Chinese writers cheer Swedish poet’s Nobel win

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  • Culture

  • Lee Yi-yun and Staff Reporter
  • 2011-10-08
  • 10:19 (GMT+8)

The Nobel literature laureate Tomas Gosta Transtromer counts Mo Yan, Yu Hua, Yan Lianke

and Bei Dao among his Chinese admirers. (Photo courtesy of Nobel Prize website)

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The announcement of Swedish poet Tomas Gosta Transtromer as the recipient of this year’s Nobel prize for literature has been celebrated in China, with many publicly commending the writer who has many fans in the country.

Although the general view may be that Transtromer won because of his nationality after being nominated several times in past years, the reactions in China was largely positive. Transtromer had visited Beijing in March 2001.

In addition to counting leading Chinese writers such as Mo Yan, Yu Hua and Yan Lianke among his fans, exiled Chinese poet Bei Dao, who was nominated for the same prize in the past, is also friends with Transtromer and says he has influenced his own work.

Bei wrote about Transtromer in his 2005 book The Time of Rose, which included the Chinese writer’s observations about the Swede and other fellow poets.

The symbolism and surrealism displayed in Transtromer’s poems, often based on daily life and the natural world, have also influenced to some degree another Chinese poet, Li Li, who translates the new Nobel laureate’s works into Chinese.

Several Chinese writers shared their thoughts on the news on their microblogs. Poet Yu Xinqiao wrote, “Today, he is finally awarded the Nobel prize in literature, which is a right decision worth cheering for.”

References:

Bei Dao 北島

The Time of Rose 時間的玫瑰

Li Li 李笠

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