing these worlds to us, noble sir. May you rest in peace.