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Chinese writer Cao Wenxuan elaborates on aesthetics of literature through “A Feather” at Confucius I

时间:2016-08-29 15:47:54  来源:  作者:

“Whose feather am I?” A feather has asked the peacock, the skylark and the eagle the question hoping to find out its answer. On August 19th, the renowned Chinese writer Cao Wenxuan delivered a passionate speech and shared his story with the audience as he turned pages of the ingeniously designed English picture book A Feather at the Confucius Institute in Auckland, New Zealand.


The cover of A Feather

From Cao’s perspective, the book A Feather is also a “lucky feather”. The Brazilian illustrator Roger Mello designed this picture book in accordance with Cao’s story. After the publication of this book, Roger Mello claimed the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration and Cao is set to receive the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing.


An illustration in A Feather

This book is exquisitely designed with quite a few compelling details such as the ever-changing feather patterns on the side of the cover and the storyline drawn on the background of a blue-and-white porcelain vase in the text. These creative designs as well as the ingenious ideas in the story have attracted attention from the readers. The pursuit of aesthetics, in Cao’s view, is one of the principal fundamentals of literature.


On August 19th, Cao Wenxuan visiting and delivering a speech at the Confucius Institute in Auckland


On August 19th, Cao Wenxuan visiting and delivering a speech at the Confucius Institute in Auckland

His speech entitled “Aesthetics as a Literary Dimension” on the day showcased to the audience his purpose of pursuing literary aesthetics in creation. Cao believed that the “aesthetics” in his work played a major part in the jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) selecting him as the winner of the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award. “It is the beauty of language, nature, humanity and intelligence that moves the members of the IBBY jury.”


Cao Wenxuan telling the story of the beautiful picture book A Feather to the audience

In his speech, Cao expressed his view that aesthetics is one of the principal fundamentals of literature. Beauty enables man to develop aesthetic sentiment and makes life an aesthetic experience. He said, “This material world is then changed into a world full of indescribable or inexpressible beauty once human beings have aesthetic sentiment.” Literature plays an important role in developing the aesthetic sentiment of the mankind, transforming mediocre images into aesthetic ones.

According to Cao, beauty is the only thing that would not age. “When seeing a rising sun from the east, your grandfather, father and you as well would be touched, a feeling that would pass down from generation to generation. This is probably the eternity of aesthetic power.”


About 100 people listening to the fascinating speech given by Cao Wen Xuan with great interest

Cao’s speech received considerable attention from numerous literature enthusiasts and publishers.

When a reader asked Cao how he became a famous children’s literature writer, Cao said that he engaged in literary creation as an amateur writer in his youth, when he received guidance from a cultural center librarian who had a deep affection for children’s literature. On April 10th, 2016, after learning that he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy, Cao immediately sent a message to that librarian to express his gratitude. After embarking on his literary journey, Cao believed that viewing things from the perspective of the childhood could help realize his aesthetic theory, thus insisting on children’s literature creation.


Cao Wenxuan visiting the Confucius Institute in Auckland

Following his speech, Cao Wenxuan also witnessed the signing ceremony between China Children's Press and Publication Group and New Zealand Eunoia Publishing Group. Both sides signed an agreement on the international copyrights of Cao’s 17 works. Along with the copyright agreement signed with Jiangsu Phoenix Juvenile and Children’s Publishing Ltd., the Eunoia Publishing Group has signed the agreements on the international copyrights of altogether more than 20 works of Cao Wenxuan.

Rod Fee, Director of the Eunoia Publishing Group, told the reporters that Cao’s works, to some extent, reminded him of the classics that he had grown up with in his childhood. Cao tells a beautiful story with his beautiful language and his works are not just about China but about all mankind. Zhang Xiaonan, Editor-in-Chief of China Children's Press and Publication Group, also expressed that Cao appealed to human beings for the beauty of inclusion and humanity in the world with a poetic and poised attitude.

(AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND; August 19th, Xinhua News Agency; Story by Su Liang & Tian Ye; Photos by Tian Ye)

 


 

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