The face of the first ever winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature who is a Chinese citizen living in China, Mo Yan, is all over the front pages of China’s newspapers today alongside formulaic headlines. Most of the newspapers are fulsome in their praise of Mo, celebrating his achievement and wallowing in the attention of the world on Chinese literature. Many of the papers have special sections of multiple pages on Mo and the prize, covering various details on the author, his works, and how the Nobel Prize process works. The Youth Daily from Shanghai today claims to have an exclusive explanation for Mo’s victory: his works are written in a Western style.
Having spoken to a number of literary critics, the Youth Daily says, the newspaper can now provide the exclusive and unanimous verdict on Mo Yan: he only won because he uses a Western style of writing and Western techniques. Yet the Youth Daily does point out what a good writer Mo is, and also that he is such a nice guy: the first time this reporter met Mo Yan the author called him “little brother“.
You might be mistaken for thinking this is a true first for China with how Mo Yan is being feted in the press, but Mo is of course not the first Nobel laureate to hail from China. Wikipedia has a list of all Chinese Nobel laureates dating back to 1957.
But the man of the hour is Mo Yan. Here’s a roundup of some of the many Mo Yan-themed front pages from around China today: