“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

The Lu Xun Prize - questions of credibility


BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's prestigious Lu Xun Literature Prize has come under fire after its most recent award winner for poetry was denounced as a "shame on poetry."


# 1.   

He he. Seems like most of China's reputedly "authoritative" literary prizes have been dissed and/or downgraded in a big way over the last few years.

A quick list:

A Lai is reportedly furious that his Zhandui (瞻对) received 0 votes in this year's voting for the Lu Xun Prize. See 尴尬.

Effective now, the Lu Xun Prize -- initiated in 1998 -- will be awarded once every 4 years, rather than 3.

The Lao She Literary Prize was reportedly almost not awarded this year. According to this report (没奖金), in May the organizers were suddenly ordered to stop the competition. In the end, it was awarded but without the customary cash prize.

Even the prestigious Mao Dun Literary Award was heavily criticized a few years back for parceling out awards mainly to the provincial heads of the state-run China Writers Association. See Rewarding Writer-Officials?.

Bruce, August 15, 2014, 3:27a.m.

# 2.   

Forgot this one. Here's a bit of background on the Lu Xun Prize (Translation Category) dating from 2010:

Mediocre Renditions or Problematic Judges?

Bruce, August 15, 2014, 3:35a.m.

# 3.   

Thanks, Bruce - great to have more background. Any positive news about prizes that are more consistently prestigious?

Helen Wang, August 17, 2014, 9:19a.m.

# 4.   

I continue, perhaps naively, to harbor hopes for the Dangdai Literary Prize. But we're very much in a moment of crisis for Chinese literary prizes, and by extension the whole critical establishment. The lack of faith started years ago, and that withering effect is starting to reach the prizes themselves...

 Eric Abrahamsen, August 21, 2014, 12:43a.m.

# 5.   

One of the Lu Xun judges was at dinner last night, and mentioned that only one of the eleven judges in the poetry category actually had any sort of background in poetry, and the judge was the junior of the group -- he basically had no say. So... no surprise there.

 Eric Abrahamsen, August 25, 2014, 3:27a.m.


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