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Gu Long

      Gu Long was the penname of Syong Yaohua. His family was from Jiangxi Province in China, and he was born in Hong Kong in 1937. When he was thirteen years old, he moved to Taiwan with his parents, who got divorce before long. He lived in Juifang Town in Taipei County, and enrolled in the English Department at Tamkang English Junior College (now Tamkang University) which he did not finish because devoted himself to writing novels. When he was still a student, he was very interested in reading including a great amount of western novels; all the material he read became a precious resource, which helped him as a novelist in the future.

      A translation work earned him his first writing income, when he was in the second year of junior high. At the age of nineteen, his first creative writing earnings came after a contribution of the novel Cong Beiguo Dao Nanguo, "From a Country on the North to a Country on the South", published in the Chen Guang magazine edited by Wu Kaiyun. The invariable clerk job never attracted him, but it was a long wait for the time when the readers would be willing to buy his books, which were mostly pure literature. Then, instigated by friends, Gu Long started writing wusia novels when he was around twenty-three or twenty-four in 1960.

       His works came just at the right time when the wusia novel was popular in both Taiwan and Hong Kong. His writing career lasted for more than twenty years, and can be chronologically divided into three periods. The works written in the first period such as Cangcyong Shenjian and Piaosiang Jianyu were no different than those written by ordinary popular novelists. In his second period, he fluently expressed his unique style and deep thoughts. His works such as Dati Yingsyong Jhuan and Juedai Shuangjiao made him became as good as the other three leading novelists, Wolong Sheng, Jhuge Cingyun, Sihma Ling; together they were called "The Four Masters of Taiwan". Later on his most popular works came on the scene, such as Daosia Chu Liusiang and Duocing Jianke Wucing Jian. Among those books Tianya Mingyue Dao, according to Gu Long's words, was written when he was in his most depressed mood.

      For the circle of pure literature, which looked down wusia novels, Gu Long tried his best to improve the literary impression of the wusia novel. And his intention was achieved when his works were highly regarded by Taiwan and other Chinese communities around the world. Furthermore, his novels such as Liusing Hudie Jian, Tianya Mingyue Dao, Daosia Chu Liusiang were filmed by Shaw Brothers. With the director Chu Yuan, play writer Ni Kuang and famous entertainers including Ti Lung, David Chiang, Yue Hua, Er Dongsheng, Yu Anan, the characters he created in his novels stood vividly in front of the audience. Gu Long even established his own movie company, Bao Sian, to make films from his novels

      His novels were so popular in Hong Kong that two major TV companies both released separate series of 'Chu Liusiang.' Even the government was alert to this situation.

      Gu Long loved drinking and beautiful women. He described himself as a candle burning at both ends. His extramarital affairs involving Jhao Zihcing and Jhang Siaolan caused him to break up with his second wife, Mei Paojhu. Worse than that was that he was an alcoholic and his liver suffered badly. At the age of 48 in the Tri-service General Hospital in Taipei, he died of cirrhosis and esophageal hemorrhage at about six o'clock p.m., on the twenty-first of September 1985.