Visit of the official delegation of the Writers Association of China
On November 28, 2002 a Chinese delegation, presented by the President of the Association of Former Students of Political Science, Mr. Patrick Noddings, Territorial Administrator hors classe in charge of mission, was received at the Maison Littéraire de Victor Hugo:
Mr. Philippe Moine, director, made a speech in the Bertin room, where he presented Mr. Daisaku Ikeda, founder of the Maison Littéraire, and his recent exchange activities with China for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Sino relations. -Japanese of which he is one of the main craftsmen. Then he evoked the history of the Château des Roches, one of the most famous literary salons of the 19th century. He also specially presented to the members of the delegation, the coins classified as “National Treasure”. Looking at the corrected proofs of Les Misérables, they were particularly touched and Mr. DENG Youmei took three old books out of his bag (first Chinese translation of Les Misérables) and wanted to take a photograph of the proofs with the first translation.
The Head of the delegation Mr. DENG Youmei then expressed his thanks for this welcome. He was very moved to be in this house that Victor Hugo had loved so much on the occasion of the bicentenary of his birth. He also underlined how much Victor Hugo was loved by the Chinese people by his writings but also by his humanist commitment for the most disadvantaged and for the peoples of all countries. As such, he explained that Victor Hugo was universal and that coming to this house was like coming home because Victor Hugo belongs to humanity.
Mr. Philippe Moine then presented the gift and Mr. DENG Youmei offered the commemorative plaque of the Association of Chinese Writers.
A complete tour of the exhibition « Victor Hugo and the Great Universal Spirits: Alexandre Dumas » was then made.
To conclude, Mr. Philippe Moine exceptionally opened the Library to show some remarkable pieces such as the 30 original messages sent to Victor Hugo for his 83rd birthday, but also some Chinese translations of Victor Hugo’s works. Finally he showed a scrap of the novel Quatrevingt-treize to explain Victor Hugo’s method of creation.
In the afternoon, in the blue room, a conference was organized where four people from the Chinese delegation spoke:
Mr. DENG Youmei recalled his memories of reading Les Miserables as a child and explained how this book influenced and inspired his vocation as a writer for the people.
Mr. SHEN Dali made us discover the links between Japan, China and France through Victor Hugo by talking about the monk poet Su Manshu whose father was Chinese and mother Japanese, and who was the first translator of Les Misérables into Chinese, this directly from French.
Mr. LI Rongsheng made a speech entitled: “The people always love those who write for them. »
Finally, Mrs YUAN Li told us about a survey conducted among students at her university which shows that Victor Hugo is their favorite French author, in particular for Notre-Dame de Paris and Les Misérables.