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June
6th HK Literature Festival focuses on everyday life
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A piece of news, an advertisement, a song, dining out, travelling or even an SMS message -- literature can be found everywhere in our lives, not just in books. The sixth Hong Kong Literature Festival which opens later this month will focus on the everyday impact of literature on our live with a wide range of lively activities.

Jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) to promote reading and local literature, the festival will run from June 30 to July 16.

The festival will present more than 40 interactive literary activities including an exhibition, symposiums, literary talks, a children's reading camp and workshops for appreciation and recitation of literary works for children, interflow, dialogue with creators, arts performances, talks on literary translation and film shows.

Announcing the festival at a press conference today (June 15), the Convenor of the Subcommittee on Community Involvement and Promotion of Reading and Literary Art of the Committee on Libraries, Mr Cheung Chi-kong said with "Living the Literary Life…" as the theme, the festival aimed to highlight the close relationship between literature and daily life, thereby presenting people with a lighter, more approachable side of literature.

The Chairman of the Literary Arts Group of the HKADC, Mr Hon Man-po said that to arouse public interest in literary writing and reading, the festival would initiate dialogue between the participants, speakers and writers in order to facilitate the sharing of experiences on reading and writing.

Literary publishing is an integral part of literary development and progression. The "Thematic Exhibition on Hong Kong Literary Publishing and Literary Book Fair" will be held from June 30 to July 12 at the Hong Kong Central Library to showcase the development and achievements of Hong Kong literary publishing.

The exhibits include Eileen Chang's "Chi Di Zhi Lian", a precious copy of Jin Yong's first edition of "Legend of the Condor Heroes", the first edition of "Chinese Student Weekly" and other literature magazines as well as numerous authors' manuscripts. Also on display and on sale at the book fair will be a range of literary collections from local publishers and book stores.

One of the highlights of the festival is the symposium entitled "Hong Kong Literature: Local and Cross-Cultural Consciousness". A distinguished panel of writers and scholars including Professor Yip Wai-lim from the United States, Professor Wong Wang-chi from Singapore, Professor Chen Zi-shan from Shanghai and Dr. Wong Leung-wo, Professor Chung Ling and Professor Cheng Pei-kai from Hong Kong will share their views on the past and future of Hong Kong literature.

Literature is essential in cultivating interest in reading and developing thinking skills in the younger generation. In collaboration with the Hong Kong Institute of Education and Radio Television Hong Kong, a "Children's Literature Reading Camp" will be held with renowned children's literature writers hosting seminars on the selection and guided reading of children's literature.

In addition, a "Workshop for Appreciation and Recitation of Literary Works for Children" will be held with the Hong Kong Children's Arts Society to encourage children to appreciate literary works through expressive recitation.

Changes in the secondary school curriculum of Chinese language and literature in recent years have resulted in a greater emphasis on developing students' interest in literature. The Festival will present a series of six "Literary Talks" featuring authors of the set reference texts and books in the curriculum. It will be an excellent opportunity for students and teachers to meet the authors to exchange ideas on creative writing.

Beyond books and textbooks, one can easily come across literature in daily life. The eight sessions of "Dialogue with Creators" will provide a casual setting for participants to meet with creative writers. Topics of discussion include advertisement writing, slang culture, Chinese and English literature, couplet and riddle, newspaper supplement, web literature, pop lyrics and others.

Three talks on literary translation will be held in collaboration with the Hong Kong Translation Society while the "Interflow" sessions, organised by the local arts groups, will have interactive and dynamic seminars, workshops and performances for literary exchanges.

Another highlight is arts performance executed by various performing groups. Children's literature, poems and other works of writers will be interpreted in drama, music, dance and Cantonese opera, with innovative ideas to give a new dimension to literature.

As a prelude to the Festival, three activities "Diet in Literature Writing Competition", "Literary Book Cover Design Competition" and "Literary Performance Competition for Students" had been held. Through writing, painting, drama and story-telling, contestants have expressed their extraordinary creativity and demonstrated the vitality of literature as a multifarious form of art integrated with people's life. The winning entries will be displayed during the Festival.

The Hong Kong Film Archive has also organised "The Sword and the Sabre: A Jin Yong Novel on Film" screening four films (Cantonese and Mandarin versions) adapted from Jin Yong's (aka Louis Cha) famous novel, to coincide with the Hong Kong Literature Festival.

All activities, except the film shows and "Children's Literature Reading Camp", are free of charge.

Festival booklets are available at all public libraries, cultural venues of the LCSD and the administration office of HKADC. For more details, see website: http://www.hklf.org.hk

Enquiries can be made at 2921 2662 (LCSD) or 2820 1032 (HKADC).

Ends/Thursday, June 15, 2006
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