Chinese Nobel Literature Laureate Mo Yan gave a lecture at the Stockholm University on December 9. With the help of a local actor, he performed excerpts from his books, giving local readers greater accessibility and relevance to his works, and to the Chinese culture as a whole.
In Swedish, Johan Rabaeus from Royal Dramatic Theater of Stockholm is telling Mo's stories. Without understanding a single word, Mo was fascinated by his own works, translated and performed in another language.
"I will learn from this gentleman to stand up and read. But whether I stand up or sit down, I cannot read it as well as he does," Mo said.
With the help of scholars and translators, Mo is able to reach out to a much wider audience. This also greatly facilitated his winning of the Nobel Prize in Literature this year."
One of the excerpts performed was taken from Mo's novel Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out. It's about how a Chinese farmer Ximen Nao upholds his beliefs and goes through several transmigrations until he finds justice for himself.
Johan was introduced to Mo's work only days ago. But once he started reading it, he was drawn into Mo's works.
"It's full of images, pictures, a lot of colored powers. This is my first step with Mo and I am very excited," Johan said.
Sinologists such as Howard Goldblatt, Goran Malmqvist and Anna Gustav Chen, have helped translate Mo's books into English and Swedish. Only then did his works start to gain international fame. His unique story telling style also makes it easy for people to follow his stories.
For the 1200 odd audience members, it was not just a great opportunity to hear Mo's stories in both Chinese and Swedish, but also to know Mo as a Chinese writer and a person.
Lina Johnson said, "I am so surprised there are so many people coming. I think not just Mo, but Chinese literature will gain from this."
Mo is in Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is the first Chinese writer living in China to receive this prize.
(CNTV.cn December 10, 2012)