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Mo Yan's Nobel Prize Sparks Discussion about Chinese Literature

Mo Yan's Nobel Prize Sparks Discussion about Chinese Literature | ESPE | Scoop.it

Hailing Mo Yan as the first Chinese citizen who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the public has started to contemplate the way to enhance Chinese literature's global presence.

The prize indicates that Chinese contemporary authors and their works are getting the world's attention, which prompts writers and amateurs to continue their pursuit, said Wang Meng, a renowned Chinese writer.

But "the prize came a little late," said Xue Yongwu, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Journalism and Communication with Ocean University of China (OUC).

There have been many accomplished writers of modern and contemporary literature in China, including Lu Xun, Ba Jin and Mao Dun, who should have won the prize earlier, he noted.

China's splendid ancient literature, which extends thousands of years, has been widely acknowledged across the world. However, the contemporary literature failed to get enough recognition from outside the country due to its short history and complex political influences, he explained.

Language has also been a barrier. Only a small proportion of Chinese literature has been translated into foreign languages, mainly English. The quality of some translated editions needs improvement, said Xue.

In addition to language skills, translation requires high-level comprehension and interpretation of culture and art. It's hard for people without any literature background to produce a translation that fully reserves the aesthetic sense of the original version, according to Ren Dongsheng, professor with the College of Foreign Languages of OUC.

The 57-year-old writer is known for his depiction of Chinese rural life. The settings for his works range from the 1911 revolution, Japan's invasion to Cultural Revolution.

Mo combines hallucinatory realism with folk tales, which is more appealing to the taste of Western readers than the styles adopted by many of his peers, such as Yu Hua, Su Tong and Wang Shuo, said Zhang Hongsheng, dean of the Literature Department of the Communication University of China.

However, "Nobel Prize is not the sole standard to judge the achievements of a writer. Prizes presented by different organizations adopt various evaluation criteria," said Xu Yan, a literature critic.

The quality of a literary work is always judged by the topic, language, structure, the way of story-telling, imagination and some other significant elements. People's tastes vary amid different social background and cultural mechanism, she added.


Via Charles Tiayon
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Rescooped by Guillaume OLIVE from Metaglossia: The Translation World
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Chinese writer Mo Yan wins the Nobel Prize for literature

Chinese writer Mo Yan wins the Nobel Prize for literature | ESPE | Scoop.it
Mo Yan, whose real name is Guan Moye, is the first Chinese citizen to win the award.

Via Charles Tiayon
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