Chapter 22: Appearing on the Newspapers!
Past ten in the evening.
Many people had gotten off of work. Zhang Ye went to the recording studio alone to work overtime. As he did not manage to get a slot to record in the day and the broadcast was delayed by “Talk About the World” at night, he could only record if it was this late. The first few episodes that he had recorded had been depleted over the weekend. So he needed to record “Ghost Blows Out the Light” episode for tonight in one and a half hours. Time was tight.
“The grave robbing military officers were working hard. Every corner in any tomb that was dug up had to…Ah, it’s not right!”
“A candle was lit up inside any tomb that was dug up and placed on the southeastern corner.”
“If the southeastern candle goes out, then one had to put back the treasures they had gotten, Kowtow three times respectfully and return by the original route.”
This recording session was different from the past. There were stumbles along the way. Zhang Ye was also finding it tough. He never expected that this day would come so soon. Actually, he had previously memorized this book during in his school days to train his off script skills, but he had only done so for the beginning. No matter how good his memory was, he was unable to recite the hundred thousand characters of “Ghost Blows Out the Light”. He had only memorized the early portions, so now was the problem. With the material he had memorized back then depleted, he quickly reached spots where he did not remember very well. Although Zhang Ye knew the direction of the plot and knew the details clearly, it was, after all, not the original version. A lot of the time, he had to create his original material. The literature and textual aspects of it were greatly weakened. He still knew where he stood. Clearly, this would definitely seriously affect the listenership rates.
Pause. Deleting the paragraph. Re-recording.
Only after a long while did he manage to finish it before midnight.
He had managed to bamboozle past this for this episode, but he did not know what to do for the next episode. Sigh. If there were problems with quality and the listenership rates dropped, then what would happen!?
After finishing his work, Zhang Ye leaned on a window and smoked. The station prohibited smoking, but since there was no one late at night, it did not matter.
Ring, ring, ring. Suddenly, his cellphone rang.
Zhang Ye was wondering who had called late in the middle of the night. He picked it up, “Hello?”
The other party was male, “Hello, is this Mr Zhang? I’m Beijing’s repor…”
Before he finished speaking, Zhang Ye thought it was a fraud and said, “I don’t care if you are Beijing or Double. Don’t you dare tell me I hit the lottery. I have already hit the lottery 47 times this year. Including the three BMWs and two Mercedes cars, the total prize money is 12,213,000. Don’t you dare tell me my daughter has been kidnapped. Then you need to help me first find a wife. And don’t you dare tell me you are promoting a ham sausage. Truthfully, I only have 1.50 in my pocket. If I were you, I would hang up immediately and not spend five minutes and manage to take the 1.50 in my pocket to buy your ham sausage after using all your effort. That tiny bit of commission isn’t even enough to pay the telephone bill.” Against frauds and promoters, Zhang Ye was very experienced. “Alright, time for you to speak.”
If it was anyone else who had encountered a hooligan like Zhang Ye, they would have hung up.
However, the man on the other side did not. He said in a speechless manner, “I’m not selling Beijing ham. Man, I’m Beijing Time’s reporter. Is this Mr Zhang Ye?”
Zhang Ye exclaimed, “Reporter? Hai, it was a mistake, it was a mistake. I thought it was a scam.”
The man said, “It’s alright. I got your number through a friend, who works at the radio station. The main reason is because of today’s ‘Talk About the World’, which I listened in on. Our editing team is very interested about your two poems. We might publish this matter in the papers tomorrow, so we are informing you first. Also, I want to ask about the name of the second poem, as you did not mention it during the broadcast.”
Zhang Ye was enlightened and, after thinking, said, “The second poem is called ‘A Generation’.”
The reporter was amazed, “‘A Generation’? This title doesn’t seem to fit?”
The title “A Generation” was actually more fitting for another topic. The original author, Gu Cheng, had intended it for the thoughts and determination of an era and society. When Zhang Ye read it to the female university student, had not adhered to the title’s meaning. It had lacked the great meaning that was so significant. But as Zhang Ye respected the original author and had used the wisdom of the forefathers, how could he then change the poem’s title, too? Cultured youths, oh, cultured youths, when you break down such kind of a person, what is leftover would be stubbornness. Zhang Ye was not an exception; he abided by his principles.
So what if it did not fit? He knew the title was different from how he had expressed it tonight, but this was a work by a great poet from his world. A classic ought to be respected, Zhang Ye thought to himself. Even if the author cannot see it, regardless of any reasons, can going against this principle be excused? Going against morality can be excused? The answer was obvious……Hehe, of course, it’s excusable!
Zhang Ye answered “Publish what you feel is suitable. As long as it can be published, you can do whatever you want. I’m fine with it even if you had to give it a dreamy title to increase the sales!” He was a man of principles, but sometimes he was also a man of no principles! This was Beijing Times! It was not the same as the small publication that published reports of “Ghost Blows Out the Light”!
The reporter nearly vomited blood upon hearing that. He was just freely expressing his thoughts; who would have thought that Zhang Ye had no lower limits? He was a modern poet, an artist who could compose such a classic poem.. yet he would allow his poem’s title be changed so easily? Damn, do you even have the conduct of a scholar!? How could there a scholar like you! The reporter who was astounded, replied with a cough, “I didn’t mean that; I was not implying that you should change the title. It’s better we keep it as “A Generation”; it’s your work, so I can’t be deciding on it.”
“Alright, then.” Zhang Ye replied uncaringly.
After speaking for a brief while, they hung up.
Zhang Ye’s strong point is that he did not have any fear. After the line was cut off, he could no longer suppress his excitement. He was going to be in the Beijing Times? A little more fame had come again! It was another step towards his goal! Oh, right. I should take a look at my Reputation. He opened up the virtual game screen!
Reputation points: 95,344.
What? Why are there so many points?
Zhang Ye was startled. He had just used up all his Reputation points on Saturday morning. According to the Reputation gained from “Ghost Blows Out the Light”, there should be around 20,000 gained Reputation points daily. Over the weekend, he had about 40,000 Reputation points. Including the holiday, which might have given him a little more, he should have slightly below 50,000 Reputation points. In short, today’s “Talk About the World”’s live broadcast had brought him over 50,000 Reputation points? This was really worthy of the Literature Channel’s top program! Just the number of listeners were a big difference! Of course, Zhang Ye’s outstanding performance could have helped contribute; the two poems were just right for the circumstances. It must have conquered a lot of listeners!