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Economic development leads to global interest in Chinese literature

2014-04-09 08:41 Xinhua Web Editor: qindexing

China's economic development has generated a growing worldwide appetite for Chinese culture, leading to more international interest in Chinese literature, a renowned Chinese writer said Tuesday.

"Chinese writers' rising international recognition is partly attributed to the overall economic development of China; as more and more people around the world simply resort to contemporary literature as a gateway to Chinese culture," Bi Feiyu, an acclaimed Chinese writer, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview at the on-going London Book Fair.

The 50-year-old journalist-turned-writer, who started writing in the 1980s, said it was formidably difficult for Chinese writers to be known abroad 30 years ago.

"If the foreigners were not interested in your country, they would not be impressed by your literature," the author said, stressing that today's Chinese writers are having many more opportunities to be recognized abroad.

Bi, whose books have been translated into several languages in the west, said that Chinese writers must be patient on their path to winning international recognition.

"They should not be complacent about publishing a book in a foreign language or receiving a couple of reviews of their books on foreign media," he added.

The writer, who has met with many prominent literary figures in the west, said "the best literary exchanges occur in peace, delving deep into the core of your works, your life and your character."

In September 2012, he accompanied British writer Antonia Susan Byatt during her visit to east China's Nanjing city, where he has been based.

"We spent a whole day talking about literature. The in-depth exchanges just felt marvelous," he recalled.

In the interview, Bi also highlighted the need for Chinese writers to concentrate on their works rather than international exposure. "The real horizon for a writer is himself, his culture and his life. That is what literature is all about."

Bi, a prolific Chinese writer and professor of literature based in east China's Nanjing city, is a winner of Man Asian Literary Prize and China's Mao Dun Literature Prize, a prestigious Chinese literary award.

His novels "Three Sisters" and "The Moon Opera" have been translated into English and are familiar to overseas readers.

The London Book Fair started in 1971, and was regarded as the world's second largest global marketplace for rights negotiations and sales only after the Frankfurt book fair in Germany.

The book fair this year is scheduled to take place from Tuesday to Thursday.

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