How Does Literature Generate Spiritual Power?

AURORA, Ill., Oct. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On the afternoon of October 19 (Berlin time), the launch ceremony of the German edition of “Desert Hunters” was held successfully in the International Hall of the 2023 Frankfurt Book Fair.

To begin with, Claudia Kaiser, the Vice President of Business Development for Asia, Africa, and Arab countries at the Frankfurt Book Fair, expressed keen interest in the desert imagery in author Xue Mo’s works and its potential connection to femininity. To this, Xue Mo clarified, “In my novels, the desert is symbolic, a metaphor. When people become indifferent and devoid of love, our living environment becomes more barren than a desert.”

In his conversation with the acclaimed German sinologist, Martina, Xue Mo summarized his “non-academic” literary cultivation into five stages:

“Firstly, Concentration Training. Stay focused and become the master of the mind, unaffected and unswayed by the external world. As the training progresses, your mind becomes steadier, until no longer swaying like the grass atop a wall, or moving with every gust of wind. Secondly, Transcending the Self involves breaking worldly attachments, eliminating binary oppositions, and overcoming one’s biases, suffering, and worries, shattering the “self” to achieve selflessness. Thirdly, Unity of Heaven and Man means merging one with Nature, understanding that heaven, earth, and oneself share the same roots, reaching the realm described by Zhuangzi in his “Equalizing the Myriad Things.” Fourth, Practicing Love and Compassion refers to unconditionally loving all sentient beings, as naturally as a mother loves her child, and a child instinctively loves his mother, at which point immense inner strength arises. Lastly, Wisdom Upgrade. It includes leveled training in the understanding of both the mundane and the ultimate truth, thereby enhancing one’s cognition and aesthetic appreciation of the whole universe.”

Additionally, Carina, the German translator of “Selected Stories by Xue Mo,” shared her insights from her translation process. Analyzing the story titled “The Women, the Camels and the Dholes,” Carina focused on the spiritual transformations of the two main female characters, Ying’er and Lanlan. Bound for a long time by poverty and the bride-exchange custom, their marriages and fates took tumultuous turns. Yet, both displayed defiance against destiny. In the desert, facing numerous challenges, both heroines braved dangers and successfully escaped, exemplifying the resilience and independent spirit of women.

The essence value of literature isn’t in the fleeting fame or material benefits sought by authors but in providing a sanctuary for truth, goodness, and beauty for the souls of its readers.

Ida Liu