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Find Truthfulness in The Novel

The second stop of the second EU-China Literary Festival lies in Suzhou, literature and art flourishing here. There has always been a dispute on the writing style of novel that should it be fictive or be real. Today, the third activity have attracted four writers, Christian Y. Schmidt (German), Jos e Lu s Peixoto (Portuguese), Zhu Wenying (Chinese) and Lin Zhou (Chinese) to lead all the readers to find the truthfulness in the novel.

In the beginning, there was unlikely no introduction of these writers by the host, but each writer had five minutes to introduce him or herself by expressing their feelings of writing, understandings of its meaning and their own styles.

The story of Jos e Lu s Peixoto began with his hometown. In his view, writing is closely related to the history and growing places. It is also the closest way to learn or connect with certain cultural and social background. As Portugal began to connect with other European countries from a dictated country in 1974, his work has been influenced by other European cultures and literary theories. Besides, he often sets the background in his novels based on the village which he was born in.

According to Zhu Wenying, the final goal in life of writers is to find who they ars if they are real and brave enough. She drew a concept named “mirror”, namely humanbeings are finding a mirror and use it to find themselves in very moment, including the reading moment. She believes that another characteristic of writers is that they have many masks.

Christian Y. Schmidt shared his stories about writing. When he was young, he dreamed to be a writer. As a result, he has written many small stories to his parents, but later he began to resist publishing novels. He, through writing, thought about the connection between life biologically and socially, and he said he was glad that The Last Huelsenbeck had been completed before he died. Now, he is trying to write the second novel, hoping the process of storytelling could support him to live longer.

When it came to Linzhou, he expressed his general view of literature. He believes people’s love for words in the present era is based on the desire for communication, and people are lonely after all. He agrees on Zhu’s view that writers have their masks, but he also thinks that the mask can be meaningful by movinng readers. He is trying to go forward to literary world as he writes literary criticism and conducts face-to-face interviews with writers. He hopes that his interviews and discussions could lead some people into this world as well. In his eyes, the media is too realistic and literature gives him a power to keep balance.


After their introductions, four writers gave their own opinions on the truthfulness of literature.

Lin said that truth’s undescribable, unacessible in other works as well. Instant feelings, unspeakable pain and so on can be found in novels, but they can not be described clearly in other ways. Fantasy is another kind of reality in the world, though far away from our life.

Christian Y. Schmidt said he’s fully distrustful of the world. Other writers sometimes choose to create memories, but he does not want to do this. He is eager to find something real, rather than fabricate memories.

Zhu thought that there’s no truthfulness in the world. We all seem to walk in a huge Rashomon, and occasionally find a little light and truth in the dark. In the romantic relationship between different people, we can see the ugliness and beauty of the heart at the same time, and show the intoxicated charm and unimaginable shortcomings. All these truths make us moving.

In the concept of Jos e Lu s Peixoto, the mirror is very close to the truthfulness. The mirror brings about the concept of ego and others. While writer is writing and others are reading, the heart of writer is reading his own works at the that time. For him, there is no difference between writing and reading. In the end, it becomes a game about mirror. Each writer is literary critic, too. Although we are going to create a world for reader, we could never be in their perspectives for real. What he says is not the truth to the absolute extent, but the truth that is felt at that moment. It is important to be loyal to the inspiration and thoughts in a moment.

After these discussions, it’s time for readers to communicate with four writers. During this time, the writers express that reading is a process to connect with the writer. The meaning of reading is that we seems to find ourselves in the plots and catch this similar part. Therefore, the plot is indispensable in every novel. Only in this way can the “last cry” of the last sentence be more powerful. Reading novels is like walking in the dark or with obstructions, while the world would be lit up when we found the spark of the truthfulness.