Dong Hongyou was a big man with whiskers. The first impression he gave us was a man with heroic spirit and broad mind. However when chatting with him, you would find him unsophisticated and full of tender feelings.
In the eyes of Dong Hongyou, Xianning was very beautiful. He said that though he was born in the old alley of Hankou, he spent his time in Xianning before 6 years old. In his memory, the landscape of Xianning was delicate and graceful, which cultivated many poets such as Ye Wenfu, Liang Biwen, and Rao Qingnian and so on.
“The hometown has a great influence on writers. What is the source of literature?
As far as I'm concerned, it is the writer's understandings towards his hometown and all its life. The hometown may not appear in writer's works, but it surely affects the writer's personality and the way he sees the world.”
Dong Hongyou mentioned the rapid and considerable progress in both economy and literature in Xiannning. As for the development of Xianning literature, Dong spilled out his mind: firstly we should support and propagate leaders in this field vigorously; secondly we should build ecological environment of literature for the young to advance toward the frontier; thirdly we should make a good use of location advantage of South Hubei, to create conditions for Xianning writers to communicate with famous writers and theorists of Hubei Province. The economic link between Xianning and Wuhan is tight and there should be better culture hybrid between them. Xianning should take every advantage to develop itself and go to the outside world.
For the creation of children literature, Dong Hongyou said it must pay close attention to children's feelings and tolerate solitude since there was no tradition of attaching importance to children literature from the period of Confucius to present time. Besides, children literature writers must have children's soul.
Notes of the writer
Dong Hongyou, born in Wuhan in 1950, was a Xianning person. His works were a four-volume edition of Collection of Dong Hongyou, novels named Dreams of 100 Chinese Children and Forest of 14 Years Old, short novels Silent Shore of the Lake and Fairy Tales of Changjiang River and other collections of poems, essays, long reportages, etc. He got prizes over 30 times all over the world including his three experiences of winning Outstanding Children's Literature Award of Chinese Writers Association.
Dong began his poetry creation life at an early age, and later he wrote many famous children's literature works. He said:” Children's literature and poetry are people-oriented; both of them pursue truth, kindness and beauty. Dong himself is a perfect combination of these two literary forms.