Ba Jin, “Offspring of May 4th”, Time Bomb and Utopian Impulse
Ba Jin 巴金 (1904-2005) is well-known for his adherence to anarchist ideas in his youth, which actually hides a profound utopianism characterized by a social revolution without purpose and end. By a detailed examination of A Dream on the Sea, a novel published in the beginning of 1930’s, this paper aims to rehabilitate such an utopian spirit as it formulates criticism of reality, oppressive and inegalitarian, by adopting an otherness which warns against both revanchist statism and voluntary servitude. The author’s loyalty to the legacy of May 4th will be highlighted as his work embodies an ever renewed desire for the freedom of thinking and imagining, if not of acting.
Keywords: Cosmopolitism • Ba Jin • Anarchism • Utopianism • May 4th Movement