Literature · 2 May, 2021

Repeatedly Trampled Land

A poster for the film WHITE DEER PLAIN. 电影《白鹿原》的海报。
A poster for the film White Deer Plain. 电影《白鹿原》的海报。

I recently read [an fascinating essay]( by Jia Yan 贾妍 called ‘On the White Deer Plain, the Lonely Walker’ (Bailuyuan shang, gudu manbu zhe 白鹿原上,孤独漫步者). It is about the writer Chen Zhongshi 陈忠实

Here is one interesting passage:


And here is my rough translation:

The rain of fate, when the child looked back on his own path of life later, the perception of rain was the anxious yearning of plants and trees for water. The writer Chen Zhongshi wrote: ‘A person over fifty suddenly realized that one evening. The most sensitive thing in his life turned out to be rain.’ That’s right, this child who suffered from the heat is the writer Chen Zhongshi.

This passage is also interesting:


This is my translation:

There is rain in the sky, and it landed into rivers and lakes. It fell on the Bailuyuan and also on the Bahe River. This original, this river is the place to carry historical allusions and cultural memory. When it flows into the life of the writer Chen Zhongshi, it has undoubtedly become the preservation of his life. In the prose ‘Days under the Original’, the writer traces the origin of the land that his ancestors have repeatedly trampled on, and believes that ‘under the original’ When I enter writing, I enter the best aura of my life movement.’ It is because of this recognition that the writer, in addition to writing, walked by the river alone in the drizzle countless times, perceiving the breath of life between heaven and earth, and completed the writing of the novel White Deer Plain.

Chen Zhongshi’s novel White Deer Plain (Bailuyuan 白鹿原) has been made into both a film, directed by Wang Quan’an 王全安, and a television series.