Thursday, 11 October 2012

Special Report: Profile Of Mo Yan, 2012 Nobel Prize Winner In Literature

Mo Yan

Credit: Nobelprize.org

Mo Yan (a pseudonym for Guan Moye) was born in 1955 and grew up in Gaomi in Shandong province in north-eastern China. His parents were farmers. As a twelve-year-old during the Cultural Revolution he left school to work, first in agriculture, 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. 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
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


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 : Projekt-Verl., 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

1 comment:

Please restrict your comment to the subject matter.