Behind the scenes of a groundbreaking Chinese modernization

“Talichni Liu” is a powerful depiction of life in industrialized modern China, in humor and pathos, seen through the eyes of a charming and smart rural worker who leaves his home in search of a better life. The novel “Talichni Liu” by a contemporary Chinese writer Jia Pingwa reflects today’s China and the many unforeseen situations brought about by the modernization of the country and the transition to another system, as well as the common man who swims and survives in such turbulent waters of modernization.
He translated the novel Bojan Tarabic, and the publisher is Agora from Zrenjanin. Chinese writer Jia Pingwa is currently the most famous Chinese writer in China, and his books are being translated abroad, and his novel “Abandoned City”, which was banned in the writer’s homeland, brought him world fame. The hero of the novel “Talični Liju” Hava Liju, after a failed marriage in his native village Povetarčevo, turns a new leaf and goes to Sijan. He sets out on this journey with the intention of finding a man who has had a kidney transplant. He arrives in Xi’an together with his faithful friend Vufu and, firmly convinced of his own happiness, changes his name to Talichni Li. Of the luggage, he has only a pair of red shoes intended for the future love of his life. City life starts from the bottom of the social ladder as a garbage man who suffers injustice with unwavering optimism and while he suffers – he lives with full lungs. “Talichni Liu” is a powerful depiction of life in industrialized modern China, in humor and pathos, seen through the eyes of a charming and smart rural worker who leaves his home to search for a better life on the harsh streets of Xi’an. The penguin hero is always guided by an eternally positive attitude, he as a garbage collector sorts out the city’s dirt, and in his eyes, dusty birds become phoenixes, streets become rivers, and life is what you make of him. When he meets the beautiful Yichun, he imagines that she is the one to whom he will give shoes and a Cinderella-style dream. But as harsh urban conditions and the collapse of social inequalities take the life of his friend and shake Talic Lee to the core of his soul, he will need more than his unwavering optimism to maintain the belief that something better is possible. In the novel “Talichni Liu”, Jia Pingwa confesses the true story of the life of those behind the scenes of the groundbreaking Chinese modernization in a direct, warm and, above all, honest way. It is basically a tragic story of an ordinary man who found himself in unusual circumstances, deeply interwoven with witty humor, so this novel can be read in two keys – as a comedy of absurdity and as a critique of modern society’s attitude towards the individual. Finally, it should be said that we have a novel unique in our area, because thanks to its colorful but simple, so to speak folk language, it gives the reader an unusual insight into the life of the ordinary Chinese world and very successfully approaches the Far East. “Talični Liju” is an incredibly interesting book, a story about the triumph of the human spirit that transcends time and space. The sharp history of the life of migrants in an inhumane city, very current today, makes the reader sympathize with the joys, sorrows and struggles of the protagonist and his friend, to deeply experience those sharp pains of poverty, low social status, discrimination and loneliness, because protagonist: “we were more dung than people.” Jia Pingwa (1952) is considered by many to be the greatest Chinese contemporary writer who enjoys great attention of readers in his homeland and whose fame, unfortunately, has not yet equalized abroad. Jia Penguin’s work is interwoven with motifs from the lives of ordinary people, especially from his native province of Shanxi. His novels and short stories boldly delve into the marginal themes of Chinese society, regularly entering the realm of the sexual. His most famous works include the novels “Abandoned City”, “Opera Act”, “Lantern Man”, “White Nights”, “Earth Gate”, which have so far been translated by some of the world’s most important sinologists. Jia Pingwa has witnessed change and has written about the great changes in Chinese society since 1978 when China launched reform and a policy of opening up. His novel The Abandoned City (1993) describes the moral depravity and spiritual emptiness of urban intellectuals. The Chinese government has condemned the book on charges of explicit sexual descriptions and political satire. The ban led to Gia Pingwa gaining the renowned status of a liberal intellectual. Ironically, due to the growing black market for pirated works in China, “Abandoned City” became the best-selling book in 1993 and thus popularized its writer. Through later works, including twelve novels and numerous short stories, Jia went on to reveal the devastating impact of urbanization on rural society, as well as the growing social injustice and moral decay that is happening with Chinese modernization.