Mo Yan responses before and after the Nobel Prize committee told him by phone he had been picked for the Literature Prize 2012. He was at his father's home at the time. CCTV translations of the interview from the Chinese:
"I don't want to talk about the Nobel Prize, because every word about the prize will be criticised. Many people criticise that Chinese writers have anxiety about the Nobel Prize, and I have received more criticisms like this than others."
"(I was) very surprised upon winning the prize because I felt I was not very senior in terms of qualification (among Chinese writers). There are many good writers and my ranking was not so high. The Nobel Literature Prize is a very important literature prize, but not the top award. It represents the opinions of the jury. I am satisfied with my major works and I still keep writing by hand."
Other reported responses.
Xue Yongwu, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Journalism and Communication with Ocean University of China:
"The prize came a little late. There have been many accomplished writers of modern and contemporary literature in China, including Lu Xun, Ba Jin and Mao Dun, many of who should have won the prize earlier. China's ancient literature, which extends back thousands of years, has been widely acknowledged. Language has also been a barrier. Only a small proportion of Chinese literature has been translated into foreign languages, mainly English. The quality of some translated editions also needs improvement."
Xu Yan, literary critic:
"A Nobel Prize is not the sole standard for judging the achievements of a writer. Prizes presented by different organizations adopt various evaluation criteria."
Zhang Hongsheng, dean of the Literature Department of the Communication University of China:
"The prize is a positive sign that the West has begun to recognize Chinese literature. But it's an acknowledgement of individual efforts, and the Chinese literary revival still has a long way to go. Chinese elements are the last to lose in successful writings."