The Man behind the Book



running time

103 min

release date

April 2011







Every night the novelist is fighting with himself in a confined space, taking out soil from his heart like he is excavating a ditch. By keeping track of a young novelist, The Man behind the Book is connecting the various pieces of Wang Wen-xinʼs literary career. From the dense rows of book shelves in the library to the unevenly lined-up trees and forked roads, his sharp sensitiveness to art and personal opinions, just like sculpting the core of spirituality, translates thoughts into signals precisely, and eventually turns them into words. Wang Wen-xin is a figure in the literary circle who worships words like religion, treats writing valuably, and exchanges deepness with slowness.

Wang Wen-xin (1939- ) founded the literary magazine Modern Literature with his classmates from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University, including Bai Xien-yung, Ouyang Zhu, and Chen Ruo-xi. His iconic piece Family Catastrophe was published in 1973, and was considered a “revolutionary and subversive” work. The famous scholar Yen Yuan- Shu felt the book was “one of the few masterpieces in modern Chinese novels for its innovation of language, strength of experiential style, reality of interpersonal description, meticulousness of selection of details, and delicacy and euphemism of the tone”. Backed against the Sea, that took him 25 years to complete, once again caught the attention of the literary circle after the first and final episodes were published. It is widely agreed that this work pushes the beauty of modernismto its limit. Wang Wen-xin is writing a new book at the moment, but the publishing date has yet to be confirmed.

Director Lin Jing-jie

Lin Jing-jie has won the first prize for prose at the Literature Awards of the China Times, and the first prize for novels at the Literature Award of the United Daily News. His profound film style is the constant winner at the Asia Pacific Film Festival, Taipei Film Festival, Golden Horse Awards, and Golden Harvest Awards. He took the International Critics' Week Award at the Venice Film Festival with his 2007 film The Most Distant Course.

all projects