Jonathan Rechtman on Interpreting Yan Lianke

A lively Q+A with an active, curious audience. It was revealed that Mr. Yan’s favorite authors include Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Franz Kafka; that his hometown is in the center of Song County, which is the center of Henan Province, which is the center of China, which is the Middle Kingdom, therefore making his backyard a veritable ground-zero of the human universe as we know it; and that his goal is to one day write the “ideal book” that will– by its very nature– be unpublishable, and that while he acknowledges that raw ideals can never really be brought to fruition, “our life’s most important task is to keep trying anyway.”

attached to: Yan Lianke


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Thanks for posting this, Jonathan, and for your excellent interpreting at the event. I hope Bookworm is able to post the audio and video online, so that even more people can hear Yan Lianke talk about "being a good person and writing 'bad' books."

By the way, China Daily just published a feature on Yan Lianke. I'm posting it as a news link on the main page.

Cindy Carter, March 16, 2010, 11:08p.m.


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