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The pleasure and pain of reading

 Literary reading is my daily pastime, and literary creation is my permanent job. I think it is not easy for a work to be recognized by readers. Only those works that can fully satisfy readers' emotional needs and language pursuits can win the priority status of readers' bedside pillows.


Thousands of novels are produced annually in the contemporary literary world. I'm not worried about readers, but a little worried about critics. Because readers have the right to choose their own tastes, and it is difficult for literary critics to get the pleasure of reading. In front of the critics, there is a feast of so-called delicacies at any time. They have been trained to have a particularly biased personal taste. With their personal taste intuition, how can they justly evaluate the quality of a chef's work? Look at the mood! Emotions are the motivation for writing. Equally, emotions are motivations for reading. If the work does not arouse the reader's vigilance or pleasure, it is likely to be mediocre. A critic should be able to make a relatively objective and accurate choice as long as he puts down his posture and starts from the emotions of a reader.


My interest in novel reading is first based on the subject matter. Traditional or modern, fictional or realistic, the subject matter of the work and the creative method are all closely related. I searched for reading objects by reading the content brief of the work. As far as reading interest is concerned, I have always liked to read biographies of world-famous writers, because such biographies themselves have a strong literary quality, such as Romain Rolland's "Famous People", Maugham's "Masters and Masterpieces", etc. And more than just facts and stereotypes. Recently, after reading "Lu Yaozhuan" written by Hou Fu (People's Literature Publishing House, 1st edition in January 2015, 8th printing in July 2016), I have a sense of satisfaction that exceeded my reading expectations.


Lu Yao is a partial talent. When he was studying, his math scores were far inferior to that of Chinese, and he showed his literary talent very early. After graduating from Yan'an University, Lu Yao worked as a novel editor in the editorial department of "Shaanxi Literature and Art", the predecessor of "Yanhe" magazine. He loves literary creation and his works have won many awards. His novel "Ordinary World" turned an ordinary peasant into a hero of the times, and wrote about his feelings as an ordinary laborer.


The peasant position or a kind of peasant heart of Lu Yao's novels can be felt by readers. The young Li Yemo, the performer of "Ordinary World", said that the reason why Lu Yao's works can have a huge appeal is that he can feel it during the broadcast process: Lu Yao's works show the perseverance of farmers. , that is not looking down at the peasants from above, or looking at them more or less, but putting oneself among the peasants to feel and observe. ("Lu Yaozhuan" page 279)


Lu Yao's one-million-word realist masterpiece "Ordinary World" was born in the mid-1980s. It was looked down upon at first, but in the end it was not buried in the literary works poured out by various Western literary trends. middle. "Ordinary World" was broadcast on the Central People's Broadcasting Station for half an hour every day for more than four months, which produced another sensational effect after the award-winning novella "Life", and finally won the No. A Mao Dun Literature Award.


"Ordinary World" I've only read novels, but I haven't listened to the radio. When Lu Yao's novel was broadcast in 1988, I was preparing for the college entrance examination. After the college entrance examination, I began to read "A Dream of Red Mansions". Because of the high school schedule, I had no spare time, so I could only read one or two novels a year. When I got to the Chinese Department of the university, my life was suddenly occupied by translated works. I read novels, aesthetics, and philosophy, and reading and copying took up most of my time. After reading a novel, my eyes seem to be a lot nearsighted, and then I have to rest for a few days and read some short poems and prose to adjust. Sometimes I feel that those short works can bring people more pleasure to read, because most of them reflect the social life we ​​are familiar with, rather than describe the too grand picture scroll of the era like some long novels. For some novels that I consider "great", writers who lack the ambition to write not only cannot write them, they cannot read them. I think the same is true today, even after decades.


Conceiving a novel is like directing a battle, it's a remarkable thing to think about, but it's also incredibly difficult to do. Writers must not only have sufficient mental preparation, but also must have the objective conditions on which to write.


Every time Lu Yao writes a novel, he has to rely on his brother or friend to find an independent studio, which means that he needs the most basic writing conditions: a study, a desk, and food supplies (and cigarettes). coffee, which he felt was part of the ritualistic sense of writing). Such retreat writing is beyond the imagination of many of us amateur writers. Because trivial work will bring all kinds of troubles, such as the sense of time clutter, the sense of triviality of life, and the sense of powerlessness of expression, all of which make it difficult for our works to form the proper volume. This kind of volume is the volume of thoughts and emotions, and the volume of complete personality, but those works of sufficient size in our minds seem to be only growing, and the process is blurred, limbs are incomplete, how many words It can't form an ideal volume, not even how many books. The ideal volume is invariable, and when it does not form an individual existence, it is a phantom of non-existence. Although it is said that the book is only the phantom of the soul, when the phantom of the soul becomes the substance of the book, the substance of life will give way. Displaced in fantasy, doing nothing in front of reality, we have lived as phantoms of lost souls.


My preferred style is speculative philosophy and aesthetics. The echoes of emotions and thoughts that "Lu Yaozhuan" aroused in my heart, from far to near, from small to big, even bigger than "Ordinary World" itself. I rediscovered a common truth that I had forgotten before: a man who wants to conquer the world is not limited to his personal emotions. Lu Yao has experienced eternal suffering, joy and splendor. His rich emotion and life full of mission are like a magnificent symphony of heroes, with a charming and legendary color, which inspires the fighting spirit of young people. Among so many literary works that have won the Mao Prize, is Lu Yao's "Ordinary World" the closest to the heroic temperament of "John Christopher"?


People have different attitudes towards literature. Worship is often the result of "distance begets beauty". Writers also have varying degrees of reverence for literature. The Lu Yao brothers have different feelings for literature. The younger brother Wang Tianle is born out of love and hate, and love and distance. When the elder brother Lu Yao became a believer in literature, the younger brother clearly saw the tragic end of his elder brother as a believer in literature: he would die of exhaustion on the road to literature like Kuafu. When Lu Yao was looking forward to the day when the two brothers went to receive the Nobel Prize together, his younger brother Wang Tianle had a long confession about literature that made Lu Yao cry. Wang Tianle tortured his brother and said: "As a son, if you don't let your father enjoy a few days of great blessings, I think it is hypocritical to do a great career." The temple is also an invisible altar filled with sacrifices provided by human beings, that is, human beings themselves.


Lu Yao's younger brother Wang Tianle is an important character in "The Legend of Lu Yao". Wang Tianle, described by Houfu, is the third brother of Lu Yao. After graduating from high school, he taught elementary school in the countryside for a year. Lu Yao saw his ambition and courage, and later found him a job as a worker in a coal mine, and then transferred him to the higher development platform of Yan'an News. ("Luyao Biography", p. 181) Wang Tianle is the closest of Lu Yao's brothers, the younger brother Lu Yao can send at any time, and Lu Yao's bosom friend and "private secretary". Wang Tianle helped Lu Yao to conceive novels, experience life, ensure supplies, and provide emotional support and life experience without any regrets. In this biography woven by Houfu with the dense life events of Lu Yao brothers, I can read such a feeling: without this brother Wang Tianle, Lu Yao's "Ordinary World" may not have been written at all, or it is possible could not be completed successfully. The Wang Tianle presented in "Luyao Biography" is touching and warm: "Wang Tianle is the direct prototype of Lu Yao's novel "Ordinary World"." ("Luyao Biography" p. 181)


But I don't know when, Lu Yao's younger brother Wang Tianle became a contradictory existence in my impression. I read some articles earlier and knew that Lu Yao had a younger brother who seemed to be stuck on the Xi'an railway station platform forever. "Lu Yaozhuan" reproduces that scene. Houfu wrote about Lu Yao going to receive the Mao Award, saying that Lu Yao called his younger brother Wang Tianle before going to Beijing to receive the award, saying that he only had the travel expenses, he needed a sum of money to go to Beijing, and he needed to buy 100 sets of "Ordinary World" As a gift, the younger brother Wang Tianle borrowed 5,000 yuan and rushed to Xi'an Railway Station to give it to Lu Yao. The brother relationship in "Lu Yaozhuan" is only harmonious, not discord, unlike some famous brothers in novels.


Celebrity brother stories, the most typical is the short story "The Writer and His Brother" by Mr. Chen Zhongshi. This novel depicts a famous younger brother who is slick and ridiculous and has a particularly heavy peasant habit: he wants to borrow his brother's note to go to the county magistrate to say hello to a bank loan, but after being fooled, he revengefully replaces the magistrate's new bicycle accessories. onto your old bike. The story is fictional, of course, but the impact is real. The short story "The Writer and His Brother" almost made me think that the younger brother in the novel was Lu Yao's younger brother who gave him money at the station. In fact, there are so many famous Shaanxi families with younger brothers, why do I think of Lu Yao? One is because in the impression of an ignorant reader like me, the younger brother who sent money to Lu Yao at the train station was the only younger brother of a famous family, so it was easy to make random associations. Second, I had read some articles about the discord between Lu Yao's brothers, and after reading "Lu Yao's Biography", I still felt a little bit of doubt and annoyance: Why are there different opinions on the issue of Lu Yao's brotherhood?


Coincidentally at this time, I read an article "The Anomie and Absurdity of Lu Yao's Research" in the third issue of "Literary Freedom Talk" in 2021. I learned the ins and outs of the discord between brothers, and I relieved myself from the troubles of reading. Out.


It seems that reading needs to be diligent, and it needs to be broad, because the views of some books can be mutually confirmed.



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