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It is a lie to say a writer can produce great work under complete freedom, and it is also false to say that a writer can produce great work under a restricted environment," he said.|
"The key is a writer's thoughts deep in his heart."
When asked which book he would recommend to readers in the West, he picked his latest work, Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out.
The book covers peasant life in China from 1950 to 2000.
"It reflects the historic change of contemporary China."
As for censorship, Mo said he disliked it, but believed it was necessary, like intrusive security checks and was present in all societies.
"I resent all kinds of censorship just like I don't like the security check before entering embassies and boarding planes. They even require you to take off your shoes and belts. But I think censorship, just like security checks, is necessary. I think news censorship virtually exists in every country, even though the criteria and standard may vary," he said.
Mo was wearing a black suit and his shirt revealed a tantalizing hint of Chinese culture, according to a leading fashion designer.
"The shirt is designed with a pattern stamped from a Chinese seal with the characters for Mo Yan, his pen name," Chen Bei, creator and designer with leading fashion brand Beistyle, told China Daily. Chen designed all the clothes for Mo and his family for the Stockholm trip.
"The seemingly casual combination of numerous seals on hemp cloth actually follows a design," Chen said, adding she believed clothes speak their own language.
"To Mo, the language is simple and intelligent, it's both international and Chinese, and with great taste," Chen said.
The Beijing-based Chinese designer has spent a decade in Paris and counts French writers, actresses and politicians as her clients.
Chen is adept at combining Chinese elements to Western cuts, which she hopes will send out welcoming signals to the international audience.
She has applied the language of design to Mo and also to outfits for Mo's wife and daughter who traveled with him. Mo is to deliver a keynote lecture on Friday.
He said he spent two days writing his speech, and he plans to "talk about truth and talk about himself".
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