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Showing posts from October, 2014

humor is such a genius thing to do. . .

at least according to this interview excerpt from Nayomi Munaweera: "I actually don’t feel like I can do humor very well because humor is such a genius thing to do."

Also in The Rumpus interview of Munaweera by Soniah Kamal, when I read the part about her family fleeing Nigeria when all Asians were forced out of the country, I thought of these words from Bharati Mukherjee's "A Wife's Story," what I'd been teaching just last week, "Idi Amin's lesson is permanent," and their pessimistic implications.


My Father's Great Recession

Mo Yan

I was browsing Mo Yan novels in the Greenville Public Library, and I came across his interesting choice for a prefatory quotation to The Garlic Ballads:

Novelists are forever trying to distance themselves from politics, but the novel itself closes in on politics. Novelists are so concerned with "man's fate" that they tend to lose sight of their own fate. Therein lies their tragedy. 

~Josef Stalin

I don't think that it invariably requires a Nobel Prize in Literature to sell translated books in the states, but I do know Mo Yan won one in 2012. The books I was looking at in the library appeared worn, to an extent, so I'm guessing that they were on the shelf before that.

As you may know, Mo Yan is a pen name that means "don't speak," and if you follow the link to Wikipedia.org from his name above, you'll see that there was some controversy over his win in light of both his ties to Chinese authorities as well as his Swedish translator's connection…