The Limitation and Transcendence of Writing in China

The Chinese author, Yan Lianke, will give a speech which reveals the roots of the changes in contemporary Chinese reality and Chinese literature.

The lecture will be delivered in CHINESE and interpreted into Norwegian by Øystein Krogh Visted.

Open for all.

The Chinese writers now have entered into a new cold age – one different from the “ode to party” age at socialist China, the frozen age during the Cultural Revolution, or the relatively free age at 1980s’ China. China has stepped into a liminal age when the authoritarian political system and the liberalizing economy converge with each other. Chinese writers, in this age, are confronted with both the political pressures from the government and the temptation of money from the market.

They consciously or unconsciously partake of censorship and self-censorship, ignoring the poignant reality in China, and Chinese literature therefore takes on a new and uncanny dimension.

The mainstream of contemporary Chinese literature now is dominated by “bitter coffee literature,” one type that compromises with the authoritarian, overlooks the social reality and disregards the pain and predicament of human existence. My speech “The Limitation and Transcendence of Writing in China” will reveal the roots of these changes in contemporary Chinese reality and Chinese literature, and try to find the possibility of transcending these limitations. By so doing, I will explore how the Chinese literature could embrace the world literature.

On the lecturer:

Yan Lianke is one of China's most prominent writers. This August, his critically acclaimed Booker Prize finalist, <四书> (The Four Books), is going to be published in Norwegian, translated by Brit Sæthre.
Yan Lianke currently lives in Beijing. He is educated at Henan University and has the experience of having studied literature at People's Liberation Army Art Institute. His debut took place in 1978 when he was writing for the Army. Since then, he published a number of long novels and prose collections distinguished by new and remarkable stylistic and topical choices. His novels <為人民服務> (Tjen folket),<受活> (Lenins kyss) and <丁庄梦> (Landsbyens blod) were published in Norwegian in Brit Sæthre's translations.

Yan has received a number of prestigious prizes, included the Lu Xun and Lao She prizes, for his works - some of which, however, are currently banned in the People's Republic of China.

The lecture will be delivered in CHINESE and interpreted into Norwegian by Øystein Krogh Visted. Coffee and tea will be served!

Published Aug. 20, 2018 1:49 PM - Last modified Aug. 20, 2018 1:50 PM