The coffin fell apart.
There was the sound of decayed wood crumbling, and a cloud of smoke surged out, like water vapour from a hot steamer.

Yan Lianke / Carlos Rojas

Guo Xiaolu on "Overrated" Anglo-American Literature

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/20/writers-attack-overrated-american-literature-jaipur-festival

"If you write in Japanese or Vietnamese or Portuguese you have to wait [...] to be translated, and translated literature never really works immediately as English literature unless it wins the Nobel or some big prize," Guo said. "In a way, the easiest and laziest way is to write in English. What a struggle to write in any language other than English.

I'm saying language is a passport. A dubious, dangerous passport, too."

Comments

# 1.   

Typical publicity stunt. If only contemporary Chinese authors were as good in writing as they are in generating publicity, one might refrain from immediatly returning the compliment ;)

der junge w, January 22, 2014, 5:54p.m.

# 2.   

If you read what she said in the article, it seems clear that from the context Guo was exaggerating to make a point. She doesn't even say that she dislikes ALL Anglophone lit just some of it.

The bigger problem to me seems to be the fact that people are just reading less books. According to recent surveys the typical American only read 5 books last year. Sure, a small minority read A LOT more than that, but the point remains that translated authors are competing for a much small audience these days.

Nick Stember, April 3, 2014, 10:50p.m.

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