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Nobel literary prize jurist pestered by some scribes

By Sun Xiaobo (Global Times)

09:36, October 23, 2012

A member of the Swedish Academy, which selects the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, said Sunday that some Chinese writers constantly try to win his favor and an official has even attempted to bribe him, reported the Chongqing Economic Times and other Chinese media.

Goran Malmqvist, an 88-year-old Sinologist and longtime translator of Chinese literature, said every month Chinese writers send him their manuscripts hoping he will translate them.

The Chongqing paper reported that Malmqvist said some writers even asked him to nominate them for a Nobel Prize in Literature. One unnamed writer, who is also a government official from Shandong Province, tried to influence Malmqvist with gifts.

"The cultural official mailed me many paintings and ancient books, pleading with me to help him win the prize," Goran said, adding that the official told Malmqvist he could keep the 1.2-million-dollar award.

"I returned everything, but later found out that he began writing to another member of the academy," said Malmqvist.

Malmqvist was in Shanghai to promote his latest translated work The Great Enigma, a collection of poems by 2011 Nobel laureate Tomas Transtromer.

Zhang Jiong, honorary vice president of the Chinese Writers Association, said he met Malmqvist three times and the issue never came up, adding that it's not likely any writer could influence the committee as recipients are all well-established writers with a large and impressive body of work.

Malmqvist said real writers are afraid to meet him as it would be seen as inappropriate.
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