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Writing elements, landscape, place ,memory,belongings or people?

Writing elements,
landscape, place ,memory,belongings or people?
Time :November 24 ,14:00 -15:30
Place: Enclave Bookshop
Topic:Landscape, Place ,Memory,and Belonging
Mathilde Walter Clark (Denmark)
Pierre Mejlak (Malta)
Cai Dong (China)
Pang Bei (China )
Moderator : Bi Liang (China)

In this gathering four leading writers discussed about the extent that landscape,place memory and a sense of belonging feed into their creative psyches and grounds their writing. The moderator and audience also connected the topic with the life in Shenzhen.

Firstly, the moderator mentioned about his experience of moving home a lot since he came to Shenzhen which caused anxiety and loneliness so he was wondering how the place changing had effect on the writing for Mathilde Walter Clark. She said she did feel the shadow in her childhood causing by the rootless life. Because of her parents, she had to move maybe every two years and the place changing didn’t bring her belongings. Her short stores might not show the places since they are in mixed cities like Argentina or Hanover.And when she as a guest visited her father in US, she found the separation and distance with his father’s wife by the side.

And same question was given to the writer from Malta, Pierre J. Mejlak, whose latest collection of short stories, Having Said Goodnight, won the European Union Prize for Literature and has been translated into 12 languages. He said they are spiked with memories, from the past that the characters would like to change the ending to. The three characters are to avoid the memory you wouldn’t want but it still haunt or manipulate you. He doesn’t just collect stories but also write the memory in the future.

Famous Chinese playwright and screenwriter Pangbei talked about how landscape affected his work and mentioned that the movie Hamlet was shoot in Tibet, with similar castles as Denmark’s which wouldn’t be so grand. It showcased that landscape weighs a lot for literature. He also showed us his latest work which is based on the background of Palace Museum and classic gardens. He thinks he just did what President Xi said making the cultural legacy alive by writing.

While Shenzhen Writer Association’s VP Cai Dong thinks city literature is not focusing on landscape anymore since there isn’t much difference nowadays. Taking her own example going to the reunion with schoolmates and felt like still being in Shenzhen. However, readers back in 80s after reading the description of Hong Kong would still be amazed and curious. Therefore, she pays more attention to people in writing especially the changes of complexity. She also said hometown was not so familiar and couldn’t feel the same anymore but reading and writing can still help her find second hometown or belongings.

At Q&A session, one reader said she started to read some books on psychology because she is lost about her uncertainty of life and the comparison between reality , so she wondered if writer would find a solution by reading too or just explore by themselves. Pierre J. Mejlak said he’s curious and life doesn’t always give the answers he wants so he finds out by literature.

活动回顾 | 创作元素,景观、地点、记忆,归属感还是人?
时间 :11月24日 14:00 – 15:30
地点: 深圳市福田区八卦三路423栋6楼 飞地书局
丹麦小说家 Mathilde Walter Clark
马耳他小说家 Pierre Mejlak
主持人:中国短篇小说作家 毕亮


首先,主持人毕亮联系自己刚来深圳搬家多次带来的孤独焦虑感问及丹麦小说家Mathilde Walter Clark在成长过程中类似这样的经历是否有在作品中体现景观和地点等元素的影响。Mathilde发现中国人习惯在介绍自己时少不了提到自己的家乡,而她因为父母亲原因几乎每两年就要搬家,这种漂泊无定的童年的确给她带来一定阴影,使她关注地点的变换,同时渴望归属感,比如主持人提到她的《孤夜星辰》中,作者作为客人去美国看望生父时写到“父亲的妻子”就表现出一种疏离感。她表示她的短篇小说里甚至因为有时可能在阿根廷或汉诺威等其他城市而无法表现地点及景观。

马耳他作家 Pierre Mejlak则重点就记忆谈对他作品的影响。他的短篇小说集《已道晚安》,获 2014 年欧盟文学奖,被翻译成 13 种语言。该作品中的人物有些想要摆脱的记忆但是还是被过去的记忆而摆布,作品不是简单的写短篇故事,也写将来的记忆。除此之外,他还表示自己一个好奇心重的人,有时在生活中并不能找到想要的答案而文学可以,所以也更希望给自己的作品更具想象力,人物的行为都是灌注了自己的情绪,给读者带来这样的体验。