Chinese writer Mo Yan wins 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature

Chinese writer Mo Yan wins 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson
STOCKHOLM, Oct. 11 (SCBR) — Chinese writer Mo Yan
Thursday won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, said the Swedish
Academy in Stockholm.
By Xuefei Chen Axelsson
STOCKHOLM, Oct. 11 (SCBR) — Chinese folklore writer Mo Yan
Thursday won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, said the Swedish
Academy in Stockholm.
“The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the Chinese
writer Mo Yan “who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales,
history and the contemporary”, said Peter Englund, Permanent
Secretary of Swedish Academy at the press conference.
Born in a farmers’ family in Gaomi county in 1955, Mo Yan
whose real name was Guan Moye and the pen name Mo Yan
meaning not to speak grew up in the countryside of Shandong
province in eastern China.
As a twelve-year-old during the Cultural Revolution he left
school to work, first in the field , 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.
“Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social
perspectives, 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. “
Mo Yan’s work is considered as scar literature in his homeland.
In addition to his novels, Mo Yan has published many short
stories and essays on various topics, and despite his social
criticism is seen in his homeland as one of the foremost
contemporary authors.

A selection of major works in Chinese:
Touming de hong luobo, 1986
Hong gaoliang jiazu, 1987
Baozha, 1988
Tiantang suantai zhi ge, 1988
Huanle shisan zhang, 1989
Shisan bu, 1989
Jiuguo, 1992
Shicao jiazu, 1993
Dao shen piao, 1995
Fengru feitun, 1996
Hong shulin, 1999
Shifu yuelai yue youmo, 2000
Tanxiangxing, 2001
Cangbao tu, 2003
Sishiyi pao, 2003
Shengsi pilao, 2006
Wa, 2009
Works in English
Explosions and Other Stories / edited by Janice Wickeri. – Hong Kong : Research Centre for Translations,
Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1991
Red Sorghum : a Novel of China / translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt. – New York : Viking, 1993.
– Translation of Hong gaoliang jiazu
The Garlic Ballads : a Novel / translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt. – New York : Viking, 1995. –
Translation of Tiantang suantai zhi ge
The Republic of Wine / translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt. – New York : Arcade Pub., 2000. –
Translation of Jiuguo
Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh / translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt. – New York : Arcade
Pub., 2001. – Translation of Shifu yuelai yue youmo
Big Breasts and Wide Hips : a Novel / translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt. – New York : Arcade
Pub., 2004. – Translation of Fengru feitun
Life and Death are Wearing Me Out : a Novel / translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt. – New York :
Arcade Pub., 2008. – Translation of Shengsi pilao
Change / translated by Howard Goldblatt. – London : Seagull, 2010. – Translation of Bian 2
Pow / translated by Howard Goldblatt. – London : Seagull, 2013
Sandalwood Death / translated by Howard Goldblatt. – Norman : Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 2013. – Translation
of Tanxiangxing
Selected Stories by Mo Yan / translated by Howard Goldblatt. – Hong Kong : The Chinese University Press,
20-?. – (Announced but not yet published)
Works in French
Le clan du sorgho : roman / traduit du chinois par Pascale Guinot et Sylvie Gentil avec la collaboration de Wei
Xiaoping. – Arles : Actes sud, 1990. – Traduction de : Hong gaoliang jiazu
La mélopée de l’ail paradisiaque : roman / traduit du chinois par Chantal Chen-Andro. – Paris : Éd. Messidor,
1990. – Traduction de : Tiantang suantai zhi ge
Le chantier : roman / traduit du chinois par Chantal Chen-Andro. – Paris : Scandéditions, 1993 ; Paris : Seuil,
2007. – Traduction de : Zhulu
Le radis de cristal : récits / traduit du chinois par Pascale Wei-Guinot et Wei Xiaoping. – Arles : Picquier, 1993.
– Traduction de : Touming de hong luobo ; Quishui
Les treize pas / traduit du chinois par Sylvie Gentil. – Paris : Seuil, 1995. – Traduction de : Shisan bu
Le pays de l’alcool / traduit du chinois par Noël et Liliane Dutrait. – Paris : Seuil, 2000. – Traduction de : Jiuguo
Beaux seins, belles fesses : les enfants de la famille Shangguan : roman / traduit du chinois par Noël et Liliane
Dutrait. – Paris : Seuil, 2004. – Traduction de : Fengru feitun
La carte au trésor : récit / traduit du chinois par Antoine Ferragne. – Arles : Picquier, 2004. – Traduction de :
Cangbao tu
Enfant de fer : nouvelles / traduit du chinois par Chantal Chen-Andro. – Paris : Seuil, 2004
Explosion / traduit du chinois par Camille Loivier ; préf. de Chantal Chen-Andro. – Paris : Éd. Caractères, 2004.
– Paris : Éd. Caractères, 2004. – Traduction de : Baozha
Le maître a de plus en plus d’humour : roman / traduit du chinois par Noël Dutrait. – Paris : Seuil, 2005. –
Traduction de : Shifu yuelai yue youmo
Le supplice du santal : roman / traduit du chinois par Chantal Chen-Andro. – Paris : Seuil, 2006. – Traduction de
: Tanxiangxing
La joie : roman / traduit du chinois par Marie Laureillard. – Arles : Picquier, 2007. – Traduction de : Huanle
shisan zhang
Quarante et un coups de canon / traduit du chinois par Noël et Liliane Dutrait. – Paris : Seuil, 2008. –
Traduction de : Sishiyi pao
La dure loi du karma : roman / traduit du chinois par Chantal Chen-Andro. – Paris : Seuil, 2009. – Traduction de
: Shengsi pilao
Grenouilles / traduit du chinois par Chantal Chen-Andro. – Paris : Seuil, 2011. – Traduction de : Wa
La Belle à dos d’âne dans l’avenue de Chang’an : récits / traduit du chinois par Marie Laureillard. – Arles :
Picquier, 2011
Le veau ; suivi de Le coureur de fond / traduit du chinois par Francois Sastourné. – Paris : Seuil, 2012 3
Works in Swedish
Det röda fältet / översättning: Anna Gustafsson Chen. – Stockholm : Tranan, 1997. – Originaltitel: Hong
gaoliang jiazu
Vitlöksballaderna / översättning: Anna Gustafsson Chen. – Stockholm : Tranan, 2001. – Originaltitel: Tiantang
suantai zhi ge
Ximen Nao och hans sju liv / översättning från kinesiska: Anna Gustafsson Chen. – Stockholm : Tranan, 2012. –
Originaltitel: Shengsi pilao
Works in Spanish
Sorgo rojo / traducido del inglés por Ana Poljak. – Barcelona : Muchnik, 1992. – Título original: Hong gaoliang
jiazu
Grandes pechos, amplias caderas / traducción, Mariano Peyrou. – Madrid : Kailas, 2007. – Título original:
Fengru feitun
Las baladas del ajo / traducción de Carlos Ossés. – Madrid : Kailas, 2008. – Título original: Tiantang suantai zhi
ge
La vida y la muerte me están desgastando / traducción de Carlos Ossés. – Madrid : Kailas, 2009. – Título
original: Shengsi pilao
La república del vino / traducción de Cora Tiedra. – Madrid : Kailas, 2010. – Título original: Jiuguo
Shifu, harías cualquier cosa por divertirte / traducción de Cora Tiedra. – Madrid : Kailas, 2011. – Título
original: Shifu yuelai yue youmo
Rana / traducido del chino por Yifan Li ; editado por Cora Tiedra. – Madrid : Kailas, 2011. – Título original: Wa
Works in German
Das rote Kornfeld : Roman / Deutsch von Peter Weber-Schäfer. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1993. –
Originaltitel: Hong gaoliang jiazu
Die Knoblauchrevolte : Roman / Deutsch von Andreas Donath. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 1997. –
Originaltitel: Tiantang suantai zhi ge
Trockener Fluß und andere Geschichten / Aus dem Chines. von Susanne Hornfeck u.a. – Dortmund : ProjektVerl., 1997
Die Schnapsstadt : Roman / Deutsch von Peter Weber-Schäfer. – Reinbek bei Hamburg : Rowohlt, 2002. –
Originaltitel: Jiuguo
Die Sandelholzstrafe : Roman / Aus dem Chines. von Karin Betz. – Frankfurt am Main : Insel, 2009. –
Originaltitel: Tanxiangxing
Der Überdruss : Roman / Aus dem Chines. von Martina Hasse. – Bad Honnef : Horlemann, 2009. –
Originaltitel: Shengsi pilao

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