BCAF Exclusive Interview with Shuang Xuetao | Literature is a moving torch, lit by oneself, held by oneself, illuminating some places while running.
BCAF Exclusive Interview with Shuang Xuetao
As for the future literary path, I don't think too much. Perhaps I have a turbulent soul. I sit at home, surrounded by peaceful time, and cast everything that stirs me onto paper.
——Shuang Xuetao, "Moses on the Plains" and "Postscript: My Apprenticeship" (excerpt)The writer Shuang Xuetao uses a literary style that mixes realism, mysticism, and black humor to pick up the forgotten fragments of Northeastern China's past and bring them together in a "Northern Wonderland" built through imagination. Using surrealism to balance the harsh naturalism and facing the hopeless environment with poignant humor.
He has become one of the most watched young writers in the literary world today, having won many honors including the First Huawen World Film Novel Award, the Annual Young Writer of the Third One-way Street Bookstore Literary Award, and the First Bao Po Ideal Country Literary Award.
In April, Harvard University, Rutgers University, the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation jointly held a bilingual forum entitled "Moses on the Plains: Shuang Xuetao and the New Northeastern Literature," which received a great deal of attention from many readers. After the event, BCAF collected some of the readers' questions and was honored to invite Shuang Xuetao to respond to these questions about the present, literature, and himself.
The following Q&A is Shuang Xuetao's response to the reader questions exclusively compiled by the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation.
Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your literary creation and lifestyle? What role should literature play in social topics?
Shuang Xuetao: There has definitely been a big change in lifestyle, with a much smaller range of activities. Every day, there are different reports that force you to think, distinguish, and predict, but most things are still unclear. The main emotions are anger and confusion. What role literature should play in the era is an old question that runs through the history of modern and contemporary Chinese literature. Personally, I think the meaning of literature is to write about oneself, one's feelings, thoughts, attitudes, and so on. Literature is a moving torch, lit by oneself, held by oneself, illuminating some places while running.
Q: What are your expectations for the international exchange of literature and film? How do you maintain an author's independence and cautiousness in seeking information amidst a turbulent world?
Shuang Xuetao: I hope that Chinese literature and Chinese films will not give up their efforts to go global, and that the world will also get to know more about Chinese art. These artists are connected to reality on one hand and have their own unique artistic pursuits on the other, both of which are important and cannot be ignored. An author's independence can only be achieved by oneself, and of course, some luck is needed as well.
Q: What is the biggest change in your personality and perspective from childhood to now?
Shuang Xuetao: The biggest change is that I have become more practical and have found a job that I love.