New Chinese Literature


New Chinese Literature
'Meet the Authors', curated by Maria Rita Masci

The exhibition has provided us with an opportunity to invite Chinese authors Mian Mian and Su Tong to meet the public.  The authors will be reading extracts from those of their works that have already been translated into Italian, and discussing their work with the organizer of the event, Maria Rita Masci.  Contemporary Chinese literature has undergone deep-seated changes both in terms of form and language, and in terms of the topics it addresses and of how it relates to society.  There was a shift away from the heroic and utopian approach of the Eighties, toward a more intimate and hedonistic style in the Nineties.  Su Tong and Yu Hua were among the leading players in the literary renewal of the Eighties, while Mian Mian embodies the globalized spirit of today's youngsters, the so-called "cruel youth"; she enshrines a malaise that has trouble connecting with the optimism so predominant in the country.

Thursday 20 March, 6.30 p.m.
Mian Mian
Mian Mian was born in Shanghai in 1975.  Interpreting and lending her voice to the new generations in post-revolutionary China, she began writing in the Nineties.  With her first novel, La La La, published in 1995 initially in Hong Kong and only later, after a great deal of resistance, in China, she was instantly acclaimed by the critics as one of the most interesting and significant new writers in contemporary Chinese narrative literature.  Her books, all of which are strongly autobiographical, tell stories from real life, mostly set against a night-time backdrop made up of bars and discothèques, of parties and crowded streets where the search for happiness, the passion for music, complicated and heart-rending love affairs, drugs, sex and suicide are recurrent themes.  Her book Nine Objects of Desire was translated and published in Italy by Einaudi Stile Libero in 2001.

Friday 18 April, 6.30 p.m.
Yu Hua

Yu Hua was born in Hangzhou, a village in the south of China, in 1960.  The son of a country doctor, he too initially studied medecine, but then he became a full-time writer of novels.  He is considered one of the most important members of the new generation of Chinese authors.  His books published in Italy include The Past and the Punishments, Einaudi Stile libero 1997; Cries in the Drizzle, Donzelli 1998; To Live!, Donzelli 1998 (Grinzane Cavour prize for literature 1998); Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, Einaudi 2000; and World Like Mist, Einaudi Arcipelago 2004.  In Chronicle of a Blood Merchant, one of his best-selling novels and one of the most important works of Chinese literature in the entire post-Mao era, the author shows that he is the master of a very varied range of tones, from the comic to the grotesque and from the emotional to the sharp, witty and sarcastic. Director Zhang Yimou turned the novel Vivere! into a film, which is banned in China.

Wednesday 7 May 6.30 p.m.
Su Tong

Su Tong was born in the Chinese city of Su Zhou in 1963.  He was admitted to the Beijing Normal University in 1980 and that saw the start of a crucial phase in his life.  His writing is imbued with a rejection of politics, a feature he shares with all the writers of the avant-garde school.  His works are almost all set in the era immediately before the advent of the People's Republic in 1940.  Many of his novels have been translated and published in Italy: Wives and Concubines (Raise the Red Lantern), Theoria 1992, reprinted as a paperback by Feltrinelli in 1996; Rice, Theoria 1993, reprinted as a paperback by Feltrinelli in 1997; The Opium House, Theoria 1995; The World's Two Faces, Neri Pozza 2004; and My Life as Emperor, Neri Pozza 2004.

Auditorium - Entrance in via Milano, 9A
Free Admission, limited number of seats available