Chinese novelist Mo Yan wins Literature Nobel

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Chinese novelist Mo Yan wins Literature Nobel

    BEIJING: Writer Mo Yan, whose complex world of fiction often reminds readers of William Faulkner and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, pipped bookmaker's favourite Japanese Haruki Murakami to become the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Prize for literature. When told by organizers that he had won the award, Mo said he was both "overjoyed and scared".

    Mo, 57, is the author of renowned novels such as 'Red Sorghum' (later made into an acclaimed film) and 'Big Breasts and Wide Hips'. In an interview to Granta, he once said, "Censorship is great for literature creation."

    Reacting to the award, Mo said, "I felt I was not very senior in terms of qualification (among Chinese writers). There are many good writers and my ranking was not so high," adding, "The Nobel Literature Prize is a very important literature prize, but not the top award. It represents the opinions of the jury."

    The award caused a stir in Chinese literary world, which has never been given the distinction from the Nobel academy. "His prize is an affirmation for Chinese literature on the world stage," said another famous writer, Er Yue He, quoted by the state media.

    The Nobel must be music to the ears of Chinese authorities because it's a rare case of a Chinese artist or writer, who is not a political dissident, winning the coveted prize. Beijing has been raging against the Swedish Academy since it gave the Nobel Peace Prize to dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Another Chinese, Gao Xingjian, won the literature Nobel in 2000 but he was a naturalized French.

    The Swedish Academy conferred the award describing Mo as someone who, with "hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary". Mo suggested last month that he has not yet produced his best work. "The great novel that matches the great times has yet to be written," Mo said while receiving China's Mao Dun Literature in Beijing.

    A farmer's son, he once dropped out of primary school due to poverty before continuing his studies and going on to become a writer. "Loneliness and hunger were my fortunes of creation," he is reputed to have once said.

    Mo Yan (which means 'do not speak' in Mandarin) is a pseudonym for Guan Moye. Mo also did a stint with the People's Liberation Army and collaborated in Communist Party's literary projects. He is seen in some quarters as being too close to the party to be considered politically independent. Others feel he has effectively used literature to expose corruption, misdeeds during the family planning drive and decadence in society.

    China's official media had launched a campaign in his favour in past weeks after two betting sites named Mo and Murakami as close runners. The People's Daily said the Nobel Academy usually took decisions based on political reasons rather than pure merit while advising readers not to get agitated if Mo missed it.

    The award's announcement was greeted with pride in the Chinese Internet but there were some who criticized the decision saying the writer is too close to the party to be regarded as politically independent. Some netizens said they were relieved that it did not go to a Japanese at a time when the two countries were involved in a serious dispute over ownership of islands in the South China Sea.

    Chinese winners: A tale of outliers

    Migrants who left China dominate the list of winners of Chinese origin for the Nobel Prize in different fields. Only two of the now 12 winners live in China. One of them is Mo Yan, the literary prize winner for 2012. The other is Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 peace prize winner who is in prison for anti-national activities.

    The other 10 winners including the Dalai Lama live in foreign countries. Most of them live partly in the United Kingdom and in United States. One of them lives in France, one in Taiwan (which China claims to be its territory) while the Dalai Lama resides in India.

    Eight of the dozen winners were born in China before they migrated to other countries. Three were born in the United States and one in Taiwan.

    Besides Mo, the other writer of Chinese origin to win the literary prize is Gao Xingjian, who lives in France. He was involved in anti-government demonstrations before migrating, and his works are banned in China.

    Six of the dozen winners have been honored for their contribution to physics and two each for chemistry, literature and world peace.

    Congratulating Mo, Shanghai Writers' Association president Wang Anyi, said, "You are the pride of China."

    Chinese novelist Mo Yan wins Literature Nobel - The Times of India

    ********************************

    Congratulations are in order for Mo Yan.

    I hope his books Red Sorghum, Garlic Ballads and Big Breasts and Wide Hips have been translated in English. I sure would love to read them.

    Interesting that his Chinese name means "Do not Speak".

    It appears he was a chatty child and so this name.

    Well, he spoke and wrote and laughed his way to the Nobel Prize.

    He is having the last laugh.

    Good for him!

    Congratulations!
     
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  3. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

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  4. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    One of my college roomate's high school teacher shares neighborhood with Mo Yan's brother, I am not joking.
     
  5. desicanuk

    desicanuk Regular Member

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    Dissidents attacked Mo Yan’s (莫言) Nobel Prize in Literature as a disgraceful vindication of the Chinese Communist Party’s control of creative expression yesterday, accusing the author of being a “stooge” of officialdom
    Dissident artist Ai Weiwei (艾未未) attacked Mo Yan as a government stooge and ridiculed the official response by Beijing, which criticized earlier Nobel Peace Prizes for the Dalai Lama and Liu.
    “He will always stand on the side of power and he will not have one bit of individualism,” Ai said, referring to Mo Yan.
    Prominent Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng (魏京生), considered by many to be the father of China’s modern democracy movement, criticized the prize as an effort to appease Beijing, which lashed out in 2010 over Liu’s peace award.
    Wei praised Mo Yan, 57, as a writer, but questioned actions such as his copying by hand of a speech by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) — delivered to the Communist revolutionary base at Yanan during China’s civil war — for a commemorative book this year.
    In the speech, Mao states that art and culture should support the Chinese Communist Party.
    “Just look at the elated hype on the Nobel prize by the Chinese government before and after the announcement. We could tell that this prize was awarded for the purpose of pleasing the communist regime and [it] is thus not noteworthy,” Wei said.
    China’s government mouthpieces went into overdrive to praise Mo Yan and his prize.
    “Chinese authors have waited too long for this day, the Chinese people have waited too long. We congratulate Mo Yan,” the People’s Daily said.
    However, Yu Jie (余杰), an exiled dissident writer, was quoted by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle as calling the award “the biggest scandal in the history of the Nobel Prize in Literature.”
    “That an author who copied Mao Zedong’s Yanan text and sang the praises of Mao Zedong can earn the prize — the number of people Mao Zedong slaughtered surpasses even that of Stalin and Hitler,” he reportedly said.
    Source:AFP, BEIJING and GAOMI, China
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    But Mao was/ is taken to be a great person by the Chinese and so praising him I presume is par for the course in China.

    And I presume, life can be hell for anyone who speaks ill of the Communist Party.

    The people of China have to be survivors to exist and that is why Mo did everything to be a survivor and now is laughing all the way to the Nobel Prize and to the bank too since his books will sell!
     
  7. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Congrats to Mo Yan!

    Hope to read his work soon.
     
  8. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    China has no plans to keep this Nobel winner in jail, then.
     
  9. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Some are adept at derailing (or hijacking) every thread to politics, even this of "literature". I mean, that write-up of the Times of India,

    Back to literature. In fact in China , another candidate for this round of Nobel laureate Japanese Haruki Murakami is better known among "relatively" young readers . I think many know more of Murakami's novel "Norwegian Wood" (from a song by the Beatles) than many of Mo's works (probably except that Golden Bear Winner in Berlin).

    The jury of course has its own taste, not necessarily in line with the "public". Now there's a rush for Mo's works in bookstores :lol:
     
  10. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Chinese netizens' comments on Mo's winning


     
  11. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    India and China should create a "MukeshAmbani" or K.S. Li Prize for the world.
     
  12. uvbar

    uvbar Regular Member

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    great achievement for china but i really wish his name was Yo Man i :p :p
     

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