China / Society

Mo Yan's winning of Nobel Prize inspires young authors

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-10-13 09:11

BEIJING - Mo Yan's winning of Nobel Literature Prize, widely regarded as a great encouragement for China's literature, is bringing more confidence to the nation's young authors.

Mo, 57-year-old Chinese writer, became the heated topic overnight in China after winning the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature in Stockholm Thursday. His books sold out within several hours in the online bookstores Thursday and also in real book stores Friday.

The younger generation of writers said they were highly inspired by the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

"Young writers are convinced it is not meaningless or ridiculous to insist on pursuing writing in China," said Jiang Fangzhou, 23-year-old writer who published her first book at nine.

Zhang Yueran, 30-year-old writer and chief editor of magazine "Li" said "Young writers will feel more confident in themselves. Mo's win indicates that Chinese literature has been truly accepted by the foreign literature world."

Zhang also said that she became Mo's fan when she was little, and "Mo is definitely one of the greatest writers of this era."

Many critics said the younger generation of Chinese authors, unlike elder writers like Mo who often set stories under a historical background, were less concerned about the real world and lack of social responsibility as a writer.

"Most of the writers of Mo's generation share their memories of living in the countryside," Jiang said. "In Mo's speech at Stanford University, he said that hunger and loneliness is the source of his works."

She added: "However, for a younger generation, it's very easy to get access to various kind of books, and also, it's very easy to be famous. It's hard for them to concentrate on their works."

Another young writer Su De, who was born in 1981, believes young authors have different chances. "The complicated historical period provided writers of Mo's generation with a great writing environment. But for literary works, creating interesting stories is the most important thing."

Su believes young authors have their own advantages. They can easily get access to world literature by reading foreign novels and communicating with authors worldwide, which was impossible for Mo's generation when they were young.

But Su said there are still barriers between Chinese literature and the world literature field.

"When communicating with authors from the West, it seems that we know a lot about them but their knowledge about Chinese literature is so limited," she said.

Mo's success starts a new chapter of Chinese literature. "It's opened a new window on China. International publishers and reviewers will pay more attention to Chinese literature, and more Chinese works will be translated and introduced to the international readers," said Huang Yuning, 35-year-old senior editor of Shanghai Translation Publishing House.

Huang, who has introduced 200 foreign literary works to China in the past decade, believes that Chinese literature will draw more international attention after Mo Yan's win.

No matter how the outside world looks at Mo, he brings Chinese cultural messages to it through the new window, Huang said.

Mo's win is expected to stimulate the sluggish domestic literature and foreign publishers are also likely to be spurred to import more Chinese literature, said 36-year-old writer Ai Guozhu, with a pen name of A Yi.

"Before Mo's winning of the Nobel Prize, foreigners and even Chinese people had considered Chinese literature to be a remote small town in world literature. However, even if a remote small town can have the great appetite for absorbing the nutrition of world literature," A Yi said.

China has been importing foreign literature a lot while exporting in a very small amount, A Yi said.

Chinese writers are pretty humble in the bottom of their heart, with an open attitude to the outside world, he said.

A Yi doesn't consider Mo as the most typical local writer as Mo's content comes from the local life in his home town while his writing techniques come from foreign literature masters.

In A Yi's eyes, Mo should surely be considered as a master but he has not yet solved the ultimate doubts in the bottom of Chinese people's hearts.

"Contemporary Chinese literature has not bred a masterpiece to express the pain of several generations. We don't have a masterpiece which belongs to the whole nation, like Russia's Anna Karenina, France's Rouge et Noir," he said.

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