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Mo Yan is wise to avoid talking politics

Source:Global Times Published: 2012-12-10 0:30:00

The 2012 Nobel Prize laureate in Literature, the Chinese writer Mo Yan, attended the awards ceremony in Stockholm last week.

However, discussion about him seems to focus on politics rather than literature.

People should stop pressing Mo. He has already faced many questions he would have preferred to avoid.

Mo described himself as a storyteller during his speech at the Swedish Academy, while many expected him to talk about politics. This is a sad day for literature. It seems that literature is worth nothing if it does not serve a political master.

Mo is the real defender of literature. He refused to mix politics with literature. He has barely made any political claims and showed no strong tendency toward political rights.

He has concentrated on thoughts about human nature. He has showed the amazing spiritual freedom that writers have in modern society.

Mo's work represents a milestone, not only because he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, but also because his prize represents a breakthrough for tolerance and mutual respect between China's reality and Western values.

In the past, it was those opposed to China's system who have won the Nobel Prize. The decisions made by the Nobel Committees often have political aspects. They seem to have become the bargaining chip that the West uses to confront China.

Mo writes for himself as well as for the people. He has progressed with the country, and also makes himself open to the world. He breaks the mold that dictates only dissidents can be embraced by the West.

Mo did not elaborately plan his path. He is living in his spiritual world, while eager to tell his story to others. He does not pander to his surroundings, but waits for listeners to come to his side.

After Mo won the prize, many forces wanted to use him as political leverage. He will face tough tests in the long run.

It is not that Mo's victory has nothing to do with politics. An influential event must have embedded political meaning.

Mo's behavior after his victory shows that he would like to minimize the political influence of his prize. It shows that he is safeguarding and treasuring literature.

It is unfair to force a literary idealist to talk about China's freedom of speech or human rights. The Nobel Prize for Literature should not be a political device that the West uses to attack China.

Unexpectedly, Mo has become a window through which the world sees China.

His attitude toward literature and politics, his complex feelings toward the country and his straightforwardness are the freshest aspects of a modern China.

 

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