The Republic of Wine

The Republic of Wine In this hypnotic epic novel Mo Yan the most critically acclaimed Chinese writer of this generation takes us on a journey to a conjured province of contemporary China known as the Republic of Wine a

  • Title: The Republic of Wine
  • Author: Mo Yan Howard Goldblatt
  • ISBN: 9781611457292
  • Page: 174
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this hypnotic epic novel, Mo Yan, the most critically acclaimed Chinese writer of this generation, takes us on a journey to a conjured province of contemporary China known as the Republic of Wine a corrupt and hallucinatory world filled with superstitions, gargantuan appetites, and surrealistic events When rumors reach the authorities that strange and excessive gourmanIn this hypnotic epic novel, Mo Yan, the most critically acclaimed Chinese writer of this generation, takes us on a journey to a conjured province of contemporary China known as the Republic of Wine a corrupt and hallucinatory world filled with superstitions, gargantuan appetites, and surrealistic events When rumors reach the authorities that strange and excessive gourmandise is being practiced in the city of Liquorland so named for the staggering amount of alcohol produced and consumed there , veteran special investigator Ding Gou er is dispatched from the capital to discover the truth His mission begins at the Mount Lou Coal Mine, where he encounters the prime suspect Deputy Head Diamond Jin, legendary for his capacity to hold his liquor During the ensuing drinking duel at a banquet served in Ding s honor, the investigator loses all sense of reality, and can no longer tell whether the roast suckling served is of the animal or human variety When he finally wakes up from his stupor, he has still found no answers to his rapidly mounting questions Worse yet, he soon finds that his trusty gun is missing Interspersed throughout the narrative and Ding s faltering investigation are letters sent to Mo Yan by one Li Yidou, a doctoral candidate in Liquor Studies and an aspiring writer Each letter contains a story that Li would like the renowned author s help in getting published However, Li s tales, each fantastic and malevolent than the last, soon begin alarmingly to resemble the story of Ding s continuing travails in Liquorland Peopled by extraordinary characters a dwarf, a scaly demon, a troupe of plump, delectable boys raised in captivity, a cookery teacher who primes her students with monstrous recipes Mo Yan s revolutionary tour de force reaffirms his reputation as a writer of world standing Wild, bawdy, politically explosive, and subversive, The Republic of Wine is both mesmerizing and exhilarating, proving that no repressive regime can stifle true creative imagination.

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      174 Mo Yan Howard Goldblatt
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      Posted by:Mo Yan Howard Goldblatt
      Published :2019-02-09T15:38:48+00:00

    One thought on “The Republic of Wine”

    1. Strong Eats Weak - in a surreal feast of exaggeration and grotesque! An allegory on the extreme inhumanity of people with absolute power, this novel is not for the faint of heart. I suggest trying if you can stomach A Modest Proposal, which is short and more rational, and if the (reluctant) answer is yes, you may be able to enter the culinary brutality of Mo Yan's Republic Of Wine. A fantastical literary contribution to magical realism, it is also typical of his ruthless description of human exp [...]

    2. I read a lot of weird shit in fiction, but I draw the line at people eating babiesI don’t care what the allegory is about, I don’t care how artful the imagery is and how poetic the language may be, if it involves vivid descriptions of people eating babies then consider me thoroughly disgusted. The Republic of Wine is not a book for the faint hearted or for the squeamish; it is not a book for most readers. It uses some truly revolting themes to overtly capture its political message. It is dir [...]

    3. “The relationship between man and liquor embodies virtually all the contradiction involved in the process of human existence and development.”Ethyl alcohol is one of the most amusing liquid man has ever produced. Akin to meeting a boorish stranger, the first swig is not a friendly gesture, burning the innards as the alluring golden liquid tumbles down the desperate throat. But, the kiss of the second swig brings a faint smile that widens throughout the breezy evening. And, then as the silent [...]

    4. The Republic of Wine is a book of extremes and exaggerations. As the lone drunk staggering home from the bar goes in circles and trips over his own legs, the narrative of the story blurs, refers to itself, and gets lost in its own trains of thought. But unlike most drunken reveries, this is one worth listening to sober. The first 'story' in this book is of a detective, Ding Gou'er, who investigates stories of a corrupt mining village where the party bosses eat children. This is a reference to Lu [...]

    5. Let them understand that food and drink play an important role not only in the physiological process, but in the processes of spiritual molding and aesthetic appreciation.My wife and I were about to watch a film the other night when I spoke loudly during the previews, it is becoming increasingly difficult to appreciate film when the screen is constantly being obscured by references: I'm getting too old. My appreciation for Republic of Wine thus pivoted on these gross, overbearing metaphors: A to [...]

    6. যেই অল্প কয়টা চৈনিক বই পড়েছি, তার বেশ কয়েকটায় দেখলাম লোকজনরে কোনো না কোনো কারণে যমজ মনে হচ্ছে। যমজের আধিক্য বেশি কী না চীনে, কে জানে। একটা জনপদের দেখতে এক রকম বলা ত আবার রাজনৈতিক অশুদ্ধাচার। এ [...]

    7. Mo Yan has delivered a totally engrossing book here. Actually, what you get are three books to the price of one: There is the main story about special investigator Ding Gou´er, who is sent from Beijing to the provincial capital Jiuguo (the Schnapps-Town, and eponym of the book), to investigate rumors of politicians and other VIPs who allegedly cook and eat little children. This is also a epistolary novel, in which letters are exchanged between Li Yidou, Ph.dnd in alcohol science, and aspiring w [...]

    8. I would like not to have had to rate this book, but for a reader to write a recommendation, GoodReads requires a rating. I can see why Mo Yan might have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, because his writing style is unique to say the least. His descriptions are somewhat similar to that of Franz Kafka, fanciful, weird, and often irrational. For that reason alone, I stuck with the book until the end although I admit to skimming portions of it.The story is all about an inspector who is sent to a [...]

    9. Those who have spent time in China in any kind of institutional capacity know that exotic eating and excessive drinking can hardly be avoided (if one is inclined to avoid). Mo Yan's "The Republic of Wine" satirizes this situation, especially as it exists in official government circles, with the creation of Liquorland, a place that gives excess new meaning. Connoisseurs drink, among other strange things, "Ape Liquor," a drink actually produced by apes, and long to eat the wonderful dish "Braised [...]

    10. per il surreale? di qua, pregoebbene si, anche l'impenetrabile Mo Yan si arrende al realismo isterico e sforna un racconto surreale che più postmoderno non si potrebbel'ispettore chiamato a indagare su "una faccenda di bambini brasati" viene coinvolto in una colossale sbornia, come l'autore Mo Yan invitato nel paese dell'alcol, questo il significato del nome Jiuguo, il ridente borgo (certo che ridono se sono tutti ubriachi) famoso per la produzione di alcolici in cui si ambienta la storia, e en [...]

    11. Quite brilliant and incredibly strange. Also fun, confounding and disgusting. The Republic of Wine reads like a philosophical treatise on drunkenness written by a drunken drunk. At first it's a hallucinatory crime drama about the sexual misadventures of a hard-drinking detective, but that is quickly interrupted by an epistolary episode. The narrative then laces letters between the author and a doctor of liquor studies.These interruptions, which become increasingly meta-fictional, contain stories [...]

    12. This was really bad. I don't care if it was an allusion or a clever metaphor, there was way to much violence, animal cruelty and straight-up nonsense. Not to mention the graphic descriptions of ehem, cannibalism. This was read for class btw, I wouldn't have suffered like this willingly, sigh

    13. An article in today's NY Times made me think of this book. Here's the link:nytimes/2008/03/08/wor Read the article, and then read the book (unless you are Leslie. Hi Les! This book is not for you, it will make you queasy. Sorry.) I read The Republic of Wine in a course on post-Mao film and literature, and l-o-v-e-d it. (By the way, if anyone out there would like the book and/or film list from that course, let me know - it completely changed my understanding of contemporary China, and the works a [...]

    14. Professional reviews seem to put the emphasis on the social critique, so honestly, I thought I was in for a boring read.Ha! Once you get past the dry format (correspondence so XVIII century), you're in for some incredible stories. Yes, they are "hallucinatory", but I'd call it that only because there's no better word for it. You get pulled in a web of interlaced events featuring a lot of drunkenness, very weird food and colorful characters. The more they drink, the more it seems like the author [...]

    15. Here, as in most of Mo Yan's novels, you get a parade of grotesque characters and bizarre, outlandish situations. The main narrative involves an investigator trying to uncover the truth behind rumors about cannibalism of kids (pizzagate anyone?) in a rural Chinese town.Even though none of the characters are remotely sympathetic, the story itself would have been able to maintain interest if not for the writer's insistence to interrupt the flow every now and then with a series of short stories tha [...]

    16. Un Mo Yan ancora più surreale e metaletterario del solito.Il paese dell'alcol l'ho trovato sì, un'allegoria della Cina che "mangia i propri figli", (vedi i fatti di Tian'anmen avvenuti poco prima del romanzo stesso), sì una satira della tendenza cinese all'esagerare con cibo e alcol anche in occasioni che riguardano il lavoro, ma per me contiene anche una profonda riflessione su cosa sia la letteratura, il suo scopo e significato (un mezzo per raccontare la verità attraverso la finzione) e l [...]

    17. This is a book that you win a Nobel prize for. This is the book to read if you were confused by the Nobel committee's use of the term "hallucinatory realism." It styles itself as a novel, but it is a novel in a innovative style comparable perhaps to David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Unfortunately, just like the other works of Mo Yan, this novel is extremely Chinese. It is difficult to grasp many of the finer points in the translation, and the connections the author draws between food, drink, [...]

    18. Hmmmm. Don’t know want to make of this. Is it brilliant? A carefully crafted critique of China’s corrupt elite? Or just a bizarre surrealistic tale? I have no idea.The story more or less revolves around special investigator Ding Gou’er, who is sent to the city of Liquorland to look into rumours that city officials are eating children. Yep, eating children. But interspersed with that story is correspondence between Li Yidou, an aspiring writer, and Mo Yan, the author of the novel. The corre [...]

    19. Trink, trink, Brüderlein, trink!Die Chinesen sind magengesteuert. Angedeutet hat sich das für mich schon immer bei der Beschäftigung mit China; richtig klar wurde es mir, nachdem ich Eine Himmelsreise: China in sechs Gängen gelesen hatte. Vor kaum etwas schrecken die Ostasiaten zurück: Was sich bewegt, kann gegessen werden. Doch der Hintergrund dieses Buchs lässt selbst den Schlangentopf-gewohnten Kantonesen erstarren - in der Stadt Jiuguo sollen hochrangige Funktionäre kleine Kinder esse [...]

    20. I feel bad giving this three, but I can't just keep giving everything four.Mo Yan writes his books by hand very quickly with little editing, and this is exactly how they read: Mo Yan writes with an incredible amount of energy, and you are often taken on tangents that lead you right where you started out from. Sometimes a little more coherence would be welcome, but this being said there is very definitely a coherent overarching structure to the book as a whole.Every writer since Pynchon that has [...]

    21. Tak sobie wyobrażam osobę, która sięga po tę książkę myśląc, że czeka go naturalistyczny obraz Chin. Zresztą wydawca zadbał o to, żeby tak ją sprzdać, na okładce stoi jak byk "prawda o Chinach nie jest piękna". No więc taka osoba, która spodziewa się Nędzników z Pekinu musi przeżyć niezły szok. "Kraina wódki" jest rozbuchana pod każdym względem - formy, w której opowieść przeplata się z korespondencją Mo Yana, języka skrzącego się od jadeitowych kryształów [...]

    22. The Republic of Wine is clearly a great piece of satire. It is beyond funny and one can equate it to other great works and the author to great artists from Joyce to Waugh to Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. But for most American readers, and probably most non-Chinese writers, to say you really get most of it would be highly disingenuous. The translation by Goldblatt is probably a masterpiece in and of itself. One reviewer suggested that some annotations explaining many of the references in the book would [...]

    23. „Dla naszego wywodu doniosłe znaczenie ma natomiast fakt, że powstałem w wyniku połączenia odurzonego plemnika mojego ojca z odurzonym jajeczkiem mojej matki, i że to właśnie zdecydowało o moim losie i o jego nierozerwalnym związku z alkoholem.”Rozpoczynając czytanie książki autorstwa tego chińskiego pisarza, stwierdziłam zjawisko bardzo łatwego wpadnięcia w stan upojenia alkoholowego, bez ani jednej jego materialnej kropli. Z drugiej strony, może książka okazałaby się [...]

    24. Demonic Realism is what Mo Yan prefers in his writings. I have always been intrigued by the real China. I chose Mo Yan, first he is not a conventional anti-communist writer, second- he had used his delusionary realistic writing aspects to write a satire about the communist state of China.It is an erudite read for non chinese like me. There are cultural symbols which I even dont know are the ones, used by Mo Yan in this book, for example a swallow's nest. It is just one example but we coming acro [...]

    25. The translation is a bit awkward and the plot is so bizarre that I gave up trying to figure it out and just enjoyed the unending stream of bizarre images and ridiculously descriptive prose. Mo Yan seems to definitely be a "more is more!" kind of writer and goes over the top of the top in describing things. Just be aware that the central plot point of the book is a government detective sent to a fictional province of China to investigate rumors that the party officals and high mucky mucks have be [...]

    26. მო იენი ძალიან მაგარი მწერალია. ეს წიგნი არის საუკეთესო ღვინის ბოთლი, გენიალურ ალეგორიებს რომ თავი დავანებოთ, ისეთი სტილი და შინაარსი აქვს რომ კითხვისას გეჩვენება თითქოს თვრები, რეალობა დ [...]

    27. Probably the most accurate textual rendering I've ever encountered of being inebriated. Now prepare to be reading like a drunkard for 250 pages. Pretty amazing if you think about it, but it wasn't cohesive enough to achieve its potential. Exciting though.

    28. Читається зі змішеним відчуттям огиди й цікавості Але має право на Нобелівську премію

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