Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur voor Mo Yan

Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur voor Mo Yan

De Nobelprijs voor de Literatuur is toegekend aan Chinese schrijver Mo Yan. Dat heeft het Nobelcomité in Stockholm bekendgemaakt. Mo Yan werd geboren op 17 februari 1955 in Gaomi in de provincie Shandong. Aan de Nobelprijs is een bedrag van ongeveer € 930.000 verbonden. Het Nobelcomité roemt Mo Yan voor het “hallucinerend realisme” waarmee hij volksverhalen, geschiedenis en het hedendaagse combineert. Mo Yan, een pseudoniem voor ‘spreek niet’, krijgt de prijs op 10 december uitgereikt. Zie ook alle tags voor Mo Yan op dit blog.


Uit: The Garlic Ballads (Vertaald door Howard Goldblatt)

“Gao Yang touched the drop of nectar with his tongue, and his taste buds were treated to a cool, sweet taste that relaxed him. He surveyed his three acres of garlic field. It was a good crop, the white tips large and plump, some at a jaunty angle, others straight as a board. The garlic was moist and juicy, with downy sprouts beginning to appear. His pregnant wife was on her hands and knees beside him, yanking garlic out of the ground. Her face was darker than usual, and there were fine lines around her eyes, like veins of spreading rust on a sheet of iron. As she knelt, knees coated with mud, her childhood deformity — a stunted left arm that inconvenienced her in everything she did — made the job harder than it ought to have been. He watched her reach down and pinch the stalks with a pair of new bamboo chopsticks; the effort made her bite her lip each time, and he felt sorry for her. But he needed her help, for he’d heard that the co-op was setting up shop in the county town to buy the garlic crop at slightly over fifty fen a pound, higher than last year’s peak price of forty-five. He knew the county had expanded the amount of acreage given over to garlic this year; and with a bumper crop, the earlier you harvested yours, the sooner you could sell it. That was why everyone in the Village, women and children included, was out in the fields. But as he looked at his pitiable pregnant wife, he said, “Why not rest awhile?”

“What for?” She raised her sweaty face. “I’m not tired. I just worry the baby might come.”

“Already?” he asked anxiously.

“I figure some time in the next couple of days. I hope it waits till the harvest is in, at least.”

“Do they always come when they’re due?”

“Not always. Xinghua was ten days late.”

They turned to look behind them, where their daughter sat obediently at the edge of the field, her sightless eyes opened wide. She was holding a stalk of garlic in one hand and stroking it with the other.

“Careful with that garlic, Xinghua,” he said. “Each stalk is worth several fen.”


Mo Yan (Gaomi, 17 februari 1955)