ATHENS, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and Greek writers have met for a public discussion in Athens, aiming to boost bilateral cultural cooperation.
Under the theme "Literature & Translation: Ancient Cultures & Modern Languages", the delegation of Chinese writers invited by the Hellenic Authors' Society met with Greek writers on Thursday evening to build new bridges of intercultural dialogue regarding creative writing, translations and new publishing platforms.
"The aim of the visit is to promote the exchange of creative writing between the two countries. China and Greece are enjoying a very good bilateral relationship and we have a long history of friendship," Qian Xiaoqian, vice president of the China Writers Association, told Xinhua.
According to him, under current international context it's important to promote the exchange between the two peoples especially between the writers from the two countries. "We are trying to explore more ways and platforms of exchange this time, in order to further the cooperation," Qian added.
On Thursday, the Chinese delegation met with Greek Minister of Culture and Sports Myrsini Zorba. The two sides reached a consensus on how to promote the cooperation on literature.
The minister believed that translations, publishing platforms along with the personal contacts among writers are the means to achieve better exchange of literature's symbolic meanings, according to an e-mailed ministry press release.
Yiorgos Chouliaras, president of the Hellenic Authors' Society, stressed that more efforts need to be made to achieve further cooperation.
"We talked on how we can boost the ties between the two countries, to have exchanges for authors and translators, and contacts with publishers; and also, to see how we can turn people's interest for the two countries and the ancient literature of both countries to modern authors as well," said Chouliaras, who has visited China many times.
During the discussion, the two sides agreed that the dialogue between civilizations is a pillar for stabilizing the world.
"In Chinese literature, we discover great writers that need to be part of the global literature, because they add the Asian perspective, which still combines the magic, imaginary element with the real. We can be inspired from these people to make something better," said Greek prose writer and translator Philip Dracodaidis.
Regarding translation, both parties expressed the need for more direct translations, as the translations of Greek books in Chinese and vice versa are mostly through translations in European languages, mainly in English.
"I am confident that through this visit we can help promote the exchanges of the two countries on literature," Qian added.