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Chinese Nobel literature laureate 'surprised, delighted' amid applause

(Xinhua)

10:14, October 12, 2012

Mo Yan, the first Chinese national to win the Nobel Literature Prize, said Thursday he was "surprised" and "delighted" on his success as the country congratulated him on his achievement.

"I am very surprised to be awarded the prize," Mo told reporters hours after his win in his hometown, in Gaomi City of east China's Shandong Province.

"I am delighted," he added.

Mo was born and raised in a village in Gaomi, where many of his novels are set, such as "Red Sorghum," which was later adapted into a film by director Zhang Yimou.

After his success, he thanked his hometown for its inspiration. He is also reportedly writing another story there.

He said in an interview with the China Central Television that he was very grateful to the land where he grew up and returns every year.

Gaomi is a small city compared with Beijing, less populated and less noisy, he said.

"I can hide in my small room here, writing attentively. My hometown is closely related with my literature," the 57-year-old Chinese writer told media.

Mo said that the folk arts and folk culture accompanied his growth and he was influenced by the cultural elements he witnessed through his childhood.

"When I picked up the pen for literature creation, the folk cultural elements inevitably entered my novels and affected and even determined the artistic styles of my works," he said.

"Thank you for coming all the way to Gaomi. This should be a season of red sorghum, but no such crop is planted any more. I believe none of you have seen the crop," he added.

Mo was announced the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature in Stockholm by Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm.

Mo's body of works "with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary," Englund told a press conference.

The author is widely referred to as China's Gabriel Garcia Marquez for his hallucinatory realism.

Mo said after his win that William Faulkner and Marquez had greatly inspired him. "But I also realized that I need to escape from them," he said. "The two authors are like two scorching volcanos, which will burn me up if I am too close to them."

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