When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Sources

China's Mo Yan Wins Nobel Prize In Literature

NOBELPRIZE.ORG (Sweden)

Worldcrunch

STOCKHOLM– The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to 57-year-old Chinese writer Mo Yan.

2012 #NobelPrize in #Literature was awarded to Mo Yan "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary."

— Nobelprize_org (@Nobelprize_org) October 11, 2012

The official site of the Nobel Prize describes Mo Yan’s style as "a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives," adding that Mo Yan "has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, at the same time finding a departure point in old Chinese literature and in oral tradition."

The 109th recipient of the prestigious prize was born Guan Moye in 1955 (he has been using "Mo Yan", meaning "don't speak" in Chinese as a pseudonym since his first novel) in Gaomi in north-eastern China.

Here is Mo Yan’s biobibliography from the Nobel Prize site:

His parents were farmers. As a twelve-year-old during the Cultural Revolution he left school to work, first in agriculture, later in a factory. In 1976 he joined the People's Liberation Army and during this time began to study literature and write. His first short story was published in a literary journal in 1981. His breakthrough came a few years later with the novella Touming de hong luobo (1986, published in French as Le radis de cristal 1993).

In his writing Mo Yan draws on his youthful experiences and on settings in the province of his birth. This is apparent in his novel Hong gaoliang jiazu (1987, in English Red Sorghum 1993). The book consists of five stories that unfold and interweave in Gaomi in several turbulent decades in the 20th century, with depictions of bandit culture, the Japanese occupation and the harsh conditions endured by poor farm workers. Red Sorghum was successfully filmed in 1987, directed by Zhang Yimou. The novel Tiantang suantai zhi ge (1988, in English The Garlic Ballads 1995) and his satirical Jiuguo (1992, in English The Republic of Wine 2000) have been judged subversive because of their sharp criticism of contemporary Chinese society.

Fengru feitun (1996, in English Big Breasts and Wide Hips 2004) is a broad historical fresco portraying 20th-century China through the microcosm of a single family. The novel Shengsi pilao (2006, in English Life and Death are Wearing Me Out 2008) uses black humour to describe everyday life and the violent transmogrifications in the young People's Republic, while Tanxiangxing (2004, to be published in English as Sandalwood Death 2013) is a story of human cruelty in the crumbling Empire. Mo Yan's latest novel Wa (2009, in French Grenouilles 2011) illuminates the consequences of China's imposition of a single-child policy.

Last year’s Nobel Prize in Literature went to Swedish author Tomas Transtromer, whose poetry offered “condensed, translucent images,” according to the Swedish Academy.

The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded annually to the author who has, in the words of inventor Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction."

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

LGBTQ Plus

Mayan And Out! Living Proudly As An Indigenous Gay Man

Being gay and indigenous can mean facing double discrimination, including from within the communities they belong to. But LGBTQ+ indigenous people in Guatemala are liberating their sexuality and reclaiming their cultural heritage.

Photo of the March of Dignity in Guatemala

The March of Dignity in Guatemala

Teresa Son and Emma Gómez

CANTEL — Enrique Salanic and Arcadio Salanic are two K'iché Mayan gay men from this western Guatemalan city

Fire is a powerful symbol for them. Associated with the sons and daughters of Tohil, the god who bestows fire in Mayan culture, it becomes the mirror and the passage that allows them to see and express their sexuality. It is a portal that connects people with their grandmothers and grandfathers, the cosmos and the energies that the earth transmits.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest