Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize in Literature 2012

I don’t know a great deal about Mo Yan (莫言) and his works. But I do know that Xu Pei is no likely congratulator.

3 Comments to “Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize in Literature 2012”

  1. I could go on about the Nobel committee’s suck up/attempt to mend bridges this time round.

    This read by Malcolm Moore pretty well captures the correct perspective:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9602207/Mo-Yan-China-celebrates-its-first-Nobel-Prize.html

    Read the quotes by GT and Chinese – rabbit ears – academics – rabbit ears. Hilarious.

    China’s vox populi are not deceived however.

    PRCs very own Maxim Gorky…sort of.

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  2. What Hu Xijin and similar personalities have to say about Mo Yan – or rather, about their nationalist hallucinations -, is bullshit. But I haven’t read a single book by Mo Yan, and am in no position to judge his merits. I wouldn’t rule out that the Nobel Committee has read him closely and really wants to reward his work.

    Naive? Maybe. But to see everything in a political light right is something I prefer to leave to the CCP – and to its underlings, i. e. people like Hu Xijin. Before Western commenters see the politics in the Nobel Committee decision, I’d like to advise them to take a closer look at totalitarianism in China – usually replaced by the soothing “authoritarianism” lable in the same press that is too lazy to discuss Mo Yan’s actual works. (Not so different from the CCP propaganda machine, in this context.)

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  3. Having read only one novel of his (Hong Shulin or ‘The Red Woods’) I’m no expert either, but I’d say Mo Yan does pass the mark set by Dario Fo. I can’t see anything wrong with awarding a literary prize to an original, influential author even if he’s not a human rights activist. Personally I expect a good omelette from a cook and good books from a writer, regardless of their stance towards totalitarism, deforestation or nose-picking.

    So Mo Yan is a party member and has been spotted handwriting Mao’s 1942 Zhdanovist borborygmi (v. http://tinyurl.com/8khqp7e ) – well, among the previous prize winners you’ve got a Stalin-era Supreme Soviet member (Sholokhov), a Francoist informer (Cela), at least two Stalin eulogists (Sartre and Neruda). So far, of four Chinese members of the Nobel pantheon three are rather not CCP cocktail-goers, so it’s still a long way to go before the Swedish Academy qualify as panda-huggers. Not that the bridge-mending would much boost Norwegian salmon exports – it’s only the Peace Prize that’s made in Oslo.

    Sure enough Xinhua, the Globule Times and their ilk will spin it their own way – witness the quotes in that Telegraph article, or headlines about the first ‘Chinese citizen’ to win the Lit prize (technically true, but the previous Chinese winner had been a PRC citizen for the first 47 years of his life).
    http://tinyurl.com/8fqw3mb
    And the Cankao Xiaoxi website at first gave Mo the ‘peace’ prize:
    http://tinyurl.com/8ezsape
    But those will always be sputtering nationalist nonsense with or without a blue-ribboned Mow Yen, they do it for a living. What I see is that someone who’s good at his trade has got recognition and I’m happy with that even if there are Chinese writers I like better.

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