Chapter 60: Using Mo Yan's Prize Acceptance Speech!
"It's gone mad! Everyone has gone mad!"
"How many votes did she say!? Did I hear wrongly?"
"Is that true? Isn't this result just shooting out of the universe?"
"How can there be so many!? It isn't scientific! Really too unscientific!"
"150,000? The dozen or so works from the Writers' Association combined have fewer than Zhang Ye's votes alone?"
"And it's really true! One against ten! Complete victory!"
"All the Teachers from the Writers' Association combined lost out to him? Holy ****!"
Too many people could not believe their ears. It was too unbelievable!
More than 150,000 votes? What did this mean? This meant that it was going against the Heavens! Others may not understand this, but how could they, as people from the radio station, not understand? This was because the poetry meet was special and it had an upper limit to the amount of attention it could garner. Every year's Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet was not broadcast on television; it was just broadcast live through the radio. The year before last's Hebei province's Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet had an old man from the Hebei Writers' Association for its champion. He won weakly with about 23,000 votes. And last year, the champion of the Jinshi Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet was an operatic actor from the Jinshi literary circles. As he had used the moon as his topic and performed an operatic piece, he won with an undisputable 37,000 votes!
Even considering all the previous years, the number of votes the champion garnered had never exceeded 50,000 votes!
However, this year, what had happened in the Beijing Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet? Alright, Beijing had more people, so it had greater influence than provinces like Jinshi or Beihe. The Beijing Radio Station's frequencies provided a greater coverage area than even provinces like Tianjin and Hebei could broadcast to, but it should not have been so ridiculous!
Are you all f***ing pumping stimulants!?
And what was most shocking was that "Shuidiao Getou" had only about 20 minutes of voting time! It was not even half an hour! 150,000+ votes! This far exceeded everyone's imagination and beliefs. Hence, no one had thought of this possibility! This was because it was too unreal! But the fact was that Zhang Ye had done it! "Shuidiao Getou" had done it! Zhang Ye had used a melody poem that he came up with on the spot to create such a Heaven-defying miracle!
No one questioned the authenticity of the votes. Everyone knew this was not a statistical error, as the two notaries were present. They were monitoring the entire process!
Big Thunder remained silent!
Little Red Mushroom and Zheng Anbang turned sullen!
Meng Dongguo choked to the point of not being able to say a word. He moved his lips, but no words could come out from them!
Zhang Ye, this person who Meng Dongguo and the Writers' Association looked down upon and said did not know literature! He had used a single "Shuidiao Getou" to smack them all in the face! And it was the type of smacking that slapped them repeatedly! Their faces were really swollen! Meng Dongguo had only obtained 40,000 votes! The ten thousands spot of Zhang Ye's vote numbers were more than his by 10,000 votes! Zhang Ye's single vote count exceeded their combined vote count by a lot more! Wasn't this a smack in the face? Describing it as hanging them on a tree while smacking them wasn't too much! It was even too light a description!
Zhang Ye was an amateur?
All of you are the professionals?
Meng Dongguo, Big Thunder and company's ravings were still echoing in their ears. Just thinking of those words, those members from the Writers' Association who had come with them felt their faces turn green. They had disgraced themselves along with Meng Dongguo! They were completely ashamed! They had been pulled into this for no reason!
"Who is the real amatuer?"
It was as if they could see the evening news' headlines for tonight!
Speaking of this, up until now, Big Thunder still did not understand how "Shuidiao Getou" managed to garner so many votes. He admitted that this melody poem was extremely well-written, but it shouldn't be so exaggerated. The commoners also liked it that much? 150,000 votes? About half of those tuning into the Mid-Autumn Poetry Meet had voted for "Shuidiao Getou"?
Zhang Huo was very relieved, and was most gratified. He was very happy to see this scene. It was time for someone to kill these so-called expert Teachers' momentum and their unrelenting words. Just because of these expert Teachers' baseless rhetoric and unrelenting words, how much public controversy had they caused in society over the past few years? Maybe, as Zhang Huo was in the news-reporting business, his philosophy was that as public figures, one had to respect the facts and be proper with their words. If they spoke blindly, then they could mislead the public, causing great harm!
Just because of a few words from them, how much criticism did Zhang Ye endure? They nearly ruined an excellent and great poet! If Zhang Ye did not have a good psyche, he would not have been able to create this work today. Zhang Huo firmly believed that if "Shuidiao Getou" was killed in its infancy, then it would have been a great loss to the cultural world! The entire People's Republic would suffer!
Thankfully, Zhang Ye had not been disappointed, and was not put down by those words. In fact, he became braver, despite the setbacks. And for this, Zhang Huo gave Zhang Ye a huge thumbs up in his heart!
He had really made the Beijing Radio Station proud!
Zhang Huo raised his microphone, "Let us congratulate Teacher Zhang Ye in becoming the champion with an overwhelming number of votes for 'Shuidiao Getou'! It is well-deserved!"
A round of applause exploded!
The female host, Sun Mengjie, said, "Next, let's invite the top three placed Teachers onstage for them to say a few words to our listeners."
Big Sis Zhou laughed, "Little Zhang, quickly go!"
"They are calling for you. Hurry, hurry!" Aunt Sun urged.
Another colleague slapped him on his shoulder, feeling excited for him, "You sure are awesome! I thought you wouldn't be able to enter the top ten! In the end, you obtained first place!"
Zhao Guozhou was also laughing, "Hurry up and go, Little Zhang. Say a few words. You deserve this honor."
Zhang Ye could only squeeze out and walk towards the stage from the back of the auditorium.
When he reached the stage, he saw that Meng Dongguo, who was sitting in the first row, was shaking his hand at the host. He had no intention of going up!
Zheng Anbang, who had obtained third place, decided not to go up and embarrass himself once he saw that Vice-President Meng had no intentions of going up. What glory was there with third place? In his opinion, it was shameful and humiliating! Zheng Anbang also shook his hand, indicating to the host that he was not going up onto the stage.
Zhang Huo also ignored Meng Dongguo and company as he smiled. "Then let's invite this meet's champion, who is also my colleague, Teacher Zhang Ye, to say a few words."
What should he say?
This fellow, Zhang Ye, was a person who bore grudges. He glanced at Meng Dongguo and company. Although he knew that at this moment, they were full of wounds and scars, he still made it his obligation to add another stab, "Actually there's nothing much to say. I'll just thank everyone for your support. I am a half-past-six poet and am indeed an amateur. I do not know if my poems have any literary value or if it is art. I have also not considered these while composing this poem. As long as everyone likes it, and everyone acknowledges me, I think it is enough!"
What was adding fuel to the fire?
This was what adding fuel to the fire was!
What was rubbing salt in one's wound?
This was f***ing rubbing salt into one's wound!
Below, Meng Dongguo, Big Thunder and company's faces were flashing red and white. They had never expected this newcomer with surname of Zhang to still be mentioning this thing! He refused to let this go!
Zhang Huo was clearly unsatisfied, "Teacher Zhang, please say a few more words."
"Yes. From the messages from our listeners, they want to hear you talk about things regarding literature, such as producing works, or for example, the value of literature." Sun Mengjie added.
Really say his thoughts?
Zhang Ye could not help but have a headache.
He could speak very well and was a broadcast major. All he relied on was his mouth. Since it was his profession, how could he not be able to speak? But this fellow was, most of the time, saying things ad verbatim. It was the same with how he learned in university. If not, he could tease and scold others, which was also what he was good at. But if he had to say something decent, such as speaking seriously about literature, he would be grasping at straws. There was no other way. He did not have the ability.
What should he do?
And it had to have literary value?
Eh. Zhang Ye had a flash of brilliance. I got it!
Zhang Ye pondered over it and decided to use the Nobel prize winner from his world, Mo Yan's*, words in his acceptance speech. He nearly recited it ad verbatim, "Alright, then. Then I will seriously repeat myself. I want to thank my family and friends. Their wisdom and friendship shines through my work."
Mo Yan's original words were as such.
These words might not mean much to others, but it had a deep meaning for Zhang Ye.
Then he carried on Mo Yan's acceptance speech, "Just now, we talked about the value of literature. My personal understanding of it is actually very simple. In comparison to science, literature indeed has no practical use. Yet the greatest function of literature is perhaps its lack of function." With a nod, "Thank you, everyone. I've finished speaking."
Upon hearing this, Meng Dongguo was dumbfounded.
Big Thunder and Little Red Mushroom also gave a surprise look at each other!
Zhang Huo's eyes lit up and sighed, "Teacher Zhang Ye keeps saying that he doesn't know art and is an amateur, but his final words have perfectly revealed what sort of literary quality Teacher Zhang has. This is the most thought-provoking acceptance speech that I have heard in the past few years. Let us once again give a round of applause of Teacher Zhang!"
As people applauded, they were deep in thought.
Some people did not understand it, but others could understand a tiny bit!
The greatest function of literature is perhaps its lack of function? Those dozen or so Teachers from the Writers' Association stared at Zhang Ye, who was walking off the stage. This was the first time that they garnered interest in him, a broadcast host who had written "Shuidiao Getou". An "amateur" poet who had managed to completely destroy predecessor authors, them! A just over 20-year-old young man who could say such an acceptance speech! The things that Zhang Ye had managed to display were things that they could not ignore!
In the middle of the back seat rows.
The moment Zhang Ye returned, everyone began to speak!
"Congratulations, Teacher Zhang!" an editor said.
"You have made our Literature Channel famous!" Aunt Sun was gratified.
"I already said Teacher Little Zhang was formidable. Look at Little Zhang's words; they are so philosophical. Uh, although I didn't understand the meaning behind it." Big Sis Zhou laughed.
Wang Xiaomei, who had her eyes closed, opened her eyes and said, "Teacher Little Zhang's mention of function might be referring to the creative powers in actual life. How it can have considerable influence and effect on this materialistic society. For example, science can build skyscrapers and dams, but literature is unable to have such an effect. However, the biggest function of literature is its lack of function. This meaning of this sentence is that because literature is unable to cause a materialistic effect on other things like other culture, giving the greatest satisfaction from the item, it is not confined to this physical world, but it can have endless sublimation at the spiritual level. It has a pioneering effect on man's soul. This, then, is its best function. At least, this is how I understand it."
"So that's how it is."
"If not for Teacher Xiaomei's analysis, I would have never understood it."
Actually, Zhang Ye disagreed with Wang Xiaomei's understanding. The explanation of how literature may appear useless, but actually had a use to it, was completely opposite of what he felt. It was because it was useless that made literature great. This was what he wanted to express, and probably what Mo Yan wanted to express, as well. However, Zhang Ye did not refute this or give an explanation. If you got it, you got it. If you understood a different meaning, then so be it. There was no need to distinguish. It was up to one's interpretation. If literature was also one equals one, two equals two, A equals A, B equals B, and did not have multiple interpretations, then literature would not be called literature.
Zhao Guozhou clearly was very interested in that sentence, "Little Zhang, your melody poem was well-written, and your acceptance speech was also very well-said. Not only did you exceed others in poetry, you have even exceeded others in the understanding of literature! Rest assured, no one will ever dare to say that you do not know anything about art!"
Aunt Sun sighed, "Little Zhang sure is formidable. He can write supernatural novels, fairy tales, modern poems and ancient poems. See, even a simple acceptance speech is enough to shock everyone. Hai, is there anything that you do not know how to do?"
Zhang Ye hurriedly said, "All of you are flattering me. I just said those words without thought. It's not that serious."
The acceptance speech was well-said?
That was definite!
Who was Mo Yan? The people from this world may not know, as in this world, no one from the People's Republic had won the Nobel Prize in Literature. However, Mo Yan was famous in his world. He was a person who really stood at the pinnacle of literature. For a person at the peak, he was a real master, so how could what he said be bad!?
A simple acceptance speech had once again made him well-known!
Anyway, Zhang Ye had really stolen the show today!
*Mo Yan was the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2012. His real name is Guan Moye, better known by his pen name, Mo Yan, which means "don't talk." The phrase mentioned in this novel was said not according to script, as he had previously declared that he had forgotten the written version (as sent to the Nobel Foundation for publication and subtitling) in his hotel room. His given speech differs, therefore, in parts to the published speech.