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TV program 'Readers' rekindles passion for literature across China

By Li Ping | | Updated: 2017-02-22 09:17

TV program 'Readers' rekindles passion for literature across China

Doctor Jiang Li reads lyrics from Nobel laureate Bob Dylan's song Blowing in the Wind. "How many deaths will it take 'till he knows that too many people have died? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind," she reads in Chinese."I would like to read this to children born in war. I hope they could be far away from wars and have a bright future in a peaceful world," she said. [Photo/a snapshot from CCTV]

A line, a poem, a letter, a life story

Through the poetic words, the readers brought the almost-lost habit of reading aloud back into the public spotlight, immersing the audience in the beauty of language.

While recalling his own experiences with literature and youth, 96-year-old Xu Yuanchong became emotional, with tears in his eyes.

"The first poem I translated from Chinese to English is Bie Diudiao (Don't cast away) in 1939. It's a poem by Lin Huiyin (a noted 20th-century Chinese architect and writer, known to be the first female architect in modern China)," Xu recalled.

He went on to say that he used the translated work to deliver a love message to a girl he liked. Though he failed in the love confession, he has won a life-time career of translation.

Xu has long been a household name in China because of his translations between Chinese, English, and French. He became the first Asian to win the "Aurora Borealis" prize in 2014 for outstanding translation of fiction literature, one of the highest honors for translators.

TV program 'Readers' rekindles passion for literature across China

Xu Yuanchong listens to a participant reading a verse out of the late Chairman Mao Zedong's 1936 poem, Snow Tune: Spring in a Pleasure Garden which he translated into English. It reads, "Behold! Within and without the Great Wall, the boundless land is clad in white. And up and down the Yellow River, all the endless waves are lost to sight." [Photo/a snapshot from CCTV]

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