Friday, October 12, 2012

The Pulitzer Went to Dr. Geobbels

Mo Yan is the not the first communist Party member to be awarded the Nobel Prize, and he might not be the last. With the expanding economic clout of red China, the committee will have to try hard not to have their eyes on the giant.

Mo Yan is not an ordinary Party member of the 80 million strong Chinese Communists Party, but a top propaganda official. While attending the Frankfurt Book Fair, he withdrew China delegate from a symposium when he noticed the organizer allowed a writer Dai Qing who was not favored by the red regime.

Having passed the loyalty test with glowing scores, Mo was named the Deputy Chairman of Chinese National Writers Association.

Last year, Mao published his calligraphy, a handwriting copy of Chairman Mao's 'Talk at the Yan'an Conference on Literature and Art' to showcase his admiration to the late dictator. The 'talk' is not yet another piece of Mao's crazy revolution advocate. It is the single main guideline and handbook which is used to convert Chinese intellectuals to 'tamed tool of the Party (quote and unquote)'.

At his news conference after the Nobel news, Mo comforted Chinese writers: "... writing is not free at any place in this world. Comparing to the past, Chinese writers have great freedom in writing. The freedom Chinese writers enjoy today is astonishing broad." Mo went to Beijing Normal University. Another known alum of Beijing Normal University is Dr. Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Laureate 2010. Liu is serving a seven years jail time because of his writing, which calls for peace and democracy. Liu's wife, Liu Xia, has been placed under house arrest for two years, for no other reason but being the wife of Liu Xiaobo.

Mo is aware of criticism on his close tie to the Party. At one occasion, Mo defended himself, 'I also write under pressure, often great pressure. If you read my works, they are different than the mainstream.' Mo praised youth leader Han Han, a race car driver and writer. Han Han advocate for political evolution, comparing to radical revolution. Because Han's moderate ideas appeal to the general public, he has been treated as a dangerous enemy of the state by the communist government.

A talented writer, Mo is skillful of producing beautiful words and interesting plots. Actually he is highly acclaimed as a master of Chinese language. Even before the Nobel tap, Mo had been consistently ranked top 10 modern Chinese writers by various standards. As the old Chinese wisdom: it's easy to find a best worrier, but impossible to decide the best writer. Not everyone agree with the Nobel committee's choice on Mo. German scholar Wolfgang Kubin felt Mo's 'eighteenth century story-telling style' was obsolete.

Despite stunning art and skills in steering public opinion, Dr. Geobbels was not rewarded with a Pulitzer. Walter Duranty did receive a Pulitzer medal in 1932, in the height of a great famine in the USSR, which was conveniently ignored by the Moscow Bureau Chief of the NYT at the time.

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