This same article is published in Singapore’s Straits Times but the word patsy was not used. Rather the title for the Chinese majority island state read, ‘Nobel winner’s intriguing parable’.
Semantic arm twisting in agenda setting for different audiences as such, by the fourth estate, is apparent here.
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Mo Yan’s Nobel: Parable of a Patsy?
Source – Bloomberg, published December 15, 2012
On Monday night, the Chinese author Mo Yan accepted his Nobel Prize in Literature in Stockholm. It was a big event for him, and an even bigger one for China’s newspapers and microblogs.
The interest was predictable: Mo is the first non-dissident Chinese national to win a Nobel Prize, and his award is thus celebrated as a moment of international recognition that has long eluded the world’s most populous country. In 2010, Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Chinese dissident author and activist won the Peace Prize — the first Chinese national to win any Nobel – – much to the chagrin and embarrassment of the Communist Party he critiqued. Fair or unfair, Mo and his prize were destined to be viewed in Liu’s shadow, and Mo was destined to be asked about — and perhaps made to answer for — Liu.
The Chinese view Mo first and foremost as a soft-spoken writer of muscular, often cruel novels of the Chinese countryside. He inspires tremendous national pride (especially since the Nobel). Before his big win, Mo had never demonstrated much interest in speaking up politically. His name is actually a pseudonym that means “Don’t Speak,” and he claims to have adopted it in honor of his father’s orders to him during the Cultural Revolution.
Still, Mo is surely not naive about political matters. His role as vice chairman of the state-chartered Chinese Writers’ Association makes him a target of critics who seek to diminish his work as soft-core agitprop and certainly informs his understanding of the costs and benefits of speaking up on political issues.
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