Reactions Various And Sundry To Mo Yan’s Controversial Nobel Prize Win

The blitz is on. Eighteen hours after Mo Yan’s historic win of the Nobel Prize in Literature, a shedload of articles have appeared analyzing, praising, criticizing, and explaining what it all means to China, the Nobel Committee, literature, politics, activism, free speech, publishing, Ai Weiwei, and the world.

If you’re looking for a straight write-up, start with the New York Times, or this Reuters piece that features an interview with Mo Yan translator Howard Goldblatt: “He wants to continue to write, and to continue to write the kinds of things he needs and wants to write he has to live within certain parameters.” You can then move on to The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos’s piece on the “politically tolerable Nobel laureate.” Christian-Science Monitor calls Mo “practiced in the art of challenging the status quo without offending those who uphold it.” Salon’s Laura Miller says the choice to award Mo fits the Nobel Committee’s unique position to “call the attention of the wider world to the best living writers of cultures prone to neglect outside their own national borders.” O never give the heart outrighteh Global Times? Simon Elegant’s short profile of Mo for Time in 2010 is worth a reread. Ai Weiwei: U mad, bro? Here’s Mo’s short story “Frogs,” via Granta. And finally, Mo was interviewed yesterday, as written up by Xinhua.

(I’ve definitely missed some great stories; please leave links to ones you liked in the comments section, though note that two or more links and your comment swings by moderation first.)

If all that’s not enough, here are reactions from the Twittersphere:

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