Soul of Chaos: Critical Perspectives on Gao Xingjian

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Kwok-kan Tam
Chinese University Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 345 pages
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Gao Xingjian, the Nobel Laureate in Literature 2000, is a writer of many talents, being a novelist, playwright, stage director, painter, translator and critic at the same time. The Swedish Academy summarized in a press release Gao's achievements as follows: "an ouvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama." His novels, Soul Mountain and One Man's Bible, and his many later plays seek to rediscover the self in its originary consciousness, which is translingual and transcultural. Educated in China and now residing in France, Gao Xingjian writes in between two traditions, the Chinese and the Western. He started his literary career in the early 1980s, and has been noted for his experimentation with the dramatic form and his innovation in the use of narrative voice. In his works, he explores subjectivity beyond the limits of language by examining the self in relation to gender, culture, location and politics. This book presents a collection of critical studies on various aspects of Gao Xingjian's novels and plays. Contributors include distinguished scholars in the fields of comparative literature, theatre and Chinese studies, whose views form a critical dialogue on the writer's achievements in literature and the theatre.

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