Peking University, June 6, 2013: Hong Kong novelist Louis Cha Leung-yung — who wrote The Legend of the Condor Heroes and is better known by his pen name Jin Yong — will be adding another doctorate to his long list of scholarly and literary achievements — but not yet.
Peking University News Center denied on June 6 media reports that Cha has already earned a doctorate at the Chinese department and that he will be graduating this upcoming July, according to its official Weibo account.
A photo of Cha’s diploma, dated July 2013 complete with the institution’s seal and signature of university President Wang Enge, was published on social networking site Renren this week. Its authenticity has been confirmed, but it was just a "regularly pre-prepared document" that could not be considered already validated, read the PKU News Center's tweet.
Due to health reasons, Cha's study at the university has not been carried out in accordance with the origional plan, it noted.
It was the first time since the official Weibo account's inauguration on March 26 that it actively responded to rumors circulating on the traditional and online media.
Clarification by the official Weibo account of the PKU News Center
Louis Cha Leung-yung (Jin Yong)
Professor Chen Pingyuan, a former dean at the university’s Department of Chinese Language and Literature, earlier confirmed to media that Cha, 89, had been a doctoral candidate at the department since 2009.
However, he said Cha did not have to attend classes there and had no information as to when the writer was scheduled to graduate.
Cha’s supervisor is Professor Yuan Xingpei, head of the Central Research Institute of Culture and History, Chen said.
Cha earned a doctoral degree in oriental studies from the University of Cambridge in 2010 after completing his thesis on Tang dynasty imperial succession.
Cha, who co-founded Hong Kong daily Ming Pao, recently had his 1957 martial arts classic The Legend of the Condor Heroes added to the required reading list for primary school students in Beijing.
Cha’s literary works, many of which contain themes of chivalry, martial arts and patriotism, are among the most widely read in the Chinese-speaking world and have been translated into many languages.
Legend, the first instalment of the Condor trilogy, is widely considered to be one the writer’s best work along with other titles such as The Book and the Sword (1955) and The Deer and the Cauldron (1969).
Some of Cha’s works were banned on the mainland during the 1970s because they were thought to mock Mao Zedong and the "Cultural Revolution" (1966-76). Ironically, Taiwan once banned his novels as well, billing them pro-Communist literature. Most of the bans were gone by the 1980s.
Source: Agencies via South China Morning Post
Edited by: Arthars