A Literary Genealogy: Faulkner, García Márquez, and Mo Yan


A Literary Genealogy: Faulkner, García Márquez, and Mo Yan


M. Thomas Inge


Emerging at a time in the mid-1980s when young Chinese writers, painters, and
filmmakers were moving beyond political ideology to modernist themes and subject
matter, Mo Yan has created a singular and compelling fictional voice that has brought
him attention as a world-class writer and the award of the Nobel Prize in 2012. Under
the influence of William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, both of whom he
acknowledges as his literary masters, he has produced novels and stories which appeal
to readers beyond the shores of mainland China. Like Faulkner and García Márquez,
Mo Yan embraces the people, land, customs, myths, history, folklore, and primitive
passions of the countryside. His works form a sweeping epic of twentieth-century
China as his characters work out their destinies against tragedies of circumstance and
irreversible historic events.


Chinese literature, Latin American Literature, Southern Literature, Mo Yan, William
Faulkner, Gárcia Márquez, Nobel Prize


Moravian Journal of Literature and Film 5, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 5–12. ISSN 1803-7720.


M. Thomas Inge
Blackwell Professor of Humanities
Randolph-Macon College
Ashland, VA 23005-5505