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](http://epaper.xiancn.com/newxawb/page/2021-05/01/07/2021050107_pdf.pdf) 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:

命之雨,后来当这个孩子回望自己生命之路时,对雨生发的感知,是草木对水一般焦灼的渴望。作家陈忠实写道:“一个年过五十的人,某天傍晚突然警悟。他的生命中最敏感的竟然是雨。”没错,这个从酷热中煎熬过来的孩子,就是作家陈忠实。

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:

空有雨,落地成江河湖泊。落在白鹿原上,也落在灞河上。此原,此河,俱是承载历史典故与文化记忆的所在。当其流淌到作家陈忠实生命之中时,无疑成了其生命的涵养,作家在散文《原下的日子》中,对其脚下祖宗们反复踩踏过的土地,追踪溯源之后,认定“在原下进入写作,便进入我生命运动的最佳气场”。正是出于如此认知,作家在写作之余,无数次在蒙蒙细雨中,独自走在此原此河旁,感知着天地之间的生命气息,也完成了长篇小说《白鹿原》的写作。

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.