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New book reveals the allure of Xiangxi area

By Wang Ru | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-19 14:52

A new collection of writer Shen Congwen's works, titled Shen Congwen's Xiangxi World. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Beijing Times Chinese Press has recently unveiled a new collection of writer Shen Congwen's works, titled Shen Congwen's Xiangxi World, featuring exquisite photographs captured by photographer Zhuo Ya over the past three decades.

Xiangxi refers to the western region of Central China's Hunan province, a mountainous area that served as Shen's birthplace. As one of the most influential modern Chinese writers, Shen's literary contributions encompass Xiangxi-based prose and stories, vividly depicting local conditions and customs.

Zhuo's inspiration to visually capture the Xiangxi region emerged in 1981 when she was captivated by Shen's literary works. This led her to embark on a photographic journey spanning over 30 years, aiming to encapsulate the essence of the Xiangxi that Shen vividly portrayed in his books.

Carefully curating the most classic and representative excerpts from Shen's writings, Zhuo sought to showcase his elegant writing style and the distinctive allure of the Xiangxi area. She selected approximately 400 pieces from her extensive collection of Xiangxi photographs, integrating them with the chosen texts to create a harmonious blend of images and words, each one complementing and interpreting the other.

Zhuo expressed her desire to present the original landscape of Xiangxi, a place that cannot be replicated, to contemporary and future generations. In doing so, she envisions her photos serving as a testament to Shen's literary legacy, preserving the essence of his literary works through the lens of her photography.

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