Talk:Mo Yan

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oft banned[edit]

The intro says he is often banned. But the body of the story offers no details. The list notes he won a prize for Frog, but the body offers no details about the work. This guy might be winning a Nobel. More info would be good. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:57, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

He did. Good prediction. ;) -- (talk) 14:51, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

This is also my question. Actually this guy is the vice president of the state-run Chinese Writers Association. He works at the state-run newspaper Procuratorial Daily, which is an official newspaper run by Chinese Supreme People's Procuratorate. He won a lot of Prizes in China. He is also a CCP party member and has military background. I highly doubt if he has ever been banned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:27, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Actually he has - several of his books esepcially in the 1980s were banned in mainland China and had to be published in Taiwan or elsewhere instead. Check the more recent, lengthier profiles of him published by various international media sources. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 12:35, 13 October 2012 (UTC)
zh:莫言 has a list of his books by publication date in simplified Chinese (in mainland China) and in traditional Chinese (in Taiwan or Hong Kong) - most of his works from the 1980s and 1990s were banned in mainland China until very recently. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 17:09, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
The dates were incorrect, I have fixed this, all of his works came out in simplified before traditional. -- (talk) 18:02, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Film based on two works?[edit]

The article states that the film Red Sorghum was based on two of Yan's works, but it doesn't state which two. Even the page for the film doesn't give any indication of this. What was the other one? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 11 October 2012 (UTC)


Somebody merely uttering the words "hallucinatory realism" doesn't make it the best genre classification. Perhaps a better choice would be the "broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous" magic realism.

Going by the Wikipedia description "a kind of modern fiction in which fabulous and fantastical events are included in a narrative t

by (talk) 01:48, 12 October 2012 (UTC) 
The sources overwhelmingly contradict the above. You can't just decide it is "magic realism" because it looks like it might be. Wikipedia operates on verifiability, not original research. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:03, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with this, as it certainly appears too much like original research. Not to mention, trying to fit his work into a better known genre for convenience will only cause more confusion. Retinalsummer (talk) 20:20, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

English translations[edit]

A blog states that this article in the Nanfang Weekly has details from Howard Goldblatt, the English translator of Mo Yan:

WhisperToMe (talk) 03:16, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

family name[edit]

Hi! Today I read "As Chinese names, Guan Moye's family name is Guan, Mo Yan's family name is Mo."
Regards ‫·‏לערי ריינהארט‏·‏T‏·‏m‏:‏Th‏·‏T‏·‏email me‏·‏‬ 12:39, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

  • Yes, because "Moye" is his real given name, while his pen name uses "Mo" as the "surname" WhisperToMe (talk) 13:33, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Mo Yan/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 23:18, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

I'll be glad to take this review. In the next few days, I'll do a close readthrough, noting here any issues I can't immediately fix myself, and then follow with the criteria checklist. Thanks in advance for your work on this one! -- Khazar2 (talk) 23:18, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Might want to make sure that the regular contributors to this page are aware of the review; it was a bit of a drive-by nomination. I'd had plans to put more work into it at some point to expand the coverage, but have not had the chance, and don't know when I will. For your evaluation of the completeness of coverage, I would suggest reading some of the pieces that describe Mo's interesting relationship with the government and dissident communities (This Economist has some good pieces[1][2]). Some of the more critical views I've encountered, which may or may not be adequately represented right now, are the Anna Sun review, this article by Perry Link, and this other, shorter one.
(By the way, I'm not necessarily suggesting that the article is currently deficient, and I don't want to forestall a review). Homunculus (duihua) 01:45, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, those links should be a help. My first impression is that the article probably does need expansion, but I'll take a more detailed look after my first readthrough. -- Khazar2 (talk) 02:08, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  • One quick thing of note, I edited this article shortly after the Nobel win (I hang out at WP:ITN/C, and we like to make sure articles are well-updated prior to being posted to the main page). I discovered a lot of hastily-written news pieces about Mo Yan that I strongly suspected, based on some of the phrasing used, were using the then poorly referenced version of the article. I tried to avoid any citogenesis, but some may have have slipped though, or entered the article since. The version of the article just prior to the Nobel win is here for reference. LukeSurl t c 10:21, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Initial readthrough[edit]

My first impression is that this article is approaching Good Article status, and does a good job incorporating pre-Nobel sources about Mo. It's still quite short, however, at less than 9kb readable prose, and there's sources that would allow it to be expanded. I've built on Homunculus's suggestions above to make some suggestions for areas where it seems to me to need more detail. This does seem like a mildly premature nomination to me, and I toyed with the idea of simply failing it for now with these suggestions. But Mo's an important figure and deserves a quality article. If anyone is willing to address the following in the coming week, I'll be glad to work with you to improve it. If, on the other hand, you think I'm being too hard on this one, let me know that, too, and I'll be glad to discuss further. -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:23, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

  • The lead needs to be expanded and cover the article's various sections per WP:LEAD.
  • This article has some interesting background on China's quest for a literature Nobel, from which a sentence or two could be added for context about the prize win.[3] So does this.[4]
  • The film version of Red Sorghum is internationally significant enough that it should probably be addressed with a few lines of text, instead of just appearing in the list. "Mo Yan became famous in the late 1980s when the filmmaker Zhang Yimou made his novel Red Sorghum, a saga of life in rural Shandong during the Japanese invasion in the 1930s and 1940s, into a prize-winning film."[5]
  • The article addresses some criticism of Mo Yan, but it's worth including some of the critiques specifically made within the context of his winning the Nobel. "Simultaneously, a storm of controversy welled on the Chinese-language Internet both inside and outside China. Did this writer, compared to others who might have won, deserve the prize? And should a prize of this magnitude go to a writer who is “inside the system” of an authoritarian government that imprisons other writers—of whom Liu Xiaobo, winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize (a “convicted criminal,” in the Chinese government’s view) is only the most famous example?"[6]
    • Also this: "At a news conference following the announcement of his Nobel Prize, Mo Yan asked that his political positions be kept separate from his writing. The Nobel “is an award for literature, not politics,”"[7]
    • Ai Weiwei's quotation seems worth including in full: "Mo Yan's talk about story telling is about covering things up and hiding, it was powerless, disgraceful, a betrayal and a sellout." [8] Praise by Chinese state media is also worth mentioning here.
  • " Using dazzling, complex, and often graphically violent images," -- "dazzling" is a judgement that should be attributed in-text
  • His "earthiness" is mentioned in several reviews and seems worth adding to style: "The voice that he has embraced has been called Rabelaisian, but it is even more earthy than Rabelais’s. The animal nature of human beings—eating, excreting, fighting, screaming, bleeding, sweating, fornicating—abounds, as do certain traits that animals eschew, such as bullying, conniving, and betraying."[9]
  • Here's more on the Nobel controversy. Salman Rushdie called him a "patsy of the regime", which is surely worth mentioning if we're to include criticism from an assistant professor at a small US college. [10]
  • Some of Mo Yan's acceptance speech for the Nobel could be included, both in the Nobel section, and for the info it gives about his life.[11]
  • "Who?" tag from Oct 2012 still needs to be addressed.
  • I'd suggest integrating the "criticism and controversy" section per WP:CSECTION to meet neutrality.
  • I'd suggest moving the text about the Nobel win out from under the lists and up to be a full section. -- Khazar2 (talk) 03:23, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Mo just published an interview with Der Spiegel which touches on many of the points raised here. Given that these are Mo's most recent remarks on his Nobel and the criticism thereof, I think we should emphasize this within the criticism section. Lostromantic (talk) 18:03, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
That does seem worth including, thanks for mentioning it here. -- Khazar2 (talk) 16:36, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Just a heads up that I won't have Internet access for the next 3-7 days. I apologize for the delay this will cause in the review. I'll see where we're at when I return. -- Khazar2 (talk) 16:36, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  • The works section needs a lot of expansion introducing his main works their themes/plots, circumstances of writing and relation to other works, and reception of each. I realize I am not reviewing but I don't consider it close to the level of comprehensiveness required for GA.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:16, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Closing review[edit]

Since it's been a week and most of the above points remain unaddressed by the nominator and/or others, I'm closing this review and recommending that this article not be listed for GA status at this time. Thanks everybody for their work and comments! Hopefully the discussion in this review can serve as a guide for future revision if anyone's interested. -- Khazar2 (talk) 11:35, 4 March 2013 (UTC)