Readers of my posts here by now should know that I am not a neutral person, and my bias can be very strong. To be perfectly honest with you, I cherish the freedom of not having to pretend otherwise. Below is a compilation of Twitter Chinese community’s reaction to the news of Chinese writer Mo Yan 莫言 winning this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature (his name literally means “Don’t talk”). I follow nearly 800 people, and the voices on my Timeline are overwhelmingly lopsided. Now, since it’s unlikely that the Swedish Academy will provide you some of the key information about this particular laureate on its site, I will do you a service by supplying it: Mo Yan is currently a member of the Chinese Communist Party and a deputy Chairman of the Party endorsed and Party-run Writers’ Association. In fact, China’s Writers Association is an organ of the government on all levels, from top to county level. And of all the tweets I read today, my favorite came from the laureate himself: It’s his poem to Bo Xilai (薄熙来), the recently disgraced Chongqing leader. Life is always rich and magical, more so than fiction, isn’t it? –Yaxue
@eleven_K: Mo Yan, first Chinese Nobel winner who lives inside China but outside a prison.
@mozhixu: (leading dissident intellectual): In my last interview yesterday, my view is that, due to information unbalance, the westerners have a hard time to understand the reality of the post-totalitarian China. As a result, they underestimated, even ignored, the negative impact of Mo Yan’s subjection to the regime. But for those Chinese who pursuing freedom, it’s very unfair.
@HeQinglian (exiled economist) : Wei Yingjie from Tencent Weibo: Having read so many comments about Mo Yan, I think the most accurate one comes from the man himself: “In everyday life, I can be a stooge, a coward and a pathetic worm, but when I write, I have balls to steal, to fuck and to do whatever I want.” This probably is Mo Yan philosophy of life.
@ye_du: Mo Yan’s poem to Bo Xilai on his Tencent Weibo:
Doggerel to my literary friend in Chongqing:
Sing-red-strike-black roars mightily, the nation turns its head to Chongqing. /While the white spider waves real net, the black horse with loose bowel movement is not an angry youth./ As a writer I look down on either the left or the right, as an official you hold dear your good name in history./ A gentleman, a bedrock in turbulent waters, that you are, the splendid cliffs shine on Jiangling River like fire.
@YaxueCao: Sven Englund (@svenenglund, Swedish student in Fudan University who was expelled from China for writing an open letter to Hu Jintao calling for free expression), you wrote a letter calling for free expression, the Chinese government chased you out of China. Today, Mo Yan, the winner of Nobel Prize for Literature, said in China this is an era when one can speak freely. Are people in the Swedish Academy a bunch of decrepits or what?
@Michae1S Warm congratulations to Mo Yan, CCP member, former PLA officer, loyal soldier of communism, loyal supporter of censorship, boycotter of Frankfurt Book Fair, father of Big Breasts and Wide Hips, for winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature!
@wentommy: From Mao Zedong’s Talks at the Yen’an Forum on Literature and Art (1942) to Nobel Prize for Literature, Mo Yan becomes the binding figure in China’s cultural revolution.
@YaxueCao: To be a little off in your literary judgment is one thing; to be completely unaware of the pseudo nature of Mo Yan’s oeuvre is another.
@YaxueCao: (Answering question “What is the “pseudo nature” of Mo Yan’s works”) It’s set in China, it’s about China, but it contains little truth about China, realistically or allegorically, not China in the past, not China now. It’s pseudo China.
@wongkala: Mo Yan’s handwriting of MaoZedong’s Talks 2 Writers & Artists, the section about a writer/artist’s stand & attitude.
@YaxueCao: Just how bad is it for any of the 100 Chinese writers and artists, Mo Yan included, to engage in handcopying Mao Zedong’s Talks at the Yen’an Forum on Literature and Art earlier this year? First of all, it’s a despicable act of suck-up. Secondly, please remember: this text of Mao marks the beginning, and is the guideline, of Chinese Communists’ war on literature and art where complete submission is required of writers and artists, or they face persecution as generations of them have done. Today is a sad day for all of those Chinese who have suffered from that tyranny against literature and art.
@YaxueCao: Four Nobel Prizes and two tales, delivered by People’s Daily:
@lantudou: To best balance the relationship with China, why not award Nobel Peace Prize to Hu Jintao?
@Cloudbleu: Nobel Prize for Literature went to a man who works for a regime that suppresses expression. This is disgusting! Damn disgusting!
@ranyunfei (renowned independent intellectual who was detained last year during the jasmine terror and whose Weibo accounts, all of them, were deleted recently during the anti-Japanese protests): Mo Yan said, upon the news of the prize, that this is an era when one can speak freely. All I can say is that, at this moment of time when China is on the eve of big changes, that Nobel Prize awards a man who has no principles indicates it is an accomplice to the scoundrel China. In China, Mo Yan has received unprecedented, all-you-can-think-of promotion as no one else has ever done, yet the whole world is blind. You will all be paying the bills.
@yangpigui (independent writer): This prize that will be awarded in Stockholm will cause the spread of Stockholm Syndrome.
@aiww (Artist Ai Weiwei) : Swedish Academy of Letters & China’s Writers’ Association compete for who is more despicable. This round the foreign devils won.
@aiww: China’s Writers Association is an association of bootlickers. The Westerners think Mo Yan is outstanding among them.
@aiww: A writer is a liar if he can’t face truth; a literary prize is a curse on conscience if it shuns the question of justice.
@wenyunchao: My Weibo account has just been deleted for criticizing Mo Yan.
@Cui Weiping 崔卫平: (renowned pro-democracy academic) To those imprisoned writers and those who are being persecuted by censorship as we speak, this is a huge blow.
@mozhixu (leading dissident intellectual): Many people still under-estimated the naivety of leftist Western intellectuals. That’s why, unlike many of you, I didn’t assert that Mo Yan had no shot at it.
@aiww: Why can’t a rich man award a coward, a stooge and a hypocrite? Do you really think this world is clean?
@YaxueCao: Mo Yan himself aside, the people who are overjoyed about this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature are CCTV, Xinhua, and People‘s Daily.
@tengbiao (tweet by renowned rights lawyer Teng Biao on October 6): He handcopied Mao Zedong’s Talks at the Yen’an Forum on Literature and Art (《在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话》). He claimed that writers are not in any way restrained at all in today’s China. In Frankfurt Book Fair, he refused to attend seminars with dissident writers Dai Qing 戴晴 and Bei Ling 贝岭. When Cui Weiping 崔卫平 interviewed him for his view on Liu Xiaobo’s 11-year sentence, he said, “I don’t know much about it. I don’t want to talk about it.” He has never uttered a single word for any Chinese prisoners of conscience. He is Mo Yan 莫言, this year favorite for Nobel Prize for Literature.