Liu Qing - Modern Chinese Novelist
Liu Qing (Simplified Chines: 柳青; born Liu Yunhua(刘蕴华); 1916-1978) is another prominent modern novelist. He began his literary career during the anti- Japanese War. Liu Qing's major works include: the collections of short stories Landmine and Victim; the novels, Sowing Wall of Bronze, and The Builder of New Life I, II, III; the novella Hentoutie; and collections of prose, Three Years in Huangpu Village and Collected Fiction and Prose of Liu Qing.
It is the novel The Builder of New Life that established Liu Qing's place in the history of modern Chinese literature. The story follows the development of Liang Shengbao's aid organization. The novel, through describing the intense and complex struggles among different classes and social strata in Hamatan village, unveils the new changes and the rearrangement and reorganization of relationships among people in rural areas during China's socialist agricultural reforms, and also displays the historic outlook of agricultural collectivization, as well as the great mental changes among Chinese peasants, especially the great leaps in their attitudes toward age-old private ownership. The development of the rural commune reflects the development of the minds of its builders.
The Builder of New Life (Chuang Ye Shi)
Liu Qing lived for 14 years in Huangpu Village and was very familiar with all kinds of people in the countryside, which provided him with a solid foundation for characterization. In The Builder of New Life, he skillfully portrays a group of peasants, like Liang Shengbao, GrandpaLiang San, Guo Shifu, Guo Shijie and Guo Zhenshan. Liang Shengbaoand Grandpa Liang San are listed among the most archetypal images in modern Chinese literature. Liang Shengbao is the central figure in the novel, representing the typical heroic figure in the socialist countryside. In leading the socialist construction, he exhibits great courage and vision.The author endows Liang Shengbao not only with traditional Chinese virtues of kindness, honesty and diligence, but also the glorious spirit of the time, i.e. selflessness and self-sacrifice. Liang Shengbao embodies the authentic and admired socialists who both stick to their principles and are filled with human kindness. Grandpa Liang San is the most brilliantly portrayed character in the novel, an image with great artistic appeal. instead of outlining the figure simplistically, the author eloquently describes his intricate inner world, fully revealing his moving multifaceted character. The superb depiction of Grandpa Liang San best demonstrates the author's artistic potential.
The sweeping structure of The Builder of New Life displays the vigorous and powerful style of Liu Qing's novel. The language in the novel is simple and dignified with beautiful lyrical
paragraphs scattered throughout the novel. The Builder of New Life deserves to be regarded as a masterpiece of modern Chinese literature.