“Trip of Liu Zhenyun’s Literature and Films to Europe” to Milan
On Mar. 26，2017 local time, on the invitation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan, Chinese famous author Liu Zhenyun arrived at Milan, the fifth stop of the “Trip of Liu Zhenyun’s Literature and Films to Europe”. During the three-day visit, Liu Zhenyun attended a series of events including the visits to a book fair, a film festival, and a college classroom.
Talking about writing anecdotes at the book fair
Liu Zhenyun (third from left) attending readers meeting
On Mar. 26th, Liu Zhenyun visited the Bookpride book fair held by Museo delle Culture (MUDEC) and attended a lecture held by the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan to communicate with readers face to face. With the successful publication of The Cook, the Crook, and the Real Estate and I Am Not Madame Bovary in Italian, the two novels written by Liu Zhenyun have gained popularity in Italy.
During the lecture, Liu Zhenyun said: “My book came to Milan before me and received wide acclaim, making it possible for me to have deeper communication with readers. This is the power of literature.” He also stressed that the novel Someone to Talk to has a profound connection with Italy, because one of the eye-catching characters in the book is an Italian Catholic priest. Therefore, he looked forward to working with more Italian sinologists to get this novel translated into Italian and published in Italy. He later shared some writing anecdotes with readers and answered their questions carefully. A warm atmosphere was created in conversations.
Liu Zhenyun signing books for readers cordially
After the lecture, Liu Zhenyun went to the exhibition booth of the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan at the Bookpride book fair and signed books for Italian readers. There was a long queue in front of the booth and everyone was waiting for the signature of the author. A video interview was specifically arranged by the Bookpride book fair for Liu Zhenyun’s visit.
The Bookpride book fair is held in collaboration with the Milan Government. It is an influential book fair in Milan and well-known for its large collection of exhibits, wide coverage of topics and cultural diversity. This year marks the third anniversary of the book fair, which features an unprecedented scale of 200 exhibition booths.
“Literary thought explained at the film festival”
Consul General Song Xuefeng (second from left), Vice Consul Huang Yongyue (second from right), Liu Zhenyun (third from left) and other guests attending the African, Asian and Latin America Film Festival.
After the event at the Bookpride book fair, Liu Zhenyun and other guests arrived at the cinema San Fedele at the Milan city center without stopping to attend the “27th African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival”. Thanks to the promotion of the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan, the two films, I Am Not Madame Bovary and Someone to Talk to, were showed as the Asian Best Films of this film festival. Over 400 people including Song Xuefeng, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Milan and other officials of the Consulate watched the films.
“Visit the charming small town and talk with college students”
Liu Zhenyun standing on rostrum to explain the charm of literature
Mr. Micheal Kahn-Ackermann making a speech
On Mar. 27th, Liu Zhenyun and his party came to the Università degli studi di Bergamo, the Chinese-teaching point set up by the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan and talked with more than 140 students and faculty on the topic of “Chinese Literature and Films”. Liu Zhenyun kicked off the event by first giving students a lecture. By answering a round of interesting questions, he briefly explained the function and charm of literature and won warm applause from the audience. In the end, Mr. Micheal Kahn-Ackermann Ackermann, a senior consultant of the Confucius Institute Headquarters summarized the event by saying that an excellent work of literature must reflect the voice of readers and it is exactly because of this that Liu Zhenyun’s two novels are so well received and loved by readers.
“One-day tour in the University of Milan”
On the morning of Mar. 28th, the last day of the “Trip of Liu Zhenyun’s Literature and Films to Europe” in Milan, Liu Zhenyun and his party visited the University of Milan and accepted an exclusive interview with Emma Lupano, a researcher of Chinese language and culture in the University. He also answered questions including the character design of Li Xuelian in the film I am not Madame Bovary. He then talked with students of the University, and gave a speech entitled “My Indissoluble Bond with Milan”. When talking about literature creation in his speech, he used the guards in Duomo di Milano as a simple example to show that only if one has a careful observation of life, can he create excellent works.
Monica Di Luca (second from right), Vice President of the University of Milan, introducing history of the University to Liu Zhenyun.
In the afternoon, Liu Zhenyun and his party met with Madam Monica Di Luca in the main campus. She showed them around the campus and introduced the history of the university. She hoped that more great Chinese writers like Liu Zhenyun could visit the university in order to enhance communication and cooperation between the two countries and to introduce more great works of Chinese literature to Italy.
The“Trip of Liu Zhenyun’s Literature and Films to Europe” in Milan attracts a large audience with various events held and good media coverage. Through the whole event, a large number of Italians came to know the stories of ordinary people living in China and the creation process of outstanding works of Chinese literature.
Story by Shi Guansheng, Wang Li. Photos by Xue Wanqiao, Li jingyu, Shi Guansheng, Li Bowen, Zhang Cong, Xu Xin, Yan Xiaosong