Ma Jian Quotes

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In 1989, I was on Tiananmen Square with the students, living in their makeshift tents and joining their jubilant singing of the Internationale. In the two decades since, each time that I have gone back, visions from those days seem to return with increasing persistence.
Ma Jian

Living in London is like being on a luxury cruise liner.
Red Dust was about the late 1980s; it was a time of burgeoning hopes and opening up and people searching for new ways.
Ma Jian
I believe that the Tibetans should have the right to control their own destinies and decide for themselves whether they want to be part of China or not. But this view isn't shared by most Chinese, or even the leaders of most Western democracies. As long as the Communist Party is in power, there is little hope for Tibet.
Ma Jian
I am trying to persuade my family to spend more time in China. It's no fun to be in exile. I can't even figure out the basic 26 letters, let alone operate, in English. I often feel that although I've found the sky of freedom above my head, I've lost the soil I stand on. I need to be back in my motherland, where I can find inspirations.
Ma Jian
Only when you are aware of the uniqueness of everyone's individual body will you begin to have a sense of your own self-worth.
Ma Jian
I left Beijing in the late 1980s to live in Hong Kong because, having been blacklisted by the government, I couldn't publish my works on the mainland.
Ma Jian
The Chinese people have been forced to forget the Tiananmen massacre. There has been no public debate about the event, no official apology. The media aren't allowed to mention it. Still today people are being persecuted and imprisoned for disseminating information about it.
Ma Jian
I believe that the power of literature is stronger than the power of tyranny.
Ma Jian
I am completely in favour of dialogue and engagement. But it must be a true, open dialogue.
Ma Jian
While I was writing 'Stick Out Your Tongue' in Beijing, the police began knocking on my door again. As soon as I finished the book, I moved to Hong Kong so that I could work undisturbed on my next novel.
Ma Jian
After the Tiananmen Massacre, I felt compelled not only to continue writing but to actively resist the restrictions placed on freedom of speech. I set up the publishing company in Hong Kong, with offices in Shenzhen in mainland China, and managed to publish works of fiction, philosophy, and politics by unapproved authors.
Ma Jian
In my 20s, when I was a photojournalist in Beijing. I joined an underground art group and put on clandestine exhibitions of my paintings.
Ma Jian
Beijing Coma took me 10 years to finish.
My hope is that the Chinese government will come to realise that it is futile to repress free speech, and that contrary to what they believe a regime's strength rests not its suppression of a plurality of opinions and ideas, but in its capacity and willingness to encourage them.
Ma Jian
In February of this year I returned to China to research my next book. The authorities know about the novels of mine that have been published in the west, including the latest one, Beijing Coma, about a student shot in Tiananmen Square, but so far have allowed me to return.
Ma Jian
Living in London is like being on a luxury cruise liner.
When history is erased, people's moral values are also erased.
When people are poor, they find ways of making things taste like fish.
The great quality of the 'Three Kingdoms' is that it seems to encapsulate and portray every facet of the Chinese personality.
Ma Jian
China is completely lacking in self-awareness and as someone who has stepped outside that society, I have a responsibility to write about it as I see it.
Ma Jian
If you exile a writer, however free the country he is sent to, there will always be a sense of internal constraint.
Ma Jian
It is vitally important for me, both personally and for my writing, to be able to return to China freely, so being barred entry has caused me deep concern and distress.
Ma Jian
Tyrannies not only want to control your mind and thoughts but your flesh as well.
Ma Jian
The Chinese have made a faustian pact with the government, agreeing to forsake demands for political and intellectual freedom in exchange for more material comfort. They live prosperous lives in which any expression of pain is forbidden.
Ma Jian
I have to live within my memories, within my private universe, and continually return to China, the land where my thoughts are locked. This is a very painful kind of existence, this feeling of nowhereness.
Ma Jian
I am a writer. Being critical is a writer's responsibility.
I left Beijing in 1987, shortly before my books were banned there, but have returned continually.
Ma Jian
To become self-aware, people must be allowed to hear a plurality of opinions and then make up their own minds. They must be allowed to say, write and publish whatever they want. Freedom of expression is the most basic, but fundamental, right. Without it, human beings are reduced to automatons.
Ma Jian
When the written and spoken word is censored, the urban landscape becomes a nation's only physical link to the past.
Ma Jian
I wanted to analyse and understand how the Chinese people could have their lives so crushed by fear.
Ma Jian
Whatever China I'd been born into, I would probably still have become a painter – I loved sketching portraits as a child, and began art classes at the age 7. But if China hadn't been under Maoist rule, I might never have become a writer.
Ma Jian
I meant that the Chinese people are not aware of their own entrapment. They believe they live in a free society, but don't realize how much they are being monitored and controlled, how much the information they receive is restricted and warped, until they step out of line, that is, and feel the heavy hand of the state fall on them.
Ma Jian
On the face of it, China has won the Olympics. But it is not China that has won, but the Communist party. The Chinese people have lost.
Ma Jian
The Beijing Olympics represent China's grand entrance onto the world stage and confirmation of its new superpower status.
Ma Jian
'Three Kingdoms' gives you a panoply of different routes; everyone can find their own path. It shows that sometimes the route to fulfilment or success is not the obvious one. You must take twists and turns to achieve a goal.
Ma Jian