Sat, Jan 14, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Exiled Chinese poet to publish new book in Taiwan
中國流亡詩人廖亦武訪台 出版《六四‧我的證詞》

Chinese author and folk artist Liao Yiwu stands inside the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat for a press talk on the awarding of the Geschwister-Scholl-Prize in Munich, Germany, Nov.14 last year.
身兼作家與民間藝術家的廖亦武去年十一月十四日在德國慕尼黑·路德維希·馬克西米利安大學的「紹爾兄妹獎」頒獎記者會上。

Photo: EPA
照片:歐新社

He uses his life to write and his writing to sustain life. During the four years he spent in prison, the avant-garde Chinese poet Liao Yiwu wrote the book June 4: My Testimony, which expresses a deep sense of literary consciousness. “I recovered my dignity by writing this book,” he says.

Liao was never involved in politics, yet because he recited his poem “Massacre” on the day of the Tiananmen Square Massacre he was arrested and imprisoned. During his four years in prison, Liao tried to commit suicide twice. In January 1994, with the efforts of former British prime minister Sir John Major and Amnesty International, Liao was released 43 days early. After enduring China for many years, he escaped last year via the strange route of Yunnan Province, Vietnam and Poland, and finally settled in Germany in exile. Liao published June 4: My Testimony, which has been banned in China. “I left China so I could publish this book,” Liao says.

His first visit here, Liao recently arrived in Taiwan for a two-month residency. He says the original manuscript for the first two volumes of June 4: My Testimony were written in prison. “I wrote as much as I could on a single piece of paper, sometimes more than 10,000 characters. Even the punctuation was pulsating. I couldn’t even decipher my own handwriting.” He would often have to memorize what he was writing as he wrote it because the manuscripts were frequently confiscated, and he would rewrite them as they were confiscated. He continued writing and being monitored after his release, and just as he was about to finish the entire book, the manuscript was confiscated again and the book became one that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tried extremely hard to keep out of print. “I had no other option but to rewrite the book, which took three more years.”

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. avant-garde adj.

先鋒派的 (xian1 feng1 pai4 de5)

例: Pablo Picasso is considered an avant-garde painter and sculptor.

(巴勃羅·畢卡索堪稱為先鋒派的畫家與雕刻家。)

2. politics n.

政治 (zheng4 zhi4)

例: Politics can be a nasty game to play.

(政治可以是一個令人不快的遊戲。)

3. commit suicide v. phr.

自殺 (zi4 sha1)

例: More teenagers commit suicide than any other age group.

(青少年自殺率比其他年齡群高。)


Liao said, “I am not a dissident. I am an author and a poet.” Liao says that China was thoroughly transformed by the CCP’s suppression. “Perhaps the Chinese once held certain ideals toward their nation and the Chinese people, but beginning at that very moment, they knew the nation could no longer be loved, because if you love it too much, it will undoubtedly deal with you using bullets and guns.” The experience left an indelible impression on Liao.

Carrying The Great Records of the Grand Historian, or Shiji, with him at all times, he would also carry a hsiao flute and use his voice to sometimes work as a street performer to make money. Liao will be attending the Taipei International Book Exhibition in early February. He is set to publish June 4: Group Testimony sometime around the middle of the year, which is a collection of interviews with dozens of people who were also imprisoned after Tiananmen — people at the bottom that Chinese society has already forgotten.

“I am lucky that I am still alive and was able to write these words and release them to the public, luckier than Sima Qian, because I was not castrated.” Liao says he unconditionally refuses to return to China. “The only ones willing to accept their conditions are business people and politicians.”

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY KYLE JEFFCOAT)

用生命寫作,用寫作支撐著生命,四年牢獄生涯,中國先鋒派詩人廖亦武書寫《六四‧我的證詞》,表達了深刻的文學自覺,「通過寫這本書,我重新找回了尊嚴。」

從來不搞政治,卻因在「六四」當天朗誦自己寫的詩作《大屠殺》而遭逮捕入獄,四年坐牢自殺兩次未果。一九九四年一月,由於英首相梅傑和國際特赦組織的努力,廖亦武提前四十三天獲釋。在中國忍耐多年,廖亦武去年以雲南、越南、波蘭等「奇異路徑」逃離中國,流亡並定居德國,出版了被禁作品《六四‧我的證詞》德文版。「我是為了出版這本書,決定離開中國。」

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