Posts Tagged ‘ideology’

ECHO EINES JAHRHUNDERTS – 李东泽 Li Dongze

3月 27, 2021

Li Dongze
ECHO EINES JAHRHUNDERTS

Vor 100 Jahren
hat jemand gesagt
Gott sei gestorben.

100 Jahre später
säubern wir Lehrbücher
von vertrockneten Resten.

Übersetzt von MW im März 2021

新世纪诗典作品联展#李东泽#(14.0)

伊沙:作者乃诗江湖旧将一一这一支,是我初开《新诗典》时思想上倚重的主力军(那时候尚不敢设想土生土长于《新诗典》者会发展成怎样的力量),又走过了《新诗典》十年,当祝贺之!有这两个十年的历练,今生便注定了。本诗写得好,写得大,口语诗人,也要敢于朝大里写去,敢于表现自己的时代概括力和命名力。

况禹点评《新诗典》李东泽《世纪回响》:本诗触及了一个巨大的主题——人类精神状态的演变。说“神死了”是一回事,彻底将其残余的影子和碎片(干尸)从人的视野里逐出则是另一回事。前者属于心智的自我觉醒,后者则属于因噎废食和认知上的画地为牢。许多事,过犹不及。相信始作俑者尼采天上有知,也是要对此发狠诅咒的。

高歌:虽说老百姓没资格关心政治,但意识形态无孔不入,方方面面高度统一,却是不争的事实。你不关心它,也躲不掉它,它会追着揍你,比如我们的孩子,课本里就没有上帝了,将来和有信仰的国度的交流就缺了一块……还要等着将来再补上。前几天读西方哲学,才知道我们马列教科书里的概念与西哲的形而上学概念完全相反,几乎是信口胡说,也太他妈不负责任了,包括唯心主义、经验主义等等,之前的灌输的根本就不是那么回事,还有左和右也一样,不一个意思。所以,交流会变成驴唇不对马嘴……

Calligraphy by Huang Kaibing

Calligraphy by Huang Kaibing

马金山|读李东泽的诗《世纪回响》的十一条:
1、诗是生活的再创新;
2、诗是时代的符号,是认知,是思想,是午后的一个美梦;
3、李东泽,1976年出生,2000年大学专科毕业,同年开始从事传媒工作,20年间多次获得国家及省级新闻奖。1998年开始从事文学创作,2001年在《岁月》杂志发表处女作,2007年成为《葵》同仁,20年间发表诗作600余首,诗歌入选多种选本;
4、李东泽的诗,多维视角,层次丰富,题材多样,一方面对其作品的变化表示欣赏,另一方面对其多种类的试验表示疑虑,此也为一把双刃剑;
5、回到本诗,两节六行,从时间到空间,由上帝到干尸,具有独特而丰富的层次感,不仅如此,空间结构和布局轮廓,均表现出非凡的知识概述;
6、诗的第一节,引用别人的话,将一个形象的人物呈现出来,既有对精神意识的觉醒和思考,还有对时空的拉伸与揭示;
7、第二节,则回到当下的状态,回到百年前的时间衔接,不只具有教课书式的描述,还有首尾呼应的映照,多阐释的暗合;
8、诗的层次鲜明,语言言简意赅,形式逻辑丰富,观点和立场坚定;
9、诗的标题,具有时间的穿透力,时空穿越性,以及内心的强大震撼力,无限写意;
10、本诗给予诗人的启示:“大而不空,需要诗意的硬核与厚实的质地”;
11、时空之诗,觉知之诗,精神之诗。

Calligraphy by Huang Kaibing

Calligraphy by Huang Kaibing

黎雪梅读《新世纪诗典》之李东泽《世纪回响》:在宗教里上帝是正义而全能的,人们约束自己的欲望然后作一个有爱心和善良的人,就会活着平安死后入天堂,这是大部分宗教的教义和基本的理论。而尼采的“上帝死了”,并不是说没有上帝了,而是说,上帝原先的决定性影响力,正在逐渐消逝,也可以说我们认为我们完全不需要上帝,从而也证明了尼采是一个无神论者。反观19世纪的欧洲,也确实如尼采这句话所说的,人们的思想逐渐摆脱宗教的束缚,迎来了人文主义的全面觉醒。除了尼采,俄罗斯的陀思妥耶夫斯基在《卡拉马佐夫兄弟》里面也说到“上帝死了”,可见人们对于摆脱蒙昧信仰的需求。所以百年前就死了的“上帝”,在科技高速发展的今天,在这个创新的时代、思维改变的时代、在“一百年后/我们把他的干尸/清理出课本”是无比及时且正确的选择,不仅是时代的要求,也是社会发展进步的需要,这是世纪的回响,也是诗人发出的时代的最强音。

黄平子《新世纪诗典》留言307

3644

世纪回响

李东泽

一百年前
有人说
上帝死了

一百年后
我们把他的干尸
清理出课本

“一百年前”是时间。是很久的时间,也是一个大概的时间。“有人说/上帝死了”,说这句话的人大约是尼采。尼采是一个哲学家。他曾经自诩为太阳,后来精神崩溃了。黎雪梅说陀思妥耶夫斯基也说过类似的话。我打开《卡拉马佐夫兄弟》,发现果然不错。不但说了,还有很多处。其中一处说:“同样,设若他认定灵魂无法不灭,上帝并不存在,那就马上去加入无神论者和社会主义者的行列。”陀思妥耶夫斯基的《卡》发表时,尼采的《查拉图斯特拉如是说》还没有开写。陀思妥耶夫斯基才是“上帝死了”的第一人吧?管他呢。中国人不信上帝。中国人也不信尼采。中国人什么都不信。上帝是死是活,中国人一点都不感兴趣。“一百年后”也是时间。这个时间就是现在。诗人用“一百年后”说现在,意在营造一种沧桑感。“我们把他的干尸/清理出课本”是事件。维马丁先生说,本诗有“思想误会”和“假的历史”。他指的,应该是这两句吧。这两句诗太简洁,所有有很多不清楚的地方。其一是“我们”。“我们”是谁?是中国,还是世界?是哲学界,还是神学界?其二是“他的干尸”。这是上帝的干尸,还是尼采的干尸?尼采说,哲学家的第一特性是缺乏历史感,几千年来,凡是经哲学家处理的一切都变成了概念木乃伊。尼采杀死了上帝,诞生了第一具木乃伊。尼采说完“上帝死了”,又诞生了一具木乃伊。其三是“清理出课本”。因为干尸的不确定性,连带出了课本的不确定性。“我”读的是师范,后来自考中文本科。在我有限的学历里,不知道哪本课本有上帝和尼采。

2021年3月27日22点41分

 

 

DEMOCRAZY IN AUSTRIA

12月 4, 2016

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DEMOKRATIE
(sorry!)

wie hält es china mit der demokratie
wie hält es österreich
kann es österreich halten
pisst sich österreich an
wer bemerkt es
wie hält es china mit der demokratie
fragt ein vortrag
eine diskussion
zwei tage vor einer wahl
die in österreich
die republik
gefährdet
was ist für uns demokratie
seit 1945
seit 1955
was ist für ungarn demokratie
vor 1956
vor 1989
kann es österreich halten
scheisst sich österreich an
wer merkt es
seit 1984
lern ich chinesisch
13 jahre war ich in china
ich war grad in taiwan
1988 in taiwan
war demokratie etwas anderes
als fünf oder zehn jahre später
oder auch früher
oder vor zwei jahren
kann es österreich halten
brunzt sich österreich an
tut mir leid
ich war nicht bei dem vortrag

MW 3. Dezember 2016

 

SONNTAG IN DER KIRCHE

8月 31, 2016

photo by David Howard

photo by David Howard

SONNTAG IN DER KIRCHE

ich war am sonntag nicht in der kirche
die kirche war am ballhausplatz
nicht heldenplatz aber auch dort
gegen die mit dem ball

weiß nicht wieviele waren
vielleicht auch niemand von unseren freunden
obwohl niemand deutschdümmler wählt
der bei trost ist

aber der glanze heldenplatz zirka
ist lang nicht gewonnen
wieviele waren
bei trost oder was

wieviele waren am sonntag
wahrscheinlich ist es auch nicht entscheidend
im stadtpark wär ich auch gern gewesen
josef hader paul gulda

es war heiß
vielleicht der letzte heiße sonntag im sommer
also stadionbad

alte bäume
manche zweihundert jahre
wie alt ist das stadion
wie alt ist das bad
das bad schaut ein bisschen aus wie die stadthalle
obwohl alles im freien

es ist genug platz
irgendwo hinten kannst fussballspielen
auch wennst im wasser fast nicht mehr durchkannst
aber irgendwie gehts

gott hat geruht am siebten tag
wir haben geruht ins wasser zu gehen
geruht uns zu sonnen

14 euro zwei große zwei kinder
das essen dort natürlich nicht billig
am ende bist müde

der platz bei der u-bahn hinter dem stadion
da steht ein container schon einige jahre
wiener schachverein oder so
der platz ist nach einem meister benannt
der starb in der emigration

das straßenschild ist überklebt
vielleicht fußballfans
die vielleicht nichts verstehen

ich war am sonntag nicht in der kirche

MW 31. August 2016

Photo by Ronnie Niedermeyer, rn.co.at

Photo by Ronnie Niedermeyer, rn.co.at

DER STAAT – 沈浩波

6月 10, 2016

Shen Haobo Sofa

Shen Haobo
DER STAAT

die leute sind nach plato benannt
die leute führen nichts gutes im schild
die halten sich für die fürsten und richter
die leute zeigen der menschheit die richtung
davon träumen sie ständig
die fetten schillernden käfer
bewegen versteckte giftige härchen
verbannen wölfe und löwen
verbannen verzweifelte jugend
verbannen unkeusche frauen
verbannen verrückte und bettler
verbannen diebe und räuber
verbannen den teufel
den schlimmen jesus
vertreiben die dichter
vertreiben mich
bitte nicht
ihr braucht mich nicht verbannen
ich bin grad nur zu gast
ein bisschen schauen wie ihr hier wohnt
ich hab schon verstanden
euer staat
ist nicht für verrückte und nicht für mich

7. 10. 2013
Übersetzt von MW 2014-2016

republic-shen-haobo

photo by Malika Saulnier

photo by Malika Saulnier

南行记: FROM SOUTHERN CHINA THROUGH SOUTHEAST ASIA 

2月 18, 2016

南行记: FROM SOUTHERN CHINA THROUGH SOUTHEAST ASIA

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THE MOON IS FASTER THAN OTHER PEOPLE

people are slow here
says our guide
you have to get used to them
then it’s dark in a jump
and the moon climbs very fast
to her highest position
guess she is happy
to serve Chinese tour groups
so these few years
she runs faster and faster

January 2016

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SLEEPING PALACE

actually the palace is very still
tourists stream in and out
serious people stay in their pictures
the palace is sleeping
in history

Bangkok, January 2016

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IN THE EMPORIUM OF PRECIOUS STONES

In the emporium of precious stones
there is a smoking room,
looks a bit like a prison.
Men who need separation
quietly gather,
with their heavy hearts
just for a short spell;
then go on buying things.

January 2016

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TRANSVESTITES IN THAILAND

“Some are half-demon,
half-demon, half human.”
I am sure our guide is a man.
He is open-minded, just like his country.
“We in China this, China that …”
I wish his China was a real country.

MW January 2016

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VACATION

Let us go diving into the deep.
Last year in August
someone in Tianjin
said one thousand people had died.
He was put in jail.
Let us go diving.
Elections this year in Taiwan,
first female president.
Let’s go now, let’s go.
These few days
someone gave an interview
voice of freedom or something.
Said the city he lived in
was not free,
autonomous region was not autonomous.
Let us go diving now.
He got fourteen years.
He wasn’t the first.
Let’s go now, go.
There’ll be other things
planned for the afternoon.

January 2016

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SHE HAS TO BE PERFECT

In Singapore
we have a new guide.
Her name means “swallow”.
She explains about their laws.
Sounds a bit like Thailand
talks about Buddhism.

“You have to be careful,
you can’t just sit down anywhere.”

We get in very late
but we still call a reading.
Across the street from the hotel
you can sit outside,
you can even smoke.
Long as you don’t toss the butt.
When you order a beer,
one bottle per person may be too much.

Where is the moon?
In Singapore
she obeys the law to the letter,
otherwise they beat her behind.
She steps out of the clouds
in her most perfect poise.

January 2016

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POETRY READING IS GOOD

Poetry Reading’s good,
Poetry Reading’s good.
In our New Poetry Canon, people’s dignity is high.
System clique’s in the dregs,
state-sanctioned writers scurry with their tails between their legs!

January 2016 (to the tune of Socialism Is Good)

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MOSQUE & CASINO

Mosque and casino
both have Adam and Eve.
The casino in Singapore
at the Botanical Garden
greets you with Dali and with Botero.
Botero’s sculptures Adam and Eve
at the gate of the casino.
What would the artist think of this sight?
Art is a rather ambivalent thing.
Poetry makes you a better person?
The mosque in Malaysia’s government district
is a sight to behold.
I am folding my hands.
An old lady asks me if I am a Muslim.
I just bow and keep silent,
so she lets me go in
and helps me taking pictures.
She sees I don’t know how to pray
so she gives me a folder and tries to explain.
There’ll be prayer time in forty minutes.
Men at the bottom, women up there.
She hopes I can make it.
The folder says
Adam and Eve were also Muslims.
Adam was the first Prophet.
The Mosque has Quran editions in English.
I flip through a section.
Allah bestows many signs on mankind.
Sleep is also a sign,
along with creation
and languages and different colours.
We haven’t had enough sleep on this trip.
Soaring up with my eyes,
I think being a Muslim is good.
I know why it’s forbidden to make any idols.
Half an hour later we are drinking beer.
I am still a believer
in beauty in art.
Poetry and art are signs of Allah.

January 2016

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HEROES’ MONUMENT OF MALAYSIA

Was it a glorious thing when they died?
Did they go to war
for peace and freedom?
In World War I
In World War II
In civil war
they hardly had any choice.
In 1966
Malaysia’s prime minister had them erected
a park of monuments.
They already had one from World War I.
With names from Europe, also from India.
Probably officers.
To make this park for all those who died,
all those who gave their lives in the wars.
In 1966.
I was born in that year.
Maybe this monument
was a good idea.

January 2016

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COMING BACK FROM ABROAD, LADEN WITH TREASURE

Coming back from abroad, laden with treasure.
Thanks everybody!
Thanks to Rong Bin,
to Niu Yihe, to 3A.
Thank you, Li Zhenyu.
You said my diarrhoea
was as fast as my poetry.
Thank you, Benben.
You made me eat Durian.
Thank you, Jun Er.
You bought me beer.
Thank you, Xiang Lianzi,
you offered me coffee.
Let’s all thank Jiang Tao
helping us to get back on the bus.
Thank you, Gao Ge
you helped me smuggle pillows.
Thank you, An Qi,
you helped me buy a mattress.
Thank you, Ru Ye,
we slept in one bed,
you recited erotic poetry for me.
Thank you, Xing Hao.
You sang praise to my body hair.
Thanks everyone for beautiful poetry.
Let’s say thanks to our guides,
A Fu and A Ping, Ms. Yan, Ms. Chen –
and on our last day
Mr. Chen, who had studied in Canada.
They taught us how to speak,
how to say thank you.
Kap kun ka – your credit card is empty.
Dai ni ma kan xi – take your mom to a theatre.
Our guides taught us history
and facts about Chinese minorities.
The Chinese platoon #93
in the Golden Triangle.
The Singapore Church of The Law.
Their story of independence.
The state of Malaysia,
elections and tribes.
Thank you, Yi Sha!
We had so many readings.
We broke every record.
We come back from the south,
laden with treasure.

January 2016

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《南行記》

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《月亮比别人快》

泰国月亮比别人快
导游说
这里人比较慢
你们要习惯
可天一下子就黑了。
月亮很快
爬得最高的位置。
我看月亮很积极
迎接中国的游客。
这几年大概
越来越快了。

2016. 1. 20

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《皇宫睡覺》

泰國皇宫其實很安静。
游客游來游去。
遗像的人物
都比較嚴肅。
皇宫睡覺
在歷史裏。

2016.1.21

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《寶石店吸煙室》

寶石店吸煙室
像臨時監獄。
需要隔開的男人
懷著沉重的氣氛
都自愿地集合。
關起來幾分鐘
然後繼續購物。

2016.1.22

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《泰国人妖》

“有的是半妖,
半人半妖。”
我们华裔导游
肯定全是人。
而且思想开放,
就像他的国家。
“我们中国
怎么样怎么样…”
但愿中国
真是他的国家。

2016.1.22

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《度假》

我们去潜水吧
去年八月份
有人说天津
死了一千
被关起来。
我们去潜水吧。
今年台灣选举
第一位女总统。
去吧, 去吧。
这几天
有人接受访问
自由之声
说他所在的城市
不自由
自治区不自治。
我们去潜水吧。
他被判十四年。
也不是第一人。
去吧, 去吧。
等到下午
还有别的项目。

2016.1.23

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《不敢不完美》

到了新加坡
燕子导游解释
最严格的法律
听来崇拜法规
像泰国拜佛。

到了旅馆很晚。
还是開詩會。
过马路坐外面
可以抽烟。
只要烟蒂不扔。
点啤酒不能
一人一次一瓶那么多。

月亮在哪儿
在新加坡
月亮遵守严厉法律
否则打她的后面
月亮出彩云
就剛恰当。

2016.1.25

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《詩會主義》

詩會主义好,
詩會主义好。
我们的新詩典人民地位高。
体制派被打倒,
作家协会夹着尾巴逃跑了。

2016.1.26

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《赌场跟清真寺》

赌场跟清真寺有什么关系?
都有亚当和夏娃。
新加坡植物园赌场
有西班牙、哥伦比亚
艺术家 DALI, BOTERO
的作品。
BOTERO 的雕塑亚当和夏娃
放在赌场门前
艺术家自己会怎么想?
艺术是很暧昧的东西。
诗歌让你做更好的人吗?
马来西亚行政中心大清真寺
非常壮观
老年纪女人让我进去做礼拜
問我是穆斯林吗
我沉默不否认
可以随便进去
也可以照相。
她看出来我不知道怎么祈祷
就給我指示, 还解释很多。
不到一个小时有礼拜的时间。
男士下面, 女士在上。
欢迎我参加。
她給我的手册裏寫着
亚当和夏娃是穆斯林。
亚当就是第一位先知。
清真寺裏有古兰经
英语版读一片段
上帝安拉給人类的指示。
睡觉也是安拉的指示,
像创造世界所有的现象
包括不同的肤色和语言。
这几天我们都睡觉太少。
站在让你眼睛翱翔的大厅
我愿意做穆斯林
并明白為什麽禁止做偶像。
半个小时以后我们喝啤酒。
我这个虔诚的穆斯林
崇拜艺术的美丽。
美丽就是安拉的指示。

2016.1.28 凌晨3:27

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《马来西亚英雄纪念碑》

他死得很光荣吗?
他去打仗都是
為自由、 和平?
第一次世界大战
第二次世界大战
还有内战
他反正都是无奈的。
一九六六年
马来西亚首相让他们做
综合的纪念碑公园。
一战的碑已经有,
上面的名字都來自欧洲和印度。
給所有去打仗献出生命的同胞们
立纪念雕塑、 修一场公园
在我出生的一九六六年
也许好主义。

2016.1.28

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《從東南亞满载而歸》

从东南亚满载而归
谢谢大家
谢谢荣斌
牛依河、三个A
谢谢李振羽
说我寫詩跟拉稀一样快
谢谢笨笨
給我吃榴莲
谢谢君儿
給我买啤酒
谢谢湘莲子
催我喝咖啡
谢谢蒋涛
催大家上车
谢谢高歌
替我走私枕头
谢谢安琪
替我买床垫
谢谢如也
跟我过夜
读色情诗歌
谢谢邢昊
赞颂我的毛
等等
谢谢很多人寫我
谢谢导游
阿福阿平燕子小陈
还有最后一天
从加拿大留学回来的马来西亚导游
导游们教我们
怎么说谢谢
卡空卡
带你妈看戏
教我们
他们国家当代历史
和华人情况
金三角93军队
芭提雅人妖
新加坡崇拜法规
含泪宣布独立
马来西亚民族和选举
谢谢伊沙
到处開詩會
肯定破了记录
我们大家
满载而归

2016.1.29

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UNDER THE STARS – 劉天雨

9月 23, 2015

Sterne

Liu Tianyu
UNDER THE STARS

stars in different shapes
painted on paper
kids are playing under the stars
his son finished painting
now he’s outside
father looks at the stars
till he can’t stand it
picks up a red pen
to make sure
each one is a five-pointed star

8/13/15
Tr. MW, Sept. 2015

More poems by Liu Tianyu in English: Click down below the picture.

Liu Tianyu
UNTER DEN STERNEN

sterne in vielen formen
gemalt auf papier
unter den sternen spielen die kinder
auch sein sohn hat fertig gemalt
und ist hinausgerannt
der vater schaut sich die sterne an
schaut bis er es nicht mehr aushält
er nimmt einen rotstift
macht aus allen sternen
fünfzackige

13. August 2015
Übersetzt von MW im September 2015

Liu Tianyu

Su Bugui tr. Liu Tianyu

Mo Yan 莫言 and Liao Yiwu 廖亦武

3月 4, 2013

Mo Yan corn

無論怎樣,諾貝爾文學獎、和平獎十二年之內三次給中國人就是很大的機會。這次給主流作家,有矛盾。有矛盾就更加討論。像顧彬在艾未未被綁架的時候站在中國政府一邊,這樣的漢學家謝天謝地畢竟很少。馬悅然絕對不會這樣。

In December 2012, after Mo Yan’s Nobel lecture, they had heated discussions in Sweden, for example between Göran Sommardal and Björn Wiman. Liao Yiwu told me about it. You can read the articles in Swedish or Chinese (萬之譯) …

I also wrote a blog post about Mo Yan and ideology in early December, after the school massacre in Connecticut.

Liao Yiwu 廖亦武 is going to visit  Sweden this month (March 2013). He wrote another open letter to Göran Malmqvist. I have copied it here, along with a recent speech he held in Hamburg. In the open letter, Liao mentions a new song by the Chinese punk group Pangu 盤古.

Recently, I have translated essays and poems by Shi Mingde (Shih Ming-te) 施明德 and his brother Shi Ming-zheng 施明正, Li Khin-huann 李勤岸, Song Tik-lai 宋澤萊, Zhan Che 詹澈 and Yi Sha 伊沙. All of it has to do with resistance.

Mo 莫

12月 9, 2012

Please click on the image

mo

Thanks to Charles Laughlin for his eloquent and far-reaching defense of literature. A defense, at least a deeper discussion of art and literature, is what has been missing from the debate. We’ve had apologies of Mo Yan 莫言, or the Nobel prize 諾貝爾獎. From himself, in his storied speech. From commentators, including me. I said debate in China is the best thing, perhaps the only thing, that comes from this prize. But what kind of debate? And why? Shouldn’t we be glad about the attention for Chinese literature, and for literature in China? Isn’t it enough to read more, and read more carefully?

Nick Kaldis has observed that Anna Sun’s article was the first attempt to debate Mo Yan and the current situation of Chinese literature in literary terms. Charles has pointed out the crucial flaws. The concept of Mao-speak or Mao-ti 毛體 came up in the 1980s in the context of a renaissance of culture, writing, philosophy, debate- everything that had been missing in the Mao-aftermath. Charles has emphasized that new literature in the 1980s, like the fiction of Yu Luojin 遇羅錦, Dai Houying 戴厚英, Zhang Wei 張煒, Zheng Yi 鄭義, Zhang Jie 張潔, A Cheng 阿城, Wang Anyi 王安憶, Liu Suola 劉索拉, Zhang Xianliang 張賢亮, Han Shaogong 韓少功, Jia Pingwa 賈平凹, Can Xue 殘雪, Ma Yuan 馬原, Yu Hua 余華, Ge Fei 格非 and many others, along with the critical writing, philosophy etc. around it, was supposed to overcome the effects of Mao-speak. Charles has also shown how Anna Sun’s view deliberately blocked out major portions of Chinese literature in many centuries, including the last 100 years.

But let us go back to the 1980s. In hindsight, it was very naive to believe that art and literature could renew the nation. What nation? What kind of nation, stemming from which revolution? It’s very easy and futile now to say all the hope of renewal was naive. The hope ended in 1989, and has been ending ever since, in the selling off of land 地, air 空氣, culture 文化, heritage 傳統, water 水, people 人 – with steadily worsening consequences. On the other hand, art and literature are still involved in an ongoing renewal, with very interesting results.

The only flaw in Charles’ essay, from my point of view, is what I’ve said before, too many times perhaps. I believe that ideology isn’t harmless. Questions involving ideology and philosophy aren’t harmless. At least they were thought of as relevant in the 1980s. Copying Mao’s seminal 1942 speech on literature and art in 2012 is just a ritual, yes. But what do Mao Zedong, the “Yan’an Talks” 延安講話, the involved concepts and the furious critique of ritual obeisance signify in the first place?

Are they all more important than reading more art 藝術? Maybe not. Still, how about a little theory 理論? What is ideology 意識形態? Lacan’s 拉岡 answer, according to Žižek 齊澤克, comes down to emptiness 空虛. No, this is not about Buddhism 佛教. Ideology is what people hold on to in their hearts and minds, in order to belong. To belong to a group. To have an answer, the hope of an answer, a meaning. Do you need to know what your ideology is all about, where it came from, what it involves? Not really. It’s there. Like the believe that everyone is entitled to buy automatic weapons. Every citizen.

In the 1980s, such questions, or more intelligent ones than I can elaborate here, there and anywhere, were asked a lot. A very, very big hope was involved. That’s where Liu Xiaobo 劉曉波 comes from. That’s where Wang Shuo 王朔 comes from. That’s where Yu Hua 余華 comes from. With some writer’s, it’s not always obvious where they come from. Liu Zhenyun 劉震云 and Feng Xiaogang 馮小剛, who are known for lively comedies, with sometimes well-hidden serious issues, have just released “1942”, a film about famine 飢荒. Man-made famine, mostly. And campaigns. Campaigns to unite the nation, to beat intruding foreigners.

It is rather obvious where Gao Xingjian 高行健 comes from, when you hear him speak. Some Weibo 微博 users did that last weekend, for a comparison in Nobel literature speeches 諾貝爾文學演講. Gao’s Nobel speech was available, copied on Chinese servers, which had not been policed very severely in this case, apparently. Gao Xingjian’s Mandarin has a southern accent. He is not hard to understand, but it’s not the kind of Mandarin Mo Yan commands, rather effortlessly, it seems. Mo Yan is the Writer’s Association’s 作家協會 vice chairman 副主席. The chairwoman is Tie Ning 鐵凝. I like her stories, they are very much about memory. But I haven’t heard her speak in public. Don’t know if a shining, booming Mandarin like Mo Yan’s is the standard at official cultural associations these days.

Is it obvious where Mo Yan comes from? Everybody knows where he comes from, we know his aunt, father, wife and brother, as far as they have been interviewed and compared to how they might appear in his novels. That’s what Mo Yan said in his speech. Is that all we need to know? Mo Yan spoke about is mother. It was very moving, at least to me. It’s a great text, that speech. Censorship-resistant. Available in six or seven languages on the official website. Which is blocked 被阻擋 in China, of course.

Gao Xingjian and Mo Yan are very different in their language. Everyone who has read Soul Mountain 靈山 and One Man’s Bible 一個人的聖經 in the original knows that. Mo Yan and Gao Xingjian are very different in their attempts to overcome Mao-ti. Both have written great novels, in my experience. Both stay away from day-to-day political issues and debates. But Gao Xingjian emigrated in order to write and paint in peace, comparatively. Mo Yan worked on his spoken Mandarin. Ok, that was unfair, I don’t know how he sounded in the 1980s. His novels from back then are great, especially The Garlic Ballads. Liu Xiaobo liked Red Sorghum 紅高粱, because it was very sexy, in the 1980s. I like The Garlic Ballads 天堂蒜薹之歌, and The Republic of Wine 酒国. Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out 生死疲勞 and Big Breasts And Wide Hips 丰乳肥臀 are fascinating, too. All stories about more or less recent decades. Sandalwood Death 檀香刑 is a 19th-century-story. Sex, gore and folklore. Very well done. And maybe as moving as Mo Yan’s words about his mother.

Yu Hua’s first novel Cry In The Drizzle 在細雨中呼喊 has a guy running amok in China’s 1970s. The hero’s father, if I remember correctly. Gao Xingjian’s Nobel made many exiled and self-exiled writers and other culture workers think about their paths. Maybe the prize was for all of them, in a way. Is Mo Yan’s prize, in a symbolic way, a reward for everyone in China? Depends on your ideology.

(Sorry, I am not sure where exactly Žižek 齊澤克 published what I’ve related above. Maybe in Has Someone Said Totalitarianism?)


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