7 June 1938|
|Died||21 September 1985
|Pen name||Gu Long|
Xiong Yaohua (7 June 1938 – 21 September 1985), better known by his pen name Gu Long, was a Chinese novelist, screenwriter, film producer and director. A graduate of Cheng Kung Senior High School and Tamkang University, Xiong is best known for writing wuxia novels and serials, which include Juedai Shuangjiao, Xiaoli Feidao Series, Chu Liuxiang Series, Lu Xiaofeng Series and Xiao Shiyilang. Some of these works have been adapted into films and television series for numerous times. In the 1980s, he started his own film studio, Bao Sian, to produce film adaptations of his works.
Xiong was born on 7 June 1938 in Hong Kong but his registered identity stated that he was born in 1941. His ancestral home was in Nanchang, Jiangxi, China, and he lived in Hankou in his childhood. He moved to Taipei, Taiwan in 1952 with his parents, who divorced in 1956. With help from his friends and using the money he earned from part-time work to fund his education, Xiong graduated from the Foreign Language Department of Tamkang University. He found a job in the United States Army Advisory in Taipei later.
In 1960, Xiong published his first wuxia novel, Cangqiong Shenjian (蒼穹神劍), under the pen name "Gu Long". From 1960 to 1961, Xiong published eight novels but did not achieve the results he desired. He moved to Ruifang District (in New Taipei City) and lived there for three years, after which he changed his perspective and adopted a new writing style. Between 1967 and the late 1970s, he rose to prominence in the genre of modern wuxia fiction for his works. As the sole representative of excellence in the wuxia genre from Taiwan for an entire decade, Xiong was named along with Jin Yong and Liang Yusheng as the "Three Legs of the Tripod of Wuxia".
While he was still in university, Xiong lived with a dance hostess, Zheng Yuexia (鄭月霞), and had a son, Zheng Xiaolong (鄭小龍), with her. However, he started a relationship later with another dance hostess, Ye Xue (葉雪), who also bore him a son, Ye Yikuan (葉怡寬). Shortly after that, he met a senior middle school graduate, Mei Baozhu (梅寶珠), who became his first legal spouse and bore him his third son, Xiong Zhengda (熊正達). His extramarital affairs caused him to break up with Mei eventually.
In the later part of his life, Xiong suffered from depression and the quality of his works declined rapidly. He had to employ ghostwriters to co-write many of his later works because of his ailing health. He died on 21 September 1985 at the age of 48 due to illness wrought by alcoholism – namely cirrhosis and esophageal hemorrhage – at around 1800 hours. His friends brought him 48 bottles of XO Cognac at his funeral.
Xiong was said to be influenced not only by wuxia fiction, but also by the works of Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, John Steinbeck and Friedrich Nietzsche. His novels are usually made up of short sentences and paragraphs, and mostly dialogues between characters – like a play script.
In contrast with Xiong, other writers such as Jin Yong and Liang Yusheng took an alternative route in writing wuxia fiction by incorporating Chinese history, culture and philosophical ideas in their works. Xiong initially intended to follow them but changed his decision after exposure to works such as the James Bond series and The Godfather novels. The influence of these works, which relied on the idiosyncrasies of human life, razor-sharp wit, poetic philosophies, mysterious plots and spine-tingling thrills to achieve success, enabled Xiong to come up with a unique way of writing.
List of works
Some of these works were co-written with other writers.
Adaptations of works
Translations of works
Xiong's works have been translated into many languages such as French, English and Vietnamese:
- The Eleventh Son, English translation of Xiao Shiyilang, ISBN 1-931907-16-1.
- Les quatre brigands du Huabei, French translation of Huanle Yingxiong, ISBN 2-87730-371-3
- Stateless Subjects: Chinese Martial Arts Literature and Postcolonial History, Chapter 5. Petrus Liu. (Cornell University, 2011)
- 《傲世鬼才一古龙：古龙与武侠小说国际学术研讨会论文集》林保淳 （学生书局出版，2006）
- Gu Long at the Internet Movie Database
- Gu Long Reading Room – A webpage of fan translations.
- Wuxia Translations Forum – Wuxia translations forum by fans.
- Wuxiapedia – English translations of Gu Long novels, collection of excerpts, and information about his life.
- WuxiaSociety – The only English wuxia portal with focus on discussion forum, dedicated to Gu Long, society of wuxia fans around the world, formerly known as wuxiamania forum
- Qiqi.com – Gu Long's works in Chinese