Cultural Exchange in Literary Circles: Dialogue between Chinese and European Writers of Contemporary Literature
Embracing the Literary Muse
Speakers: Zhou Kai, Zhang Ni, Dimitrios Stefanakis, Zuzana Kepplová, Richard Obermayr
How do writers find and nurse their muse? Where and how can authors extract inspiration from the daily world around them? What moves them as writers – physically, emotionally, psychologically? Zuzana Kepplova (a prolific short story writer and novelist from Slovakia), Dimitrios Stefanikis (award-winning novelist and translator from Greece), Richard Obermayr (nominee for the European Prize for Literature from Austria), Zhou Kai (an award-winning novelist who has already had two novels translated into English) and Zhang Ni (winner of the 8th Sichuan Literature Award), will take the stage to discuss.
Baring Society’s Shadow and Soul: Literary Ways and Means
Speakers: Zhang Yueran, Isabelle Wery, Dimitrios Stefanakis
There are many ways to bare society’s shadow and soul through written work and tonight’s talented panelists all take very different approaches. China’s Zhang Yueran displays it through her award-winning stories and novels; Isabelle Wery from Belgium chooses to sometimes do it through words on a page, sometimes through dance and song, and at others through thespians on a stage; and Prix Mediterranee award-winning Dimitrios Stefanakis does it through his several novels and via his expansive literary translations. Join them as they discuss what works for them, in which forms, and why.
November 22, 2017 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Poetic Voices: Art that Unites Pleasure with Truth
Speakers: Guy Helminger, Yi Lei, Marius Burokas, Liu Li Duo
Poetry is said to be the art that unites pleasure with truth; interior, rhythmical creations that can travel the globe casting questions, expressions and emotions. Guy Helminger, a poet, playwrite and novelist from Luxembourg; Yi Lei, one of China’s most critically acclaimed poets; Marius Burokas, a poet and editor of a literary journal from Lithuanian; and Liu Liduo, a Chinese writer who began her career writing poetry, will come together to share some of their work and discuss the role of poetry and poetics in the 21st century.
Speakers: Zhu Wenying, Chen Qiufan, Zuzana Kepplová, Richard Obermayr
Authors delve deep into their personal experiences and scour the world around them for unusual and offbeat incidents and individuals, the real and the surreal, anything that might offer fertile ground for their stories to grow. In this discussion Hugo-award winning science-fiction writer and macro-econonmist Hao Jingfang; Stanley Chen, a leading representative of China’s speculatative fiction writers; Slovakian newspaper columnist and author Zuzana Kepplova, and Austrian novelist Richard Obermayr will share some of their work and discuss how they perceive the world around them, what they read, and how it all feeds into their own literary initiatives.
November 22, 2017 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Taking Shape: Immersing in the Creative Process
Speakers: Lu Min, Liang Hong, Song Aman, Jasna Horvat, Paolo Colagrande
How do writers develop their stories and characters into full-blown, multilayered and complex novels and non-fiction titles? How do they approach the process? What literary and structural choices and sacrifices do they make along the way? How do they find the right voice for their protagonist? In this discussion Lu Min, winner of multiple accolades including the Lu Xun award; literary critic and non-fiction writer, and winner of the People’s Literature Award, Liang Hong; cutting-edge novelist Song Amen; Paolo Colagrande, a prolific novelist and editor from Italy; and Jasna Horvat, an experimental writer, cultural theorist and scientist/researcher from Croatia, will discuss their working processes and how their novels and short stories ultimately take shape.
Assessing the World Through a Prism of Light
Speakers: A Yi, Wen Zhen, Jasna Horvat, Guy Helminger
Writers take inspiration from the world around them and engage in genre-bending and genre-blending all the time to tell the most vivid story they can, and to deliver scenarios that challenge the reader to look at scenarios and people in a different light. On stage tonight, to discuss storytelling through creative prisms, are: Chinese policeman-turned-novelist A Yi; Wen Zhen, a rising literary star from China whose work is quickly finding many international readers; Croatian author, theorist of culture and a professor of economics Jasna Horvat; and poet, playwrite and novelist from Luxembourg, Guy Helminger.
Readers Beyond Borders
Speakers: Zhu Wenying, Liu Li Duo, Dimitrios Stefanakis, Zuzana Kepplová
In this evening’s panel discussion, San Lian bookshop welcomes Shanghai writer Zhu Wenying, whose stories are finding readers in many countries; acclaimed poet and novelist Liu Liduo; Zuzana Kepplova from Slovakia, whose short stories and novels have been translated into Dutch, German, Slovenian, Hindi and Polish; and Dimitrios Stefanakis, a Greek novelist whose works are now widely read in French and Spanish, amongst other languages. The authors will discuss how they construct inviting narratives, tell universal stories, and ultimately manage to connect with a far-flung readership.
Striking the Right Chord: Finding the Narrative Voice
Speakers: Sheng Keyi, Richard Obermayr, Isabelle Wery
A fundamental element of any novel or short story can be in finding the right narrative voice, and working out how the protagonist in particular should best come across on the page. Chinese writer Sheng Keyi, who is rapidly finding new readers of her work all around the world; Isabelle Wery from Belgium, who won the European Prize for literature; and Richard Obermayr from Austria who was nominated for the same award, will discuss their work and how they identify the traits and tone of their characters.
The Writer’s Life
Speakers: Lu Min, Shuang Xuetao, Paolo Colagrande, Marius Burokas
What consumes a writer’s time, energy and passion from the moment they rise till the time it comes to return to bed? How do they divide their time and decide when to write, when to travel, when to research, when to pursue other interests like translating, editing, teaching? Where do they find time for family and friends time, and where do they find fallow time after their creative outbursts? Writers are multi-taskers in a 24/7 digital age, and in this gathering The Bookworm invites winner of the Lu Xun award, Lu Min; award-winning novelist and screenwriter Shuang Xuetao; prolific Italian novelist, short story writer and editor Paolo Colagrande; and Lithuanian poet and literary journal editor Marius Burokas, to discuss their approach to their craft and how they manage their writing lives.
Why We Write
Speakers: Jiang Lin, Yuan Yuan, Richard Obermayr, Jasna Horvat, Dimitrios Stefanakis
In this opening session, prominent authors from Europe and China will discuss their motivations and reasons for writing. The authors will bring their different perspectives to bear on the most crucial questions for any author: Why and when did they decide to embark on a life in literature? What do they see as the goal and purpose of their writing? And what key challenges do they face as they develop as writers? The Sichuan Library welcomes Austrian novelist Richard Obermayr; Croatian author, researcher, and cultural theorist Jasna Horvat; Greek novelist and translator Dimitris Stefanikis; and distinguished Sichuan authors Jiang Lin and Yuan Yuan to the discussion.
Break the Mold: Diversity of Form in Writing
Speakers: Wang Guoping, Lu Yiping, Guy Helminger, Zuzana Kepplová, Isabelle Wery
Can a play script reveal as much as a novel? How must a writer adjust their language when moving from poetry to non-fiction? Are some stories better told in short form? Five versatile authors from Europe and China discuss the challenges and rewards of writing in a variety of forms. Introducing: Guy Helminger of Luxembourg, poet as well as talented novelist and playwright; Isabelle Wery, Belgian novelist, short story writer, actress, and singer; Zuzana Kepplova, Slovakian novelist, short story writer, journalist and editor; and from Sichuan, Wang Guoping, renowned biographer and poet, author of fiction and non-fiction; and Lu Yiping, a prolific author of novels, essays and documentary literature.
Disseminating the Magic: Literary Media in the Digital Age
Speakers: Luo Weizhang, Yu Youyou, Paolo Colagrande, Marius Burokas
How do we access literature in an era of WeChat and other social media platforms? How have literary magazines adapted since the rise of the Internet and other digital technologies? These questions and more are explored by four leading European and Chinese writers from the literary media industry: founder of Italian literary magazine L’Accalappiacani Paolo Colagrande, editor-in-chief of the online Lithuanian literary magazine Vilnius Review Marius Burokas, Sichuan author, editor, and journalist Luo Weizhang, and Yu Youyou, the young Sichuan poet who founded the website Chinese College Student Poetry.
The Literary Cabaret
European and Chinese writers and musicians will take the stage on this fun-filled evening to read pieces of literature to musical accompaniment, and to celebrate literature and cross-cultural collaboration.
Constructing and Deconstructing Fiction
Speakers: Lu Yiping, Wang Guoping, Isabelle Wery, Jasna Horvat, Paolo Colagrande
Literary fiction writers construct storylines that examine the human condition, and the way we as individuals represent our world and ourselves. In this panel discussion, five writers who all have written lyrical and layered novels that wrestle with human dilemmas will discuss their complex craft and how they construct, and deconstruct, their deeply imaginative works. On stage will be Jasna Horvat from Croatia, an experimental writer who enhances some of her novels with QR codes; winner of the European Union Prize for Literature, Isabelle Wery; multi award-winning Italian novelist Paolo Colagrande; prolific and talented author from Nanjiang, Lu Yiping; and critically acclaimed and best-selling writer from Jiangyou, Wang Guoping.
Echoes asking Shadows to Dance
Speakers: Zhai Yongming, Yu Youyou, Marius Burokas, Guy Helminger
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance, according to the legendary poet Carl Sandburg. The four leading poets who are with us today – Marius Burokas (editor-in-chief of the Vilnius Review, and a poet from Lithuania whose work has been translated into several languages), Guy Helminger (an award-winning poet, playwrite and novelist from Luxembourg), Yu Youyou (a young rising star in China’s poetry scene), and Zhai Yongming (a legendary Chengdu poet who was described by an international award jury as “one of today’s greatest international poets”) – come from very different backgrounds but they are united in their ability to paint vivid pictures with words, and to create those echoes that invite shadows to dance. They will share some of their favourite work and discuss what it means to be a poet in the world today.