Report on the 4th EU-CHINA INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVAL
Held at Qi Hao/Genesis.
Authors: Kostas Harlas , Li Er, Xaver Bayer
Topic: History, Society and Pioneering Literature
Time: 15:00 – 16:30pm
The event began with an introduction of all three speakers by the Master of Ceremony for the day, Zhe Ming. He introduced the purpose of gathering succinctly by stating that the conversations were going to touch on history, society and what pioneering literature meant to the various authors. He also stated that he was going to capitalize on the various backgrounds of the accomplished authors to gather their valuable opinions concerning the topic at hand. Zhe Ming mentioned that “We see there are different interviews and there is going to be brainstorming and there would be exchanging of ideas which will be geared towards the success of the program”.
First to speak among the authors was Chinese author who touched on a part of his personality which seemed a bit hard to believe. He stated that he was a bit shy and had a different personality. He also recommended that the microphone should be given to the panel members who had flown in from a different country so that they could introduce themselves accordingly. However, he mentioned that he visits various parts of the country and the world to exchange communication ideas and has some of his books translated into other languages.
Xaver Bayer also mentioned that he came out with his first book some twenty years ago and this essentially centered on Pop Culture. After some time, he changed and wrote a book on computer games detailing how these games affect and change perceptions of humanity and the reality. Then he moved on to writing short proses which has been his most recent work. He also compared the power that accompanies having a real book in your hands as compared to digital versions. His view was that hard copies of books remain longer.
By way of an introductory statement, Kostas Harlas also said he started writing about 20 years ago and did not want to conform with what he described as the ‘996’ system of working. He had just withdrawn from a large city to a small one in Greece. Kostas said that the reason for his move was to create a more conducive environment for him to arouse his enthusiasm for writing as the city did not fully provide him with such ambience. He called himself a natural storyteller and he was ready to keep going after several editions. Stories, he said, affect us, reflect who we are and his love and passion for telling stores was unparalleled.
On pioneering literature all three authors made very iconic statements. Author Li Er described how different dispensations had a huge bearing on literature. He said that each dispensation came with their own intrinsic motivation and said generations of different writers emerge from diverse revolutions, especially in China where there have been different revolutions over the years. He mentioned that comparing writers that wrote between the early 80’s and today’s contemporary writers, there were differences that could be pointed out.
Xaver, on pioneering literature said he began to read at a very early age in Austria where during that time, the literature was very successful in German markets and in markets all over the world. He engaged himself with materials published in the seventies and books that influenced him massively were books written by poets and those that had Asian philosophy. He said literature in the sixties and seventies had a huge impact on his story telling and writing. Kostas reemphasized how children’s book writing in the past, in Greece had to be met with boldness because the books were barely making it to the shelves of the bookstore.
Author, Li Er, who exhumed an admirable sense of humor blended his delivery with many traditional stories and experiences from his travel that drew some smiles from the audience who seemed to be in awe of his discussions. He mentioned how pivotal ad crucial his journeys have been to his career as a writer and how this has been beneficial through building friendships to getting his books translated to other languages.
The session was packed with discussions on very relevant themes that centered on the changing times and how authors should adjust, social media and the digital revolution. Authors Kostas Harlas and Xaver Bayer both mentioned how the dynamics of social media promotion and engagement for modern authors could be a major distraction for the author’s work. Although they did not deny how crucial these digital platforms were, Xaver Bayer said that he would rather delegate the task of social media work to another party because it gave him more time to concentrate and focus on writing. For Kostas Harlas, he had taken a social media break to focus on his writing and his bee-keeping business.
Rural settings have a great influence on authors. There is a powerful connection between life in the city and life in the rural setting that gives the author the opportunity to connect the dots and come out with some great ideas for writing. This was the view of Chinese author Li Er.
Audience were blown away by the details shared by all three accomplished authors. The questions asked centered on how professionals in specific fields could take on writing as a side career and also how bee-keeping in Kostas’ case had an influence on writing. Kostas had one answer for his audience, ‘Observe’ he said. A writer never stops observing.
The event ended at 16:30 with the audience interacting with the authors. This session was one that was highly informative, engaging and with the topics discussed, these writers brought their A-game to the stage and shared from the depths of their experiences. Such discussions certainly drive and direct the next big steps of literary work in both China and Europe, even so all over the world.
Report on the 4th EU-CHINA INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVAL