Information Services Office   4.4.2012


Prof. Pai Hsien-yung
Professor Pai and his fans
Newsletter No. 395 > Campus News > Distinguished Lectures > Pai Hsien-yung on the Resilience of Youth

Pai Hsien-yung on the Resilience of Youth


‘I have loved dreaming since I was very young. My dream lasted several decades. I’m still dreaming. Perhaps I will never wake up.’ This was the prologue of Prof. Pai Hsien-yung’s lecture ‘The Resilience of Youth’.

Professor Pai, Wei Lun Professor of Humanities, CUHK, said, ‘College students should have many dreams. Take me as an example, I dreamed of changing and enlightening the literary circles in Taiwan when I was young. Once in Year 3 of my college studies, I discussed with my classmates “Why don’t we publish a literary magazine?”’ It was this dream of Professor Pai that founded Modern Literature, the most influential literary magazine in Taiwan in the 1960s.

Professor Pai recalled publishing Modern Literature during hard times. ‘We had the brass to invite contributions for free as we didn’t have the money. Many thanks to Prof. Yu Kwang-chung for contributing his poems to our magazine. We had to write and translate articles since we didn’t have enough manuscripts. This was why I wrote Yu Qing Sao.’ He showed the audience a photo of the editorial team of Modern Literature, taken in 1960 to commemorate the inaugural issue. ‘This is evidence of our youthful dream.’

After retirement, Professor Pai had originally planned to write for leisure. While witnessing the neglect of kunqu though, he dreamed of promoting this precious art. As a result, Professor Pai devoted himself to producing The Peony Pavilion: Young Lovers’ Edition. With more than 200 shows having been performed over the world since 2004, kunqu has been rejuvenated among the younger generation.

Professor Pai encouraged the students, ‘Dream as much as you can. It doesn’t matter though many dreams can’t be fulfilled. Without dreams, youth goes to waste.’

Prof. Pai Hsien-yung was invited to host the University Lecture on Civility on 21 March. His lecture attracted over 700 students and staff.

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