Don't forget curatorial exhibitions in literary journals.

Yan Yan

09 November 2018, 04:52 source: People's Daily - People's daily

When literary journals are placed in the great changes of literary scene, we should set up an active and conscientious media consciousness, reconstruct the dynamic relationship with writers and readers with new orientation, and make more possibilities of curatorial literature.


In the past October, the famous literary publication, October, celebrated its 40 birthday with a series of literary thematic activities. The October, founded in 1978, is the first large-scale literary publication in the new era with long, medium short stories, reportages, poems, essays, and commentary on various styles. It has always enjoyed the reputation of "four famous denas" in the publishing circles of literary periodicals and "harvest", "contemporary" and "Flower City". Many famous works in the history of contemporary literature such as Zhang Chengzhi's "river in the north", Tie Ning's "no button red shirt", Zhang Xianliang's "greening tree" and Li Cunbao's "wreath under the mountain" are first published in October. No wonder people call it forty "a miniature of Chinese literature in the new era".

This is not the exclusive honor of "October".

Not long ago, the 40 most influential novels in the past 40 years of reform and opening were published by the Chinese writers' Association, the magazine selected magazine, and so on. The active party finds out the original publication of the related works, the worn cover, the yellowed paper and the simple binding and layout. It is this literary periodical with the chronological imprint, and the repeated reading and reading, which carries out the new classic that Chinese contemporary literature is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.

As the researchers have said, contemporary literary periodicals are, in a sense, a draft of contemporary literary history. To pay attention to contemporary Chinese literature, we must not neglect the influence and molding of literary periodicals on literature. While paying attention to literary periodicals, we cannot ignore its ups and downs in the past 40 years. It is hard to imagine today that the circulation of "contemporary" has been as high as 600 thousand copies. It is the product of the lack of cultural life and the high lifting times of literature, and also the highlight of literary periodicals. With the acceleration of marketization, people's cultural life has become increasingly prosperous, cultural choices have been unprecedentedly diverse, literature is no longer in the spotlight, and the sense of crisis in literary journals is increasing. Only then did the tide of literary periodicals surging up in the 90s of last century: break the traditional "four dishes and one soup", create new differences in the column setting, or expand the extension of literature, take the route of "great literature", or lead the trend of fashion by the distinctive literary propositions and creative slogans. This market hardening brings about the upgrading of literary periodicals.

Since the beginning of the new century, the strong new media relying on the Internet has brought more impact to the literary journals than the previous round of marketization. The literary field throughput is amazing, the network literature is outstanding, the literary boundary is constantly challenged, and more and more works are spread across the periodicals, directly disseminated online, or in the form of a single form, doing more targeted marketing, bringing difficulties to the "excavation" literature. The new generation is not poor. The brands have no advantage in the dissemination, exposure and reading rate, and bring difficulties to the "condensing" writers. The traditional literary readers trained in the 80s of the last century are gradually losing their aging, and the younger generation of readers is greatly different from the educational level, aesthetic pursuit and reading habits.

At the same time, it is undeniable that literary APP, literary electronic magazines, and literary theme WeChat public numbers emerge one after another, and amateur writing groups grow day by day. People obviously still need literature and literature has not left. Against this background, the October International Forum on literary periodicals, known as "design literature - a journal centered world literature," is a 40th anniversary commemorative event. The so-called design literature embodies the ambition of literature to restore the direction of literature and create the trend of literature. It is only in a new cultural ecology and literary version. When literature is no longer a piece of iron, it is a boundless sight. How to view literature will decide how to act on literature and how to decide what it will do.

The vivid literary scene reminds us that today we should not protect the literary periodicals, but activate the literary periodicals, and "attack" is the best defense. As many editors say, there should be a change in consciousness from literary periodicals to new media in literature, and in a time when literature has changed, a more active and conscientious media consciousness should be set up. Literary periodicals are epitome of the development of literature. This epitome does not mean the selection of simple and stereotyped works. It should be dynamic, conscious and active intervention. It can connect with the leap of the scene of creation, can show the prospective observation of literary trend, and express the distinct literary viewpoint and literary judgement. Once again, literary periodicals, like fresh "literary curators", have been exploring the possibilities of literature again and again. This is an ideal state. It never fails to show that the foundation of a literary periodical is to reconstruct the literary scene with great changes, to reconnect with writers, readers, and literature in a new orientation, to actively design "Literature" and consciously "create" readers, so as to truly become the base of today's literature and the source of future literature.

People's daily (09 November 2018, 24 Edition)
(Editor: Ma Chang, Cao Kun)

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