A New Cultural Revolution – Richard Lea

Chinese literature is changing rapidly with the fast growing economy. Richard Lea takes a closer look at China’s literary culture flux, from Guardian Unlimited:

“…Now there’s this whole generation of young people, who have grown up since the Cultural Revolution, who aren’t that interested in the classics, but are deeply involved with the changes in society, the future, the terrific things happening around them. That’s what moves them.”

“The older writers will complain that young people aren’t reading any literature,” adds Harman, “but they read a lot more than our young people do. They’re just not reading what the old guard want them to.” And it’s not just Harry Potter – though JK Rowling has been huge in both legitimate and pirated versions. Much teen fiction is not written by respectable middle-aged writers, but by young people themselves. Han Han, a superstar author who drives racing cars, found fame as a 17-year-old back in 1997. Zhang Yueran, whose sensationalist plot lines would carry parental advisories in the west, was first published in magazines at 14. “It’s interesting and lively,” says Harman, “but it’s not great literature….” [Full Text]

[Image by Greg Baker/AP via Guardian Unlimited]

January 16, 2008 7:26 AM
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Categories: Culture & the Arts