Professor Mo Yan delivers a public lecture on “History and Reality in Literature”


莫言教授以「文學中的歷史與現實」為題在浸大主講

(From left) Professor Chen Xiaoming, Professor Mo Yan and Professor Zhang Hongsheng in the discussion session


(左起)陳曉明教授、莫言教授和張宏生教授參與對談

Date: 21 Nov 2017 (Tuesday)

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Nobel laureate Mo Yan speaks on “History and Reality in Literature” at distinguished lecture

諾貝爾文學獎得主莫言教授 浸大主講「文學中的歷史與現實」

Winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature and recipient of HKBU Honorary Doctorate of Letters 2017, Professor Mo Yan delivered a public lecture on “History and Reality in Literature” on 15 November, attracting around 800 attendees.
 
Professor Mo Yan said that when literary writers write about history, they should make every effort to imagine people’s actual life in the past, and at the same time bring in imaginary elements to the story. He said that he had to suppress his strong subjective thinking and maintain an objective mind so that every historical figure portrayed in his novels would be treated fairly, which he admitted is not an easy task.
 
Speaking on reality in literature, Mo Yan believes that reality may sometimes hinder writers from exploring a certain issue thoroughly. Reality can be even more difficult to handle than history because conclusions can be found on a certain piece of history whereas reality keeps changing. He said: "Reality needs time to settle, to go through a process of sedimentation. For things that happen today, it is better to write about it tomorrow or even later, so as to let the full picture come out." Most of his recently released novels were actually finished five years ago, but with time, many of these novels "grew" and gave him new inspiration.
 
Following Professor Mo Yan’s lecture was a discussion session facilitated by Professor Zhang Hongsheng, Head of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, with Professor Chen Xiaoming, Changjiang Distinguished Professor of the Ministry of Education of China, as the discussant. 
 

2012年諾貝爾文學獎得主兼浸大本年度榮譽博士領受人莫言教授,於11月15舉行的傑出學人講座主講「文學中的歷史與現實」,吸引近800人出席。
 
莫言教授在演說中提到文學作家寫歷史時,要千方百計想像當時人物的真實狀況,同時也要加入虛構元素。他認為要壓抑自己強烈的主觀性格,保持一種客觀公正的態度,把小說中的歷史人物放在一個平等位置上,做起來並不容易。
 
談到文學中的現實,莫言教授認為現實有時候會阻礙作家對某些事件的深入探索,比處理歷史更困難,因為歷史往往已有定論,眼前的現實卻瞬息萬變。他表示:「現實最好讓它稍微沉澱一下,今天發生的事情,最好明天、後天才寫,也許更能看清事物的本質。」正如他近期發表的新作,大多早在五年前已經完成,然而很多小說放一段時間後,才會發現它在「成長」,給他更新的體會。
 
緊接莫言教授的演說,還設有對談環節,邀得國家教育部長江學者特聘教授陳曉明教授擔任對談人,並由浸大中國語言文學系系主任張宏生教授主持。