Posted by Joel Martinsen on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 6:08 PM
The Lu Xun Literary Prize, awarded every three years by the Chinese Writers' Association, announced its latest group of laureates last night.
The prize is given to five works in each of several categories: novellas, short stories, reportage, poetry, essays, theory, and translation.
For the first time in the history of the prize, the translation category was vacant. According to the Beijing Youth Daily, preliminary judging in September resulted in a list of twenty works from each category. However, out of forty translated titles submitted, just five made it past the first round: To Axion Esti by Odysseas Elytis, translated by Liu Ruihong (刘瑞洪); Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, translated by Zhang Wenyu and Huang Xiangrong (张文宇, 黄向荣); Travels With Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski, translated by Wu Lan (乌兰); The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud, translated by Liu Shicong (刘士聪); A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amoz Oz, translated by Zhong Zhiqing (钟志清).
CWA spokesperson Chen Qirong described the situation to Sina's book channel:
A full winners' list is available at the Chinese Writers' Association website.
This year's controversial winner is Che Yangao (车延高), a member of the Wuhan municipal committee and the secretary of the city's Discipline and Inspection Committee. He began writing poetry in his spare time in 2005 and was awarded this year's Lu Xun Prize for his collection Yearning for Warmth (向往温暖).
Che posts some of his poetry to his personal blog, which is where Internet users discovered his paeans to Wuhan actresses like Xu Fan and Liu Yifei. These lines are being quoted and mocked on microblogs today:
Chen explained these poems in an interview with Sina:
The reaction to Che's Lu Xun win recalls the furor over Zhao Lihua's "pear blossom poetry" in 2006.
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