Big Breasts and Wide Hips

The Purple Blind. (I collected the leftover papers from the gift shop and created such a character.)

The Purple Blind is here to “bomb” something she thinks is not right. (I collected the leftover papers from the gift shop and created such a character.)

Maybe it’s a matter of time. Maybe not. 

Last year, before reading Wild Swan, I thought it might be a novel with some romance or something like that. But I was wrong. After reading half, I felt it to be boring, as most of the descriptions were repeating Chinese History textbooks, except for the part of Cultural Revolution which the textbooks didn’t tell any details. On the whole, to me, it was rather like an account book.

Now it’s Big Breasts and Wide Hips, a “book as thick as a brick” by Mo Yan, the first Chinese Nobel Prize winner and the author of Red Sorghum.

It has taken me about half a year to finish, going back and forth with other books. Not because it’s so “thick”- I could have read it more than one hour per night and finished it within a full month. But maybe I lost interest in continuing after reading the first chapter. After all, a Greek writer friend did tell me that he just had to give up, after reading less than one-third of it. Plus it would take much longer to finish reading a book that is not interesting to you than those you’ve read with great interest. Right?

The most interesting thing in the book is the “compelling” Introduction, which now seems to be a “trick” and in which, there are three things that caught my attention.

No 1, a dialogue from the book. –

First Sister was stunned. “Mother,” she said, “you’ve changed.”

“Yes, I’ve changed,” Mother said, “and yet I’m still the same. Over the years, members of the Shangguan family have died off like stalks of chives, and others have been born to take their place. Where there’s life, death is inevitable. Dying’s easy; it’s living that’s hard. The harder it gets, the stronger the will to live. And the greater the fear of death, the greater the struggle to keep on living.”

No 2, a sentence from the Introduction. –

“Mo Yan styles himself as a writer of realist, often historical fiction, which is certainly true, as far as it goes.”

No 3, Mo Yan himself has said: “If you like, you can skip my other novels, but you must read Big Breasts and Wide Hips. In it I wrote about history, war, politics, hunger, religion, love, and sex.”

However, when I finally finished reading the whole book the night before, it’s like a shit bag, full of shit. From the beginning to the end, the stories float everywhere and go nowhere, the characters don’t make sense apart from Sima Ku, and what he has said about the “history, war, politics, hunger, religion, love, and sex” are ridiculous. Alright, some details are OK. But the storyline is too far-fetched and no story particularly good. Why would people have tried to use such a “brick” to build something “great” for the literary world? I just don’t understand…

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s