China / Society

Chinese literary circle inspired by Mo Yan's prize

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-11 20:05

BEIJING - It was a happy moment for the Chinese public when author Mo Yan, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, received the award from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony for 2012 started at 4.30 p.m. Monday local time in the Stockholm Concert Hall. At the event, Mo was given the the Nobel diploma, medal and a document confirming the prize amount.

In his speech at the ceremony, Mo said receiving the prize "feels like a fairy tale, but of course it is true."

Liu Shabai, vice chairman of Hunan TV and Broadcast Intermediary Corporation, hailed the event as "an historic moment for Chinese literature."

Mo's award fills the blank left by Chinese literature in the world literary history, said Huang Jiren, honorary president of the Chongqing Municipality branch of the China Writers Association.

"Congratulations to Mo Yan, for he is a great author who persists with his efforts to restore the honor of the novel, depicts the struggle and love of 'nobodies' facing brutality and cherishes immense sympathy and tenderness for man's destiny," netizen "Kongxingjushi" wrote in an entry on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging service.

Meanwhile, Monday's Nobel awards ceremony set off another buying rush on Mo's works among Chinese readers.

According to, China's leading online book retailer, Mo's latest novel, "Frog," has topped bestseller lists for the past 24 hours and the past 30 days.

Two versions of his famous novel "Big Breasts and Wide Hips" were released by different publishers, and both versions are also holding steady on top ten lists.

His success has prompted the Chinese contemporary literary circle to rediscover, rethink and reconsider its understanding of the Nobel laureate, and to fully appreciate the meaning of his work, as his talent has long been underestimated, said Chinese poet Wang Jiuxin.

This is an opportunity for the writer to influence both authors and the public with his books, Wang said in a blog post.

Chinese intellectuals have also taken note of the increase in attention being paid to Chinese literature and culture, and they hope for more worldwide recognition.

The Nobel Committee is looking at China and opening its arms to embrace the country's talents. It is also rectifying its previous prejudices toward, and misunderstandings of, the East, Wang said.

"I believe that after Mo's award, Chinese authors will write with more confidence," said Li Ling, a professor at Beijing Language and Cultural University.

Zhang Yiwu, a culture critic and professor at Peking University, said Mo's works are undoubtedly marvelous and very interesting, but he also stressed that the Nobel Prize should not be the only gauge of the quality of a writer's work.

He noted that in addition to Mo, China has many excellent writers, such as Jia Pingwa and Liu Zhenyun, and writers should explore their own distinct styles to attract domestic and foreign readers.

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