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Humble roots form Nobel ideas

By Gong Ziming | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-04 09:56

Q: In modern society, nostalgia has become a common emotion. We can see that in your novels - despite the subject's specific time, space or abstract culture - they are all from your real native soil. How do you view the connections among modern society, modern technology, your native land and literature?

A: I have read poems written by robots that were imitations of Tang poetry. Technically speaking, what the robots wrote completely met the requirement for the rhymes. There was nothing wrong with tones and patterns.

However, the poetry itself was emotionless and lacked personality. I'm a conservative person, and it seems to me that work produced in this way is not real literature.

I have said before that, driven by capital and profit, science has mutated. Its unhealthy development not only does harm to humans but also causes a huge waste of resources. I feel that the biggest danger facing mankind today is the combination of increasingly advanced technology and our growing avarice. Technology, fueled by greed and profit, has already deviated from its original purpose to serve the healthy needs of the human race. Now, it indeed serves the sick needs of some of the rich.

We need to tell people through our literature that we do not have to develop at a mind-blowing speed. There is no need to accelerate the growth of animals and vegetables for food, since they may lose their original taste and nutrition, as well as contain growth hormones and other poisons as a result.

We need to push the message through our work that we can slow down and save more for future generations - that it only takes air, sunshine, food and water to sustain life, and other things are luxuries for us. The good times ahead of us are countable. When people are trapped in a desert, they will realize that water and food are more precious than gold and diamonds.

And people will see that mansions and villas, no matter how fancy, are not able to resist the overwhelming power of nature when earthquakes and tsunamis occur.

Countries, nations, stocks and everything else will all lose their meaning when human activities deplete the Earth. And, of course, so would literature.

Will our writing help to make humans less greedy? I cannot see the silver lining here. Nevertheless, we should not stop trying.

The author is a grade 11 student from Beijing National Day School and author of On the Way to Salai.

 

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