Arabic version of Mo Yan's "Bull" brings Chinese, Arab cultures closer

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-5 9:39:29

Opening for Arabs a new window to look at the Chinese culture, Egypt's General Agency for Cultural Palaces has released the first translated version of the novel " Bull" written by China's Nobel laureate novelist Mo Yan.

Translated into Arabic by Egyptian translator Mohsen Fergani, the novel has been released Wednesday among a book series entitled "Universal Horizons" sponsored and published by the Egyptian Culture Ministry.

"Bull" is Mo's second novel to be translated into Arabic after his "Red Sorghum." Yet "Bull" is believed to be more impressive and popular in Arab book markets in general and in the Egyptian market in particular.

"I believe that 'Bull' would be greatly popular in the Arab book markets as it was released by an Egyptian cultural authority assigned with reaching all social, economic and cultural classes," Sobhi Moussa, head of publishing department of the General Agency of Cultural Palaces, told Xinhua.

"The books sponsored by the agency usually spread faster and become more popular as they reach all classes due to their symbolic prices," Moussa said, noting that Bull is available in the market for less than one US dollar.

Stressing that Mo is one of the most prominent and creative Chinese novelists, Moussa said that awarding him the Nobel Prize in 2012, although great, was "too late."

In the Arabic version preface, Fergani demonstrated the current literary mainstreams in China in a way that enlightened the reader with the development of such a unique literature, and also touched on Mo's hard childhood life, pointing to his creativity and geniality as a milestone in contemporary literature.

"Mo based his novel on both real experience and imagination filled with miraculous narration that traces back to the old Chinese story telling," Fergani wrote.

Commenting on the novel, Refaat Sallam, editor-in-cheif of " Universal Horizons" book series, said "Bull" is important for two reasons. "Firstly because it represents the current trend of the Chinese contemporary novelists that has been unknown to Arab readers. Secondly because it is for the Nobel Prize laureate Mo who is known all over the world."

Highlighting the significance of translating more Chinese literary works, Sallam said the Egyptian cultural agency is about to finish the translation of some Chinese poetry "in order to nourish the readers' minds with the two wings of the Chinese literature -- verses and stories."

Sallam said more translation of Chinese literary works is urgently needed for cultural interaction between the Chinese and Arabs. (Mahmoud Fouly contributes to this story)

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