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Buying A Fishing Rod For My Grandfather

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  574 ratings  ·  77 reviews
From China's first-ever winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature comes an exquisite new book of fictions, none of which has ever been published before in English. A young couple on honeymoon visit a beautiful temple up in the mountains, and spend the day intoxicated by the tranquillity of the setting; a swimmer is paralysed by a sudden cramp and finds himself stranded far ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published March 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 1989)
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Commentare un libro tradotto dal cinese non mi sembra del tutto corretto nei confronti del suo autore; credo sia giusto precisare che, non avendo idea di quali dettagli e quali sfumature di stile e significato siano andati perduti nel passaggio all'italiano, questo commento si riferisce in modo particolare a questa versione, e il mio giudizio è parziale e molto limitato. La premessa è doverosa perché questo libro mi ha davvero deluso: ho poca fiducia nei premi, ma per qualche motivo ero convinto ...more
Nazmi Yaakub
MEMBACA karya pengarang yang pernah membakar bagasinya yang mengandungi sejumlah manuskripnya pada era Revolusi Kebudayaan China (1966-1976) bukan pengalaman yang menyenangkan. Kita seolah-olah dihela oleh Gao Xingjian yang menerima Hadiah Nobel Kesusasteraan pada 2000 itu, sebelum dibiarkan terkontang-kanting dalam dunia imaginasinya untuk menebak maksudnya.

Namun, ia tidaklah memberikan pengalaman yang menyenakkan sepenuhnya kerana adakalanya seperti dalam sepotong cerpennya, In The Park, kita
This is a beautifully written collection of short stories that reflect both the day to day and the utterly magical and enlightening moments in life from the discovery of a secluded temple to near death experiences and moments of utter devastation. These snippets of time, experiences and reminiscences show the pleasure that can be found anywhere and the appreciation for the little things that can be discovered in the simpliest, rawest and most humbling moments. This is a surprisingly enjoyable co ...more
In the afterword it is remarked upon that "Gao warns readers that his fiction does not set out to tell a story. There is no plot, as found in most fiction, and anything of interest to be found in it is inherent in the language itself." Given that last bit one can quite safely assume more than a little gets lost in translation.
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Richie Loria
Mesmerizing. I picked up Gao’s most celebrated selection of short stories and finished in one sitting. I was ashamed that I'd never read any Chinese literature and figured it was only proper to start with Gao, the only Chinese author to win the Nobel prize for literature: ‘An oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity’ (2000).

Short stories are a vast number of things for different authors, for different readers. A former English professor once described them to me as
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Zeinab Hosseini
خوندن کتابش مثه ادامه دادن یک گناه لذتبخش بود چون می دونستی هرچقدم بهت سرنخ بده باز نويسنده راز داستانو برات فاش نميكنه .ولی از لذتش نمیشه دست کشید بعضی وقتا حوصلتو سر می بره ولی یهو با یه جمله ی کوتاه بهت ميفهمونه كه ضرر نكردی که کتابو ول نکردی
Some of the short stories – the eponymous tale, The Accident – have the punchiness that sustains the lyrical writing; the others vary between subtle, meandering, and near unreadable.
Impressionistic sketches. Portraits of people and moments. Just have the nagging feeling that the essence of the writing is lost in translation. An easy read though.
Não vou atribuir estrelas porque simplesmente não percebi nada.
Agnes Mack
I'm not usually a fan of short stories and this collection of translated stories by the Nobel Prize winning author Gao Xingjian reminded me of why that is.

The thing is, I just don't get drawn into short story collections. As soon as I start to get interested, it ends and I'm left trying to get to know a whole new set of characters or to care about an entirely new set of circumstances.

Those issues in this book were only exacerbated, for one main reason.

These stories, by design, are not plot drive
Uma Cana de Pesca para o Meu Avô é um livro de contos do autor chinês, Gao Xingjian, Prémio Nobel da literatura do ano 2000. É o primeiro livro que leio deste autor, e para primeira experiência está a ser agradável. Não é nenhum livro que seja ESPECTACULAR, mas é interessante e diferente do que estou habituada a ler, o que torna uma novidade e vai de encontro aos meus objectivos literários.
Sendo um livro de contos, irei comentar cada um e no final faço um resumo do livro na sua totalidade e da
This book of short stories exhibits several fine examples of Gao's austere and simple style. He has a very minimalist approach in most of his writings that leave conclusions to be drawn entirely by his readers. Gao is a writer absolutely obsessed with memory, he approaches his stories from angles that force the reader to consider and reflect not only on the story itself but the position from which he is remembering this story. In the 6 stories in this book the results of his straightforward and ...more
I'm assuming this is the book I've just read in Dutch - it had a different title ("Kramp", or "Cramp" in English: which was the first short story in the Dutch edition), but the particular story mentioned in the English title was also found in my book, and as they're both collections of short stories.. I'm going to assume this is the book I've read.

Gao Xingjian's work was interesting. I didn't like all the short stories as much, but I liked the ones that had a reflective mood (mostly "Buying A Fi
This is my first experience reading the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Literature. He was the first Chinese man to be awarded the prize. This book and version contains six short stories, including Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather. Here's the six stories and my take on them:

The Temple - A young couple go on a honeymoon. They begin to explore an old temple and they encounter changes in their happiness. I thought the story was really good. A little tragic, but since the ending was ambiguous, I could
Natacha Martins
Uma Cana de Pesca para o Meu Avô, é uma colectânea de contos a transbordar de simplicidade, cultura oriental e poesia.
Ao longo dos cinco contos que compõem este pequeno livro, o escritor dá-nos a conhecer o amor, a amizade, a morte, a saudade e a vida.

No primeiro conto, O Templo, intromete-mo-nos na lua-de-mel de um casal jovem que transmite uma tal serenidade na forma de se amarem e de estarem juntos, não só como casal, mas também como amigos e companheiros que são, que só podemos sorrir durant
A short book, with stylized Chinese fish on its cover, Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather was an intriguing foray into foreign short stories for me. The author is a Nobel prize winner, so I knew at the outset that this wouldn’t be light reading. But the stories are truly fascinating. In the first tale I feel like a fly on the wall, listening to someone speak; is he remembering the past? Is he talking to his family, or to his wife, or to the pictures in his mind? The stories each left me sli ...more
Grady McCallie
In the six pieces translated in this short collection (out of 17 in the original Chinese), author Gao Xingjian experiments with several different ways of conveying a story. Two comments helped me make sense of the stories. The first is a note by the translator, paraphrasing Gao's own postscript to the original Chinese collection of his stories: "There is no plot, as found in most fiction, and anything of interest to be found in it is inherent in the language itself. More explicit is his proposal ...more
uno sguardo al presente (primi anni 80) cinese. Simpatetico ma da osservatore. Una sintassi che segue il ritmo dei pensieri. A volte interminabili, contorti, estemporanei. Altre volte sintetici e pregni.���Una serie di racconti. Tanti piccoli quadri. Quello che da il titolo al libro e' secondo me il piu' prolisso e di minore impatto
Su tutto una vaga nostalgia ed il ricordo negativo degli anni persi e della sofferenza subita a causa della rivoluzione culturale. L'anelito per una vita normale. Fat
Not exactly bad, but an extremely annoying translation (hopefully, for Xingjian) and then there was this:

"If it is his child, the man must have a wife. He was doing what his wife should have been doing, so he was a good father and a good husband. Because he obviously loved his child, presumably he also loved his wife, but did his wife love him? If she loved him, why was he picking up the child from the kindergarten and not her?"

Excusez- moi? I can acceptate this kind of language when related to
Gijs Grob
Selectie korte verhalen uit de periode 1983-1990. De eerste vier, Kramp (1984), Een ongeluk, De Tempel van de Volmaakte Goedertierenheid en In het park (allen 1983), zijn van een onopgesmukte normaalheid, zo suf en bijzonder als het leven zelf, niks meer, niks minder.

In 'In het park' zijn bovendien op de achtergrond de diepe littekens van de culturele revolutie voelbaar. Dat geldt ook voor 'Een hengel voor mijn grootvader' (1986) dat de normaalheid volledig verlaat en een delirische zoektocht in
Pete Young
Six short tales from the 2000 Nobel Prize winner, these are succinct, ordinary stories that focus on small events, even moments, in people’s lives. Nevertheless I didn’t get as much out of this collection as I’d hoped, possibly because Gao’s habitual, philosophical navel-gazing that imbues much of his other translated work is largely absent here, and the results instead feel shackled by a self-imposed restraint – these stories are far more traditionally Chinese, with less emphasis on plot and mo ...more
This book contains the building stones of what would later become the magnificent “Soul Mountain”. This is like a diary of experimentation, of how he developed the style that would come to the forefront with the previously mentioned novel. Most importantly of all it showed how his ideas upon what writing should be crystallized over time. Here we get investigations of the discrepancy between fact and fiction, reality and literature. The idealism, ideal or urging – depending of how you look at it ...more
Suppongo che il valore letterario di questi sei racconti, scritti da un Nobel, sia tutto linguistico e stilistico. Per apprezzarlo del tutto bisognerebbe leggere il cinese originale, in traduzioe perde parecchio. Tolta la capacità di scrittura, mediata e deviata, ciò che resta sono sei affreschi di vita quotidiana, ma del tutto impalpabili.
Alexander Weber
Gah. First I want to say that the eponymous story in this collection is really good, 4/5 stars. The rest of the stories are quite good, and different from other things I've read. The way they're different is in the fact that, beyond the titular story, Xingjian's translation does not use too much wordplay or prose to get across his 'message'. I'm not sure if there is a message, really, because what he's doing is trying to tell a story behind the story he's actually telling. The story you read isn ...more
Gao Xingjian's works are known for their lyrical intensity and utter lack of plot. they are, in a definite sense, post-modern. Aside from the final story "In an Instant" most of the stories in this collection are some of Gao's more accessible works. certainly more so than his tome _Soul Mountain_. Gao wrestles with the use and abuse of memory througout the work, as well as highlighting the anxieties inherent in the generation that survived the Cultural Revolution. One can also catch glimpses of ...more
A survey of this Chinese writer's short work that surprised me with the variety of its approaches. The first few stories are brutally minimalist, simply showing characters in simple interactions, with no conclusion or obvious theme. With "Cramp," the tone shifts slightly, to existential. Then, suddenly, you're at the title story, which is a masterpiece of surreal dream fiction, with the main character living out both his memories of his homeland and his fantasies of returning there in a single, ...more
This is my first attempt at contemporary Chinese fiction. I can't say whether he deserved the Nobel-- after all, I only read 120 pages of his early short stories-- but I can say that these were wonderful, graceful, quiet stories, marked by surreality. The title story, especially, is a wonder. American writers, why can't you write something about the disintegration of past modes of being that transforms from blank realism to delirious cut-up imagery? I was least impressed by the final story, whic ...more
Modest for a Nobel Prize winner. An afternoon/evening read, this book consists of six short stories that are almost all located in communist China. Very easy reading: I found most of the writing simple, elementary, my brother could have written that while in grade 4 (he actually did write similar quality prose). Some sparks of literary grace come through (mostly in the title story, "Buying a fishing rod for my grandfather") - probably signs of what was to come (i.e. these short stories represent ...more
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Gao Xingjian is a Chinese-born novelist, playwright, critic, and painter. An émigré to France since 1987, Gao was granted French citizenship in 1997. The recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature, he is also a noted translator (particularly of Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco), screenwriter, stage director, and a celebrated painter.
More about Gao Xingjian...
Soul Mountain One Man's Bible The Other Shore: Plays by Gao Xingjian The Case for Literature The Bus Stop

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