The chilling effects of success in China

Malcolm Moore of the Telegraph reports on Mo Yan or Guan Moye (管谟业) who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work as a writer “who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.” Mo Yan is the first ever resident of mainland China to receive the Nobel Prize.

His village is to be transformed into “Mo Yan Culture Experience Zone” with immediate effect:

One week after Mo Yan became the first Chinese author to win the Nobel prize, proud local officials rushed out a £70 million plan to transform his sleepy village into a “Mo Yan Culture Experience Zone”. On Tuesday, Fan Hui, a local official, paid a visit to Mr Mo’s father to ask him to renovate the family home.

“Your son is no longer your son, and the house is no longer your house,” urged Mr Fan, according to the Beijing News, explaining that the author was now the pride of China. “It does not really matter if you agree or not,” he added.

Mr Fan said the “Red Sorghum Culture and Experience Zone”, which includes the “Red Sorghum Film and Television Exhibition Area”, would see villagers seed 1,600 acres of the crop. “(We need to grow it) even if it means losing money,” he told the Chinese media.

“One visitor dug up a radish [from Mr Mo's vegetable patch],” reported the Beijing News. “He slipped it into his coat and showed it to villagers afterwards, saying: ‘Mo’s radish! Mo’s radish!’ ”

“A visiting mother picked some yams and told her daughter: ‘I’ll boil them, so you can eat them and win the Nobel prize too!’” Mr Mo’s brother, Guan Moxin, was forced to intervene to stop the family’s corn harvest, which was left lying out in the sun to dry, being swept away by the village tidying committee

Mr Mo himself has been non-commital amid the excitement. Asked by China Central Television whether he was happy, he responded: “I do not know”.

The chilling effects of success in a socialist country. This particular line is scary, “Your son is no longer your son, and the house is no longer your house.”

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