e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

The Nobel prize and politics


So the Nobel committee has announced a Chinese winner, Mo Yan, for this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. In doing so they’ve set off a lot of natter about politics, political correctness and who, according to political correctness, is an ‘appropriate‘ winner. Apparently some people think that Mr Yan doesn’t complain enough about his government.

And I always thought the prize was about the quality of someone’s writing.

In my opinion the increasing politicisation of almost everything is getting extremely boring.

The Guardian article quotes a professor of Chinese, Michel Hockx, saying:

Mo Yan, according to Hockx, “knows how to write a good story”, filling his tales of remote communities “with a magical atmosphere, without shying away from the harsh and sometimes violent realities that he has witnessed”.

IMHO that makes Mr Yan an ‘appropriate’ winner.


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