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Pai (Hsien-yung) (Kenneth Pai) papers
UArch FacP 29  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • General

  • Title: Pai Hsien-yung (Kenneth Pai) papers
    Identifier/Call Number: UArch FacP 29
    Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
    Language of Material: Multiple languages
    Physical Description: 5.5 linear feet (11 boxes, 13 videos, and posters)
    Creator: Bai, Xianyong, 1937-
    Date (inclusive): circa 1971-2016
    Date (bulk): circa 1971-1997
    Abstract: The collection encompasses an extensive assortment of printed works, literary manuscripts and other material relating to the novels, plays, short stories, and films adapted from the work of UCSB Professor Emeritus Hsien-yung Pai (Kenneth Pai).
    Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library
    Language of Material: Materials are in Chinese and English.

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Research Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by creator, 1997, 2014, 2016, and 2017.

    Biographical Note

    Pai Hsien-yung, (Kenneth Pai) is a UCSB Professor Emeritus and an internationally recognized Chinese author.
    Born in 1937 in Guilin, China, Pai received his B.A. from National Taiwan University in 1961 and his M.F.A. from the International Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1965. From 1965 to 1993 he taught Chinese language and literature in the East Asian Studies Program at UCSB.
    Pai has written 34 short stories and one novel, plus numerous other articles and prose pieces. He is one of the founders and the main caretaker of the most influential modern Chinese literary magazine, Modern Literature (Xian dai wen xue). His works have been translated into English, French, Korean, Japanese, and German and other languages.
    Son of a high-ranking general in the Chinese Nationalist government, Pai is best known for his keen insight into the lives of the aristocrats who retreated with the Nationalist government to Taiwan in 1949, when Chinese Communists took over mainland China. His depiction of characters, according to many critics, has attained a level of literary achievement attained only by a handful of his contemporaries. Some of his best-known works are available in English, under the title Wandering in the Garden, Waking from a Dream: Tales of Taipei Characters, published by Indiana University Press in 1982.
    Pai is a very studious and careful writer. His language, enriched by a solid foundation in Chinese classic literature, is poetic and precise. Few people, however, realize how much time and effort he puts into crafting his works. The novel Crystal Boy, published by the Gay Sunshine Press of San Francisco in 1990, was the result of ten years of hard work. It was completely revised more than five times. In each revision Pai rewrote the entire work by hand. This process is clearly reflected in the manuscripts which he has donated.
    Crystal Boy and Wandering in the Garden, as well as several other works, have been made into movies and plays and a number of his other works are in the process of being adapted for stage and film productions. Pai Hsien-yung currently lives in Taiwan and still maintains a residence in Santa Barbara where he occasionally visits. He continues to write and do research on a number of literary topics, his current work being centered on the promotion of kunqu, a traditional form of Chinese opera.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Pai Hsien-yung (Kenneth Pai) papers, UArch FacP 29. Department of Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Scope and Content

    The Pai Hsien-yung (Kenneth Pai) papers were donated by the author to the UCSB Department of Special Collections in 1997. It includes an extensive assortment of printed works, literary manuscripts, and other material relating to his novels and short stories as well as plays and films adapted from his work. In addition, the collection includes an assortment of academic works, dissertations, journal articles, and papers centered on his works.
    The collection is organized into the following series: Writings by Pai, Materials about Pai, Audio/Visual Materials, Posters, and Correspondence.


    These papers have been arranged into 5 series: I. Writings by Pai, II. Materials about Pai, III. Audio/Visual Materials, IV. Posters, V. Correspondence.


    Printed material- novels, short stories, and essays by Pai, as well as contributions to anthologies- from the collection has been cataloged separately in Special Research Collections holdings, which includes copies of Xian dai wen xue, the literary magazine. These materials may be searched on the UCSB Library's online catalog.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chinese literature -- 20th century
    Drafts (documents)
    Slides (photographs)
    Bai, Xianyong, 1937- -- Archives
    University of California, Santa Barbara. Faculty