Greater Bay Area:Literature Fusion And Development
Pan Yaoming (Hongkong,China)
My topic this time is “Greater Bay Area: literature fusion and development” to share my view on how to integrate literature resources in this area.
In my case, offering a platform is the top priority in this aspect. So a new literature magazine or specific opportunities by mainstream press should be available to authors in this area. Only in that way can we motivate literature creation and exchanges. In addition, closer publication cooperation is also on our agenda.
As I said, due to its information advantage, Hong Kong was a window towards international culture which embraced both Chinese and Western cultures in the past. The year 1997 witnessed Hong Kong’s return to motherland. After that, it also serves as an intermediary to facilitate cultural exchanges with China’s mainland.
There is no lack of precedents in this connection, including cooperation in publication. Here are several success stories to inspire your valuable opinions ──In 1980, I was designated to prepare for the publication department of Joint Publishing in Hong Kong(also known as Sanlian Press) as it originally had no independent one.
Reform and opening-up also just embarked on at that time. Before to that, the publishing industry was lagging behind as political reading materials were most popular and a few literature ones were almost a luxury.
On the contrary, despite Hong Kong’s narrow book market, publishing information was relatively abundant owing to its location as the hub of cultural exchanges between China and the West.In view of this, we came up with a great idea to engage in publishing collected works, series as well as large culture and art albums. Extraordinary authors and editors were part of rich resources from China’s mainland. Therefore, through elaborate plans, we utilized the advantage to cooperate with mainland publishers on a large scale.
At the beginning of the opening up, Flower City Publishing House in Guangzhou became our partner to jointly publish Collected Works of Shen Congwen and Collected Works of Yu Dafu. Both works had 13 volumes with one volume as compilation of data.
Considering the popularity of these two writers, they were our top choices. It turned out as expected that the two works made our Joint Publishing more invisible and gained great recognition.
Even 30 years later during my visit to Shen Congwen’s former residence in Fenghuang town, western Hunan province, our version of Collected Works of Shen Congwen with glided covers behind the glass window was still striking.
The success set an example for joint publication and boost our confidence in this setting.
More works came out afterwards. The first highlight was Selected Poems of the Past through joint efforts with Guangdong People’s Publishing House. Totaling 40 volumes, the work covered from The Book of Songs to selected poems in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties.
The positive result this time served as the source of our confidence to move cooperation forward, including joint publication of A Collection of Modern Chinese Writers(selected works) with People’s Literature Publishing House and Selected Prose works of the Past with Shanghai Lexicographical Publishing House.
Since then, I had been ambitious to publish a collection of selected works from Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas writers. I proposed to set up Literature Publishing House and publish Literary Series of Taiwan Writers to include great works of Chen Yingzhen, Huang Chunming, Yang Kui, Yang Qingchu, etc.
Moreover, Literary Series of Overseas Writers published during my further study in the United Sates mainly covered more than 30 overseas Chinese, such as Nie Hualing,Chen Ruoxi, Yu Lihua, etc.
Another publication, Literary Series of Hong Kong Writers, embraced many Hong Kong writers. According to the original plan, we wanted to take flexible methods to handle with labor and financial challenges. That is to say, A Grand View of World Chinese Literature would come out by pulling together separate books of collected works.
This project was interrupted as I left Joint Publishing (owing to Jin Yong’s personal invitation for me to be in charge of Mingpao Monthly). As a result, Literary Series of Hong Kong Writers remained unfinished. What’s more, the former plan to publish the Anthology Series of Contemporary Chinese Writers after a full collection of Series of Modern Chinese Writers was consequently given up. What a pity!
As the person in charge of Joint Publishing for 16 years, I had engaged in the publication of 15 series books.
All in all, the words above indicate abundant resources and bright prospect in Great Bay Area.
In order to fully integrate and utilize literature resources, I believe we can found a periodical literature magazine, set special columns and compile literary series of works, namely, a platform to develop literature in this area. An independent editorial department should organize an editorial board to be responsible for coordinated work related to publication. In that way, as members of the board, representatives from literary societies in this area can avoid wasteful duplication of effort and ensure the quality of works published in special columns.
The blueprint for future literary prosperity is inspiring but costly. So here my solution is to establish the Literary Fund for Great Bay Area.