Nobel Prize for Literature Committee Member Offers a Glimpse of the Subtle Beauty of the Chinese Language
Göran Malmqvist is the only commit member of the Nobel Prize for Literature who is fluent in Chinese. Last November, Malmqvist was invited by National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) to serve as a chair professor. On March 25th, NTNU's Center for General Education held a lecture by Malmqvist titled 'A Brief Discussion of Important Phenomena in the History of the Chinese Language.' Malmqvist's speech led the audience into the marvelous world of sinology.
Vice President Cheng-chi Wu stated, 'NTNU invited Gao Xingjian and Mo Yan to serve as chair professors. It was because of Professor Malmqvist's appreciation and efforts that both Gao and Mo received the Nobel Prize for Literature.'
Malmqvist was elected as a committee member for the Nobel Prize for Literature at the Swedish Academy in 1985. He is the only voting committee member who is fluent in Chinese. He has translated Chinese classics such as the Classic of Poetry, Journey to the West and Water Margin. He has also translated works of contemporary Chinese literature by authors such as Lu Xun, Gao Xingjian and Shen Congwen. Malmqvist has engaged in a lifetime of international exchange in relation to Chinese literature. Moreover, Malmqvist's Swedish translations of Journey to the West and Border Town by Shen Congwen are extracurricular reading required in Swedish schools.
Malmqvist described how deeply profound the Chinese language actually is. His lecture revealed how common everyday language is really the very essence of our ancestors' knowledge and experience.