Chapter 91: Television Station Interview – Literature Contest!
Beijing Television Station.
In an office at a certain floor, Zhang Ye was led by a staff member from the front desk. He did not even see which floor the elevator had stopped at. This was because he was feeling a bit worried. He knew this was the last chance for him to enter a television station. So he treated it with highest regard, hoping that he could grab this opportunity.
The office was empty.
“Teacher Zhang, please wait a minute.” the staff member said.
“Alright.” Zhang Ye sat on a chair by the side.
The staff said, “The Leader should be coming soon.”
Zhang Ye said, “Sure, do what you need to do. Thank you very much.”
“You’re welcome. Then I’ll go first.” The staff left after closing the door.
After a few minutes, a plump, middle-aged man pushed open the door and saw Zhang Ye immediately. He said with a sigh, “Teacher Little Zhang, you’ve come?”
“You are?” Zhang Ye found the voice familiar.
The middle-aged fatty said, “I’m Hu Fei. We’ve spoken on the phone twice.”
Zhang Ye immediately came forward to shake hands with him, “Oh, so it’s Teacher Hu. It’s nice to meet you.”
Hu Fei had previously seen Zhang Ye at the Silver Microphone Awards, but Zhang Ye had not seen him. This was the first time they had actually interacted, so they exchanged pleasantries.
Finally, Hu Fei got round to business, “Teacher Little Zhang, you have to be mentally prepared for today’s interview. There might not be too much hope.”
Zhang Ye was stunned, “…I got it.”
Hu Fei explained, “I have already repeatedly communicated with the management. In the morning, when I spoke with you, I still thought that I could convince them. But after all I said, they still felt you were not up to the task. The incident of you saying ‘Dead Water’ back then gave them concerns, and they were not… I have tried my very best. In a while, I will also try my best to help you win the job, but I can tell that they do not wish to let you come to the Beijing Television Station. Even if you were to pass the interview perfectly, they might not hire you. So, I’m informing you beforehand. You can only blame me for not doing my job in advance.”
Zhang Ye immediately said, “I can’t blame you. You have already helped me so much. It was my fault. Since I said ‘Dead Water’, scolding the unit and the management, then I already had the preparations to bear the consequences. So it’s alright.”
Suddenly, footsteps from outside could be heard.
Hu Fei stopped talking with Zhang Ye and sat on an interview seat behind the desk.
Zhang Ye was feeling bitter. This was like a roller coaster ride. A few hours ago, Hu Fei’s words had given him hope. But in a blink of an eye, the situation had changed. He went from having hope to not having hope. He had not even gone through the interview, but he already knew he was sure to fail the interview? It was meaningless, no matter how well he answered? Zhang Ye felt his heart go cold to the freezing point, but he did not complain. As he said, since he had done certain things, he had to bear the consequences. Life had always been fair, so he had nothing to complain about!
Getting something is because I’m lucky!
Losing something is because of my fate!
Zhang Ye remained silent for a moment. His mental state also calmed down. Of course, he did not completely give up. Even if he knew the chances were slim or even zero, he still wanted to try!
The interviewers came in, one after another.
There were around 8-9 people. They were probably the channel or station’s junior heads or staff.
“Old Hu, you’ve already come?” A 40+-year-old middle-aged man said.
“I also just came in,” Hu Fei answered.
The middle-aged man looked at Zhang Ye, “This is Zhang Ye? Let’s begin then.”
“Alright, then let’s allow Little Zhang to prepare?” Hu Fei suggested.
Zhang Ye said calmly, “I’m fine. I can have my interview any moment.”
Everyone sat down. The middle-aged man that had spoken previously then sat in the middle. His name was Wang Shuixin. His name sounded slightly feminine, and he looked gentle, with his golden wire-rimmed glasses. Zhang Ye had checked the television station’s official website’s information before he came. He knew this person was the Beijing Television Station’s Arts Channel’s Director. He was probably the Leader of all the people present, and head of the Arts Channel.
There was not much public information one could find on the internet, but there was plenty of information about Wang Shuixin. Before he left, Zhang Ye had happened to find it online. Director Wang happened to be a poet in the past. A few years ago, he had published a few works and anthologies. He was best at modern poems. Although he did not have many works in recent times, he was still famous. Most people in the industry still knew him.
It was quite obvious after giving it some thought. As the head of the television’s Arts Channel, he would not be able to have the role without some ability. He definitely had to have some literary quality to him.
“First introduce yourself?” Director Wang Shuixin said.
“My name is Zhang Ye. I’m 23 years old this year. I graduated from…” Zhang Ye began his self-introduction.
During this, a few interviewers were whispering to each other. Some frowned, while others shook their heads. It was as if they did not wish for Zhang Ye to enter their Arts Channel.
Wang Shuixin was also one of them. Back at the Silver Microphone Awards, he and Hu Fei were present. He had heard with his own ears Zhang Ye’s angry recitation of “Dead Water”. The atmosphere seemed to have exploded, but Wang Shuixin had secretly shook his head. He knew that Zhang Ye was a problematic person. It was not easy to handle him. His literary standards were passable, but his temper was too terrible. No Leader would want such a person. Leaders tended to want obedient subordinates, so by getting such a different kind of guy in, he would not be as gregarious and he had to worry that he would stir up something daily! So even though he treated Teacher Hu’s recommendations seriously, Wang Shuixin was unimpressed!
Of course, there was another reason.
Wang Shuixin actually felt that Hu Fei was blowing Zhang Ye’s so-called literary level out of proportions. And it was this matter. He never believed that Zhang Ye could compete on the same level as him. He felt that Zhang Ye was still far inferior! “Dead Water”? “A Generation”? Wang Shuixin believed that he could write such poems, too. He even felt that his previous works were much better than Zhang Ye’s.
Cultured people tended to scorn each other!
No one considered themselves inferior!
Actually, the other interviewers had the same thoughts. Although Zhang Ye was highly acclaimed on the internet, they did not think that Zhang Ye could be compared to a master like Wang Shuixin. In the literature scene, Wang Shuixin was clearly not the most famous person, but he was a veteran who had many excellent works. Furthermore, he had several poems that were very popular. So how good could Zhang Ye, a young kid who had just appeared, be against Director Wang? At this interview, they were, in fact, not bothered. As Director Wang’s attitude was very clear, Zhang Ye was definitely not going to be hired!
Zhang Ye finished his introduction.
Hu Fei interjected, “Director, Teacher Little Zhang has one of the highest literary skills amongst his generation. He is the best amongst his peers. Besides…”
Wang Shuixin interrupted his words, “He can be considered good amongst his peers, but he is far too inferior compared to predecessors who are in the arts.”
Hu Fei tried to fight for Zhang Ye, “With Little Zhang’s literary foundation, he is not necessarily worse than the predecessors.”
Wang Shuixin was amused, “You are too absolute, Old Hu. I know that you appreciate Little Zhang, but maybe Little Zhang’s literary skills match your appetite and managed to move you. But that does not mean others will be moved. It does not mean his literary skills are flawless. I know about the matter from the Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet. I also know Big Thunder, Old Zheng and a few of them. Do you think Little Zhang has exceeded people from the older generation just because you think Little Zhang overshadowed them? Not really. Actually, Big Thunder and company’s poems are just a bit famous in the Beijing circles. They aren’t much in the country. I also heard their poems back then at the Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet. They were all quite average. So Little Zhang overshadowing them can’t show anything.”
This Director was clearly a scholar to the bone. His temperament was competitive. He did not mince his words and had said it in front of Zhang Ye.
Zhang Ye gave him a glance and did not comment.
Hu Fei wanted to add on, “But Teacher Little Zhang…”
“Then let’s test him with an interview question.” Wang Shuixin said very confidently, “I can tell you, Old Hu, that he is weaker than me, not to mention other predecessor masters.” Saying that, Wang Shuixin looked at Zhang Ye, “Little Zhang, we are just blindly chatting amongst ourselves. We aren’t saying you are terrible, so don’t take it to heart. Actually, to write ‘Dead Water’ at your age is already not bad.”
Just not bad?
Zhang Ye smiled without speaking. He only thought that he was too careless!
“Alright, I’ll not talk about your physical factors. I’ll give you an interview question. There will only be one today for this interview. I actually want to see how much ability and skill a young man like you, who was recommended by Old Hu, has.” Wang Shuixin said.
Zhang Ye said, “Please say it.”
Wang Shuixin seemed to have the intentions to compete with Zhang Ye in literature, “I have a poem that I’m not sure if you have heard of. It’s called ‘Everything’.”
He began reciting.
“Everything is fated.”
“Everything is unreal.”
“Everything has no end.”
“Everything has no home to return to.”
“Every happiness doesn’t come with a smile.”
“Every suffering doesn’t have tears.”
“Every past is in the dreams.”
“Every faith comes with longing.”
“Every burst is preceded by moments of silence.”
“Every death has a prolonged echo!”
After a few interviewers heard this, they gave their praises again.
“Good poem!” a middle-aged woman said.
A youth said, “This is Director Wang’s best poem, right? I always feel something whenever I hear it!”
Hu Fei also had to admit that this poem was excellent. This was probably written about four to five years ago by Wang Shuixin when he was at the lowest point of his life. It was very powerful. It called out to people’s hearts and shocked the world!
Wang Shuixin said calmly, “Little Zhang, this is the interview question. This is one of the works that can be considered famous, and also a modern poem that I’m most pleased with. Teacher Hu has always said that your poetry is excellent and you have deep literary foundations. Then can you compose a poem here on the spot, to show us your literary level?”
If it was a poem that had no boundaries, it would have been nothing!
But it was Wang Shuixin who said his own poem first, which meant he wanted to compete with Zhang Ye. It was also called a “Poem Contest”. If Zhang Ye was to create another work, it had to be targeted at Wang Shuixin’s work. Furthermore, it had to exceed Director Wang’s poem for him to pass. But was this possible?
Hu Fei knew it was impossible!
Not to mention the other interviewers!
What sort of poem was “Everything”? It was a poem that was previously included in high school textbooks! Although it was in an appendix and was not eye-catching, and was eventually removed due to its dark and depressing artistic quality, it was still a model essay that was once made into teaching material!
What could Zhang Ye use to compete with it?
He had nothing to compete with it!