The marketing of Mo Yan

What is it like to win an (approved) Nobel Prize in China?:

On Tuesday, Fan Hui, a local official, paid a visit to Mr Mo’s father to ask him to renovate the family home.

“Your son is no longer your son, and the house is no longer your house,” urged Mr Fan, according to the Beijing News, explaining that the author was now the pride of China. “It does not really matter if you agree or not,” he added.

Mr Fan has earmarked the family home as the main attraction of the “Mo Yan Culture Experience Zone”, but also has plans to create a theme park based on Mr Mo’s 1987 work, Red Sorghum.

Unwanted and unprofitable, Sorghum is no longer planted in the area, but this not regarded as an obstacle…

“One visitor dug up a radish [from Mr Mo’s vegetable patch],” reported the Beijing News. “He slipped it into his coat and showed it to villagers afterwards, saying: ‘Mo’s radish! Mo’s radish!’ ”

“A visiting mother picked some yams and told her daughter: ‘I’ll boil them, so you can eat them and win the Nobel prize too!'” Mr Mo’s brother, Guan Moxin, was forced to intervene to stop the family’s corn harvest, which was left lying out in the sun to dry, being swept away by the village tidying committee.

Mr Mo himself has been non-commital amid the excitement. Asked by China Central Television whether he was happy, he responded: “I do not know”.

Asked by Xinhua, the state news agency, whether his win would ignite a passion for literature in China, he said: “I think it will last for a month at most, maybe less, then everything will return to normal”.

He said he planned to use his £750,000 of prize money to buy a “big house” in Beijing. But then he realised that property prices have soared so high he could only afford a two-bedroom apartment.

Here is more, interesting throughout, and here is a related story.  Hat tip goes to Literary Saloon.


Comments for this post are closed