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Preview — Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian
Over the years, reading all kinds of books by a wide range of different authors from all over the world, I asked myself that question quite often. Some laureates had been favourites for decades before I started the project, others were completely new to me, and some were even hard to find in bookstores.
After I had finished Gao Xingjian's Soul Mountain, I thought I had an answer to ...more
I can get purified from reading it and obtain more from it whenever I scatter my eyes on and imprint my fingers in the pages, so why don't you give it a shot?
What a beautifully written book of a mastermind, and it's still being banned in Chinkland for sure, it ...more
I am prone to exaggeration. But I have such specific remembrances--memories of feelings and moments of hyper-awareness--tied to this book.... For all the incredible books I have come across so far, NONE of them gave me what this book did. None of them made me so viscerally part of their ...more
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the author took refuge in France, was living in an inner city project housing at the time he got the Nobel Prize.
A deeply enriching story of his journey, which is at the same time entertaining. A powerful combination of depth and lightness. I haven't come across a chronicle of journey like this for a long time. It fits so well with his Nobel Prize speech, in wisdom and modesty.
I cannot help, but to refer these news:"Chinese Officials Admit 'Cancer Villages' Due To Pollution Exist"*.
(Buddha Sakyamuni and Mahakayapa)
Lingshaw means Soul Mountain.
In this book there's an enlightening preface by Noël Dutrait referring that, in China, "in the end of the 1970's there was a timid political liberalization", therefore allowing writers not to serve the (communist) party.
Gao Xingjian is a writer and ...more
Xingjian's preoccupation with himself reaches the point that when one character has the temerity to impose on his splendid isolation with a story of her own ...more
The author frequently refers to China's many Dynastys and The Culturol Revolution ( a very sad time for the people of China and their culture. ) Perhaps if I was more familiar with the history of China and the culture I may have enjoyed the book.Perhaps something was lost in translation ? Much of it was very metaphysical, ...more
What is it with mountains? Be they Bare, Magic or Soulful like this, they exert a pull on the soul and they move men to poetry.
Equating height with Homeric majesty, Keats stood his Cortez silent upon a peak in Darien, to tug his conquistador’s soul towards some higher sublimity. Where Christianity has the abode of God and attendant angels reposing in the celestial crenelations of cumulonimbus and nimbostratus, Homer – grounded realist that he was, had his on semi-earthly Olympus. Not for ...more
Despite my initial excitement, I'll admit to having been ...more
Essentially, what makes the book frustrating is that it is not consistent or logical in any imaginable way. It doesn’t have any main characters. Instead, Gao Xingjian refers to his main characters simply as I, You, He, and She. When...more
This is a book of rare depth. I am vaguely reminded of ...more
In the early 1980s Gao -- who was already a semi-renowned literary figure and theater director in the underground art ...more
It's long and dense and packed with ideas, characters, gorgeous imagery. Start by thinking of a novel by Thomas Pynchon or some other grand-postmodern poobah. Now transpose the setting and cultural background to China, and replace the pop culture references with fragments of folklore, Taoist belief, tribal ritual, and memories of the Cultural ...more
Completed in Paris in 1989 several months after the Tiananmen Square massacre "Soul Mountain" is an important testimony to life under Mao.
The protagonist narrator is a minor writer has been misdiagnosed with Lung Cancer. Two weeks later a second ...more
That being said, it is a 5* book all the way.
What is challenging, is it is a book in which the narrator starts off auto-biographically telling his life story emerging from post-Cultural Revolution China in the early 80s with a life threatening cancer and threat of imprisonment. When his ...more