Are children a handicap for literature?

As Lu Xun said: “Marx was still able to write” The Capital “in the middle of crying children, so he was a great man …” (1). This sentence came to my mind while reading Feng Zikai’s essays (2) on which I will come back soon and reminded me that this group of friends in the region of Shanghai: Feng Zikai, Zhou Ziqing and Ye Shengtao had written about children in the years 1925, the same … Lire la suite

“Writings from the rat’s nest”by Lao She.

Lao She is one of my favorite writers; I enjoyed reading this little book a few months after the publication by the same publisher of “The Philosophy of Lao Zhang” his first novel.

The “Writings …” are newspaper and magazine articles, especially from the period 1934-1939, but with a good short story, dated 1959, on cats, his favorite animal. Many autobiographical articles on his family, his children, his youth, his mother and uncle … demonstrate … Lire la suite

He was not lucky with Germany…

The writer and poet Liao Yiwu was unable to attend last September the Frankfurt Book Fair; a few days ago, he could not leave Chengdu to fly to the Literary Festival in Cologne. In short, he never could get out of China !

Born in 1958, he narrowly escaped death during the famine of the Great Leap Forward then the Cultural Revolution led to the breakdown of his family: his father, a teacher, was prosecuted, … Lire la suite

A former Red Guard revisits the golden age of Islam in Europe.

Zhang Chengzhi recently published “In the ruins of an outbreak: Travel in Al-Andalus, the Islamic Spain which enjoyed a brilliant civilization from the 8th to the 15th century. This book, which is not translated, is presented in details by Bruce Humes (1).

Zhang, after six trips to Andalusia, Morocco, Portugal, delivers a very personal book illustrated with photos and drawings, stories of his travels but also study of the relationship between Moors and China, the … Lire la suite

The writer Lu Xun, eternal protester of chinese society.

Originally published on Rue89, 1/7/2010

 

 Lu Xun, the “giant” of Chinese literature before the Revolution, makes the headlines in publishing:  translations of high quality in France (by Sebastian Veg) and England (by Julia Lovell) and even a graphic novel about Ah-Q, his  most famous short story (Editions Elytis).

From tradition to challenge:

Lu Xun was born in 1881 in Shaoxing, a beautiful city south of Shanghai, famous for its yellow wine. A family of … Lire la suite

The writer Yan Lianke, filial devotion and changes in China.

Originally published on Rue89, 7/4/2010.

Invited to attend last march the Paris book fair : the Chinese writer Yan Lianke, who is well known to readers of Rue89. Yan Lianke is 52, he was born into an illiterate peasant family in the western Henan province. A career in the Army allows him to escape a life as a farmer and provided a university education. His books brought him as many literary prizes as problems with … Lire la suite

The “modernist” origins of the Chinese writer Yu Hua.

Originally published on Rue89, 02/03/2010

Yu Hua is one of the major modern Chinese writers. After the worldwide success of his novel “Brothers,” a collection of short stories “On the Road at Eighteen Years,” has been translated, which leads us to revisit his origins and the literature of this period.

The Cultural Revolution, a  school for Yu Hua:
This is a critical period, which will influence his future books.Ten years of education in schools which … Lire la suite

« I love dollars », short stories on modern China.

Originally published on Rue89, 28/02/2010.


 Provocative and talented … a collection of short stories, “I Love Dollars” by Zhu Wen, a Chinese writer rather unknown but who had the honor of being published by Columbia University, has been translated into French. Other translations are planned, although now, the author devotes himself  mainly to directing films.

Economic liberalization but for morality, a waste land :
“I Love Dollars” includes five short novels and a short story. … Lire la suite

After two novels banned, Yan Lianke wins the Lu Xun award.

Originally published on Rue89 01/03/2009

Editions P. Picquier have just published a third book by Yan Lianke, “The Days, the months, the years”. His previous books “Serve the People” and “The Dream of Ding Village,” published in China in 2005, had been banned; and the last one has received the Lu Xun prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards.

Is the “hero” of the book the grandfather, his dog or growing corn?
“The Day … Lire la suite

From Beijing to San Francisco, culture conflicts with Li Yiyun.

First published on Rue89.com, 08/30/2008.

In the  summer cinema programs,with  the month of August no longer a desert, this year there was a double gift: two films by Wayne Wang, “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” and “The Princess of Nebraska”. Less known than the Sino-American filmmaker, these films are based on works by Li Yiyun , a young Chinese writer living in San Francisco.

Two films, with “A Thousand Years”, very controlled, and “Princess … Lire la suite

“Lust Caution”, prize winning at the Venice Film Festival; discover Eileen Chang.

Originally published on Rue89-09/18/2007.

“Lust, caution”, a film by Ang Lee, the Taiwanese film director, well known for his previous films (“Sense and Sensibility,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Brokeback Mountain”) has just obtained the Gold Lion in Venice. Many comments in the United States where the film faces a ban to minors, and in China, where censorship demand a half-hour cut. …

But also among readers of Eileen Chang , one of the most famous … Lire la suite