Nobel Prize 2012: Mo Yan (About 30 Puns Resisted)

on Friday, October 12, 2012
Well, the bookies weren't too far off.

This year's Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to the chinese writer Mo Yan for his "hallucinatory realism [that] merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." In other words, the guy is pretty much everything I love in a writer. No rant from me on this one. The committee got it right.

If you're wondering where to start, check out the short story collection Shifu, You'll Do Anything For a Laugh or, if you want to plunge in the deep end, hit up Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out. Either way, you won't be disappointed. Nobody dissects the absurdities of Chinese society better than this guy.

In the meantime, I guess Bob Dylan and Phillip Roth will have to commiserate together over a few cold ones at the local sports bar...


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing..

Evan said...

The thing with Mo Yan is that the English translations of his novels are, apparently, heavily abridged.
I look forward to reading some of his work - but this editing-through-translation business gives me a cold feeling. I mean, translation is enough butchery to a text as it is - why do more?

The Bookworm said...

True, though translation is always an act of rewriting. Perhaps the prize will encourage new "full" translations, though the cynic in me would think that publishers are going to be more keen to rush out reprints of old translations while the iron is hot. I doubt they'll see a long term benefit in commissioning anything new.

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