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Diversity and Depth

Diversity and Depth


Thursday, May 24

The Bookworm

19:00 – 20:30

作家/Writers: Indrek Hargla (爱沙尼亚/Estonia), Halina Pawlowská (捷克共和国/Czech Republic), 房伟/Fang Wei  (中国/China), 陶文瑜/Tao Wenyu (中国/China)

On the evening of May 24th, four famous writers from China and Europe, Indrek Hargla (Estonia), Halina Pawlowska (Czech Republic), Tao Wenyu (China), and Fang Wei (China) gathered at The Bookworm in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province and participated in the series of seminars and activities for the writers involved in the China-Europe International Literature Festival. Each writer discussed their own thoughts and spiritual experience when they write in their own style.

The four writers work in different fields of literature. When it comes to science fiction, Indrek said that, science fiction books based on imagined future scientific or technological advances or major changes, not only seeked the retained human nature in the development of science and technology, but also worked as warnings to the present society. In his work, he has integrated ancient myths into modern society and found out the sparks that emerged from the conflict. Different with the science fiction focusing on the future, Tao Wenyu believed that poetry should think back to the past life. He emphasized that the most distinctive feature of poetry was to write author’s own traits and to describe individuals with various characteristics. For Helina who is good at diverse topics, she admited that she hated script writing and added: “You need to write out every kind of senses in words when you write a script. This is very difficult.” Fan Wei, who has engaged in both academic and creative writing, wants to combine those two kinds together. Besides, he is also ambitious to challenge himself to merge the new and the old elements or replace one of these two with the other.

“What is your favorite book?”

When asked this question, both two foreign writers mentioned short storys read in their childhood, while Chinese writers all emphasized their changes in different ages. “When I was young, I really liked The Good Soldier Schweik, but now I like the book of my own best. I think that only those who like their own works can go further.” Tao Wenyu’s answer brought laughter and applause.

“Do you prefer independent works, or works enjoy certain connections?”

Each writer gave their own answers to this question. Fang Wei preferred the latter, but he also believed that each creator has their distinctive ways of expression according to their specific position. Indrek mentioned that the work in series would enable itself to expand in time and space as well, but it would better be setted in a background free from the bounds of country and the times. In this way, the work would bring a same feeling for readers everywhere.

“Which one is more important, writers’ ideas or readers’ preferences?”

Facing this question, four writers achieved an agreement that writers’ views are more important. They thought that only could a work move writer himself might affect readers. “I don’t think much about readers at work. I always concentrate on what I particularly want to express. Though writing is my job, it would be meaningless if I can’t write what I want to say.” Helina, who has many writing experience for years, said.

“What do you think about China as a literary theme?”

Hearing this question, Indrek recalled a Chinese ghost novel that he read decades ago. He said that he still remembered it and added: “China is a country with very rich folklore. I think it is of great significance for me to write crime fiction.” Helina described China as a comedy boook because she thought the people who smiled on her way were very cute. Fang Wei mentioned the possibility of rapid development in China. In this era full of contradictions, writers have many stories to write. Tao Wenyu believed that the writer always “lives life elsewhere”. The Chinese in his eyes are only related to his own heart.

When they took questions from their audience, a young man asked Helina for advice on how to balance the relationship between the audience and the writer, in order to create better drama. “Practice more! At your age, you can fluently and freely write what you think. Cherish this time, and compose boldly.” Helina encouraged all the young people present in a humorous tone.