China’s online literature takes ‘realistic’ veer

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China literature

Every year in autumn, Chinese capital Beijing would celebrate its literature festival named after “October”. It is marked by a series of forums focusing on the literary writing and innovation.

During a forum on the “high-quality realistic works of the online literature” recently held, Chinese online literature’s veering towards realism has become the focus of the attendees.

“Most of the online literature in its early days avoided the realistic themes. They are mainly fantasies, and most of them have achieved great success.

“But the literary works are more of new myths that have their own
world views,” said He Hong, director of the online literature department of
the Chinese Writers Association
(CWA).

He said that the earlier online literature has fulfilled people’s imagination beyond the limited life span, and has explored the boundary of death and life, as well as time and space, which traditional literature could not achieve.

However, any art form growing out of the society when transferring to fit in the mainstream value would have to reflect or explain the realistic experience.

“If the Song Lyric Poetry focused only on the romances between men and women, it would never end as one of the representative literary works of the era,” he explained by citing the example of the Song Lyric Poetry, one of the traditional Chinese literary genres that were in full swing during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Chinese writer Guan Renshan believed that the traditional wordings were not enough to express the modern Chinese people’s thoughts and their living conditions.

“It is still very important for the Chinese writers, no matter of traditional or online literature, to fine a new language style, that are fresh and vivid enough to touch the readers today,” said Chinese writer Guan Renshan.

According to a report released by China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association, there are at least 400 million online literature readers in China, with an average 4,9-year reading experience.

On the other hand, the revenue of the online literature industry has reached a scale of 12,9 billion yuan (US$1,86 billion), with a 35,1-percent year-on-year increase.

As of December in 2017, there are at least 16,4 million online literary works, while 6 942 were published into printed books. 1 195 of them were adopted into films, and 1 232 into TV series.

There are also quite a number of them adopted into online games or animations.

China now has 14 million online writers, and 47 percent of them write as a full-time job. — CGTN.

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