Confucius Institute Latin America Regional Center holds the “Chinese Writers Forum”
At the invitation of the Confucius Institute Latin America Regional Center, Mr. Zhou Daxin, famous Chinese writer and winner of Mao Dun Literature Prize, and Mr. Xu Zechen, winner of Lu Xun Literature Prize, visited Mexico, Colombia and Chile recently to attend the series of events of “Chinese Writers Forum” held by the Center.
Zhou Daxin and Xu Zechen delivering their talks at the Confucius Institute at Autonomous University of Yucatan in Mexico
During their visit in Mexico, the two writers conducted exchanges with readers at the Confucius Institute at Autonomous University of Yucatan. They introduced their experience of literature writing, the current situation of Chinese literature writing and their future expectations, and also highly commended the literature of Latin America. Mr. Xu Zechen said, “Thanks to Juan Rulfo, Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes Macías, the Mexican literature can accept the highest tribute from the world with full confidence.” When they were in Colombia, they paid a visit to the Confucius Institute at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University (Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano) and conducted exchanges with students of the literature writing class, teachers and students of the Confucius Institute and literature enthusiasts at the Central University of Colombia (Universidad Central de Colombia). In the hometown of Garcia Marquez, the master of magic realism, the two writers sincerely shared the influence of and inspiration from Marquez in their writings.
Zhou Daxin and Xu Zechen delivering speeches at the library of the National Congress of Chile
The last leg of the two writers’ visit in Latin America was Chile, a key site on the map of Latin American literature and home country of the renowned poet Pablo Neruda and writer Roberto Bolaño Ávalos. Mr. Zhou Daxin and Mr. Xu Zechen attended several literature seminars and exchange events and delivered a talk at the Library of the National Congress of Chile. Mr. Xu Zechen said that Chilean literature was of great influence on Chinese literature, especially on the pioneering literature after the 1980s. It provided an inspiration and a perspective that reminded Chinese writers to manifest the localization through literature. Mr. Zhou Daxin presented an overview of modern Chinese literature and introduced the representative writers of different periods. He also pointed out that the mission of literature lies in exploring the universality, secrets of humanity, meaning of life, social equality and justice, and harmony between man and the nature. He was amazed at the fact that Chilean writers could understand and interpret in depth the themes in Yinshi (Silver Ornament) such as love, revenge, control, and so on.
Chilean writers Jorge Guzmán and Diego Muñoz Valenzuela also introduced the influence of political and social changes of Chile on literature writing. They carefully read the Spanish version of Zhou Daxin and Xu Zechen’s works and offered their detailed analysis and comments. Both writers mentioned that for Chilean writers and the general public in Chile, they seldom read literary works on modern China and their knowledge of Chinese literature was limited to only works of Lu Xun and some Europe-based Chinese writers, so this meeting was a precious opportunity for exchanging views.
Zhou Daxin and Xu Zechen exchanging views with Chilean writers
The “Chinese Writers Forum” in Latin America includes a series of events hosted by the Confucius Institute Latin America Regional Center and aims to introduce outstanding writers and works of modern Chinese literature to countries in Latin America. Renowned Chinese writers like Mai Jia and Liu Zhenyun have visited Latin America and attended events of the forum.
As a member of the 5th and 6th National Committee of Chinese Writers’ Association, Zhou Daxin has won the National Excellent Short Story Award and Feng Mu Literature Prize and has been awarded with the 7th Mao Dun Literature Prize with his work Huguang Shanse (The Scenery of the Lake and the Mountain). Xu Zechen graduated from the Chinese Department of Peking University and won the 6th Lu Xun Literature Prize, 6th Chinese Literature Media Award, the 12th Zhuang Zhongwen Literature Prize, and Lao She Literature Prize. His works have been translated into and published in various languages like German, Korean, English, Dutch, Japanese and French. Currently, Zhou Daxin’s representative work Yinshi (Silver Ornament) and Anhun (Comforting Soul) and Xu Zechen’s representative work Paobu Chuanguo Zhongguancun (Run through Zhongguancun) have been translated into Spanish and published by China Intercontinental Press.