Reality of Life and Communication of Spirituality
The Chinese-Russian bilingual edition of Flight of the Soul by renowned Chinese writer Feng Jicai launched at Saint Petersburg State University
On September 10th, at the invitation of the Confucius Institute at Saint-Petersburg State University, Mr. Feng Jicai, a renowned Chinese writer, visited Saint Petersburg State University at around 6 p.m. to attend the launching ceremony of the Chinese-Russian bilingual version of his work Flight of the Soul (Ling Xing in Chinese, literally means ‘spirituality’). Mr. Feng also cordially interacted with the attendees at the event.
Mr. Feng Jicai signing his book for readers
The event was attended by Mr. Yu Jun, Acting Consul-General of China in St. Petersburg; Mr. Wang Rui, Cultural Counsellor of China in St. Petersburg; O.M.Bavykin, Director of the Liaison Committee at the Union of Russian Writers; Mr. A. I. Egorov, a well-known Russian translator; Ms. K.N.Speshneva, daughter of the deceased Russian sinologist Professor Nikolai Speshnev (known as Si Gelin to Chinese scholars and readers); Mr. Yan Guodong, a renowned professor from Nankai University; Mrs. Gu Tongzhao, Mr. Feng Jicai’s wife; local sinologists and over 100 Russian students who are learning Chinese.
The newly published Flight of the Soul is a collection of 450 sayings and 32 drawings of Mr. Feng. The book, with exquisite binding and poetic and picturesque layout, is much admired by readers. It symbolizes the true and deep friendship between the Russian and Chinese scholars. In his speech, Mr. Feng first spoke fondly of his over 30 years’ friendship with the deceased legendary Russian sinologist Professor Nikolai Speshnev who translated the book Flight of the Soul. Referring to the book, he said, “A poet dies but his life continues in his poems. So does Prof. Nikolai Speshnev. His life continues in Flight of the Soul.” Afterwards, Mr. Feng specifically talked about the book. He quoted from the prologue “This book, as ‘the pearls in my spiritual sea’, can be tested by ‘the reality of life’”. The book title was elegantly translated by Prof. Nikolai Speshnev into Russian as Полет души (Flight of the Soul). From the perspective of a scholar, Mr. Feng said that cultural communication should be based on spirituality. More young sinologists and scholars in Russian studies from both countries should be encouraged to shoulder the responsibility to build the bridge of spiritual communication.
The cover of Flight of the Soul
In the Q&A session, Mr. Feng was asked about his initiatives for protecting cultural heritages in China over the past ten years. Mr. Feng explained, “If not properly protected, these cultural heritages would vanish forever. Obviously, the protection is more important than my personal writing and painting career.” “It is out of my social responsibility, or in other words, out of love to do such a thing.” This is also vividly reflected in Flight of the Soul, “The greatest love is loving the world” and “Sacrificing is another kind of fulfillment.”
Mr. Feng is a famous contemporary writer, litterateur, artist and painter. He started his career in drawing in north China’s Tianjin city and then has been specializing in literary writing and folk culture research. He has helped to raise the awareness of the protection of Chinese folk culture and created many excellent essays, novels and drawings, some of which, such as the essay Pearl Bird, have been selected into textbooks for Chinese primary and secondary schools and universities.