Gu Long became famous at an early age, but he also died at an early age on 21/09/85 at the age of 48. The cause of his death? Alcohol. Gu Long could not enjoy himself without alcohol.
The contents of his glass were his companion, through his highs and lows - but were also the cause of his damaged liver.
The middle-aged Gu Long lacked health, due to overwork and his whimsical character; when things weren't running smoothly he?d drink to ease his sorrows.
His long-term alcoholic lifestyle eventually caused his robust body to collapse with hepatocirrhosis [hardening of the liver] of an advanced stage. With the encouragement of friends, Gu Long stayed in hospital, managed to change his eating habits and was even alcohol-free for a year.
When others drank alcohol he'd drink tea, talking cheerfully and humorously. However, a leopard cannot change its spots; as soon as Gu Long recovered he was back to his old ways, starting modestly then gradually increasing his drinking quantity.
He again ended up in hospital with a dormant liver. He gained consciousness after a few days of emergency treatment. The sweet and virtuous nurse who took care of him cried tears of joy when she saw him open his eyes and smile. And so he had another month's stay in hospital.
Before he left, he asked the doctor, could I drink alcohol after I leave? in which the doctor replied, best not to, but a modest glass a day would not do any harm. However as soon as he left the hospital, he began to drink a minimum of seven to eight small glasses daily, acting in disregard of others' opinion.
He'd use his mad drinking to fight death; to kill the lonely times and to while away his limited years. Once again he was admitted to hospital, even the surprised nurses exclaimed, how brave of you, Gu Daxia, to be in hospital again!
This time his excessive drinking caused a gullet rupture. After the haemorrhage he continued his heroic ways, which had not mellowed whatsoever.
When Ding Qing was by his sickbed one silent night, Gu Long suddenly asked, little cuckold [does not sound as harsh in Chinese], do you think anyone would cry for me when I die? His words sounded a touch desolated, but he was soon laughing and joking.
Those around him believed that Gu Long won't just leave the world like that; who'd guessed that that was a brief glow of light just before his death.
Gu Long fell into another coma on 21/09/85, and his last words were: "Why haven't any of my girlfriends been to visit me?."
It was that night at 6.06pm that Gu Long ended his life journey, leaving the literary circle and this world forever. People from all walks of life especially those who were fond of martial arts novels were extremely shocked when the news of Gu Long's death spread. At his funeral, close friends choked with tears, sat in front of the bier stamping their feet and banging their heads against the wall all in grief and disbelief.
However, almost none of his relatives, including his divorcees, whom he was once close to, showed up. Probably another of Gu Long's biggest regrets in life were his sons, none of whom bore his name: the eldest was in Tai-pei, second in America and his youngest son was only 9 at the time.
Ngai Hong wrote an obituary by his bier, an extract from it read, Gu Long is longer with us, but he'll always be in our hearts. An extract from Taiwanese writer, Qiao Qi's, elegiac poem read, Xiao Li Fei Dao [Siu Lei Fei Toh] has become a lost classic and the world has lost their Chu Liuxiang [Chor Lau-Heung].
Once the Hong Kong and Taiwanese press reported the news of Gu Long's ?death by the drink and published pictures of him, many professionals wrote pieces to express their regrets.
Ngai Hong said, people used Jing Yong as a role model before the arrival of Gu Long's novels. Only Gu Long could break through Jin Yong's model and establish a new style.
People in the TV and film industry commended Gu Long works as a break through in the history of martial arts novels. They also made a fair comment on how Gu Long had a strict attitude towards his later works, to fulfil his creative goal to hold a little responsibility towards society.
Gu Long now rests in Tai-pei. At his burial his friends placed 48 opened bottled of Hennessy XO brandy in his coffin, to allow the addicted Gu Long to be intoxicated by the rich fragrance - even in his long sleep.
Gu Long is not dead, because his work will continue to be with us, especially his creative practice that has left us with a new irradiation and a new way of thinking.