Běi Dǎo 1949-

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Born in 1949, Bei Dao is the pen name for Zhao Zhenkai. In 1979 was one of the founders of the now famous underground literary journal 今天 Jintian. During the 1980'a he emerged as a leading poet of what later has been called the Misty (朦胧 Menglong) Poets , a losely associated group of modernist poets trying to part the propaganda mists obscuring the reality of life in China. In the mid 1980's thaw of censorship he even became a member of the Chinese Writers' Association. He now lives abroad but as least some of his poems are available in China. (北岛诗歌, 南海出版公司)

Ī996 interview by Deutsche Welle with Wolfgang Kubin, Bonn University Professor of Chinese Studies. Wolfgang Kubin is one of the most renowned Sinologists in Germany, especially on the presentation and study of contemporary Chinese literature.

DW: Do you think that there is any more decent Chinese literature in recent years?

Kubin: There is some in Chinese poetry. There are some good, even excellent, writers of Chinese poetry, such as Ouyang Jianghe, Sichuan, Zhai Yongming and others. There are many others. That is for sure.

DW: China is talking about "Poetry is dead." Why do you think?

Kubin: How can poetry be dead? Even if China is dead, then poetry will be dead in China but it will continue to "live on" in Germany.

DW: How does contemporary Chinese poetry compare to the 1980's with people like Bei Dao and Yang Lian?

Kubin: That is hard to compare. But I think that the poets from both the 1980's and 1990's are excellent. They have their own visions, they have their own language, etc. Personally, I obviously like Bei Dao and that group of people. But I am older and I should consider the younger readers. Those younger readers are likely to prefer the 1990's poets such as Wang Jiaxin, Ouyang Jianghe, Zhai Yongming and so on.

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