Nobel laureate writes his own political story

Updated: 2013-03-01 22:02


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BEIJING - As both a storyteller and a political advisor, Mo Yan, winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature, understands the difference between literature and politics.

His hallucinatory realist work that merges folk tales, history and contemporary life, combined with his skilled and fascinating style of storytelling, earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature last year.

Nobel laureate writes his own political story

The 2012 Nobel laureate Mo Yan, a member of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), gets on a shuttle bus for a routine meeting of the CPPCC in Beijing, China, March 1, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

His renown as the first Chinese national to win a Nobel prize brought him into the spotlight of the country's political arena.

Last month, he was elected a member of the National Committee of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body, which is slated to open its annual session on Sunday.

"My participation in the CPPCC meeting is a serious thing. To me, being a political advisor means a sense of duty rather than an honor," Mo said in an interview with Xinhua at a dining table inside the Railway Hotel in downtown Beijing on Friday.

Although he became a household name in China after nabbing a Nobel, 58-year-old Mo can seem shy on social occasions, nodding and smiling in a restrained way when he is greeted by another political advisor.

He explained his pen name -- Mo Yan, or "don't speak" in Chinese -- in his self-deprecating speech at the Nobel Prize Award ceremony last year.

"Despite my parents' tireless guidance, my natural desire to talk never went away, and that is what makes my name," he said in his speech, insisting that for a writer, the best way to speak is by writing.

"You will find everything I need to say in my work," he said at the award ceremony.

Mo was born and raised in a village in Gaomi in east China's Shandong Province, where many of his novels are set, including "Red Sorghum," which was later adapted into a film by director Zhang Yimou.

As for his new role as a political advisor, Mo said he is still mulling a political proposal for the upcoming CPPCC meeting to live up to his obligations.

Meanwhile, Mo's concerns lie not only in the world of literature.

"In reality, many problems need our attention," he said without elaborating.

Mo showed a similarly cautious approach to potentially sensitive issues when he was in Stockholm to receive his award last year.

"I'm new here and I have to do a lot of learning and research before I get the job done," Mo said, adding that he will use a pen and paper for his proposal, not a computer. "So, just give me some time."

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