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Report on the Student Meeting with Chen Qiufan at the Literaturherbst Heidelberg

Literaturherbst Heidelberg mit Chen Qiufan

Literaturherbst Heidelberg mit Chen Qiufan

News vom 08.01.2024

For many Heidelberg students of Chinese literature, this semester started not with a regular class session but with a discussion with the prolific writer Chen Qiufan. By breaking through the typical conventions of SciFi writing and working at the intersection of film and writing, Chen Qiufan’s work has gained him a large audience both in the Sinophone world and beyond. In their often uncanny visions of the near future, Chen Qiufan’s novels, short-stories and scripts both mirror different social tensions, environmental threats and unfolding crises in the present and play out the potentialities of different scenarios that may be not that impossible after all.

In an event co-organized by the Confucius Institute, the Worldmaking team and the team of Barbara Mittler’s chair, students of three classes dealing with different aspect of modern and contemporary Chinese literature were given the unique opportunity to engage in a dialogue with Chen Qiufan, disucssion, among others, his working routines and aesthetic approach, his engagement with Chinese and international audiences and the role of translations for his works, but also issues of censorship and cultural policy as well as the interplay of literal and allegorical readings of his works.

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