Interview: LatAm, Chinese literature brought together by "One Hundred Years of Solitude," says Mexican expert

Interview: LatAm, Chinese literature brought together by "One Hundred Years of Solitude," says Mexican expert
Fecha de publicación: 
10 September 2022
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The novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" was the spark that brought Latin American and Chinese literature together, influencing writers in China and uncovering many parallels between the two, a Mexican literary expert said.

"(Gabriel) Garcia Marquez and his landmark book led to the famous 'boom' in China of Latin American literature, leading not to assimilation by one or the other, but to an encounter that encouraged Chinese writers to return to their roots and traditions," Liljana Arsovska told Xinhua in a recent interview.

After Colombian writer Garcia Marquez received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, the works of great authors from Argentina, Mexico and other Latin American countries found their way to China, said the professor of linguistics at the Center for Asian and African Studies at the College of Mexico.

There was "a systematic search that led to the best of Latin American literature being translated into Chinese," said Arsovska, who has been translating works by contemporary Chinese authors into Spanish.

The stepped-up exchange between publishers and intellectuals on both sides also helped awaken Latin America's interest in Chinese literature.

Garcia Marquez influenced writers such as Mo Yan, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012, and whose works have contributed to the internationalization of Chinese literature, she said.

Studies of Chinese literature in recent decades have underscored Garcia Marquez's impact on China's literary scene, to the point of fostering the emergence in 1980s of the Xungen (Root-seeking) movement in China, a cultural and literary movement highlighting local and traditional cultures.

"Literature links cultures. Latin American literature not only settled in China, it also bore fruit," she added.

"You can see it in the works and the narrative parallels, and in the way that Chinese publications of Latin American novels increasingly require fewer footnotes because the Chinese public is now familiar with Latin America," Arsovska concluded.

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