Writers, fans mourn Salinger's Chinese translator

( ) Updated: 2014-09-01 13:17:33

Writers, fans mourn Salinger's Chinese translator

Sun Zhongxu shows an English copy of The Cather in the Rye at the 15th anniversary of its Chinese translation. [Photo/IC]

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Sun Zhongxu, the Chinese translator of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and George Orwell's 1984, committed suicide on Thursday after he sought treatment for depression in Guangdong province, the Beijing Times reports.

"Father is finally free (from the misery)," the translator's son said.

Sun, 41, was known for his well-received translations of scores of famous writers' books such as Salinger's and Orwell's, plus E.B White's The Second Tree from the Corner and V.S. Naipaul's A Writer's People. His version of Salinger's work has so far sold almost 100,000 copies since 2007.

Sun also had a large fan base on the cultural community website Douban and on Sina Weibo because he often shared his insights of the latest translated works and wrote book and movie reviews, accumulating approximately 1,000 articles in total on Douban.

By Monday, almost 7,000 people had offered their condolences on these two platforms, with some saying it's a real shame that they've forever lost a valuable tutor and friend in the world of words.

"We had been friends for so many years. Yet I didn’t get the chance to see him for the very last time. Tears welling up in my eyes, I wish him true happiness on the other side of world," Chinese writer Feng Tang posted on Wechat.

Another writer, A Yi, wrote on Weibo, "I have read several translations by Mr. Sun and benefited a lot. I only met him once and he struck me as a humble and modest gentleman. Such a gentleman will still live in his books with us. "

The famous translator Yu Zhongxian said he wished the news of Sun's death was not true. "I was his editor once and really liked his translations. The young man had talent and potential. I wish he rests in peace."

According to Sun's friend Zhang Yuanfan, Sun told his friends he might have some mental problems and for some time after a business trip in early August, needed to go to the hospital, The Chongqing Morning Post reports.

Zhang recalled the last time he saw Sun was in the hospital on Aug 19. "The doctor said Sun had made improvement and might go home after a while."

But just after a short stay at home, Sun chose to go back to the hospital and silently ended his life, leaving his fans sighing over his recent Weibo quote from The Hobbit: "You cannot give up now".

With World Suicide Prevention Day approaching, more and more people are advocating on online platforms that more attention and care should be paid to those who suffer from depression. They cited the recent suicide of the famous comedian Robin Williams and the talented young translator who is now deceased.

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