As a supporting event of the 2023 Beijing Cultural Forum, the 9th Beijing October Literature Month kicked off in Beijing on September 2. In the past few days, a series of activities such as "Beijing Literature Forum", "Famous Artists Read Classics" and "Classic Reading into the Community" have overflowed with the fragrance of books in Beijing; More than 70 writers and critics such as Wang Meng and Li Jingze chatted with online and offline readers about good books, adding a strong literary background to the 2023 Beijing Cultural Forum.
The theme of this year's October Literature Month is "Literature Moisturizes the Soul and Reading Enriches Life", relying on the "October" literary brand composed of October Academy of Literature, "October" magazine, Beijing October Literature and Art Publishing House, "October Juvenile Literature" magazine, etc., through nearly 100 wonderful cultural activities, hoping to set off a literary boom and reading boom, so that the love of reading and reading good books will become popular in Beijing.
Walk with the author
In 1978, in an old wooden building on Dongxinglong Street, Chongwen District, Beijing, a large literary journal called October quietly appeared and quickly attracted widespread attention. Five years later, Beijing October Literature and Art Publishing House was established. For decades, journal publishing has closely cooperated with book publishing, and has launched masterpieces that keep pace with the times, such as "Garland Under the Mountain", "Black Horse", "Green Tree", "La Yue and New Moon", "Red Shirt Without Buttons", "Heavy Wings", "Notes in the Clouds", "Going North", "Bemba", "Baoshui" and so on.
The "October" literary brand Energy continues to produce good works, which is inseparable from the active support of writers. In order to practice the concept of moving forward and integrating into creation, and innovating the mechanism of generating literary works, the third "October Signed Writers" was announced at the opening ceremony of this October Literature Month, and ten writers including Jia Pingwo, Xiong Zhaozheng, Ji Dongliang, Xu Kun, Luo Weizhang, Li Zishu, Qiao Ye, Li Xiuwen, Wang Kai and Ge Liang were selected. As the first overseas Chinese writer selected, Li Zishu has attracted much attention.
It is understood that since the establishment of the "October Contracted Writers" mechanism, the works of the two "October Contracted Writers" have repeatedly won the "Five One Project" Award for the Construction of Spiritual Civilization of the Central Propaganda Department, the Mao Dun Literature Award, the Lu Xun Literature Award, and the "Chinese Good Book", which has effectively promoted the high-quality development of literature in the new era.
It is the tradition of "October" to discover young authors and cultivate young authors. In 1999, the "Novel Shinkansen" column of "October" magazine was launched, and so far more than 120 young writers have been launched, including no less than 10 who have won the Lu Xun Literature Award, including Ye Zhou, Hu Xuewen, Liu Jiandong, Li Hao, Lu Min, etc. Beijing October Literature and Art Publishing House has published many masterpieces of novels by post-70s writers, and the selection of post-80s and post-90s young writers has also been quite effective, and is currently building a "future writer" publishing brand.
As another measure to support young writers, at the opening ceremony of this October Literature Month, the second "Wang Meng Young Writers Support Program - Annual Special Selected Writers" was announced, and Xue Chaowei, Da Tou Ma and Sansan were selected. Wang Meng sent a message to young writers: "I hope that the spiritual energy of young writers is both dashing and heavy. I hope that everyone can have an appreciative attitude and a flexible grasp of life, and also have a spirit of competition and hard work, and obtain literary results from all-round efforts. ”
This year marks the 45th anniversary of October magazine and the 40th anniversary of Beijing October Literature and Art Publishing House, and during the October Literature Month, writers, critics and reader representatives such as Mo Yan, Alai, Liu Liangcheng, Meng Fanhua, Bai Ye, Qiao Ye, Yi Zhou, Xu Zechen and other writers, critics and reader representatives gathered together to recall the past, witness the present and imagine the future around a journal, a publishing house and an era.
Writers and publishing institutions are peers who progress and grow together, and the development of publishing institutions is inseparable from the high-quality creation of writers, and the creation of writers is also inseparable from the careful planning, support and accompaniment of publishing institutions. Writer Qiao Ye describes his relationship with "October" as "I love 'October', and 'October' loves me too". Recalling her literary journey, she concluded: "The editors of both October magazine and Beijing October Literature and Art Publishing House have a style of broad vision, high aesthetics, strict standards and accurate advice, and it is this style that unites a group of authors. ”
"I went down the literary path reading October." Writer Mo Yan sighed, "I still can't forget the feeling of receiving a sneak peek of the new issue of "October", and I can't forget the excitement when I read my comrade-in-arms and my classmate Li Cunbao's "Garland Under the Mountain" and other works. If you want to go back to the roots, reading October is one of the big reasons why I am the writer I am today. ”
Open the door to literature for readers
At the beginning of its inception, "October" was committed to opening the door to a new world of literature for the majority of readers, breaking the previous idea of publishing short stories in literary journals, focusing on novellas, taking into account other forms and genres. Due to its close attention to public life, continuous introduction of solid content, and establishment of a distinctive style of publication, October has won a good reputation.
To this day, October still listens widely to readers' voices, adopts readers' views, and builds a bridge between literary creation and public life. The WeChat public account of "October" opened a new column of "Reader's Review" this year, and readers from Shanxi, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Hainan and other places submitted articles one after another, discussing the connotation of the work based on their personal experience, and sincerely expressing their reading feelings. By switching between "listener" and "storyteller", readers and authors interact more deeply. "Exploring a broader literary form, allowing diverse stories and diverse readings to appear at the same time, this is the steaming literary public life that people look forward to!" Ji Yaya, executive editor of October, sighed.
The identity change between author and reader is clearly reflected in this October Literature Month. The series of literary activities "Famous Artists Read Classics" sponsored by Beijing October Literature and Art Publishing House invited famous writers to become readers and share their reading experiences around literary classics. A series of activities include "Alai: Subtraction for Life, Addition for Thought" and "Xu Zechen: Why Do We Love to Read Wang Zengqi?" "Zhang Li: The endless "Thunderstorm", etc., are welcomed by online and offline readers. Writer Alai shared his experience of reading "Walden": "In fact, it is not boring, it has very rich observations, very vivid and accurate details. It's not that it's boring, it's us impatient, and we can't sit under a huge tree like Thoreau to quiet ourselves. Xu Zechen, in conjunction with his inspiration from Wang Zengqi's work, argues that young writers should "return to national traditions without rejecting the influence of foreign literature." return to realism, but do not reject modernism".
As one of the core activities of October Literature Month, "Continuing the Jinghua Literary Context and Excellence of the Creation Era" - At the 8th Beijing Literature Forum, a number of experts and scholars sorted out the origins of Beijing literature, outlined the genealogy of Beijing-style novels since Lao She, and provided readers with reading guides. During the October Literature Month, a series of popular literature activities and "Golden Autumn Huimin Book Festival" were also organized, uniting the forces of various districts and counties, physical bookstores, museums, portals and other industries, allowing readers to feel the charm of literature and ignite their enthusiasm for reading in a series of writers' meetings, new book sharing sessions and lecture salons.
Build an international exchange platform
On September 9, Japanese writer Keiichiro Hirano and Chinese writer Xu Zechen participated in the October Literature Month event "On the Field of the World - 'World Premiere' International Literary Dialogue". The two writers recounted their experiences when reading Chinese and Japanese works, and Keiichiro Hirano believed that he learned about China's traditional local culture from the works of Mo Yan and Yu Hua; Xu Zechen said that Keiichiro Hirano's writing restores the real details of contemporary Japanese life. "Works in the era of globalization have a public character, not only for native readers, national readers, but also become a common reading resource for the whole world." Xu Zechen expressed his views on the characteristics of literature in the era of globalization.
"October" launched a new column "World Premiere" this year, using Chinese to launch new works that have never been published by important overseas writers. Up to now, the authors of the 5 issues of the column include French writer Leclezio, Russian writer Vodorazkin, South African writer Coetzee, Syrian poet Adonis, and Japanese writer Keiichiro Hirano.
In addition to exchanges between writers, October Literature Month also provides a platform for translators and writers to collaborate. At the "'Translator's Task': Dialogue between Overseas Translators and Chinese Writers" event held on September 9, foreign translators Shi Lu and Ka Jia, Chinese writers Cao Wenxuan, Xu Zechen and Wen Zhen discussed issues such as the empowerment of translation into the value of works, the relationship between translators and authors, and how Chinese literature can better "go global".
"The Chinese writer who has recently attracted much attention in the literary circles of Russian-speaking countries is Liu Cixin. In addition, I personally like Yang Wei's "We" and Zhang Li's "Twilight and Dancing Bear". Katya, from Ukraine, also recommended to readers the novel "Salt of Spring" by Zhang Tianyi, a young writer he is translating, and writers and poets such as Sansan, A Yi, and Xidu, who he is reading.
This year, the magazine "October Juvenile Literature" and the School of Foreign Chinese of Ocean University of China and the website of the "Museum of Cultural Treasures" in Russia jointly launched the "Sino-Russian Children's Poetry Mutual Translation and Exchange Program". Outstanding children's poems from both countries were translated by translators from both sides and published in the magazine "October Juvenile Literature" and the website of the "Museum of Cultural Treasures". In order to summarize the experience in children's poetry translation and better serve the young readers of the two countries, the "China-Russia Children's Poetry Translation Exchange Program and World Children's Poetry Translation Exchange Forum" was held during the October Literature Month.
It is understood that the "October" literary brand has always attached importance to the international vision of literature and promoted exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese literature and world literature. In 2014 and 2017, two sessions of the "China-Russia October Literary Forum" were held, and the two writers were organized to create works under the theme of "Beijing Story and Moscow Story"; In 2018, it hosted the "Beijing International Literary Journals Summit Forum", which was the first centralized exchange between domestic literary journals and major literary journals in other countries and languages in the world, and October magazine launched the column "Overview of World Literary Journals"; The "October Writers' Residence" has been set up at home and abroad as a cultural exchange platform integrating literary exchanges, publishing cooperation and the extension of creative projects, and not long ago, the 14th "October Writers' Residence" settled in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (People's Daily Overseas Edition, Zhang Pengyu, Cao Yuqian)