“Death of the Last Arcadian Village”

A Novel by Sun Wei

 

This novel is based on the author’s anthropological interest. For the sake of this novel, Sun Wei spent several years living in remote areas in China to learn the local rituals, customs, religions and to collect epics, myths and legends.

Bored with life in the big city, An Ning packed up her stuff and came to a legendary remote village at “the edge of world” after a long and hard journey. There she witnessed a tragedy of how the whole Arcadian Village, known as the last “peach blossom land” in China, was completely wiped out in just one winter season.

Among the local residents braving the sudden devastation, she saw an epitome of the human world – the frustrated old King Jiang Long, the lovesick Cabbie Ah-Man, the Insane He who wore a suit looking for leftovers on the ground, Boss Jin who was the secret patron of the Insane, the immortal Sixth Aunt whose name had been actually forgotten by the God, the beautiful Maid Du Juan who matured overnight, the young Monk Gaily who was born with the ability to read other people’s minds and the old Priest Antony who lived in a comfortable illusion of paradise.

The eight characters represent the powers, the merchants, the employees, the mad, the children and the religious practitioners respectively, whose legendary stories help interpret the major desires and obsessions of human beings.

It wasn’t the flood, which came on the expected date though nobody believed it would have, that devastated the “peach blossom land”. Ever since the village was open to tourism, the simple happiness and the peace of the village had long been fraying around the edges before the doomsday. The village recorded in the Death of the Last Arcadian Village is real. At a time of globalization and economic integration, the withering of the village is that of many of the Chinese villages in the remote areas in microcosm.

By exploring the exit from ‘malaise’, the author believes that real wisdom and eternal elegance exist in the cultures of ancient times when people had good relationships with their souls and the generosity of Mother Nature rather than suffering from the wealth they have built.

 

长篇小说《大地尽头》

 

城市女孩长途跋涉,来到一个史称“大地尽头”的村庄,目睹这片最后的桃花源毁于商业文明。

从面临毁灭的当地居民中,她看到了人类世界的缩影,失意的老国王江龙、痴情的矮司机阿满、穿着西装在地上找饭粒的何疯子、疯子的秘密豢养者金老板、被死神遗忘的六姑、忽然长大的美丽少女杜鹃、生来能看到世人念头的少年僧人格列、活在幻想天国中的老牧师安东尼。

这部小说基于作者对人类学的兴趣,取材于一个位于中国边地真实的地方,也是中国众多边地村庄的一个缩影。环保是一个古老而诗意的话题,不仅是人类与自然的和解,更是人类与自己的和解。