Prof Mei Chia-ling, Hong Kong Jockey Club Distinguished Visiting Professor of Modern Chinese Literature at Lingnan University 2012, gave a public seminar on “From ‘youth spirit in China’ to ‘youth spirit in Taiwan’ – a discussion on youth imagination and national discourse in 20th-century Chinese literature” on 13 April.
According to Prof Mei, the beaming hopes and radiant vigour represented by youth, as well as a wealthy, progressive and peaceful China, have been the common aspirations of many Chinese intellectuals since the turn of the 20th century. Inspired by this “youth spirit”, countless young people have devoted their lives to building a prosperous and stable China.
Since the publication of Liang Qichao’s essay ‘On Youth China’, which had “discovered” the disregard of “youth” in traditional Chinese literature, youth imagination has often been linked with the discourse on nation and nationality. Many new literary works after the May Fourth Movement, according to Prof Mei, are about young people’s search for identity and their aspirations for China. She concluded that 20th-century Chinese literature had written a touching chapter in literary history with its vivid records of social upheavals during the last hundred years.
Please visit http://libmedia.ln.edu.hk/media8/www/lib/2012/sem_chinese_fiction.html to review the seminar.