The Washington Post writes about author Yan Lianke and the art of literary censorship in China:
China has come a long way from the days of Mao Zedong, when singing the praises of socialism was virtually the only form of art allowed by the party. But the principle has remained the same. The party still has a giant bureaucracy with broad authority to control what Chinese hear, see and read. After nearly 30 years of reforms set in motion by Deng Xiaoping, censorship is arguably the least changed aspect of the party’s rule.
As a result, writers and other artists are forced to navigate between what they want to say and what the party might allow — and to consider how high the cost would be if the censors were to hand down a ban. “This is a really big headache,” Yan said, speaking in the straightforward language of his native Henan province and his peasant origins. [Full Text]