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Chinese Contemporary Writer Li Rui Speaks at PKU

Peking University, Beijing, April 8th,2009: "I feel that my spirit is nourished every time I listen to a seminar at PKU. The culture fever of the eighties deeply affected me; this is how Houtu (thick earth) came to be." One of the most talented Modern Chinese writers Li Rui started off his first speech at PKU with his decade of origins at PKU, winning applause to his opening words. On the night of the eighth, the "Chinese Authors at PKU" Li Rui Session, hosted by PKU's Chinese Department was held at the Overseas Exchange Center Sunny Hall. This Chinese writer titled his speech "Expressing yourself Chinese Box Characters".


Li Rui published his first novel in 1974, to this day he has published some two million characters. The series Houtu is one his more influential works. It has received the 8th annual "National Best Short Story Award", and the 12th Taiwanese "China Times" Literature Award. Li Rui's various works have been translated and published in Swedish, English, French, Japanese, German, Dutch and Vietnamese.


In his speech, Li begins by emphasizing the importance of establishing the identity of the Chinese language. He believes that no person can break free from history and reality; it is so for literature as a type of creation as well. Li then went on to the reasons for why he insists on writing with colloquialvocabulary. "Returning to colloquial vocabulary is breaking the levels in a language, for the literature style, it is breaking through the class; and for literature essence, it is finding a new point of support in the historical and personal wasteland." Li considers the Chinese culture to be the best suited for creating exquisite literature pieces due to its deepness and complexity.


This conference by Li Rui was the second session of the "Chinese Authors at PKU", the first was held on the 19th of March in the Chinese Department Report Hall, renown prose writer Wang ChongLv spoke to PKU student body about the new relation between prose creation, culture traditions and innovation. Organizing Committee Director of the "Chinese Authors at PKU", Chinese Department Professor Chen Pingyuan said that the purpose of holding events like this was to create the spirit of passion for literature, develop the taste for literature admiration, and to improve the ability for literature creation. Professor Chen also revealed that famous writers Liu Zhenyun and Wang Meng will make an appearance on the "Chinese Authors at PKU" forum. "Our next step is to enforce the 'on campus author' system in order to bring writers into the campus. Before that we will try to give the student more opportunities to have conversations with authors by holding speeches in order to make up for our education system that unfortunately over emphasizes the 'history of literature'", says Chen Pingyuan.


In the question and answer part of the lecture, Li Rui made good-humored answers which helped keep the ambiance cheerful and fun. After the speech, PKU Chinese Department Party Secretary and Vice Head of Department Professor Jiang Langlang presented Li Rui with some books and posters of the Chinese Department.


Edited by: Wang Yi

Translated by: Connie Chang