“Yu Hua’s Literature Tour to Italy” Rounds off

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2018-12-04 18:25:36 
 

Chinese literature was gaining great attention in Italy from October 18th to November 17th, local time. Yu Hua, a renowned Chinese writer, made the unprecedented “Yu Hua’s Literature Tour to Italy” in nine Confucius Institutes there at the invitation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan.

Cultures Develops and Continues Through Constant Exchanges

The opening ceremony of “Yu Hua’s Literature Tour to Italy”, which was held in City Central Library of Milan on October 18th, has seen a great gathering of distinguished guests and readers, making a bustling scene.


The renowned Chinese writer Yu Hua (second from the right) at the opening ceremony

Yu Hua shared his writing experience with over 200 readers at the opening ceremony. When talking about his writing at an early stage, he said, “Talented and aspiring people will achieve their goals sooner or later. In fact, my manuscripts were often rejected in my early days of writing, but I chose to polish my works instead of giving up. I must continue my writing as long as I want to write because my writing will end only when I give it up.”

When answering the questions about the book market in China and the exchanges between Chinese literature and foreign literature raised by the readers, Yu Hua said, “The readership in China consists of an increasing number of young people. 70% of the readers who have bought To Live online are born after 1995, which shows the and prospect and future of Chinese literature.”

“Chinese culture is highly compatible with other cultures and we are glad to draw advantages from other cultures as Chinese people are quite open-minded. Meanwhile, China is one of the countries in which foreign literary works enjoy a large share in the publishing market for Chinese people always believe that cultures can be developing and carried forward through constant exchanges.”

These brilliant answers have enabled Italian people to have a better understanding of Chinese literature, thereby marking the official beginning of “Yu Hua’s Literature Tour to Italy”.


The famous Italian director Basso raising questions for Yu Hua

Later on, Yu Hua made exchanges with students of the Confucius Institutes and local people in nine cities including Turin, Enna of Sicily, Naples, Rome, Macerata, Siena, Bologna and Venice.

The literature tour on the trolley

In Turin, Yu Hua talked about Chinese literature with Chinese and Italian readers on the No.7 trolley in the beautiful autumn.

As the trolley was going through the city slowly, Yu Hua exchanged his views on literature with other passengers while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the old streets and the square downtown.


Yu Hua having a good time with his readers on the trolley

When asking Yu Hua to sign the Italian version of Brothers, Fabio, a student of the Confucius Institute, said, “I have worked for more than ten years in China. I often miss my Chinese friends when I read this book, so I also bought the Chinese version of this book for them as gifts.”

This 49-year-old reader was so excited that he expressed his gratitude in Chinese and Italian, “This is my first time to have a face-to-face communication with Yu Hua. He is very smart! And more interestingly, we are on an old trolley in Turin!”

The exchange on the trolley was also attractive to many Chinese overseas students who are full of curiosity about the past and longing for the future. When answering the question about how to think about the increasing number of younger readers, Yu Hua said with a smile, “Maybe my readers will be robots in one hundred years later!”

He quoted from Russell to the young people, “Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed.” People’s laughter on the trolley fully demonstrated that the brilliant remarks have enabled them to feel the charm of Chinese language and Chinese literature.


Yu Hua answering the questions raised by his readers

Yu Hua made in-depth interactions with readers at the readers’ meeting held in the Confucius Institute at the University of Turin.

When talking about his literary works and life experience, he said humorously, “I grew up in the hospital, so a lot of my works are based on my childhood memory. Though it’s hard for me to create literary works with ‘beautiful’ endings because of my childhood experience, the characters in my works still have ‘beautiful’ souls.”

Italian book fans at the meeting also raised a lot of questions. One of them asked, “What is your understanding of western culture after travelling around the world? What do you think of Italian classical literature?”

Yu Hua expressed that Dante’s Divine Comedy, which has a great influence on his writing, is one of the world’s five greatest literary works in his opinion.


The reader asking questions

Both Chinese and Italian readers took photos with Yu Hua and asked him to sign their books after the meeting, feeling reluctant to leave. Luca, a student of the University of Turin, said, “It was my great honor to listen to Yu Hua’s lecture on site. He is very witty and talented. I hope I can have another chance to attend his lecture in the future.”

Power of Literature, Also the Future of Literature

Yu Hua’s fans meetings in Sicily were held in Kore University of Enna and the University of Palermo. Yu Hua shared how he took up writing and recollected his literary bond with Italy as well as how Chinese literature was received in Italy.


Yu Hua signing for his readers

Yu Hua made close and in-depth exchanges with over 300 Chinese and Italian readers after sharing his own views on the development and the future of Chinese literature on the theme of “the future of Chinese literature” in Bologna.


Yu Hua giving a lecture on the theme of “the future of Chinese literature” in Bologna upon invitation

Yu Hua first recollected his story with Bologna, the reason why he had gave up being a doctor and took up writing as well as his beautiful memory of traveling in Italy with Mo Yan, Su Tong and Wang Shuo. His witty and lively remarks have left the venue filled with laughter.

Yu Hua also shared his vision for the future of Chinese literature with the audience in the lecture. He thought that the future of Chinese literature must first rely on more and more writers of the younger generation. The writers born in the 1990s actually have injected vitality into Chinese literature.


Yu Hua (middle) sharing ideas with his readers

Yu Hua expressed the everlasting power of the literature holds the key to the future of Chinese literature. Taking his own experience as an example, when he was surrounded by the crowd in Paris, he suddenly shared the same feeling that sometimes it is much more difficult to overcome the distance between people than the geological distance as Ouyang Xiu said, a famous poet in Song Dynasty.

“A reader can have resonance with the works written in different languages by different writers from different cultural backgrounds in different times.” Yu Hua thought that is the power of literature. The power of literature is the future of literature.

Let Chinese literature Serve as a Bridge to Promote a Closer Communication between the Two Countries’ Literature

Yu Hua gave three open courses on the campus where the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan locates after he returned to Milan. He shared his ideas with Italian students and citizens in the series of open courses centered on Chinese literature, culture and civilization respectively. The open courses were greatly welcomed, attracting more than 1,500 people.


Yu Hua talking about literary translation in the event

Yu Hua also discussed about literary translation with the teachers and students of the Confucius Institute. He believed that both Chinese literature and Italian literature have their own literary beauty. Translation is a process in which the two different kinds of literature and cultures meet with and learn from each other, thus making joint progress. It’s unnecessary for translations to be completely faithful to the original texts. Only in this way can creation and progress be made possible, facilitating the translations to better integrate themselves into the new culture.


Yu Hua and Yulan, the first prize winner of the translation course of Chinese and Italian literature

Yu Hua answered the questions about creating the background of novels, writing techniques and literary translation raised by his readers when he had a fan meeting with over one hundred citizens in Milan in Bookcity Milano, the last stop of “Yu Hua’s Literature Tour to Italy”.

When a reader asked him how to write a good climax for the novel, Yu Hua answered, “I draw the inspiration from my fourth teacher — Shostakovich. He uses variations to depict the footsteps of invaders in Symphony No.7 ‘Leningrad’, making listeners feel like that the invaders are coming by creating an extremely frightening atmosphere through the gradual change in sound. But a lively folk song is heard before the world is destroyed. Therefore, it is quite useful to adopt understatement before the end of major plots.”

And this marked the end of “Yu Hua’s Literature Tour to Italy”.


Professor Alessandra Lavagnino delivering a speech at the fan meeting

As the strong carrier of Chinese culture, Chinese literature serves as a bridge for the heart-to-heart communication among people around the world. “Yu Hua’s Literature Tour to Italy”, with its unprecedented duration and scale of its kind in Italy or even Europe, enabled Italian people to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese literature and Chinese writers.

Yu Hua, a contemporary Chinese writer and one of the representatives of the Vanguard Fiction in China, has his six novels translated into Italian and published in Italy including To Live, Brothers and The Seventh Day. He was awarded Grinzane Cavuor Prize in 1998, Guseppe Acerbi Prize in 2014 and Grinzane Bottari Lattes Prize in 2018.

Source: the Confucius Institute at the University of Milan, the Confucius Institute at the University of Turin, the Confucius Institute at Kore University of Enna in Italy and the Confucius Institute in Bologna

 
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