Liu Zhenyun Cinema and Literature Festival Kicks off at Saint-Petersburg State University

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Saint-Petersburg State University in Russia [Time]    2017-11-27 18:09:59 

On November 9th local time, the creation talkfest between Liu Zhenyun and readers centering on “Characters in my works and I” was held in the auditorium of Saint-Petersburg State University, kicking off the Liu Zhenyun Cinema and Literature Festival. The event, sponsored by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), Saint-Petersburg State University and the Confucius Institute at Saint-Petersburg State University, was one of the activities in the framework of the 6th International Cultural Forum in St. Petersburg.

Alexey A. Rodionov, Standing Deputy Director of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, introduced at the creation talkfest that this cinema and literature promotion activity marked the first exclusive cultural mega-event held by Russia for a Chinese writer. Many works of Liu Zhenyun, the winner of Mao Dun Literature Prize, including Cell Phone, My Name is Liu Yuejin, I Did Not Kill My Husband, and Someone To Talk To, have been translated into Russian by Oksana P. Rodionova, the associate professor at Saint-Petersburg State University, and have been known and loved by Russian people.

The Russian version of Liu Zhenyun’s four representative works

In the talkfest, Liu Zhenyun pointed out that every Chinese writer should attach great importance to the connection with foreign sinologists, and that only through translators could foreign readers understand the characters, plots and themes of these literary works. “I came to Russia following the steps of the characters in my works. You knew them first and now you know me.” Liu Zhenyun said, "It is the most natural and direct way for writers and foreign readers to know each other.”

Liu Zhenyun talking about his writing experience

Oksana P. Rodionova shared her translation experience. She expressed that not every Russian reader can understand Liu Zhenyun’s narrative modes that are close to the folk story telling. The metaphors in traditional Chinese literature, however, requires additional explanations to illustrate the sources of the literature, adding strong ethnic characteristics to the works. Additionally, Liu is expert in describing scenes of daily life, so his works can be regarded as an encyclopedia for learning about Chinese folklore.

Vyacheslav Rybakov, an orientalist, science fiction author, and also alumnus of Saint-Petersburg University, specially mentioned the unconventional features in the creation process of Liu Zhenyun’s works. From his perspective, Liu Zhenyun’s novels are filled with humorous depictions on the life of the specific characters, which reflect the history of the whole country and eventually evolve into the writer’s unique portrayal of Chinese people’s lives and the respect and sympathy for the destiny of the people. He sincerely wished the contemporary Russian literature could approach Russia’s past and future in the same way.

Overseas Chinese students and Russian readers present at the festival raised their questions to the writer. Liu Zhenyun said that meeting readers in person enables him to understand the connotation of his works from a new perspective and provokes new thoughts.

Liu Zhenyun answering readers’ questions

From November 11th to 12th, Liu Zhenyun also delivered a keynote speech entitled “Chinese Writing Is Happiness” and held a book signing at the Book Center of St. Petersburg. Three movies, Someone to Talk to, I Did Not Kill My Husband, and Cell Phone, which are adopted from Liu Zhenyun's novels of the same names, were showed from 10th to 12th this month.

Liu Zhenyun giving his keynote speech entitled “Chinese Writing Is Happiness”

The Liu Zhenyun Cinema and Literature Festival has attracted thousands of Russian readers and Chinese culture enthusiasts to participate and several local mainstream media have covered it.


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