(Essential Questions) Chen Ruoxi: Why can female characters last forever in overseas Chinese literature?

  China News Service, Beijing, September 7th, title: Why do female roles last forever in overseas Chinese literature?

——Interview with Chinese writer Chen Ruoxi

  Author Liu Likun Jin Xu

  "I write about the mainland in the mainland, the local people and things in Taiwan, and the Americans and Chinese in the United States. The Chinese have traveled all over the world, and the story is really endless." The Chinese writer Chen Ruoxi was like this in an interview with China News Service recently. Say.

  Today's young people may not know who "Chen Ruoxi" is, but 30 years back, everyone in Taiwan's literary world is familiar with it.

  Chen Ruoxi, whose real name is Chen Xiumei.

Born in 1938, he graduated from the Department of Foreign Languages ​​at National Taiwan University and has a master's degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

In 1960, he founded the "Modern Literature" magazine with Bai Xianyong, Wang Wenxing, etc., and won the Zhongshan Literature Award, the United News Special Award for Novels, and the Wu Sanlian Literature Award.

In 1989, the Overseas Chinese Women Writers Association was established.

Returned to Taiwan to settle in 1995.

  Chen Ruoxi is well-known in the literary world for her realistic novels. His texts are delicate and simple, and his style is realistic and friendly. The sketches of Chinese life in the second half of the 20th century in his works have a profound impact on today's Hong Kong and Taiwan literature.

Data map: American citizens of New York dine in a Chinese restaurant.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Liao Pan

"Paper Marriage" and Cultural Clash

  "Writing literature for life, the work should have something to say, never moaning without illness", this is Chen Ruoxi's consistent literary proposition.

  The most common thing in Chen Ruoxi's works is the story of Chinese living abroad.

His early work "Paper Marriage" was also adapted into a script, becoming one of the famous director Ang Lee's "Family Trilogy" "Wedding Banquet".

These stories are more or less derived from Chen Ruoxi's personal experience and insights.

  "I always write about my experiences, and at most add an ideal ending." Chen Ruoxi told reporters that the story of "Paper Marriage" originated from her experience of visiting friends in France.

At that time, a Beijing girl lived in a friend's house. In order to obtain a permanent residence to "fake marriage", she finally found out that she fell in love with each other.

"Some people say that the heroine of "Paper Marriage" is too brave, and I admired her very much."

  After wandering at home and abroad for many years, Chen Ruoxi believes that there are indeed differences or conflicts between Chinese culture and Western reality. However, if patiently persists, the exchange of Eastern and Western cultures will surely achieve breakthroughs and collide with sparks. The success of "Paper Marriage" is one. Kind of "collision".

"I believe that where there is a will, everything will come true."

Chinese stories can't be finished

  In 2008, Chen Ruoxi's autobiography "Persistence · No Regrets-Chen Ruoxi's Seventy Self-reports" (hereinafter referred to as "Seventy Self-reports") was published in Taiwan.

At the press conference, her classmate at National Taiwan University and the famous writer Bai Xianyong said: "Chen Ruoxi is the most colorful of our generation. She has turned her experience into literature, and her novels will have other decades to come. value."

  "If I say anything about my contribution, I probably wrote a bit earlier. Later, mainland literary friends wrote more meticulously, and they were all above me." Chen Ruoxi is very humble when it comes to her former masterpiece.

  In fact, this old man has tossed around his whole life and worked hard.

Even if it's just flat and straightforward, falling on paper is enough to make a legend.

The characters in her works have smiles and tears, and the details are vivid and true. This is also the standard of "good stories" she has always adhered to: no matter tragedy or comedy, good works make people feel real and vivid.

  Chen Ruoxi said that good works must reflect life and real life.

"People write about the mainland in the mainland, the local people and things in Taiwan, and the American and Chinese people in the United States. In short, the Chinese have traveled all over the world, and the story is really endless."

Data map: Library.

Photo by Wang Ji

Voice for women

  "I am in the United States and I don't want to be an American anymore. How can I get a child to be born in the United States?" Chen Ruoxi wrote in "Seventy Self-Explanation". Her generation of Chinese has a particularly strong national consciousness and laments China's centuries of weakness. It was insulted by foreigners.

"Intellectuals should take the world as their responsibility, and they should be worried about the world. It is a matter of course to learn to serve the motherland."

  The famous Chinese writer Nie Hualing once used "marginal, marginal, and marginal" to describe the situation of overseas Chinese female writers at that time.

They are highly educated and write the sentimental state of "being a stranger alone in a foreign land". They use delicate brushstrokes to explain the troubles and confusions in the cultural exchanges between China and the West. They use a unique female perspective to tell Chinese women to seek survival and be positive. Be independent, and constantly pursue the journey of growth and transformation of self-worth.

  "In my age, women's status was not high, and it became my duty to write about them." Chen Ruoxi loves to write about women. Her works are always full of ultimate care for women. The female characters in her works are experiencing various choices, After the experience, you can always get growth and awakening.

"I always thought that if you want a world to be together, you must be equal between men and women. I believe that women can overcome strength with softness, and as long as they work hard, they will always gain and achieve their goals."

  After the reform and opening up, Chen Ruoxi has also contributed to cultural exchanges at home and abroad.

Her home in Berkeley attracted many Chinese writers to visit, and was once known as the "Chen Ruoxi Hotel".

Later, in order to facilitate Sino-American literature and cross-strait literature exchanges, Chen Ruoxi determined to organize overseas Chinese writers, and the first step was to start with Chinese women writers.

  In September 1987, Ruoxi Chen and Ms. Yu Lihua jointly initiated preparations for the Overseas Chinese Women Writers Association.

Two years later, the first Overseas Chinese Women Writers Conference was successfully held in Chen Ruoxi's home in California.

Talking about feelings, exchanging writing experience, and focusing on the development of overseas Chinese literature have become their goals, and they are also their continuous creative motivation.

  In recent years, a new generation of overseas Chinese female writers such as Yan Geling, Zhang Ling, and Hong Ying have emerged.

In the context of cultural collisions, they explored their brushstrokes into the hearts of new female immigrants, interpreting their roles with a more open vision and a more tolerant mentality, in order to achieve "rooted roots" in their country of residence and bravely pursue their own existence. Value and meaning of life attitude.

  "The East and the West are different. The East is'harmony is the most valuable' and advocates'fusion' rather than conquest. The West is more'clear about right and wrong' and emphasizes'self-righteousness'." Chen Ruoxi said, wandering between the East and the West, growing up in a foreign country It allows Chinese female writers to capture rich emotional details and examine the differences between different cultures. They have unique advantages in literary creation. At the same time, they also have a cross-cultural perspective, which has a great effect on the promotion of Eastern culture and the promotion of women's status.

  Taking "Foresight", "Erhu" and "Guizhou Woman" as examples, Chen Ruoxi has the leeway to show how the Chinese Americans in the 1980s explored a foreign country.

Facing the differences between Chinese and Western cultures, they still adhere to the traditional virtues of the Chinese nation of self-reliance and self-reliance.

Under the collision of multiple values, the Chinese women in the novel untie the shackles of traditional feudal marriage, freely choose marriage, and find their true self.

Data map: Foreign students experience Chinese painting.

Photo by Li Peishan

  Today’s cultural exchanges between the East and the West have become increasingly diverse, but in Chen Ruoxi’s view, the Chinese culture is extensive and profound, and the understanding of the West is still incomplete.

Chinese writers still need to continue to work hard, adhere to the characteristics of Chinese creation, and use their works to show the world a more comprehensive and rich Chinese culture.

  Overseas Chinese writers are at the forefront of the dialogue between Eastern and Western civilizations. Through their literary works, they let the mainstream overseas society know about the Chinese community and also know the homeland of Chinese people, China.

Chen Ruoxi said that literature can promote cultural exchanges to a certain extent, and it is necessary for Westerners to understand that China has always been the main theme of her writing.

A large number of excellent Chinese works are translated, literary exchange meetings are held, and the Western people's understanding of Eastern culture is improved through art works such as movies.

It is a good strategy to talk more, write more, and take a multi-pronged approach.


About the interviewee:

  Chen Ruoxi, whose real name is Chen Xiumei, was born in 1938.

In 1960, while studying in the Department of Foreign Languages ​​at National Taiwan University, he founded the magazine "Modern Literature" with Bai Xianyong, Wang Wenxing and others, and was famous in the literary world for his realistic novels.

After graduating from university, he went to the United States for further study and obtained a master's degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

In 1989, the Overseas Chinese Women Writers Association was established.

Returned to Taiwan to settle in 1995.

Wandering between the East and the West, Chen Ruoxi wrote "Erhu", "Foresight", "Paper Marriage", "In and Out of the City" and other works, telling all the lifestyles of overseas Chinese. In 1999, it was published by Taiwan's "China Times" Human Supplement. Selected as one of the twelve cross-century writers.