Literature Nobel winner Elfriede Jelinek on Liu Xiaobo and the new biography now out in German

This is a book about an absent person, who is held in prison; who has won a Nobel Peace prize and is not allowed to collect it: Liu Xiaobo. His old friend Bei Ling writes about him. He draws a many-faceted picture – only a knowledgeable friend can do that. This book is concerned with manifestos, petitions, political actions, but also with self-doubt and guilt, stubbornness and ambition. The author Bei Ling, who was imprisoned himself before, sees his duty in painting a complicated picture of this civil rights activist, with many different shades and colors. Bei Ling knows that he can see Liu Xiaobo only from one side, he can only portray him in profile, not from the front. But even if it is only part of a bigger picture, this part shows us a whole cosmos of courage and repression, of labor camps and life outside watched by security agents, like the life that the wife of this civil rights activist is forced to lead. This book offers a lot of information, but it doesn’t explain everything, because it wants you to keep asking questions. This is why I think everybody should read it.
Elfriede Jelinek, Tr. MW

Read more …

Liu Xiaobo biography published

My essay on Liu Xiaobo and the new biography

Translating the bio

Liu Xiaobo and 1984

Elfriede Jelinek with Bei Ling and translator Martin Winter in Munich

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