Yesterday the 10th of December was the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel and hence the date of the annual prize-giving ceremony for the Nobel prizes. Chinese writer Mo Yan was handed his Nobel Prize for Literature in the Concert Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, and this followed an official lecture he delivered in the city last Friday. Since his winning of the prize was first announced, Mo Yan has been lauded in China yet was also the subject of controversy and debate (for a round-up of this and the various differing opinions, see the China Digital Times and other links in the Links and sources section below).
Today Mo Yan was again all over the front pages in China, dressed in a black tailcoat suit as he smiled and was handed the Nobel prize. Most of the newspapers in China today gave substantial coverage to the event, focusing on the details of the location, the ceremony and Mo’s outfit, the music, some history of the Nobel prize, and notable attendees. This whole thing is after all a kind of a first for China’s newspapers, allowed now to revel in the pomp and circumstance of a Nobel prize-giving ceremony with a Chinese winner.
The Oriental Morning Post (东方早报) from Shanghai today describes how the host of the event beckoned Mo Yan in Chinese with the words “莫言,请” to ascend the podium to accept his prize, which was then handed to him by the Swedish king Carl XVI Gustaf, with the audience (including the Swedish royal family) looking on.
Here’s how the moment was captured on a number of front pages in China today:
Links and sources
China Digital Times: Mo Yan Addresses Critics in Nobel Lecture
Letter From China (The New Yorker): Mo Yan and the Hazards of Hollow Words
International Herald Tribune: ‘Garlands and Mud’ for New Nobel Laureate from China
Oriental Morning Post (东方早报): 莫言,请
Beijing Evening News (北京晚报): 莫言领诺奖完成一个童话
Nobel Prize website