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This is the full text of Yan Lianke's acceptance speech upon receiving the Franz Kafka Prize in 2014 (an abbreviated version of the speech was published in the New York Times in 2014, but this is the first time that the full text of speech is appearing in English). It is inspired by a story of a blind man in his village, who would always take a flashlight when he went out at night so that others wouldn't run into him. Yan Lianke compares his writing to the blind man with the flashlight, suggesting that he writes in order to help others (his readers) see society's darkness.

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