The sensation caused by Mo Yan winning the Nobel Prize in literature is one thing, what it means for Chinese literature and the writer himself is another.
Mo’s win seems to have stimulated Chinese people’s appetite for serious literature. But the enthusiasm is superficial, mostly out of curiosity and some organisations’ pursuit of economic interests, and it will definitely fade.
Compared with the readership for popular magazines and the huge number of people who surf the Internet, the readership for serious literature has been declining over the past few decades, and sales of literature magazines and novels have continued to drop. Little wonder that many Chinese people did not know who Mo Yan was when it was announced he had won the Nobel Prize.