Grass-roots writers deserve respect from orthodox elites

By Shan Renping Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-28 0:13:02

Online writer Hua Qianfang was recently elected as vice-chairman of the Writers' Association of Fushun City in Liaoning Province. The news caused quite a stir on the Internet, with much vitriolic rhetoric questioning whether Hua is eligible for the position.

Several days ago in a media interview Hua confessed: "I am a farmer Internet blogger without much education. I know very well my shortcomings and I'll strive to enrich myself, especially taking the opportunity of a two-month training course at the Luxun Literary Institute starting from late November."

Those acquainted with Hua know that he is still a farmer. He's a true grass-roots writer who deserves particular respect from well-educated authors. There are occasional proposals that the proportion of grass-roots representatives in the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference should be increased. The same should be true for the cultural field.

Hua is less educated than China's intellectual elites, but he also has different life experiences than they do. His grass-roots life gives him a special perspective from which to interpret his nation and his era. Why don't we give him a proper hearing?

Some felt uncomfortable after Hua was elected. They are upset because Hua and another Internet blogger Zhou Xiaoping were invited to attend a symposium on art and literature in mid-October attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping. They whispered conspiratorially: "It's politics."

In fact, vice-chairman of the Writers' Association of Fushun City is not an official post. With their position among the grass roots, Hua and Zhou are courageous enough to spread positive energy in China's complicated online public opinion environment. No wonder they have gained the nation's support.

Many traditional rules of competition have been rewritten in the era of Internet. Society needs to adapt itself to the changes. Take writers, for example: online writers who are also farmers may be less educated, but they have a sensitivity and expressiveness that orthodox writers don't possess. We should dwell on rather than resist their success and influence in the Internet era.

Having gone through thick and thin on the Internet, online authors such as Hua and Zhou know the hardship and stress that one has to remain influential there. They are both young and have the opportunity to continue studying. They will each prove to society in their own way that they can live up to the demands of our age.

Posted in: Observer

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