Font Size:
  • L
  • M
  • S

Nobel Judge Swedish Sinologist Göran Malmqvist Dies Aged 95

Internationally known Swedish Sinologist Göran Malmqvist, Chair Professor at the Department of Chinese, dies on October 17th, aged 95. His wife Chen Wen Feng said that Ma dies peacefully at home. He was not only elected to the Swedish Academy but also the only Sinologist among the Nobel Literature Prize judges. He had been dedicated to the study of Chinese literature and has translated over 50 classic Chinese literature including Journey to the West, Water Margin, Classic of Poetry.

Göran Malmqvist was born on June 6th, 1924. He was known by his Chinese name Ma Yueran. Following introductory studies of Chinese under Sinologist Bernhard Karlgren at Stockholm University, Malmqvist studied in China in 1948–1950. He then returned to Stockholm, taking a Licentiate of Arts degree in 1951. His international research career started shortly thereafter with a lectureship in Chinese at the University of London in 1953–1955. He was then appointed Swedish cultural attaché in Peking and worked in China in 1956–1958.

Göran Malmqvist was an important key promoter of Chinese literature. Ever since his first translation of The Peach Blossom Spring in 1948, he started to introduce lots of classical literature like the Four Books and Five Classics and he also commented and criticized almost all genres and all eras of works. Ma Yueran also witnessed Mo Yan being awarded the Nobel prize in 2012. He was amazed by Mo's works and translated Mo's short novel into Swedish.  According to Malmqvist, Mo’s works remind him of early Magic Realism Chinese writers like Pu Songling and Wu Cheng'en. Three years ago, Malmqist started to translate Zhuangzi after getting a fracture and finished it in April 2018. Mrs. Malmqist said that it seemed that the pain on Göran Malmqvist was gone when translating.