The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Mo Yan “who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.”
The only other Chinese author to be awarded the Nobel Prize was Gao Xingjian, in 2000. Gao, though born in Jiangxi, is a naturalized French citizen, which is why most Chinese news reports are calling Mo the first Chinese “citizen” to win the award.
The Guardian points out that Mo Yan is “one of the most famous, oft-banned and widely pirated of all Chinese writers”.
In a sentiment that is probably shared by the CCP, Mo once said “limitations or censorship is great for literature creation.”
Mo Yan wrote his latest novel, Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out in only 43 days. He composed the more than 500,000 characters contained in the original manuscript on traditional Chinese paper using only ink and a writing brush.
Mo Yan is reportedly “overjoyed and scared” to win a Nobel.
Mo was not a firm favourite to win the 2012 award, Japanese author and literary darling Haruki Murakamai was 2/1 to win according to bookkeepers. Mo was just ahead of Bob Dylan at 8/1.
Remember: Non-scientific Nobel prizes, including the Nobel Prize in Literature, are “permeated with Western values” and reflect “an occidental perception that China is not a mainstream force in the world” according to the Global Times.