Famous Chinese Quotes and Sayings, Meaning and Origin

Author: Mo Yan. Origin: The Republic of Wine, chapter 3, pag. 25

“People who are strangers to liquor are incapable of talking about literature.”
― Mo Yan

Mo Yan (born Guan Moye, 管谟业, 17 February 1955) is a Chinese novelist and short story writer, author of the novel Red Sorghum, inspiring director Zhang Yimou to shoot the eponymous film.

In 2012 Mo Yan was awarded the Nobel prize for literature. The Republic of Wine: A Novel (酒国, 1992) is a satirical novel that explores the relationship between Chinese people and food and drink, commenting on government corruption.

Original text:

“In your letter you said that one of my essays inspired you to become a writer. That is a big mistake. I wrote the asinine words ‘liquor is literature’ and ‘people who are strangers to liquor are incapable of talking about literature’ when I was good and drunk, and you must not take them to heart. If you do, this insignificant life of mine will be all but over.”

Photo: Tulou, Fujian, Matteo Damiani

 

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