Austrian writer wins China’s annual foreign novel award
Austrian author Robert Menasse Photograph: AFP
Cowl of the Chinese language model of the novel The Capital Photograph: Courtesy of Douban
Austrian author Robert Menasse’s The Capital received China’s prestigious overseas novel award, the 21st Century Finest Overseas Novel of the Yr 2018-19 and Zou Taofen Annual Overseas Fiction Award, on Friday.
The ceremony for the award, which comes with a prize of 50,000 yuan ($7,048), was initially deliberate to be held in Beijing. Nonetheless, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the occasion resorted to an internet ceremony.
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“Vienna and Beijing appear to be far-off from one another. However they aren’t… We have now develop into shut by way of enterprise, or possibly politics as effectively… We can not perceive one another solely by means of commerce. Cultural exchanges have develop into extraordinarily essential. Giving a European novel the chance to earn a significant Chinese language literature award, the proposal itself is already very significant,” stated 65-year-old Menasse in his acceptance speech video.
The award was organized by the Individuals’s Literature Publishing Home, the Chinese language Affiliation of Overseas Literature and the Taofen Basis.
China has lengthy been working arduous to advertise literary exchanges. With the pandemic affecting folks internationally, furthering communication and conversations within the subject of literature has develop into extra vital than ever, Taofen Basis director Nie Zhenning instructed the International Instances.
First printed in 2017 in German, The Capital was acclaimed as a first-class satire on EU paperwork. The e-book has been translated into greater than 25 languages and the Chinese language model was printed by the Individuals’s Literature Publishing Home in 2019.
“That is most likely essentially the most hilarious starting of a novel that I’ve learn – a pig on the free,” one netizen wrote on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
The e-book at present holds an 8.8/10 on Chinese language media evaluation web site Douban. In accordance with critiques on the positioning, it has modified most of the stereotypes Chinese language readers have held about German literature.
“It’s a thought-provoking work that mixes many parts comparable to European historical past, the present scenario, faith and conflicts by means of a number of masterfully organized threads. It provides Chinese language readers a greater understanding of Europe. In contrast to most German novels, which are typically philosophical and too deep to have a large enchantment, this e-book is attention-grabbing and humorous,” stated Ouyang Tao, director of the Overseas Literature Editorial Division on the Individuals’s Literature Publishing Home.
In one other video Menasse despatched to the committee in January, he identified that narrative literature and novels about present occasions assist folks notice that regardless of totally different cultural backgrounds, they’ve way more in widespread than they assume.
Ouyang additionally famous that this lack of awareness typically could lead to bias and discrimination, and even stigmatization.
“However there isn’t any have to be afraid, as there may be such a gaggle of writers endeavoring to deepen mutual understanding by means of literary exchanges,” he stated.
Ouyang gave an instance of the reputed German author Martin Walser, who received the award in 2009 along with his work A Man in Love. Walser first met Chinese language author Mo Yan on the award ceremony in Beijing.
Ouyang famous that when Mo Yan received the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, he was confronted with an unsubstantiated backlash from Western media. Walser spoke up instantly and defended Mo Yan’s work as “extraordinarily important and really open.”
In his interview with German journal Der Spiegel in 2012, Walser recalled his nice dialog and “unbelievably snug” interplay with Mo Yan on the award ceremony in Beijing, admitting he was not solely impressed by Mo Yan’s work, but additionally by him as an individual.
“My Chinese language interpreter Huang Liaoyu translated, however repeatedly we enthusiastically forgot that we have been talking totally different languages,” stated Walser.
Trying again on the friendship between Mo Yan and Walser that developed by means of the awards, Ouyang famous, these heart-warming interactions are really making a distinction.
He agreed with what Menasse stated in his video, and so they all very a lot seemed ahead to extra face-to-face communications and exchanges when the pandemic ends.Newspaper headline: Ties that bind