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·Zhu Zhai

Zhu Zhai, male, Han nationality, born in March, 1923, is a native of Pingyuan, Shandong Province and a member of the Communist Party of China. In 1943, he graduated from the department of literature at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. He is a researcher at the Institute of Literature of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. His academic expertise is literature criticism, and contemporary literature. He was the Director of the 4th and 5th Chinese Writers Association, Honorary member of the National Committee, Honorary president of the China Contemporary Literature Research Academy. Since 1991, he has enjoyed a special allowance awarded by the State Council.



Be Thankful and Never Stop Writing


    I knew of Mr Zhu Zhai for many years, but it was in 1997 that I got acquainted with him after I worked in the Contemporary Literature Research Office. I used to work in the Modern Literature Research Office, so I always wanted to seek the advice of professional researchers from older generations. I appreciate his knowledge and academic achievements very much. I felt grateful for the activity-慪oung scholars seeking advice from and changing views with academicians and honored academicians?which provided me the opportunity to learn from Mr Zhu Zhai.

 After a big operation 2 years ago he came back to work as soon as he had recovered. He has devoted all his efforts and energy to literature research since he worked at the Literature Research Office in 1958. His works, such as 慖n Terms of Life? 慡elected Works of Zhu Zhai Literature Comments? 慖nspiration and Meditation? 慜ngoing Speculation?/I>, etc., chief editor of 慖deological Trend History of Chinese Contemporary Literature? 慛ew Trend of Chinese Contemporary Literature? etc. and essays such as 慍elebrity Documentary of Chinese Modern Literature? 慐ssays of Lu Shao?/I>, etc. have had a great effect on the field of contemporary literature.


    Liu Ping (hereafter referred to as Liu): Mr Zhu Zhai, I was deeply moved when I saw you working. What makes you continue to write?

    Zhu Zhai (hereafter referred to as Zhu): I could never forget two things in my life: one is my hometown and villagers and the others are my life journey and revolutionary forces. In other words, I could not grow up without the former and I could not make these achievements without the cultivation of the latter. I came from a village I left 70 years ago. Nonetheless, wherever I go, I will never forget my hometown together with my life journey and comrades. For this reason, I disdained those who looked down upon civilians and those who satirized revolutionary history and revolutionary forces. It is life experiences rather than revolutionary understanding that make me think like that. History is composed of people that are unknown to the public and it is the blood and lives of numerous revolutionaries that made the revolution successful. It is a lively fact rather than an abstract concept. The sacrifice of revolutionaries gives us life, so as Chen Yun mentioned, we should live instead of those who were sacrificed. Such affection affects my view of society and observing life.

    When I studied in Yan An Art and Literary Academy, Zhou Libo hosted a discussion in class, the theme of which was 慦hich character in 慉nna Karenina?do you like best? Why??Different students held different opinions, but they all mentioned the main characters Anna, Jyty, Levin, Wronsky, etc. But I rashly said that I liked Levin抯 brother ?Sergi Ivanovic, which casued great laughter. Zhou Libo tried to cover his smile as well. One student said cynically: 揇o you regard yourself a Bolshevik??Of course not. But I don抰 like the characters that live a luxurious life; instead, I prefer Sergi Ivanovic, the only character who lives a poor life and attacks the upper echelons of society. It was impossible to persuade others, but it reveals my true feelings. Although it sounds na飗e, it reveals my pure mind and straight sentiments. Such words aroused the attention of Zhou Libo. During the rectification movement, I felt trusted because I was appointed as the Party branch secretary of the Literature Department. It is Mr Zhou that talked with me and announced the decision on behalf of the organization.

    As long as I recall fellow countrymen and revolutionary martyrs, I feel very small and uneasy and in turn want to do something, which is possibly the reason that I dare not slow down till today. Since you have come here, I am very glad to talk with you about my life and work. However, I抦 afraid that you might call my experiences, glorious history.

    Liu: Could you talk about your childhood first?

    Zhu: I was formerly known as Zhu Hongxun, I was born to a poor farmer family in Dazhu Village, the south of Pingyuan County, Shandong Province. Liu Bei duing the three kingdoms was a county leader right here and it was said that Three Chinese Heroes came into being here. The Primary School I used to study at is situated outside the south gate and it was reconstructed from the Three Righteousness Temple. At first, I didn抰 know the origin and meaning of the temple抯 name and later I knew that this was the original address of the Three Chinese Heroes. That抯 why it has been called Three Righteousness Temple. Yan Zhenqing of the Tang Dynasty, a magistrate, trained the soldiers to stand their ground which wasn抰 conquered by An Lushan. Female leader of Yihetuan ?慔ong Dengzhao?was also from Da Zhifang. Thus, you can see the folk customs in my hometown.

    My family was prosperous with 2 or 3 acres of land. There were 2 brothers in my family before I was born. I was not so popular in such a family ?little food and large population. Fortunately, I could go to school because my two brothers had already worked. I was not necessary in my family, so I could try my luck besides farming. After all, I was not sure if I could become successful, so I was also a laborer in my family. I would stop going to school in the busy farming seasons. When I was in Primary School, I could do all the farm work expept ploughing, etc.

    In school, I won a scholarship of 2 Yuan each term by virtue of my excellent grades. At that time, I could pay the tuition fee, bought a suit of children抯 cloth and had breakfast as well. I usually had breakfast and endured hunger rather than go home to have lunch, so I could save a meal for my family.

    After graduating from senior high school, I wanted to register for the examination at the provincial village normal school in my county (namely, No. 5 Normal School of Shandong Province), but my family was not capable of paying the registration fee of 1 Yuan. It was a girl that got along well with me that gave me 1 Yuan. I felt depressed when I took her money. My parents felt sorry as well, so they were determined to agree me with about registering for the examination.

    The normal village school was provincial so that it recruited new students from all over China there were more than 2,000 applicants. It only admitted 70 students, so the examination was very strict. The tuition fee was 24 Yuan which was the price of 1 acre. However, there was an allowance of 5 Yuan for each village teacher whereas the food bill was only 2 Yuan. Hence, it left 3 Yuan to pay the debt, which my family decided to use to borrow mony at usury rates to help me go to school.

    Liu: Life was so hard at that time and you lived in a rural area, how did you progress onto the revolutionary road?

    Zhu: We could not live without family and society. I lived in a remote county and the May 4th Movement had passed years before I was born. The Northern Expeditionary Army was south of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River (We called it 慡outh Army?, but it still influenced us and was a hot topic among ordinary people. For instance, when we left school, we walked out of the school gate singing 態eat down the powers. Get rid of warlords. National Revolution succeeds. All the Chinese sing happily.?/I> At that time, 慫hu De and Mao Zedong?were dreadful monsters in the official papers whereas they were glamorous legend figures to us. I had been deeply affected by the new cultures and thoughts since the May 4th Movement.

My teachers in the Primary School were very excellent and some of them were secret Communist Party members. Mr Ma, a Chinese teacher at the normal village school and the husband of my Chinese teacher ?Zhao Huiping, was a secret Communist Party member. Sometimes, he took over classes for Mrs Zhao and taught current events, such as, 憇peeches about the current political events of the Nanjing Government? 慣he Event of Guangxi and Guangdong? 慏ouble Twelve? 慞uppet regime in the east of Hebei Province? 憃ccupation of the three provinces in northeast China? etc. Although I didn抰 understand what he taught, I understood some of them tacitly. For example, when he taught the invasion of Japanese in northeast China, we felt painful and angry. They affected me by teaching us the new thoughts. When we graduated, the graduation song was written by Tian Han. It goes like this: 揂ll the students! Please rise up! Undertake the fate of China! ?We are students today, but we are pillars of society! We are singing today, but we will save our nation tomorrow!?We song and cried so passionately and were determined to serve our country.

    I entered the provincial village normal school with good grades in the summer of 1937. The Lugouqiao Incident was the prelude to the anti-Japanese war, but the authorities still compromised. Even if Beiping and Tianjin were occupied by the Japanese, the authorities still didn抰 declare war. It was not until Japans occupation of Shanghai did the government declare war with Japan. As the war spread out and teachers & students moved to the south, I had to get on the last train to the south, which was on October 3rd. Since then, most of my classmates had gone in to exile

    After the struggle of war, the exiled schools in the enemy-occupied areas were scattered all over the place. In 1938, all schools in Shandong were exiled to Xu Chang, He Nan Province which was an important town during wartime. The Shandong Ministry of Education reunited these schools and found the ?st1:place w:st="on">Shandong Joint Middle School? Afterwards, this school was exiled to Jun County and Yunyang and the name of which was changed to the ?st1:place w:st="on">National Hubei Middle School? Then in 1938, it moved to Mianyang, Sichuan Province and the name was changed to the 慛o. 6 National Middle School?the school was divided, the senior high school was in Mianyang and 4 branch schools in Zitong, Xindian, Luojiang and Deyang County. I was assigned to the No. 2 Branch School in Deyang County. In the winter of 1939, I moved from Deyang County to Yanan.

    Liu: Who were the most helpful and influential people on your way to revolution?

    Zhu: I have read something indeed on the march in to exile. We travelled along the river all the way to the headstream. I saw a lot along the way, namely, magnificent scenery and extremely poor villages, both of which were in sharp contrast. When I moved from Hubei to Sichuan by climbing the mountains and cliff roads, I saw pavilions, slopes, gates and grain roads that hadn抰 changed since the Three Kingdoms. In the meantime, slogans and traces left by the Red Army in the past also impressed me a lot. Blockhouses used to encircle the revolutionary army covered the top of each mountain. The pitch-dark embrasures watched for chances to fire. It seemed that we were in geography classes reading the vivid textbooks of Chinese history. We were hiking in bare feet carrying our baggage. I felt free during these days which allowed me to get acquainted with more progressive students. As for the students I didn抰 know, once we found we were reading the same the books, we would become acquainted with each other. We became intimate after we borrowed books from each other. We read lots of works of literature under the shade of the trees or on riverbanks during the long and difficult march. I was carried away by the title 態ezhin Meadow?/I> in 慔unter抯 Diary?(translated name) of Turgenev. We could express ourselves on the wall posters as well.

    I was thankful to my cousin, Zhu Hongen. Although we became classmates because we entered the village normal school at the same time, he had been more mature than me since he was 3 or 4 years older than me and had been a primary school teacher for 3 or 4 years before enrolment. It was him that led me to the revolutionary road and took care of me at the critical moment. In addition, I was deeply affected by Li Guangtian, although he didn抰 teach me directly. He accompanied us from Shandong all the way to Sichuan and was concerned about our growth. He set up 態lacksmith? a leading literary publication which published the students?compositions. He reviewed my first composition 慣he Ripening Time of Wheat?and published it in his newspapers. He also attached his comments to 慐ditor抯 Marks?/I>: 慣he writer mailed his composition from Deyang County. The editor would like to recommend this composition. Hopefully, the readers can pay more attention to it. Readers shall find the features of this composition themselves. It is a pity that this publication is too short, so we couldn抰 publish more papers of this length. Therefore, I have nothing to say.?Since then, I began to communicate with Li Guangtian and I didn抰 only seek advice on literature but also some secret political thoughts and the future of China. I talked to my heart without doubt. He replied to me with several papers. He talked with me and gave me some sincere suggestions rather than instructions. As is known from his diary, he took a lot of time to reply to nmy classmates and me. I received 7 replies from July 31st, 1939 (Letters between students from Deyang County and Zhu Hongxun) to November 11th. Later, we lost contact after I left to go to school in Yanan. However, I could never forget the instructions from Li Guangtian.

    Liu: It is said that Yanan was very poor at that time, so how did you get to Yan抋n?

    Zhu: In 1939, the struggle came to a standoff phase. The National Party fought against the Japanese negatively but the Communist Party actively, which intensified the contradictions day by day. The School watched over the students and restricted the activities of progressive students, like the Reading Club that we organized, etc. In the summer, I got two big demerits and two small demerits due to my direct contradictions of the School, which was a final warning to me because the School stipulated that students would be expelled because of three big demerits. Meanwhile, it was also a warning to the Reading Club. As a result, all the students discussed and managed to go to Yan抋n. After many discussions, it was practicable to ask the offices of Chongqing Eighth Route Army (called Eighteenth Army Group at that time) and 慩inhua Daily?in Chengdu for help. Hence, Zhu Hongen wrote a letter for us to exchange views. Although 慩inhua Daily?replied that they would reject our request, a long letter without a name made me feel the loving care and hope. Hence, Zhu Hongen and I went to find him secretly on the basis of this letter. After many setbacks, we hunted for opportunities to contact the officers at 慩inhua Daily?and it was agreed that someone would meet us at a teahouse. Hence, we got in touch with the underground Party, but they persuaded us to stay in school and wait for opportunities. The underground Party sent someone to meet Zhu Hongen and me secretly not long after I returned to school. Later, we knew that the person who met us was a special Chuangkang secretary of the CPC, Luo Shiwen who wrote that anonymous letter to us. In addition, the assigned person was Hou Fangyue, County secretary of Santai County of the CPC. Since then, we built relations with the underground Party. Also, Zhu Hongen admitted lots of people in to the Party secretly and set up the first branch in Deyang County composed of 3 Party members, including Zhu Hongen, a worker fluffing cottons and a female middle school student. It can be verified by the materials of the Party抯 history. Since I couldn抰 stay at school, the underground Party arranged for me to enter ?st1:place w:st="on">Shanxi National Revolution University?which was recruiting students in Chengdu. I went to school and changed my name to avoid much attention from the school because the enrolment list would be announced in the 慔uaxi Daily? We formed a team after enrolment and travelled by foot. Zhou Wen and his wife, who are famous for editing and playing 慍atch Labors?/I> in 慡ichuan Travelling Theatre?applied to teach at the 慡hanxi National Academy of Fine Arts? accompanied us. We travelled to Luochuan, Shanxi and found an opportunity to go to Yanan while passing Cha Town in the Shensi-Kansu-Ningsia border region.

    Liu: When you arrived in Yanan, you must have felt happy because you realized your dream and ideal. Then, what kind of activities did you take part in there? What impression did it leave on you? What were your deepest feelings and thoughts?

    Zhu: When I reached Yan抋n, it was like home. At the beginning of 1940, I entered the Literature Department of Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. The School changed its original teaching plan for us, that is, send the students to the upper ground; in contrast, it began to emphasize normalization. It didn抰 only train fighting soldiers, but also cultivated intellectuals that would construct the New China. Meanwhile, it carried out the three years of university with a foreign language as the compulsory course. However, these practices were criticized as 慶losed improvement?during the 慠ectification Movement?afterwards. Fortunately, it was really a blessing in disguise because we received some normal education and read some literature works systematically. The director of the Literature Department was He Qifang who taught 慍reation Practice? The teachers were all famous, like Zhou Libo, whose 慡elected Readings of Masterpieces?was welcomed by all the students and from which we benefited a lot.

    What impressed me most in Yan抋n were the interviews with Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi and Hu Qiaomu. It was probably in 1944 that the investigations of cadres came to a stage of discrimination, so I sent materials to Yangjialing. I first came to find Zhou Enlai who listened to my report carefully and then asked our advice. After I reaccounted the report briefly, he stood to make a phone call and talked with others for a long time. At that moment, Deng Yingchao walked in and said: 慙et us bring the candies from Chongqing for our guest? At that time, it was impossible to buy candies in Yan抋n. I didn抰 remember whether I ate it or not, but I could still recall the word 慻uest? Then I came to Liu Shaoqi. He read my Letter of Introduction in his office, asked me to sit down and then left. I was thinking he had something else to do, but actually he brought me a cup of tea from a long way away. It seemed that he was very nice. At last, it was noon when I reached Hu Qiaomu抯 house situated Zaoyuan, so he sincerely asked me to have lunch with his family. At that time, it was hardly possible to eat rice in Yan抋n. I tried my best to cover my nervousness but I spilt some rice on the table while serving. I felt ashamed and didn抰 know what to do. He picked up the rice and put it in his bowl naturally. He saw me off out of the door and chatted for a while under a tree. I was very excited while recalling the above-mentioned memories. I could feel their respect to ordinary people and equal among the revolutionaries. These scenes remain fresh in my memory. Along with the scorching sun and singing cicadas on the way back, I was so excited that I murmured: 慖 was as equal as the central comrades, which has left a deep impression on me forever and normalized my behavior in life? Afterwards, I recorded my experiences on that day in the title of 慒iery Memory?

    In 1943, I stayed at school after graduation as a teacher and worked in the Research Center of Literature and Art Theory. During that period, I had been a vice steward in Qiaoergou Town for about a year. The Japanese surrendered on August 15th, 1945; as a result, we were obliged to develop new areas. I was one of the cadres who were first sent to Shandong to work among the enemy. A farewell meeting was commenced in Party School of CCCPC扴 auditorium, in which the headmaster, Peng Zhen, hosted the meeting and Chairman Mao made a speech. Since I sat in the first row, I could see Chairman Mao in a short distance. His speech was about 慣he Situation and Our Policy after the Victory in the War of Resistance against Japan?/I> which was collected in 慚ao Tse-tung?/I>. He announced loudly with his particular gesture: 揋ive tit for tat and fight for every inch of land!? (The words 慺ight for every inch of land?were removed from his collected speechs.?His words were so precious and soul-stirring that they gave us direction. When we marched to Mount Taihang, we received a phone call from the Central Government which asked us to go to the Northeast of China. I requested to go to the countryside voluntarily after I reached the Northeast and then I came to the Great North in Harbin. I did many things such as cavalry, bandit suppression and civil movement. I had also been a District secretary, director of the Propaganda Department, the Director of Organization, the deputy secretary of the county committee and the secretary of the county committee. In 1953, I was transferred from the Propaganda Department of the Provincial Party Committee to the Propaganda Department of the Northeast Bureau as the deputy director of the Literature and Art Department. In 1954, I was transferred to the Literature and Art Department of the Propaganda Department of the CCCPC.

    Liu: When did you start to study literature?

    Zhu: It seems that I couldn抰 leave the field of literature and art. I requested to be transferred to the Research Center of Literature in 1958 and the director at that time was my teacher, He Qifang. The 慙iterature Department of PRC?had just been set up with (He Jiakui) and 1 member (Wang Shuming), so I went to the Contemporary Literature Research Office afterwards. It was the time of the Great Leap Forward, during which the Chinese people were busy celebrating 10 eyars of the new China. Hence, I also suggested 憆elease the satellite?and proposed to edit a book called the 慙iterature of the Founding Ten Years?/I> with chief editor ?Mao Xing and editors ?Wang Liaoying (in charge of the novel), Zhuo Ru (in charge of poetry), I (in charge of the introduction) and others that I can抰 well remember. Afterwards, He Jiakui was transferred, so Tang Tao came to the Research Center and was in charge of the research of contemporary and modern literature. The Contemporary Literature Research Office was merged with the Modern Literature Research Office in which Mr Tang was the leader and I was the deputy leader. During that time, I undertook to edit 慙iterature Knowledge?/I>. Then, I worked in the Literature & Art Theory Office. The first question I met was 慦hat is an historical play? on which Wu Han and Li Xifan held different opinions. So, the Research Center of Literature also joined in the discussion. He Qifang proposed that historical plays were not history, but basic characters and plot should conform to the historical facts. Meanwhile, I wrote 慦hat Is Historical Play?/I> which was published in 慙iterary Review? stating the views of He Qifang in general. My article was criticized by Li Xifan, so I wrote 慠eviewing What Is Historical Play?/I> to answer his questions. As it were, I was committed to study contemporary literature without preparation.

    Liu: It is said that some in the field of literature research look down on the study of contemporary literature. What do you think?

    Zhu: People who despise contemporary literature don抰 know much about it. Some people hold that we could study contemporary literature in case we can抰 read novels, which is very funny. If you want to study contemporary literature, you should not only know the development of literature, but also grasp modern and ancient literature, that is, necessary theories together with extensive literature knowledge. Otherwise, what shall we do with contemporary literature? Belinsky once said: 揕iterature review is moving aesthetics.?His words are very pertinent, so I appreciate them a lot. The studies of contemporary literature are dealing with new and developing objects without conclusions, so we should study and criticize by ourselves which is difficult to do with enthusiasm.

    Some questions: 揌ow can you compose contemporary literature??The so-called 慶ontemporary?does not only refer to the present but also a specific period of space-time, that is, literature history after the establishment of the new China in 1949. Modern literature has a history of 30 years from 1919 to 1949 and many histories of literature have been written whereas contemporary literature has a history of more than 50 years since 1949. So, why shouldn抰 we write history? 慍ontemporary?is a specific historical period indeed. However, I always hold that it抯 not feasible to distinguish contemporary literature from modern literature and then to carry out separate studies. Such studies divide inseparable historical characters since the Mary 4th Movement and set aside contemporary writers. Therefore, I agree with ?0th Century?instead of 慚odern and Contemporary?

    Liu: When did the Research Center of Literature focus on the history of contemporary literature?

    Zhu: After the Great Cultural Revolution, Sha Ting and Chen Huangmei began to work in the Center. Chen Huangmei asked for instructions from the director ?Hu Qiaomu because he wanted the Center to edit the history of contemporary literature. He picked Wang Chunyuan, Zhang Jiong and me to find Hu Qioamu, Mr Hu gave us many important suggestions, in which 慏on抰 write the history of contemporary literature into a political history?impressed me most. He held that it was not mature to write the history of contemporary literature, so it shall be laid aside. However, Chen Huangmei first decided to study and summarize the phenomenon and specific questions during the development of contemporary literature and I was in charge of it. Originally, I took 慖deological Trends of Chinese Literature and Art in Recent Twenty Years?/I> of Li Helin for example and it turned out to be unfeasible, so I was determined to write the materials into historical theories.

    The editors were Lu Lin, Cai Kui, Zhong Chengxiang, Fan Jiyan and I. We stipulated three principles before editing. Firstly, we should attach importance to firsthand materials during writing, so we looked over contemporary newspapers and magazines. Secondly, clarify unclear facts rather than seek or ask for instructions from leaders. At last, base it on the facts without bias. We received praise from the academic field after the publication of 慖deological Trends of Chinese Literature and Art in Recent Twenty Years?/I>. Wang Yao wrote to me: 揥rite bravely? Xia Yan and Huang Qiugeng said: 揟his book is very important.?It isn抰 clear whether they could tell we intended to oppose the Right and 慏ing-Cheng Group?because they are not significant. In the meantime, we thought highly of the 慡peech in Play Writing Symposium?/I> of Hu Yaobang and the Hongkong Journal also made some comments. Of course, people still held different opinions on the main arguments of this book, but most of them thought highly of the unified style of writing. Soon, some Chinese Departments in Peking University, etc. regarded this book as a necessary book for postgraduates. Today, this book is still related to the old literature and 慽deological trend of literature?relies on creative and theoretical trends. But this book is weak because objective facts define it on the one hand and our thinking is subjective on the other.

    Liu: What are the academic features of the 慛ew Trends of Contemporary Literature?/I> which you edited?

    Zhu: This book mainly covers the development and changes of literature trends during the new period. I wrote the 慖ntroductions?and proposed my views on how to define 慙iterature of the New Period? Some believed that the 慙iterature of New Period?started from 慣eachers?/I> of Liu Xinwu published in 1978. But I thought it started from 慣he Forth Delegation to the Cultural Congress?in 1979. Due to the commencement of 慣he Forth Delegation to the Cultural Congress?and publication of Deng Xioping抯 慒elicitation?/I>, our literature has changed fundamentally from creation to theories. For example, the adjustment of literary slogans didn抰 mention 慒or Political Service?which was a change of direction rather than the modification of words.

    Liu: I抳e learnt a lot from your words. What suggestions do you have for the studies of contemporary literature and construction of discipline? What are the problems with the study of contemporary literature at present?

    Zhu: In my opinion, we are responsible for focusing on contemporary literature while dealing with research. Microscopically speaking, we shall study specific works and writers; macroscopically speaking, we shall pay attention to the studies of writing tendencies and ideological trends. Only if we combine them and summarize & promote theories, shall we write valuable masterpieces.

    As for me, scholars who are studying contemporary literature at present are not very careful. He Qifang once said that we shall at least read the works 3 times before reviewing them. In my opinion, process is more important than time. I抦 afraid that it抯 not enough to read them 3 times. Generally speaking, we should read objectively to appreciate for the first time. Then, we should analyze the book to find out the highlights and questions the second time. Finally, we should analyze the book as a whole. We should generalize the passage after analysis and summarization so as to comment in conformity to the features of the work. Such generalizations should be aesthetical. Lu Xun set an example for us in this aspect, such as 慡eries of New Chinese Literature-Novels of Two Series?/I>. He summarized the significance of the ?st1:place w:st="on">Tower of Children?/I> as: 揑t is the weak light in the Orient; flying arrow in the forest; the first step of the march; great love of pioneers and monument of destroyers?which won universal praise.

    Liu: What are your experiences during your studies of contemporary literature ove the decades?

    Zhu: As the title of one of my passages mentions: 慉s if it hasn抰 begun yet on the road of literature? You haven抰 written what you want to write and are not equipped with systematic and solid knowledge while researching. Such writers are only professional 憆eaders?in the field of literature. Due to long-term practices, I am very confident that whether the works conform to real life or not, I could propose my views. In addition, it is necessary to read more works and classical criticism works, like the works of Marx and Engels, Belinsky, Chemyshevsky, Dobrolyubov, Gorky, etc., among which Belinsky affects me the most.

    Liu: You have mentioned that your life experiences are beneficial for the study of contemporary literature. However, some young scholars nowadays don抰 have such experiences as your generation because they go straight to Research Centers directly after graduation. So, how to solve this problem?

    Zhu: Thank you for speaking openly. I think that I am not the only one to benefit from your words.


    Translated by Feng Weijiang.

Editor: Wang Daohang

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