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Уморен да се раждам и да умирам

След разстрела на едрия земевладелец Симън Нао от Народния съд онеправданата му душа се озовава в ада, където се пържат класовите врагове. Присмехулният господар на преизподнята Ямараджа му разрешава да се завърне в дома си, прероден като магаре. С ум и послушание Симън служи на предишните си подчинени, изненадвайки ги с неочаквани умения.Но за зла участ, на магарето не еСлед разстрела на едрия земевладелец Симън Нао от Народния съд онеправданата му душа се озовава в ада, където се пържат класовите врагове. Присмехулният господар на преизподнята Ямараджа му разрешава да се завърне в дома си, прероден като магаре. С ум и послушание Симън служи на предишните си подчинени, изненадвайки ги с неочаквани умения.Но за зла участ, на магарето не е отреден щастлив живот. И така Симън се преражда отново и отново: като упорит бик, като плодовит нерез, като умно куче... Така той преживява героични и жестоки времена в селото, чийто господар е бил някога. Романът започва на 1 януари 1950 г. и завършва на 31 декември 2000 г., като пресъздава конфликтите, породени от резките исторически промени в съдбата на Китай. Разказвачът закачливо води читателя през големи и малки приключения из висините и пропастите на китайската история. Дълбоко човешкият роман на Мо Йен представлява искряща приказка в картини, бликаща от комичност и затрогваща чрез състрадание. МО ЙЕН е роден на 17 февруари 1955 г. в Далан, провинция Шандун. Започва да публикува след края на Културната революция, а през 1986 г. излиза романът му “Червено сорго”, който е филмиран през следващата година и му донася широка известност. Автор е на единадесет романа, между които “Голям бюст, широки бедра”, “Изтезание със сандалово дърво”, “Мъжът, който отглеждаше котки”, “Промяна”, “Жаба” и др. Написал е много разкази и очерци. Международното признание на бедното момче от Гаоми е изненадващо — през 2012 г. Мо Йен, почти неизвестен за света, неочаквано получава Нобеловата награда за литература, преборвайки претенденти като Харуки Мураками, Амос Оз и Филип Рот."Литературен делириум, какъвто и Рабле не би могъл да сътвори по-шеметен, нито пък Булгаков – по-диаболичен. Ужасяващ и комичен, циничен и все пак изящно поетичен."Улрих Барон"Виртуозна гротеска. Поетична. Пикантна. Написана на инат."Фридрих Хан"Спиращ дъха спектакъл във времена на политически ад."Дафне Шпринг...

Title : Уморен да се раждам и да умирам
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ISBN : 9786191790364
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 664 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Уморен да се раждам и да умирам Reviews

  • Hakan
    2018-10-01 08:56

    mo yan 43 günde ve elle yazmış bu dev romanı. kendi hesabıyla 43 günde el yazısıyla 430.000 sözcük. türkçede karşılığı 928 sayfa, dile kolay. romanı okumayanlar için akıl almaz bir şey bu. daha doğrusu, böyle yazılan bir metnin edebi değeri olabileceğini düşünmek zor. ama romanı okuduktan sonra nasıl yazıldığını öğrenmek hiç şaşırtmıyor. tam tersine romana çok uygun olduğunu ve bu romanın ancak böyle yazılabileceğini düşünüyorsunuz. günümüzde kısacık bir roman için yıllarca çalıştığını, biraz da bununla övünüp dahası övgü bekleyerek açıklayan yazarlara alışkınken mo yan alçakgönüllükükle açıklıyor duruşunu. "çalakalem yazıyor" türünden eleştirilere hafif kızgın, o kadar. daha iyi-daha kötü, daha doğru-daha yanlış gibi bir durum yok zaten burada. iki uçtan, iki kutuptan bahsedilebilir ancak. birinde kaba tabirle "edebiyatçıların/sanatçıların" olduğunu söyleyebiliriz diğer tarafta ise hikayecilerin. mo yan bir hikayeci. mükemmel bir hikayeci hem de. yaşam ve ölüm yorgunu'nu okurken ne kadar iştahla yazdığını/anlattığını ve hatta o iştahın arkasındaki tutkuyu, aşkı hissedebiliyorsunuz. mo yan farklı biçimler deniyor, anlatıcılarını-bakış açılarını değiştiriyor, kaba bir dille şiirsellik arasında gidip geliyor, bazen akla bazen duygulara sesleniyor, mizahı-ironiyi ustalıkla kullanıyor ama bunların hepsini hikayesi için, hikayenin hakkıyla anlatılması için yapıyor. daha doğrusu, hikaye biçimini seçiyor. köpek anlatacaksa köpek anlatıyor hikayeyi, şiir olması gerekiyorsa şiir yazılıyor. güldürmek istiyorsa güldürüyor, ağlatmak istiyorsa ağlatıyor hikayeci. aslolan hikaye olduğundan ve hikayeyi mükemmel bir hikayeci anlattığından biçim/kurgu doğallıkla, neredeyse kendiliğinden oluşuyor. bu böyle olmasa yaşam ve ölüm yorgunu'nun sadece kurgusu için yıllarca uğraşması gerekir yazarın. mo yan mükemmel bir hikayeci. hikayeciliğiyle yakalayamayacağı okur yok ve mo yan yaşam ve ölüm yorgunu'nda hikaye okumanın tüm hazzını, yaşattığı tüm duyguları okura sunuyor. çin, tarihiyle, kültürüyle, insanıyla uzak mı size? yaşam ve ölüm yorgunu öyle olmadığını hissettiriyor. toprak reformunu, kültür devrimini, toplumsal değişimleri, dönüşümleri bildiğinizi mi düşünüyorsunuz? yaşam ve ölüm yorgunu bilmediğinizi gösteriyor. hissetmek, görmek için 928 sayfa okumaya değmez mi?

  • Özgür
    2018-10-03 11:02

    İlk MO YAN kitabımı bitirmiş olmanın, 900 küsür sayfayı alt etmenin de verdiği büyük huzurla sonunda buradayım.Kitap bir edebiyat atlası gibi baş döndürücü desem abartmış olmam. Ximen köyünün bir ferdi gibiyim. Sabah uyandığımda çiftlikte Ximen Baiyle kahvaltı edip, Lan Lianla ayaküstü sohbet edecekmiş gibiyim. Uzun bir süredir kitaptaki 5-6- karakterle birlikte yaşıyorum. Onlar anlatıyor ben dinliyorum.Bir çerçi misali öteden beriye, oradan buraya, uzaktan yakına; Anılar, anlatılanlar, dönemler, haksızlıklar, Mao, siyaset, adalet, pişmanlık, acı, aşk vs. ve daha sayamadığım birçok kavramı önünüze getirip anlatıp, dinletip sessizce uzaklaşıyor.MO YAN kalemini öyle güzel kullanmış ki 50 yılı betimlediği romanda konuşur gibi yazmış. Aynı zamanda Ximen Nao'nun koca bir devrim tarihine, sisteme baş kaldırışına, köylüler, çiftçiler, hayvanlar ve ötekiler! tarafından bakmak inanılmaz büyülü bir okuma deneyimi sunuyor.Ne yazarsam yazayım 1000 sayfasını usandırmadan okutmayı başarmış ir kalemi özetleyecek cümle kuramam. Sanırım 2018 yılı okuma listemin en iddialı kitabı olacak.Saygılar.

  • Praj
    2018-10-02 16:02

    Rides the fierce Lord Yama( God of death) to his somber destination, robustly plopped on the back of a water buffalo, waiting to pick the departed soul from the face of the earth. In the quest between Heaven and Hell, the soul lingers in the probability of its verdict. The shimmering blue skin contrasting the black hide of the animal becomes a petrifying vision. “Pray, pray from the heart, so the soul finds a place in heaven.”. The words of my grandfather keep ringing in my ears as I see Ximen Nao pleading in front of Lord Yama. A silent prayer subconsciously leaves my mouth at the sight of every passing funeral, even today, always. But, will my heartfelt words truly expunge the “sins” of the departed stranger on the final journey? Reincarnation, does the concept even find a genuine standing beyond its mythical realms? Heaven and Hell; does it even exist? If there is such a thing as “God of Death”, then why do tyrannical humans play the coveted role with such panache? Hell is right here on this very earth that at times makes death seem heavenly. Heaven is right here, residing within the tapered corners of a hellish life. Was my grandfather unaware of this perception when he used to tell me tales of reincarnation and the mortal sins that human souls are compelled to compensate? Or was he aware of it? The cawing of the crow becomes louder barging in my stream of thoughts. I angrily shoo it away, only to realize that later this year there will come a day on which I will be gazing deep into the crow’s eyes to question the proof of my grandparent’s soul residing within the bird, while it pecks into the 5-course meal that I shall offer on my window sill.Human Chronicles“This is not a personal hatred. This is class hatred.”Man. Woman. Society prevails. Rich. Poor. Caste. Class. Societal segregation. Is it worth, the divisive techniques of human cataloging? To be born in higher or lower class is not a felony; the pre-meditated crime committed on the powerless is punishable. The hurricane of simmering wrath that brings along the arrogance of the newly anointed masters sweeping away grievances, does it then halt to classify between the good and the bad? The fine line trembling between in the roaring domains of justice and injustice is ruthlessly crushed in the race to gain “class martyrdom”. Ironically, humans corrupt freedom in the course of gaining autonomy. The dreams of a narcissistic egalitarianism are nurtured on the tombs of genuine ones. In the game of the oppressor becoming the oppressed and vice-versa, where does true martyrdom lies and in whose mausoleum? Fates are altered; dreams are disseminated from the communicative daises to create a fair and just society. To kill in order to gain, is this a fair and just society? And who eventually decides its staunch verdict? To be born with a silver spoon in a landlord class was Ximen Nao’s sin. Having two concubines and several impoverished peasants working under him his grave offense. Ximen Nao was neither a saint nor a sinner. Ximen Nao was a human being wrongly prosecuted. His only blunder was that he did not recognize the beginning and end of the love and hate cycle. Ximen Nao was a stranger to a world beyond riches. The Agrarian Land Reform (1950) prosecuted more thousands of landlords and as the burgeoning class war reached to its highest magnitude, it awarded the peasants back their land and animals while annihilating the class of landlord. The ideology of class hatred brought along with it viciousness and stringent prejudices that were carried through decade-long angst , eventually seeped into the lives of Lan Lian, Ximen Bai, Yingchun , Wu Qiuxiang and the Ximen progenies ; agonizing their already troubled lives. The revolution bequeathed the power to slaughter the discarded. With the onset of Communism as Hong Taiyue became a revolutionary martyr, the melodious sounds of an ox bone became louder and Lan Lian’s blue birthmark a shade darker.“I’ve said it before. The only way I’ll join the commune is if Mao Zedong orders me too.”Lan Lian, the inimitable “white crow” was not only China’s sole independent farmer but also the country’s lone hero. Submerged in the Communist mantra of “mine is yours and yours in mine”, the commune overpowered the very freedom of ownership that it once bestowed its beloved ‘peasant classes’. In the war of collectivism v/s independent, Lan Lian stood tall battling against every argumentative vulgarity and irrationality that was thrown at him by his comrades and family members. The hypocritical luminosity of the national and county bureaucracy glowed brighter than the gloomy moonlight that saw an obstinate yet, heroic man toil on his meager 1.6 acres land with his beloved “Blackie”, blissful in the fruits of his true ownership. The screams of joining the Commune deafened amid the dense sorghum stalks. To truthfully own a piece of land during the reign of People’s Commune was more precious than the virility quintessence within the horns of an ox.“We are youth born in the era of Mao Zedong and though we have no choice in who we are born as, we do have a choice in which path to take.”Ximen Jinlong in his survival through China’s most turbulent historical times becomes the momentous caricature of every child born and every adolescent that grew amongst the political upheaval that span for several decades. Jinlong’s predicament of adhering to the Lan v/s Ximen class battle was a reservoir for his futuristic incalculably ambitious goals. Over the course of the five-decade long socio-political pandemonium, China’s youth that births in various discordant circumstances become victims to their very own creations. Then be it Jiefang’s poignant persuasive ideologies in the battle between collectivism and independence, Kaifang, Ximen Huan and Fenghuang’s muddled lives or the irremediable anguish of Huzhu that bled more profusely than the throbbing capillaries in Hezuo’s fleshy long hair. The children of Mao’s era were forever lost in the hostilities of love and hate, disintegrating not only under their individual internal conflicts, but also those that were passed along through their parental and societal lineage. The proposal of a surrogate love was as susceptible as the prosthetic leg, for in the end both would be ravaged by famished stomachs amid a humanity drought.Animal Chronicles“When I was reborn as a donkey, I was reminded of Ximen Nao’s grievances and when I was reborn as an ox I was reminded of the injustice he suffered.”Holding on to his inbred aggression and suffering without which his long lost earth would be worthless, Ximen Nao , once the revered landlord finds himself on a journey through several birthing canals of a donkey, an ox, a pig, a dog and a monkey as he travels through each of his chosen ranks of the animal kingdom moving closer with each step to the human territory . The enlightening expedition that witnesses Ximen Nao going through series of animal reincarnation, spans over 50 years commencing from the primitive bucolic landscape to the industrial new age rising on the periphery of a celebratory millennium. Through the humble eyes of the donkey, Ximen Nao excruciatingly views the aftermath of the crimes stemming from his lineage. He discovers the true meaning of love, but not without paying a bitter price for it. Through the trauma and the miseries of his loved ones, Ximen Nao concludes that the injustice he suffered as a human refuse to give in even to his woes of an animal. Life is inequitable and if humans are blinded by supremacy and hold on to fraudulent paths in torturing their own species, who would give a damn to those lowly animals. Through the strength of an ox, Ximen Nao stood by his most devoted “adoptive” son (Lan Lian) and the moralistic dignity that he seemed to have overlooked as human, implements through the heartbreaking yet laudable existence of an ox. Along with Lan Lian, Ximen Donkey and Ximen Ox become glowing symbols of integrity and loyalty in a place where betrayal and egocentricity was universal.“Every pig born is a cannon shell fired into the stronghold of the imperialists, revisionists, and reactionaries. . . ."“Mate for the revolutions”; “Bring benefits to people” slogans painted while alcoholic pigs paraded on the stage for the glorious dream of the Ximen Village Production Brigade Apricot Garden Pig Farm –a flourishing enterprise of New China. Pigs were essential in combat for if war ever came they would rescue the hungry soldiers with their meat. Ximen Pig, Diao Xiaosan and the numerous residences of the 'Apricot Garden Pig Farm' were a profitable business model to appease the whims and fancies of the most honoured revolutionaries of Gaomi County. No matter how much a pig rebels, ultimately in the battle against human v/s. scourge of pigs, the latter becomes a decaying carcass thrown by a filled stomach because even with the grandiose preferential treatment, a pig is still a pig and Ximen Pig a filthy and shameful part of the society. Why do animals strike people? Why do they rebel in their own obstinate ways? Have you ever wondered? Did Xu Bao envision the excruciating pain of the animal when he delightfully enjoyed his meal of freshly cut gonads? How would humans feel if they were castrated? How would humans feel if their faces were painted, bodies dowsed with tinted slogans and paraded on the stage as a combat enterprise for the betterment of the revolution? Oh, wait! Humans were no less than animals too. They were humiliated when their dignity and spirit of survival was castrated by the prejudicial soldiers of Commune. Their faces were indeed dowsed with red paint when they rebelled against the present authorities. Akin to the piglets that were used for gastronomic purposes, the minds of naive children were butchered by tyrannical “revolutionaries”. In the process of creating structure to humankind, man had turned animalistic. And they thought that the mongrel did not know any better, when Ximen Dog was dancing and singing at the Tianhua Square.“The enemy is in the light, we’re in the dark. We see what we want to see, we can see them, but they can’t see us.”Class warfare has been a constant sight in the existence of any boisterous civilization. The venom of class conflict and prejudices has trickled into the animal kingdom. The donkey having an aversion to the ostracized bastard mules , the pinkish Ximen Pig’s dismissal of the scrawny black boar and the acceptance by Ximen Dog for being a mere mongrel are striking examples that exhibits societal discrimination and the suffrage for being on the weaker end of the meted differential treatment. Albeit the societal class-strata, one is compelled to ask, how come when humans boasts of their species being of the highest order in evolution and degrade the lifestyles of mere animals, they themselves resort to their primal aggressiveness and animalistic traits making the rhesus monkey appear much more civilized than the very humans who tarnish their own civilization?Life and Death Wears me Out“Everything that comes from the earth shall return to it....” Mo Yan is back with his self-depreciating mockery. But, unlike in The Republic of Wine, Mo Yan here is supposedly an ugly reincarnation of Lord Yama’s secretary whose obnoxious and prying demeanor makes him one of the worst Ximen Village citizens. Nevertheless don’t be fooled by this buffoonery as this is one of Mo Yan’s powerful works. Akin to his character’s proficiency of being a supreme wordsmith, Mo Yan artistically weaves a five decade political and historical panoramic view of the Chinese society through its trials and tribulations in the course of the Mao and post-Mao era. Every living being, be it human or animal or even the reddish-orange leaves of the Apricot tree, comes alive in this postmodernist folk-lore that spins a alluring web of magical realism encompassing metaphysical elements with satire, absurdity , simplicity , fantasy , yet keeping the essence of an hellish actuality that a country witnessed with valour. The citizens of Ximen Village thrive in their own insecurities overshadowing their survival; some come out of the sickly sweet abyss only to fall back again and then there are some like Hong Taiyue and Xu Bao who drown in their insanities. Once again, Mo Yan staying true to his literary spectacle carves heroes, cowards, loyalists and revolutionaries from the soil of Gaomi County; sycophancy and integrity oscillating between the pastoral and industrial juggernaut and the people of a metamorphosing China fail to remember where love ends and hatred begins and vice-versa. The cherished “little red flowers” that prided in the heroic chests they were pinned on, returned to the earth from where they had come.“People in the 1950s were innocent, in the 1960s they were fanatics, in the 1970s they were afraid of their own shadows, in the 1980s they carefully weighed people’s words and actions and in the 1990s they were simply evil.”In a place, at a time when the vast distance between the extremities of life and death were lessened by human fragility and scornful society; the journey between dawn and dusk was marred by hyper-realistic hotchpotch of heaven and hell. As my eyes were transfixed on to each inked word, my mind wandered through the streets of Ximen Village. Through the rustling of leaves over the Apricot Pig Farm, it searched for Ximen Pig and Diao Xiaosan; the ecstasy of love between Huahua and Naonao; Jinlong’s ambitious words, Hong’s musical ox bone; the moonlight’s ardent follower- Lan Lian,the coquettish triumphs of Qiuxiang , the scrumptious sound of Huzhu frying fitters which would send shivers down Ximen Nao; Huang Hezuo’s miraculous hair; Xu Bao’s bloody hands clutching fresh gonads; the valiant ox and while Jiefang cried for Yingchun, my nomadic mind finally reached in my courtyard. Reincarnation, is it really more than a spiritual myth? I may not believe in its institution, but if I was allowed to be reincarnated who would I come back as? The annoying crow is back and this time I share my piece of succulent watermelon with it and smirk at that cawing bird. While I ponder on my thought, somewhere in Ximen Village , Lan Qiansui gazed into Jiefang’s misty eyes and said:-“My story begins on January 1, 1950....."

  • Deniz Balcı
    2018-09-29 12:10

    Beş yıldız değil on yıldız olsa yine yetmez! Muazzam, baş döndürücü bir edebiyat şöleni!!!Açıkça söylemem gerekirse bir sene önce kadar Mo Yan'ın 'İri Memeler ve Geniş Kalçalar' kitabını .okumuştum ve çok etkilenerek 'Herhalde en iyi işi bu kitaptır' diye düşünmüştüm. Haftalarca aklımdan çıkmamış, beynimi çok meşgul etmiş ve sonra okuduğum şeylerden pek bir keyif alamama sebep olmuştu. 'Yaşam ve Ölüm Yorgunu'na da ister istemez büyük beklentilerle başladım ve karşılığını fazlasıyla aldım. Koskoca bir roman bu. İçinde her şey var. Sayfalarca yazı yazabilirim, saatlerce konuşabilirim. Ancak eseri yeni bitirdim ve aklımı kurcalayan, bir yere oturtmam gereken, barışmam gereken onlarca anı, karakter var ve düşüncelerimi bulandırıyorlar. Biraz kafamdakilerin sakinleşmesi, tortunun dibe çökmesi gerekiyor eleştirmem için. Nefes kesici, kesinlikle tavsiye ederim.9.5/10

  • Gorkem Y
    2018-09-21 16:09

    Aradan nerdeyse bir yil geçmiş. Ximen Nao ve Yama hala kendisini hissettiriyor. Bu kitapta güldüğüm,duygularımın darmadağın olduğu ve Mo Yan'ı iyi ki keşfetmişim dediğim bir kitap üstü bir şeydi.Ne denir ne söylenir böyle bir kitap için bilmiyorum.Nerden başlamam gerektiğini çıkaramasamda haddim olmadan bir şeyler karalayacağım bu özel kitabın hatrına.( Her ne kadar Mo Yan bu kitabını bilgisiyar ortamında yazmamış olsa da, kitabın ruhuna ve asaletine saygısızlık yapmamayı umarak devamını getireceğim duygularımın.)Okumaya başladığım her an beni kendi içine daha fazla çeken, metaforlarıyla, felsefi alt metinleriyle, ana karakter Ximen Nao'nun yaşam ve ölüm içinde, kendi kinini unutmasını adına 50'li yillardan 2000'ne kadar değişen bir topluma şahitlik ediyoruz. Ölüm Tanrısı Yama'nın her seferinde Ximen Nao'yu insan olarak hayata geri göndericeğine söz verip her seferinde bir hayvan olarak kendi döngüsünde "affetme" bilincine ulaşmasını gülerek okuyoruz.Gerçekten de Nao gibi yorulduğumu hissettim. Bazen nefret ettiğim, bazen gülmekten gözlerimden yaş gelen, hüzünler dolduran kocaman bir destan,bir masal ve bir halk anlatımına ortaklık etim. Eminim ki, söyleyeceğim ve ekleyeceğim çok şey var daha ama sanırım biraz daha zaman geçmesi gerekiyor. Bugünden itibaren "biraz daha insan olduktan sonra" eklemeleri ve düzenlemeleri tekrardan yaparım sanırım.Okuyacak herkese iyi yolculuklar...10/10

  • Hadrian
    2018-09-29 16:00

    Ximen Nao, a landowner, is shot to death as part of the land rectification campaign of the 1940s. He is then sent to hell, where he protests his innocence to the King Yama. He is sent back to earth in the form of a donkey, an ox, a pig, a dog, and a monkey. It is a stream of lives and perspectives over 50 years and Ximen Nao's new lives and the last century of China. Mo Yan himself as there, as a nosy brat who grows up into a meddlesome slob. It is bawdy and rich with irony and slapstick and the blackest humor, of boar armies and plague and the sound of drums and cymbals. Why not just call it Rabelais?I read the English edition, but I had the Chinese edition as well so I could compare them and see how they worked. Puns. Here's a simple one - When Ximen Nao is reborn as an ox, he is the mix breed between a Simmenthal and a Mongolian cattle. Simmental is written 西门塔尔牛, or Xīménta'ěr niú。 That has the first two characters as our main character - 西门闹. Xīmén Nào。I also enjoyed my first reading of Mo Yan's actual style. It's profane, earthy, and often lyrical from how often he uses rhyming tone patterns, alliteration, or idioms. It's distinctive and must be difficult to work with, and I have to give Goldbatt a lot of credit for preserving a lot of the meaning in English. But some of the idioms are a bit harder. The phrase, 你可真是石头蛋子腌咸菜, or 'you really are a rock in the pickles' is translated as 'you really are stubborn'. Again, so many things I'm still missing.

  • AnaVlădescu
    2018-10-07 13:12

    I will never doubt my History teacher's taste in literature. Ever. Of course, a healthy, little dose of skepticism is of a clear need, but it's going to be optional, any time he recommends any other books to me. Now, let's talk about Mo Yan's work. I'll never do him justice. I doubt any man, other than Mo Yan himself, would do him justice. You can't explain this work. The resume will only scratch the surface. Any laudatory words will be uselessly thrown into the void. This is what writing is. This is real literature. You know, when you give five stars on this site, you want to say that the book was really, really good and it's worth every hour spent on it. This one, right here ... five stars barely covers how you come to feel about it in the end. You don't count this in hours; you count it in seconds, because every two lines, every paragraph, maybe every page, there is something that seems almost unrealistically good. How can anyone understand humans so well? And how can anyone express it so good? The story revolves around Ximen Nao. Being a landowner in Mao's China, he is forced to give up his estate and his belongings; afterwards, even though he did nothing to cast this upon himself, he is killed by power's orders. After a trip to Hell and not that much of a pleasant meeting with its ruler, he returns to Earth and reincarnates under different shapes. But not human, no. He doesn't get that privilege. He begins his journey as a donkey, then is killed and becomes an ox, then is killed again and becomes a pig, after which he lives through the forms of dog and monkey. In the end, he returns to a human form, as a little boy. What makes this book so special, might you ask?Well, besides the amazing storyline, the writing itself and the deep understanding of human emotions and thoughts, the correct representation of the bind between animal and human forms, the description of China during the Mao period, the mesmerizing setting that is represented through villages and rural backgrounds, the threats that the outer world poses for the enclave that this book is... What more do you need? I can understand, I can really understand, why this man got a Nobel Prize. I don't think it's for the books themselves, but for the way his writing expresses the truth. It has such a haunting imagery embeded into it, and it's so rich in volume, emotion, creativity, soul, that you can barely understand what is actually happening. If you just read the resume and never read the book, you might think you didn't miss on anything. If you pick up the book, read it and then read the resume, you'll laugh, knowing how empty of substance it is and how little it explains. There are moments, reading this, when you are spellbound into really envisioning the action that takes place. Rarely do you see writing that is so subtle and at the same time so pushy. It breaks out of the book, it's not on the page, rather it's in your head. His writing is tantalizing, it promises you things, greater things than you have ever seen and you keep turning the pages to find that unobtainble item. You want it to fool you, because you know that even if it tells you lies, it tells you the truth. Mo Yan's representation of China during the Mao period is more competently written than a history book; in the end, in a history book you get the facts, the years, the documents and the death count at the end, so to speak. In Mo Yan's book, you see the men, the women, the children; you understand their fear, their binding, their loss; you memorize images and sounds, smells, looks; it paints a picture in your head, and that picture does that world justice. Fiction vs. facts, round one. Fiction incorporates facts, by round two. Fiction wins. For the spoiler free review, it ends here. Rich, engrossing and sincere, this work has won me over. Thank you, dear History teacher, for giving it to me. It was worth it. (view spoiler)[Come along, to the dark side of our spoiled, black world! Let me share some inside information that you shouldn't have! Oh, secrets... There are scenes, once in a while, that make your mouth hang open. One, specifically, comes to mind. The savage, vicious beating and murdering of the Ximen Nao, when he was in his ox form.Second reincarnation, he takes this healthy, powerful ox form and becomes the pride of the village. Because their orders were for everything to belong, in a chain-like manner, to the community, the army, Mao and the country, this ox had to become public property. Except his owner didn't want to, being the last individual worker who owned his own land and worked it himself. After putting enough pressure on him and his son, the ox is finally taken away from his master. But he is no normal ox. He is Ximen Nao, so inside the tough, dangerous looking head of his, there is a human mind that understands everything that's happening around him and makes judgements based on that. So, the ox decides to not yield to the soldiers. For this, he gets torture. And it's not like anyone tortures him. It's his own son, Jinlong, who takes it up, violently loving it. Not just him, though - 6 or 7 men take wips and start to smack the ox with it. The animal doesn't flinch, there are tears streaming from his eyes, he experiences human sadness, Ximen cries inside of him, but doesn't flinch one bit. They hit him, they beat him to a pulp, they mingle his blood with dust, they mercilessly make meat out of him, and he doesn't move. He doesn't attack. He suffers. The men, ashamed of what they did, stop at one point. Jinlong, though, doesn't. He tied a cow to a rope and tied that rope to the ring inside the ox's nose. He hit the cow, and it started running, tearing the ox's nose apart. After the brutal beating and the wound inflicted upon his nose, the ox still doesn't move. Jinlong decides to lit a fire under him. So he does. He lights a fire at the rear of the ox and lets it burn its way through his flesh. The men save the rope that tied the ox from the flames, because it was public communist property, but they don't save the ox because he didn't belong to the country. How fucked up is that? Still, the ox cries and cries, but no attack comes from him. Jinlong goes mad, but somehow stops when he sees the ox lift himself up. A miracle, that such a beaten, raw piece of bleeding meat would be able to walk, but he does, and he walks next to his owner, on his little piece of land, where he worked, individually, freely, unconstricted by the system, for the whole of his life. And, next to his master, he dies, with tears streaking his animal cheeks and his body a red, crude mess. His master, Lan Lian, cries tears of blood. Why have I brought up this scene? It is inhuman. It is ruthless. It is indecent. It is wild, cruel, ferocious, destructive, barbaric and of a crudity rarely seen in humans. And it is beautiful. I have read that scene maybe 12 to 14 times and I have come to love it more and more with each reading. It is flawless. The rythm is impeccable. The emotion is undeniable. It's so tense, so vigorously expressive, so descriptive, and it had such an effect on me that I literally felt miserable and sad and filthy for the simple act of being of the same species as those men. Now, see? This writing is what I'm talking about. Raw, true. Cruel, true. Relentless, true. Over and under, true. It makes you believe it's all true. End of story.(hide spoiler)]Update:I had to come back here after some time passed since I first read this book, and since I started other Mo Yan works. It was so fast, I never even saw it coming - this enslavement, this opening up. I have thoroughly succumbed to Mo Yan's genius. I give up. I will forever be in doubt to my History teacher for opening my eyes and giving me this book right here to read. Mo Yan is a master of words, and he plays with imagery and the insertion of humans into its world, unknowingly changing the reader as he takes him along his ride. And it is one hell of a ride. I love this. I would recommend Mo Yan to any reader out there, for the depth he reaches and for the surfacing he experiences. Now I'll just keep consuming Mo Yan like I consume everything/everyone else that I love: up until I find the end of it, and then once more, and once more, and once more.. in an endless cycle of what will soon be familiarity.UPDATE : 08.04.2014 : I can barely believe what I just found out. This whole masterpiece has been written in 42 days. I .. don't even know what to say. How? How? It's one of the most complex works I have read, compiled of detailed characters and intricate world and you're telling me it took Mo Yan 42 days to build this? I .. can't... even..

  • Sarah
    2018-10-12 13:45

    I am still in shock from finishing this book--I really felt for awhile that I was never going to finish it. Not in a despairing way, but in the sort of way where I imagined it would remain my reading companion for at least another month or two. Any which way, Life and Death is an amazing feat of story telling. It lends itself to a long read, dipping in and out of the stories Mo Yan tells variously through the characters of Mo Yan, Ximen Nao (as both Ximen Donkey and Ximen Dog, in addition to the consciousness of Ximen Nao himself) and Lan Jiefang. It took me a couple hundred pages to get everyone's names straight, and there were certain references that I'm sure a Chinese audience would understand that I do not at all (I don't think anyone really taught me anything about China in high school or college--Europe I'm all over, but China not so much). But I never thought I would be so moved by a donkey describing his romantic passion for his donkey lover, hear tell of a pig that eats men's testicles off, see a blue birthmark that is passed down generation to generation, and still be able to follow the gossipy story. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: I know so much more about Chinese history now, and not just because I used Wikipedia fairly liberally in the middle of this book.

  • Çağdaş T
    2018-10-20 11:12

    Müthiş bir hikaye anlatıcının, arka planda Mao devrimi, toprak reformu ve sonrasında yaşananları kullandığı yaklaşık 50 yıllık bir süreci Ximen Konağı sakinlerini mercek altına alarak anlatışı.Mo Yan denilen ufaklık, safsatalar kralı çok kere güldürdü beni, kimi zaman hüzünlendirdi kimi zaman da sarstı. Kitabı 43 gün gibi kısa bir sürede yazması, kitabın niteliğini ne kadar olumlu / olumsuz etkiler bu elbet ayrı konu fakat yazarın takdiri hak ettiği aşikar. (view spoiler)[Romanın son bölümüne kadar müthiş bir beğeniyle okudum. Fakat köpeğin ölümünden sonra zaten Mo Yan'ın da belirttiği gibi kitap bitebilir veya bitmese de bitmesi için yazılmayabilirdi. Bana son bölüm hızla geçiştirilmiş, biraz fazla absürdlüğüyle, ince elenmemiş kitabın bütününe uymamış gibi geldi.Bu yüzden 4 yıldız vermeyi tercih ettim. İri Memeler ve Geniş Kalçalar'ı daha çok beğeneceğimi umuyorum. (hide spoiler)]

  • Schmacko
    2018-10-10 12:59

    I’m not sure I completely understood this book, but I know I want to read it again. Mo Yan is this year’s Nobel Prize winner. This is his most recent book about a man who may have been unfairly executed and who has been reincarnated several times into his old neighborhood. Does he seek revenge? Did he deserve to die?There are several gimmicks (and I use that word specifically). Ximen Nao was a landowner in pre-Revolution China. His tenant farmers killed him when Communism came to power. He spends two years being tortured in the underworld by Lord Yan before he gets to go back. Normally, when someone comes back, they have their memory erased. Ximen Nao forwent that so he could figure out if he was guilty or if he needed to avenge his own death.There are several gimmicks at play here (and I use the word gimmick on purpose; I’ll explain.) The first time, Ximen Nao gets sent back as a mule, then as an ox, a pig, a dog, and a monkey. His adopted son and favorite tenant own him; then the man’s sons and grandsons own him. These several animals’ lives allow Yan to explore so much. He lets us see the world from the animals’ perspective. Because these animals don’t live as long as humans, Yan can take us through Chinese provincial history. The animals are servile, a lot like Ximen Nao’s tenants were to him; they all live in poverty.Yan has a witty sense of criticism for provincial Communism, the little despots, and the crude politics. These small lives are shaped by bigger things in Chinese history, Mao, his death, the rise of a more violent and totalitarian China, and its slow move into the 21st century, with consumerism lightening the once-cruel structure. I wonder how Yan gets away with it; how the government lets him be satirical. True, Yan’s criticism is gentle and rural; that might be the thing saving him when other artists become imprisoned.Yan does do a couple frustrating things. He keeps shifting the narrative voice whenever Ximen Nao moves into the life of another animal. It makes for a less boring, more well rounded perspective. However, the “voices” of the characters were not different enough to help me understand them as personalities. (This may be the fault of the translation from Chinese into English.) Still, I found myself struggling to remember who was talking. There were so many characters with similar names that a little language differentiation wouldn’t have helped me as a reader.Yan also makes himself into a character, one who many of his fictional character find annoying or artistically dubious. Other characters refer to his spurious and supposedly inaccurate stories. (Yep, in a story Yan himself wrote, his character criticize other writings. Adorable…) Yan was raised here in this province he fictionalized. This is cute but also a little vain, maybe. It may be Yan’s way of criticizing himself as he critiques his own rural life and its governance. It’s one way to talk about perspective, but I think it’s a little shallower than many other methods Yan could’ve chosen. This is clearly where I thought Yan – who is clearly a talented and deep writer - might have added one too many simplistic gimmicks.I admit all the Chinese mythology and names got confusing. I had to create a diagram, a family tree. I don’t have any cultural reference; the foreignness is both a plus and a minus for me with this book, but one where I might be at fault as easily as the book. I love the title! And there’s a message here about changing life, changing politics, how everything is in flux, understanding is difficult, and we all suffer from a selfish inability for perspective – we all see things through our own eyes – and that intrigues me to put this on the shelf and reread it later. I totally understand why Yan won the Nobel. I like being frustrated by a good book, and this is what happened here. I like feeling like I went somewhere I wouldn’t have normally gone. Small quibbles aside, I will pick this up again.

  • Stephen Durrant
    2018-10-15 16:02

    After reading this novel, my opinion of recent Nobel-Prize-winner Mo Yan has improved (see review of "Big Breasts and Wide Hips"). "Life and Death is Wearing Me Out" covers fifty years in the life of rural Gaomi Village through the eyes of two narrators, one who has lived in that village for the entire time and the other who has witnessed many of the same events in a series of reincarnations: the petty landlord Ximen Nao, a donkey, a pig, a dog, a monkey, and, at last, a human once again, the "Millennial Boy" born on January 1, 2000. The second narrator, who has tricked the servants of Lord Yama and is therefore able to remember his previous incarnations, is the dominant and more delightful of the two narrators, although the reader should be warned that this, like almost all modern Chinese literature, is no breezy, happy read. After all, one can hardly wade through the period from the 1949 Revolution to the turn of the century in China without the requisite dose of horror. Mo Yan is himself a character in this novel. The garrulous, mischievous, irrepressible novelist-wannabe is repeatedly ridiculed by the two narrators, with some of this ridicule a parody of Mo Yan's own critics within China. "Life and Death is Wearing Me Out" is a success, at least in this reader's view, because it plays with both the ironies of reincarnation, according to which your pet might be your father, and with that desire to know what happens after you die. I remember my mother telling me, just a few days before she passed away, that she didn't fear death she just wanted to know how things would work out for her family and friends. Death, if you are engaged in life, is a bit like walking out of the theater in the middle of an exceedingly interesting movie. Well, knowing the end of the next chapter of a story can be a mixed blessing, as Ximen Nao in this novel finds out. Now as a donkey, later as a pig, etc., he watches his former wife age, his concubines become the wives of others, and his posterity sometimes suffers horribly. All in all his life as a series of animals is no worse, and generally better, than the lives of the humans around him. Much more could and should be written on this long and sometimes complex novel, but I will leave off with my revised judgment of its author--perhaps Mo Yan, if not the best choice for a Nobel Prize, was not a disastrous choice either.

  • Ana-Maria Negrilă
    2018-09-28 08:57

    Povestea Ximen Nao se întinde pe zeci de ani, timp în care sufletul lui renaște succesiv într-un măgar, taur, câine și maimuță. Romanul este un amestec uimitor de vechi și nou, de tragic și comic, iar modul în care autorul, devenit personaj al cărții, apoi unul dintre naratori, ține în frâu firele încâlcire ale destinelor familiei Ximen transformă acest volum într-unul memorabil.

  • Стефан Русинов
    2018-09-30 14:11

    Идеята за структурата на романа ми се стори гениална още преди да зачета: петдесет години история, разказана от една и съща душа, превъплътена последователно в земевладелец, магаре, бик, прасе, куче. Отначало наративът е малко объркан, но когато става ясно, че цялата книга е оформена като диалог между последното превъплъщение на въпросната душа (Лан Циенсуй - петгодишното едроглаво дете), което през 2005 г. разказва преживяното през всичките си прераждания, и един от главните герои през тези петдесет години (Лан Дзиефан - дядото на едроглавото дете), всичко си идва на мястото.Харесва ми как Мо Йен се присмива еднакво състрадателно на всички свои герои, било когато описва жалките им простъпки, било когато възпява приказните им подвизи. Скопени, юначни, омърсени, доблестни, инатливи, скърбящи, похотливи, прощаващи, невежи, горделиви - никой не получава по-специално третиране, всички са разказани без симпатии и с насмешка. Мисля си, че точно така обича бог - без симпатии и с насмешка.В крайна сметка никой от десетките герои не ми беше грешен или правилен, при все че в историята участваха всякакви чешити, и тази крупна социална картина всъщност имаше вид на природна картина, където едно дърво или една буря не са правилни или грешни и където нищо не може да е иначе, защото е така, както е. Животинската разказваческа гледна точка засилва това усещане за природност на човешкия свят. Очевидно всички животни-разказвачи са зависими от човешката подредба, в която се намират, и няма как да променят статуквото, така че през техните очи човешкото изглежда тъкмо като неведомо, непредвидимо, неконтролируемо природно. При всяко едно от преражданията си бившият човек Симън Нао бързо влиза в роля, отдава се на атавистично заложените му природни нагони и влиза в човешкия свят, като обслужва очакванията към себе си. От друга страна, всяко животно се отличава с особени табиети, които търпят развитие и на които непрекъснато се набляга. Тоест в изграждането на животинските образи има едно много симпатично комбиниране: сливане с колективното и подхранване на индивидуалното. Характерни за персонажите на Мо Йен са изключителната плам и отдаденост на призванията им. Повечето от тях не ги задоволява да бъдат просто някакви, те искат да са страхотни някакви. Да, да бъдат част от колектива, но и да бъдат баси яката част от колектива. Така е и с животните тук - на тях очевидно не им стига да са просто магаре, бик, прасе, куче, а желаят да са невероятни магаре, бик, прасе, куче. В крайна сметка всяко от тях извършва велик подвиг, който остава в историята, но все пак не променя коритото ѝ. От различните части на книгата ми останаха разни такива образи: двете влюбени магарета, които собственокопитно побеждават свирепите вълци; бикът, който отказва да работи за кооператива и пребит (но освободен именно от побоя) прави няколко крачки, за да издъхне върху единственото останало парченце частна земя; прасето, което се катери по дървета, тренира и най-съзнателно и съвестно се отдава на природните си нагони; кучето, което долавя миризмата на сперма и презерватив, когато господарят му се връща уж от служебна среща... Друга дихотомия, която бива размита посредством животинския похват, е душа-тяло. В различните тела на разказвачите е една и съща душа, която има (бегли) спомени за предишните си животи, но като цяло тя е под команда на тялото. Разказът се води хем от все същата душа, хем (в много по-голяма степен) от конкретното тяло, в което е попаднала. Изобщо, в противовес с представите, че на изток духът властва над тялото, напоследък все по-силно впечатление ми прави силното извисяване на телесното, щателното отношение към неговата природност с всичките ѝ гадости, нужди, красоти и сили. Има някакъв особен вид религия, религия на тялото, антропология и арехеология на тялото, която разравя и разкрива закономерности, невидими за погледа, свикнал да търси духа.И понеже е модерно да се говори за политика, когато се говори за Китай, и да се иска ЕДНОЗНАЧНА политическа позиция от китайските творци: отначало си мислех, че Мо Йен отказва да прави политически изказвания просто защото неговата работа на писател е съвсем друга - да разказва и да е над всички позиции, пък и защото е печен и мъдър. Но сега разбирам какво е имал предвид, когато в Нобеловата си реч прикани критиците си да прочетат книгите му. Колкото и безпристрастна да е, историята в този роман е страшно чувствителна, детайлна и категорично нееднозначна аутопсия на китайското социално развитие през втората половина на XX век. А колкото по-нееднозначен е един роман (и трагичен, и смешен), струва ми се, толкова по-близо до същината и политиката на живота е.Много ми харесва преводът на Петко Хинов, макар че сигурно мненията за него ще са противоречиви. На мен ми допада поради ред причини, но най-вече защото дори когато в историята има лек застой, разказът вълнува на чисто езиково ниво с всичките особени думи и изрази, които и Мо Йен, и Хинов използват и които ме пращат към тълковния речник през пет минути. Мисля, че цветистият и архаичен език пасват изключително добре върху текстовете на Мо Йен, макар че в случая се беше получило по-уместно през първите няколко десетилетия, докато разговорният език на 90-те изисква малко по-друга лексика и граматика.Иначе има и бая пропуски и грешки, които на фона на целия обем не изглеждат много, но средно по една сериозна на десет страници прави общо около шейсет яки спъвания в българския текст, които тотално биха отказали някои читатели от и без друго доста ръбатия роман и които по мое мнение е можело да се избегнат с още месец-два работа, като отговорността в случая е повече на редакторите, отколкото на преводача.При всички положения евала на "Летера", че изобщо са се заловили с този тежък проект и че са го изтикали докрай, и на Петко Хинов за неговия Мо Йен.

  • Rym
    2018-10-17 11:57

    Cả năm trời rồi mới lại được rate một cuốn 5 sao.Văn của Mạc Ngôn trong cuốn này thật đẹp, đẹp nhất trong những cuốn mình từng đọc của ông. Chưa bao giờ mình thấy ở đâu những con vật bình dị như trâu, lừa, lợn lại có thể được miêu tả nên thơ và bi tráng đến thế như trong cuốn sách này.Mặc dù truyện mô tả một giai đoạn kéo dài 50 năm với những biến động nhiều đau thương của xã hội Trung Quốc nhưng hơn 800 trang sách không hề đem lại cho mình cảm giác mệt mỏi, lê thê và nặng nề. Cuốn sách giống như một sự tổng hòa rất châm biếm giữa những vở bi hài kịch nhiều hồi của con người và những bản anh hùng ca của loài vật. Nhiều khi đọc cười hềnh hệch, cười sảng khoái như đọc truyện tiếu lâm nhưng rồi lại thấy sao mà xót xa trước sự phi lý trớ trêu của cuộc sống, đau lòng trước cái cách con người đối xử với nhau còn không bằng cả loài trâu, loài lợn. Quả là một cảm giác dở khóc dở cười.Một điều độc đáo nữa là Mạc Ngôn lồng ghép bản thân như một nhân vật phụ trong tuyến truyện, tuy xuất hiện ít nhưng rất đặc sắc làm cho cả câu chuyện trở nên chân thực hơn, cũng như khiến mình càng ngày càng thấy Mạc Ngôn là một con người rất thú vị. Điều hiếm thấy bởi mình ít khi quan tâm đến cuộc đời tính cách của các nhà văn.

  • Aaron
    2018-09-28 15:58

    Up until the last third or so of this book, I was ready to call it my favorite fiction book I've read this year. It still gets there, but the lukewarm finish makes it a closer call.Still, this was a great book. I've read a few reviews calling it the Chinese One Hundred Years of Solitude, and that isn't a bad comparison - it's got the same emphasis on one small town and one REALLY big family, lovers being torn apart by revolution, technology, the disappointment and betrayal of parents by their children, and, most of all, the need to draw a very large map to keep track of all of the major and minor characters who come scurrying in and out with extremely similar names. I'm not nearly as much of a drunk as I was in the 100 Years days and I still had a fair amount of trouble keeping everyone straight.Basic plot goes like this: The narrator is a minor landowner who is killed in the very beginning of the Maoist purges and, through a series of tantrums, convinces the lord of the underworld to send him back to his previous life. Thing is, nasty underworld guy won't send him back as a human, so he goes back as a series of animals (donkey, ox, pig, dog, monkey) and starts each new phase literally staring back up the gloopy birth canal of his new animal mommy. Life and Death has a lot of One Hundred Years style "magical realism" nonsense, mostly pinned in the constant anthropomorphic lurches, but even for that, the elements of the supernatural aren't nearly as zany or aggressive as they were in Marquez. The reincarnation shtick is awesomely played - the narrator makes major stylistic changes to accommodate each animal and the animals are rarely boring - the donkey and pig chapters in particular are strong.The narrative backflips aren't without their own risk of exhaustion - in some chapters (particularly the generally less good "dog chapter" towards the end of the book), the narrator switches practically every other paragraph and the book becomes a somewhat more conventional romance, though by the end of the book, things have boiled down enough that all anyone seems to do is hump and/or die. A near perfect book until the end of the pig chapter, a very good one after that.

  • Nguyễn Quang Vũ
    2018-10-10 15:10

    Quả thực mỗi lần chuẩn bị đọc một tác phẩm của Mạc Ngôn là mình lại như chuẩn bị đi ăn tiệc, một bữa tiệc với nhiều bạn bè thân thích và rượu thì tuyệt đối không ép. "Sống đọa thác đày" còn hơn cả một bữa tiệc như thế.Có quá nhiều câu chuyện xung quanh tác phẩm này của Mạc Ngôn. "Sống đọa thác đày" được Mạc Ngôn thai nghén trong 43 năm và được ông đặt bút viết liên tục trong vòng 43 ngày. Mạc Ngôn viết tác phẩm này bằng cách viết ra giấy, tức là hoàn toàn đoạn tuyệt với máy tính. Với một trường thiên tiểu thuyết hơn 800 trang thì sức viết của ông quả là đáng nể còn sức mạnh cơ tay thì ... miễn bàn. Quốc gia đầu tiên mà Mạc Ngôn ký chuyển giao bản quyền là Việt Nam vì theo ông "con đường mà đất nước Việt Nam đã trải qua rất giống với Trung Quốc". Đây là mấy trivia hình như là có thật về tác phẩm này. Mình không bàn nhiều vì nghe có mùi gió."Sống đọa thác đày" có tên tiếng Trung là "Sinh tử bì lao" là câu chuyện của nhân vật Lam-Ngàn-Năm-Đầu-To kể lại sau khi đã trải qua sáu kiếp luân hồi. Đầu tiên là từ Tây Môn Náo - một địa chủ phong kiến cũ của Trung Quốc - bị bắn nát óc trong cải cách ruộng đất, hồn xuống Địa Phủ nhưng nhất mực kêu oan vì quả thực mặc dù là địa chủ nhưng Tây Môn Náo không hại ai bao giờ. Diêm Vương cho rằng Tây Môn Náo còn nhiều oán nghiệp trên trần gian nên bắt ông đầu thai thành kiếp lừa, kiếp trâu, kiếp lợn, kiếp chó, kiếp khỉ rồi cuối cùng mới trở lại làm Lam-Ngàn-Năm-Đầu-To. Quả thực thật khó tưởng tượng một câu chuyện mang đậm triết lý luân hồi Phật Giáo như vậy lại là con đẻ của một nhà văn gần như vô thần và không nghiên cứu gì về Phật Giáo như Mạc Ngôn. Tác phẩm cũng khái quát cả một giai đoạn lịch sử 50 năm ở vùng nông thôn Trung Quốc từ năm 1950-2000. Có nhiều người cho rằng Mạc Ngôn đã rất khôn ngoan trong cách miêu tả lại những sai lầm khủng khiếp của Trung Quốc trong thời kỳ cải cách ruộng đất và cách mạng văn hóa. Và nhờ vậy, ông đã "lách" được những cặp mặt soi mói của chính quyền. Theo mình thì không đúng. Nhà văn mà khôn ngoan thì có thể trở thành Chủ Tịch Hội Nhà Văn chứ không dành giải Nobel được. Giải Nobel chỉ tôn vinh giá trị văn hóa đích thực mà thôi.Hết tiệc rồi, chán quá. Đi ngủ thôi.

  • Erwin
    2018-10-07 07:54

    3.5*

  • Huy
    2018-09-29 11:05

    Mạc Ngôn là người kể chuyện rất hấp dẫn, những câu chuyện của ông đều hết sức kỳ lạ, sống động, trong những cuốn sách của ông Trung Quốc hiện lên với đầy đủ những hỉ nộ ái ố, thông qua nhân vật Tây Môn Náo bao lần đầu thai chuyển kiếp kéo dài suốt 50 năm là vận mệnh của đất nước Trung Quốc trải qua giai đoạn biến đổi khủng khiếp nhất: cách mạng vô sản thành công, cách mạng văn hóa.Mở đầu bằng một cái chết và kết thúc bằng một sinh linh mới chào đời, Mạc Ngôn như muốn lặp đi lặp lại vòng quay vô tận của cuộc đời, những gì xảy ra hôm nay đã từng xảy ra ở lúc nào đó trong lịch sử hoặc sẽ lại xảy ra vào tương lai.Tuy vậy mình vẫn không mê được giọng văn của Mạc Ngôn, nó chân chất mộc mạc đến mức cục mịch và cảm giác thiếu sự duyên dáng và tinh tế. Nhân vật Mạc Ngôn trong chính cuốn sách làm mình khó chịu hơn cả, tác giả đâu cần phải tự miêu tả Mạc Ngôn là người viết văn hay nhất xứ, tài viết văn bẩm sinh blah blah blah. Mình nghĩ gọi Mạc Ngôn là một người kể chuyện thì sẽ chính xác hơn là một nhà văn.

  • Powell
    2018-10-11 14:50

    The descriptions of life in Communist China were really well done, but the development and pace if the story were way, way too slow. I really enjoyed the first part if the book where the main character, Ximen, was a donkey, and we saw the world through his eyes. His attempts at adapting to life as a donkey were funny and whimsical. After that, everything was told through other characters, and it didn't succeed in holding my interest. Also, the tangents the characters went on were distracting and stalled the pace of the story as well. Wonderfully descriptive, but frightfully slow.

  • Candace Jensen
    2018-10-03 09:46

    A very strange and complex story, although challenging to keep the characters straight sometimes.I loved the magical realism and the blending of historical fiction into the novel. Also, the translation was really excellent and the language is exquisite— very poignant and particular imagery and emotive sentences.I'd recommend the book, but also know that I was glad to be done by the time I got through all 6 reincarnations!

  • Alicia
    2018-09-23 10:58

    Alternating between funny and horrifying, this satire sends executed landowner Ximen Nao through the second half of 20th century China in a variety of reincarnated forms, starting as a donkey and finally ending as a child. In each form, he witnesses the results of the Land Reform Movement and Great Leap Forward into present day China. In spite of the light tone, this is a profoundly disturbing and enlightening look at the impact each change had on the Chinese people.

  • Kris Fernandez-everett
    2018-09-23 13:01

    I felt like I would never finish this book... The last 100 pages finally find its voice -- well written and gripping... The first 450 should have felt that engrossing... Interesting conceit lost in execution... Perhaps some of this was the translation, but all of it can't be... The injection of Mo Yan the character as a somewhat sinister but well meaning observer was of particular annoyance to me... I'll try some of his other books, but not now -- this was quite enough for the time being...

  • Diego Lovegood
    2018-09-30 15:44

    Obra maesta. Fin.Personajes femeninos enormes, perros que toman cervezas, cerdos que escalan árboles, cabelleras con poderes curativos y una familia destinada a la tragedia por generaciones. Se nota el gusto de Mo Yan por García Márquez. Le da un giro oriental maravilloso.Aprendí CALETA sobre la historia de China reciente y puta, agradecido de darle tiempo a esta novelaza eterna.Muy feliz.

  • Chicago Heights Public Library
    2018-09-20 13:10

    [Review - Kyle Craig]I enjoyed this book. Mostly because it was so different to the books I typically read. I'm not sure if that is because of the Chinese perspective or Mo Yan's personal writing style (my guess is a little of both), but is is clear that Mo is a talented writer (even through translation).The book follows a landowner that is unjustly killed (at least from his perspective) for being one of the bourgeoisie during the communist revolution of the 1950's in China. His pride and stubborness won't allow him to accept his fate in the underworld, so the lord of the underworld allows him to retain his memory as he is reincarnated into successive animals (donkey, ox, pig, dog, monkey, and eventually a big-headed (super-intelligent) boy. Throughout his experiences he discovers more about life and death and ultimately about that most-important aspect of life; love. All of his incarnations place him in contact with his family and neighbors (or their offspring), thus retaining ties to his former self, Ximen Nao, and his end goal of exoneration... although it is somewhat unclear how he intended to do that, being dead and all. The story can be broken up into sub-stories for each animal he's reincarnated as and can almost be read separatly, if not for the overarching theme of Ximen Nao. Each reincarnation represents a different period of communism in China. Throughout the book, Mo Yan gently satires the regime, peasants, capitalists, and even himself (he is a recurring character, most often being made fun of by other characters). My opinion is that he is trying to show both the good and bad sides of human nature that arise in whatever situation people find themselves in. For instance, communal communist living can bring about abundance when managed well (as shown with the villiage's initial pig farm and communal farming of the land, but can also bring about corruption, mistrust, and a loss of self. Conversely, capitalism can bring abundance in a different way for individualists and those ready to seize an opportunity, but greed, lonelyness, and a loss of community responsibilities can become lost. There were a number of times when I had to consult my good friend wikipedia to help me understand rural Chinese living, but it was well worth it. I liked viewing the world from the perspective of the animals, too, which were often funny. "A pig lives for three things; to eat, to have sex, and to sleep. I am a pig". But the way he was able to tell a humorous and interesting story using the backdrop of poignent and sometimes painful (like the Cultural Revolution and Famine of the late 50's and early 60's) moments of China's communist history is what really brings this book to life.

  • Teo
    2018-09-20 16:10

    (read in Chinese) One of my favourite books by Mo Yan so far - it's morbid and tragic like the others, but I really like the motif of reincarnation which pulls all the generational stories together. What stood out for me the most was the progression of the character(s) and their attitudes with each cycle of rebirth that the main character Ximen Nao goes through: from the typical traditional Chinese refrain of 冤死 and revenge, to a growing sense of detachment from the human world as each rebirth brings him further from his human self as a landlord. Which works for this story, because it feels like Ximen Nao and the reader are acquiring an increasingly "bird-eye" view of China (which also correlates to the geographical movement of the action - from Gaomi county to the city/province etc. Was reading other reviews of this book on Goodreads (mostly by Western readers) and I was very intrigued by the label of 'magic realism' that they often used. When reading the book it didn't even occur to me that 'magic realism' was even relevant to the tradition of Chinese literature -- in this case the motif of reincarnation/human consciousness in animals was perfectly normal if one were to consider similar ideas on Chinese classics (聊斋、狄公案、包公案 etc). To term it a form of 'magic realism' seems a distortion of what Chinese culture considers to be just 'realism' (though of course this may be an instance of perspectival literary criticism that none of us can avoid). The only unique thing about Mo Yan's approach is probably the telling of the story from the perspective of an anthropomorphic narrator rather than simply employing anthropomorphic elements in third-person. Speaking of anthropomorphism and reincarnation, I suppose this is what made 生死疲劳 such a great book for me - it is an interesting deviation from Mo Yan's typical hallucinatory realism, because the motif of reincarnation introduces a plausible (at least for the Chinese reader) explanation for the seemingly-strange things that happen. Perhaps I'm biased because I'm more conditioned to see reincarnation as a feature of Chinese beliefs, but that's how I see it in any case.

  • Kkraemer
    2018-09-30 08:08

    This is a complex book about complex things. On one level (the level I bought the book for), it's the story of modern China, the story of what happens in one small town as the waves of reform from the revolution roll out. At one point, people celebrate; at another point, they starve. They are united in freedom; they destroy outliers. They raise pigs; they raze their ties with one another. These stories, though, are not told in the straight-on approach of most histories, though, or even of most narratives. Yes, it does start with the beginning -- one soul's emergence from hell -- and it does have a flashback to why that soul had spent the last 5 years there, but then it moves forward from a number of perspectives because, when that soul emerges, it's no longer a landowner; it's a donkey. The donkey is a sort of yin/yang sort of narrator: half man who recalls his past life and watches his own family and friends, and half donkey who takes pride in working hard. Later, the story is told by the soul as an ox, a pig, a dog, a monkey, and finally, a big-headed baby...each in turn, each watching from their own perspective.The other story is that of the soul's journey to learn how to be a good human again. That's the story I didn't expect, and the one I will ponder over time. I'm also looking at animals in a very different way.this is a demanding read.

  • Rodrigo
    2018-10-09 07:47

    Mi primer lectura de Mo Yan, y me quedó claro por qué ganó el Nobel. Una saga familiar en la que, al mismo tiempo, nos cuenta la historia de la China contemporánea... Interesante, aunque no parecería muy original. Lo maravilloso de esta novela es, por un lado, la narrativa y por otro, el recurso. La forma de Mo Yan de narrar es ágil, fácil de leer, con un gran ritmo, y al mismo tiempo descriptiva, llegando a veces a ser hasta poética. En cuanto al recurso, las sucesivas reencarnaciones de Ximen Nao (burro, buey, cerdo, perro, mono y niño) son simplemente brillantes. Disfruté especialmente las partes del burro, el cerdo y el perro. Puede llegar a ser confuso a veces, por tantos nombres parecidos, pero al final (¡sobre todo ese final!) se disfruta mucho. Sin duda, no fue la última de Mo Yan que leí.

  • Chase
    2018-09-22 16:03

    This is the first Mo Yan book I've read. The premise is kind of wacky: a tour through 50 years of Chinese history through the eyes of an executed landlord who is reincarnated first as a donkey, then an ox, then a pig, then a dox, then a monkey and finally as a boy. But Mo Yan pulls it off through lively writing that keeps things from being predictable or trite. The book deals with a lot of sadness but does so with a sense of humor that for the most part humanizes the tragic situations it describes. The book is is probably about 100 pages too long, and the author lost my interest at times, but overall I would highly recommend this book.

  • Alina Maria Ciobanu
    2018-10-07 11:50

    "Life and Death are Wearing Me Out" is a chronicle of the life in communist China during the second half of the 20th century. Mo Yan's novel tells the story of a Chinese landowner who, after being executed during a land reform, returns on Earth, to his homeland, in a series of reincarnations as various animals. Through the eyes of this lively storyteller, with a very sharp sense of humor, we witness 50 years of Chinese history, starting from the Great Leap Forward and ending on the eve of the 21st century.

  • Mari
    2018-10-06 13:09

    Mielenkiintoinen aihe, mutta tiivistäminen olisi voinut auttaa tarinan vetävyydessä. Plussaa kirjan alussa olevasta henkilöluettelosta, muuten olisin varmaan ollut välillä ihan hukassa. Kivaa, kun Mo Yania käännetään. En tiedä/ muista juuri mitään Kiinan historiasta.