The Fucking Book – Less Than Mystery

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The Fucking Book – Less Than Mystery – My first English novel is done.

Finally, here is a copy of the Fucking Book, Less Than Mystery.

It is almost as thick as the length of this lighter; total 6 parts, 484 pages, 129,237 words. It has taken three versions of  the manuscripts. The very first one, which was finished within one week, was crap. The whole book took me about two years to complete – one year of writing, one year changing and editing. More precisely, if not counting the parts on suffering from writer’s block, traveling and worrying about other things, it would be half a year of writing and half a year of changing and editing. It is sometimes like a lighthouse sometimes a nightmare. 

Why is it the Fucking Book? Because  sometimes it weighs as heavy as my heart can carry sometimes as thin as the air that my lungs need to breath in and more importantly, because it holds my life between something and nothing. 

To be honest, I thought  I would celebrate it, but now it is more like a victory that brings no joy.  Why? Because it is not the final victory. Just not yet.

It may not be great but absolutely unique. Initially, it is  quite a fanciful illusion – with a structure like Pulp Fiction, a language like William Faulkner’s, a sort of anger like Henry Miller’s and a rightful dream for women’s liberation in China like Simone de Beauvoir’s in The Second Sex. What is it now? – My angers, my wonders, my observations and my beliefs wrapped in mysteries. In a word, it has my character.
 
The next book is In Between.

At the moment, there is the same question – “To be or not to be”.

But –
 
I must write, or I die. If I write, I must survive too.

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…