“Imagination” begins with a conversation between Socrates and Kefalos. Kefalos said that his enjoyment of the flesh has faded, he has fallen in love with tact and lightness, and must be a good person and a just person. Socrates said that you do n’t look like someone who makes money by yourself: “Most people who do n’t earn money by themselves are mostly not greedy for money; those who earn money by themselves have only one thing to think about. They are like poets who love their own poems, and those who make money love them. Your own money. “In the eyes of the Athenians, self-reliance is harmful to character.
Switch to Gu Xiang. She quit her job and lived on the income of writing and translation. She continued writing without any clear or grand goals. She avoided groups and everything with the possibility of strong will. Because doing one thing too hard can damage your attitude towards life.
After meeting Gu Xiang, I know that youth is not a concept of time, it can be saved, and it can even fight against time. It is a lightness, a gentleness, a curiosity about the world, and a calm openness.
To a certain extent, I don’t trust that media writing can truly present or even understand a person, subject to limited materials and limited space. Writing an event is a retreat, because a person’s motivation and behavior in the event may be presented as completely as possible.
Then why write Gu Xiang? One is because she is a good writer and has recently published a new book, Zhao Qiao Village; the other is because she is my friend, and I know her—or the material I have—beyond the average interviewee; three I think she can provide a perspective on life for current readers.
How to avoid self-materialization is the topic that I have been most concerned about in the past two years. Gu Xiang and I made a few laps in Zhaoqiao Village and harvested a lot of crops, such as persimmon, loofah, corn, etc., shared by our neighbors. She said, look, in fact, you can grow so much food on a small plot of land. The closer one is to nature, the less it depends on the outside world.
Work should not take one’s full time; housing prices in Shanghai should not be so high; people should not create false appearances unintentionally-even without the effort of one inch per day. These are all wrong. Gu Xiang’s way of resisting is not to follow the same trend: if he can’t win, he bypasses. Because life is limited, life that is not spent according to your own thoughts is a waste of life; because death may come at any time, it makes me happy to live everyday. Insects cry, flowers and leaves fall, and sunrises and sunsets all make people happy.
For contemporary youth, especially those in first-tier cities and middle-class families, are there really so many moments in their lives that force people to Liangshan? Is it really difficult to fill human desires? Is it really unbearable if one way cannot be changed? In the past forty years, there have been too many templates for acceleration and even leap forward, and moving at a uniform speed has become a worthless retrogression.
Issue 34 of 2019 Cultural Report “Gu Xiang lives far away”
Gu Xiang is not hiding. She has the ability to refine life and express it accurately, and is increasingly recording the contemporary world. The torrent is rolling, and I am interested in making a manuscript. Someone has to calculate the ledger, she said.
The manuscript was written quickly, and over eight thousand words were written in seven hours. But I have a lot of anxieties in my heart. One is that I’m worried about writing so fast, and I might write it myself; the other is that I know that I have not intentionally presented some things. Is this desirable?
A senior editor friend told me that your writing was too credible. Isn’t Gu Xiang suffering? How is her relationship with her parents? Why can she choose such a life but not others? You did not answer these questions.
The friend’s question was very pertinent. In retrospect, some of the “difficult” parts should not be avoided-under the premise of protecting the interviewees, facing some entanglements can give the interviewees and readers more power. On the other hand, the premise preset by friends is that choosing a life in Zhaoqiao Village is a difficult and amazing thing.
No, it’s not. Gu Xiang said that EB White didn’t live in seclusion, and she didn’t plan to tell people like Thoreau that a certain life is good. I moved to Zhaoqiao Village because of the high housing prices in Shanghai and the low cost of living in the countryside. I also receive express delivery in the countryside, and there is a small commercial square four kilometers away. Road-In Shanghai, it usually takes an hour to go anywhere. Because it seems taken for granted, it becomes untrustworthy.
To be fair, Gu Xiang’s state of being alone and her identity as a writer are the important cornerstones of her choice of living like this. She has a good relationship with her parents. She also has a boyfriend. It can be married or not. When her kitten became ill, she felt sorry for her shortcomings. Most of the time, we are not unable to make choices because of ourselves. We are concerned about our parents, our families, and our sincere fetters.