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The Case for Literature
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The Case for Literature

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  52 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
When Gao Xingjian was crowned Nobel Laureate in 2000, it was the first time in the hundred-year history of the Nobel Prize that this honor had been awarded to an author for a body of work written in Chinese. The same year, American readers embraced Mabel Lee’s translation of Gao’s lyrical and autobiographical novel Soul Mountain, making it a national bestseller. Gao’s play ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Yale University Press (first published March 28th 2001)
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Aug 24, 2011 added it
from "Without Isms"

It was not until I wrote "Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather" that I began to understand that in Chinese reality, memory and imagination are manifested in the eternal present, which transcends grammatical concepts and hence constitutes a time-transcending flow of language. For thoughts and perceptions, consciousness and the subsconscious, narration, dialogue and soliloquy, and even the alienated consciousness of the self, I turn to tranquil contemplation rather than adopt
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"La difficulté fondamentale d'exister du genre humain n'a guère changé et reste un sujet éternel pour la littérature." Le discours de Gao Xingjian devant l'Académie suédoise, après la réception du Prix Nobel en 2000, se lit en 30 minutes et fait écho à d'autres textes de cet écrivain sur la création littéraire et le rôle de la littérature. Gao n'épargne rien : ni la vanité des nationalismes et de la littérature engagée, ni les régimes totalitaires du XXe siècle, ni le narcissisme des écrivains - ...more
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beaucoup aimé la première partie, moins la discussion entre les deux auteurs.
Prooost Davis
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book of essays and speeches covers a lot of ground in its 166 pages. Gao Xingjian, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature, has had his viewpoint influenced by his life in China and his exile in the West (France). Under the communist regime, the content of books and plays is dictated by the Party; in the West, in can be dictated by fashion and commercial pressure. For his own part, Gao Xingjian has attempted a literature of the individual, avoiding any isms.

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Sep 14, 2009 rated it liked it
Xingjian is a Nobel laureate who wrote plays and novels in China, but at times had to burn his work, and for 5 years had to hide in the country so he was not abducted and killed. Finally He is credited with bringing flashbacks, stream of consciousness and the psychology of the characters to Chinese literature. He railed against Nietzsche and modernists in thinking that there were heroes, and wrote against all “isms”. It is sometimes difficult to sense what he is saying, but in focusing on the pr ...more
Apr 14, 2008 rated it liked it
I like the ideas Gao XingJian has about writing more than his actual writing. So this book was interesting. Fleeing and the importance of loneliness. I think that stuff makes sense.
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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.
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