Mo Yan, Euphemism, and Translated Prose

November 29, 2012

Anna Sun profiles the work of Mo Yan, the latest winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. While Sun acknowledges Yan’s popularity and prolific output, she also notes that what the Nobel committee referred to as “hallucinatory prose” is more often than not “repetitive, predictable, coarse, and mostly devoid of aesthetic value.” Indeed, Sun writes, “the English translations of Mo Yan’s novels … are in fact superior to the original.” [Ed. Note: It appears the Kenyon Review link was briefly not working; this Google cache may work better — h/t Dan Farrely]

works on special projects for The Millions. He lives in Baltimore and he frequents dive bars. His interests can be followed on his Tumblr, Nick Recommends and Twitter, @nemoran3.

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