Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin Embark Trip of Literature and Films to Latin America

[Source]    Confucius Institute Latin America Regional Center [Time]    2017-10-06 18:31:28 

Invited by the programs of Chinese Writers’ Forum and Chinese Filmmakers’ Journey to Latin America of Confucius Institute Latin America Regional Center, Liu Zhenyun, a famous Chinese writer, and Liu Yulin, a new promising director, recently arrived at Chile and kicked off their two-week journey to Latin America.

From September 23th to 26th, 2017, local time, Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin visited the main campus of the Confucius Institute at Saint Thomas University, Iquique campus and Arica campus of Saint Thomas University respectively and gave the lecture and symposium with the theme of “Someone to Talk to: A Dialogue between Literature and Film”. Jorge Soria Quiroga, Mayor of Iquique, Chen Ping, Chinese Consulate-General in Iquique, Echeverría, President of Iquique campus of Saint Thomas University, Torres, Vice President of Arica campus, and nearly 300 people including the teachers and students of the local Confucius Institute, literature lovers and overseas Chinese participated in the event.

The venue of the event

Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin shared their growth and creation experience with the audience, and talked about the whole process of Someone to Talk to from a novel to a film. Their humorous and philosophical remarks won waves of warm applause from the audience.

On September 27th, Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin attended the literary dialogue held at the President Hall of Former National Congress Building. The event was jointly held by the Confucius Institute Latin America Regional Center and the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in the National Congress of Chile. It was attended by over 200 people, including Alvin, Congressman of National Congress of Chile, Villota, Congressman of National Congress of Chile and Vice Curator of Library of Congress of Chile, Calvo, Director of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Karina Peña, Manager of foreign language promotion program of the Ministry of Education of Chile, Munoz, President of Literature and Art Society of Chile, Liu Rutao and Chen Xiaoou, Counselors of the Chinese Embassy in Chile, and other local writers, directors, teachers and students of the Confucius Institute, literature lovers and overseas Chinese.

The venue of the event

The activity of literary dialogue was hosted by Dr. Fernando Pérez, a professor of comparative literature at Alberto Hurtado University. From a perspective of professional literature and creation, he asked Liu Zhenyun some questions about the characteristic feature of Liu’s works, the comparison between Chinese and Latin American literature and that between Chinese and Chilean literature, as well as the influence and value of Chinese classical literature on Liu’s works.

Liu Zhenyun answered them with witty and humorous remarks. He said that humor is one of the striking characteristics of his work, just as the humorous words in I Am Not Madame Bovary and Someone to Talk To often make people laugh. However, this kind of humor is absurd, with tremendous misery hidden beneath the deeper level.

On the comparison of Chinese literature and Latin American literature, Liu Zhenyun noted that Latin American literature has a strong feature of absurdity, while the absurdity embodied in China’s Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio is unparalleled. While drawing a comparison between Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas and Chinese poet Li Shangyin from the Tang Dynasty, he pointed out that, despite differences in poetry contents written by the two poets, strong feelings embedded in poems and the writing technique of traveling through time and space in their poetry are quite similar.

Liu Zhenyun

When talking about the values of Chinese classical literature, Liu Zhenyun said that Chinese classical literature, ranging from The Book of Songs to Dream of the Red Chamber, is extensive and profound with a long history, depicting life and emotional experiences of the Chinese nation at the time. He further explained, “Regarding classical literature, its value around the world lies in that it provides us records of people, events and sensibilities that no longer exist, offering us an opportunity to learn about a nation’s past, and that is also one of the significant meanings of the existence of literature.”

Liu Yulin engaged in discussions with the audience on how to adapt literature works for films. Taking Someone to Talk to as an example, she explained that there are two obstacles to overcome when literature works are made into movies. One is to convert literature language into film language, extract and adapt the part of the novel which is most wanted to be filmed. The other is to convert the literature language into films. Detailed description is used to relay a character’s inner activities in the novel while the film only has a few seconds to show those activities to the full extent, so the conversion from the literature language to films should be properly calibrated.

Liu Yulin

As the event came to the end, there was a lasting warm applause. Many people approached to ask how they can purchase works of Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin. The Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in the National Congress of Chile presented published commemorative albums celebrating the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Chile diplomatic ties to Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin. The successful holding of the event drew a successful closure to the trip of Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin to Chile.

Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin taking a photo with Prieto (second from right)

Liu Zhenyun and Liu Yulin accepting the interview of El Mercurio, the most widely read newspaper in Chile

During his visit to Chile, Liu Zhenyun also accepted the interviews with Arica Star, Asia–Pacific Observation Network of the National Congress of Chile, El Mercurio and other media outlets. Later, they would leave for Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, Brazil to attend Sao Paulo Chinese Film Exhibition and literary events organized by local Confucius Institutes.