Murong Xuecun: China’s most outspoken novelist on being a “word criminal”

This has been cross-posted from the New York Times with permission.

Word Crimes from Jonah Kessel on Vimeo.

“The worst effect of the censorship is the psychological impact on writers,” Murong said. “When I was working on my first book, I didn’t care whether it would be published, so I wrote whatever I wanted. Now, after I have published a few books, I can clearly feel the impact of censorship when I write. For example, I’ll think of a sentence, and then realize that it will for sure get deleted. Then I won’t even write it down. This self-censoring is the worst.”