Mo Yan to talk about storytelling, home and inspiration in Nobel Prize speech

Updated: 2012-12-05 20:52

By Mei Jia (

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Mo Yan to talk about storytelling, home and inspiration in Nobel Prize speech

Mo Yan (2nd R), this year's winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, arrives at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, as he is to leave for Sweden to accept the award, Dec 5, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]

Before boarding his flight to Stockholm on Wednesday, Nobel Laureate Mo Yan said his speeches in Sweden will focus on storytelling, homeland, and an ancient Chinese writer he calls his mentor, according to CCTV.

Mo Yan's visit to Sweden to collect his Nobel Prize is prompting wild speculation in China. People are eager, and nervous, to see how a Chinese writer will present himself on the Nobel stage to a global audience.

Mo said part of his speech would focus on: "telling, hearing, and writing stories" throughout his whole life.

His homeland Gaomi, in Shandong province, also the location depicted in his literary creations, will be another major topic.

"I'll will also talk about family members and friends," Mo said.

With a humorous tone, which he has frequently used in speeches to international audiences, he will also talk about Pu Songling, a Qing Dynasty (1644-1910) writer whose work he is vary familiar with. Pu is known for his classical novel Liaozhai Zhiyi, (Strange Tales from LiaoZhai), a collection of grotesque and magical stories on spirits and ghosts.

Mo Yan to talk about storytelling, home and inspiration in Nobel Prize speech

Books of Chinese writer Mo Yan are on display during the book fair in Frankfurt, October 11, 2012.  [Photo/Agencies]

"Pu is Shangdong born like I am. Our hometowns are not far from each other. I learned much from him, though we're writers from different ages," Mo said.

Mo's publisher Chen Liming believes the writer's speech will be historic.

As to the highly controversial issue of what he will wear during Nobel week — Chinese style or Western style — Mo said he would dress according to his preference and the Nobel banquet's dress code.

"I will dress in fun designs and according to the occasion," he said.

Mo said he invited several translators of contemporary Chinese literature to accompany him to the award ceremony on December 10, along with 10 people who are traveling with him from Beijing, including his wife, daughter and friends.

"I invited Howard Goldblatt, Patrizia Liberati and others, because they're the people who promote Chinese literature globally," Mo said.

Mo will attend a press conference at the Grand Hall of the Swedish Academy for the Nobel Laureate in Literature on December 6. Then on December 7, he will give a Nobel Lecture in Literature at the Swedish Academy.

After giving speeches at the university and enjoying a concert, Mo will attend the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and Nobel Banquet on December 10.

China Daily will follow his Nobel journey with a series of stories from both Stockholm and Beijing.

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