At a chilly night in December last year, Chinese novelist
Mo Yan made an acceptance speech in Stockholm when receiving
a Nobel Prize in Literature. It was a big event for him,
and might even be a bigger one for a politically-smart Prize
Committee, although a great number of China's self-respected
literature-wise mass did not think the prize highly.
Many of Chinese critics do regard Mo Yan as an excellent
story teller, and as an story teller he is so excellent that
he can create any story out of thin air.
In his acceptance speech, for instance, Mo Yan recalled
some past incidents and recited some quotes from his late
mother, but those who claimed to have known about Chinese
history and reality better than the writer said his account
is purely fictional.
Mo Yan however insisted that this time he told a true story.
He could be right, especially when you take into account
the fact that his mother was a Shandong woman,
and that some Shandong women can be extremely helpful even
when help is not requested.
China's First Lady tried her hand
at Indonesian folk art, while her maidens carrying
her bag and flower watching on.
After her husband ruthlessly crushed his political rival's
wife and sentenced his potential challenger to jail for life,
Xi Jinping's wife Peng
Liyuan, another Shandong woman, traveled to Indonesia
to smile kindly like a reincarnated Mother Teresa at an Indonesian
woman and offered to help her doing some work on her craft.
Now let's back to the Nobel Prize winner. Lately some literature
lovers in China argued Mo Yan not only is an excellent story
teller, but an insightful prophet, since some tales told
by him though had nothing to do with reality in the past
yet would come into existence later on, such as the story
about seven men in a rundown temple.
"Bear with me, please, for one last story, one my grandfather
told me many years ago," urged Mo Yan during his Nobel
The story goes like this: Eight men took refuge from a storm
in a rundown temple. But the thunder rumbled violently, sending
fireballs their way. The men were terrified. One said, "somebody
among us must have offended the Heaven and this guy should
leave the temple." But the problem was no one considered
himself as guilty. Finally the gang decided to fling their
hats towards the gate. Seven hats were blown back but one
went out the door, so the team of seven pressed the eighth
guy to plea guilty and accept the punishment. When the guy insisted
his innocence, the seven men picked him up and threw
him out of temple.
"I’ll bet you all know how the story ends," said
Mo Yan in the end, like a true master story-teller. "They
had no sooner flung him out the door than the temple collapsed
China's top authority body is a seven-men team called the
Central Committee of CCP. Who's the eighth man? Aha, ya,
in real life, he has not been thrown out of a temple but into
a prison, supposedly forever.
Mo Yan's story was told in Stockholm nine months before
the actual event occurred in Beijing.
Seven Men in a Rundown Temple