Typical and Atypical

I was doing some reading, and the question of typical and atypical comes up.

Some believe literature should deal with typical characters and stories. Perhaps it is because they are plausible.

Remembered the time in 2006 when I gave a presentation to three or four professor in Capital University of Economics and Trade back in Beijing. The presentation was about my dissertation, of course. I expected it to be finished in 2007.

After my presentation, professors asked some questions. I remembered one of the question was “Are you choices, the writers you choose, typical? I knew why he asked the question, because I used the writers to represent three generations of female writers in American and China.

After a few more questions, he concluded, “All the writers you have chosen are actually atypical.”

Of the entire session, including my presentation and question and answer time, there was only one question I did not answer to their satisfaction. That question is about a work mentioned in a theorist I used. I simply told I did not read that work the theorist mentioned.

All the writers I selected indeed are atypical.

I am also atypical.

I like atypical authors and works. Perhaps very often I do many things in an atypical way.

Wonder whether that has added to the difficulty that many people have experienced trying to decipher me.

I am atypical in many ways. I teach the same subject differently, teach the same course differently, act differently from many other Chinese, write differently, dressed differently, speak differently.

No wonder I have been perceived as an enigma.

That’s just the way of my existence.


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