"Chasing Tomorrow" Unveiling Event

By That's Guangzhou, February 4, 2024

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On the afternoon of January 28th, the unveiling event for Zhang Guangtian's new book, "Chasing Tomorrow," took place at the Guangzhou Book Center, jointly organized by Sichuan Literature and Art Publishing House and the Guangzhou Book Center.
1411706539627__pic_hd.jpg"Chasing Tomorrow" is a sprawling novel that delves into the intricacies of Shanghai and its connection to China. It weaves scenes and characters from old and new Shanghai, revealing the city's essence, veins, and the mysterious paths of its soul. Among its pages, one encounters soul-stirring lovers, a Belarusian pianist patiently awaiting on a park bench, a prodigious youth, a beautiful and fantastical rose garden, and the steadfast old Kler who guards amidst melancholy. Different neighborhoods, various eras, foreigners and locals, ancients, contemporaries, and the young—all guided by the echoes of bygone days toward the future. This work embodies Zhang Guangtian's unique "Chinese narrative" style, from inception to conclusion.

The event featured art critic Zhu Qi and emerging writer Li Xiaoluo, offering interpretations from their distinct perspectives. Zhu Qi praised Zhang Guangtian's unique portrayal of love, eschewing commonplace direct descriptions for a subtly refined quality rarely found in contemporary literature.
Regarding the recurrent theme of "understanding the classics" ("懂经"), Zhu Qi saw it as, aesthetically, the art of precise appreciation and, ethically, an embedded aspect of civilization—a facet of the "Shanghai style." This ethos might manifest in the enchanting elderly lady in the park or the gracefully walking girl on an old street. Seeing, feeling moved, and desiring to connect prompts one voluntarily onto the path of "understanding the classics," becoming a devoted disciple of this ethical journey.

Writer Li Xiaoluo, approaching from a non-native Shanghainese perspective, broadened the concept of "understanding the classics." It isn't a generic conformity to Shanghai's lifestyle standards but rather a way of life that, nurtured in diverse cultural backgrounds, blooms into unique flowers.
1401706539627__pic.jpgA highlight of the event was the profound discussion on the theme "distant things and the things of the distance." Zhang Guangtian, recalling a statement from the Frankfurt Book Fair, mentioned how it seemed as if everyone had flocked to Shanghai overnight. Shanghai's allure extends beyond its inhabitants, even leading Zhang Guangtian himself to contemplate escaping from the city for a period. However, when the concept of "escape" blends with the dimensions of time and the vastness of physical space, catalyzed by the speed of modern technology, people easily find themselves on the periphery of the distant.

Zhang Guangtian expressed, "After people touch the edge of the world and find themselves at a dead end, turning back to one's roots and delving into things close at hand is a path further, with more marvelous landscapes.".

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