Mo Yan: Translators need to strike a balance

Mo YanNobel Prize laureate Mo Yan explores with Syrian-born poet Adonis the significant role of translation in today’s literary world

Cultural identity, the spirit of introspection and writers’ mission are among the topics that Syrian-born poet Adonis explored with Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan and other Chinese writers, in a recent talk organized by Beijing Normal University International Writing Center.

Both Adonis and Mo Yan, who have an increasing international readership, concluded that the one factor which facilitates and hinders their efforts is translation.

Having nearly all his novels published in French and at least six in English, Mo Yan says he admires Adonis, a fluent speaker of Arabic and French, because he is involved in the translation himself, guaranteeing precision.

Mo Yan says today, Chinese writers’ writing is frequently influenced by the increasing possibility of overseas publication.

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