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Soul Mountain

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  3,563 Ratings  ·  410 Reviews
In 1983, Chinese playwright, critic, fiction writer, and painter Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer and faced imminent death. But six weeks later, a second examination revealed there was no cancer -- he had won "a reprieve from death." Faced with a repressive cultural environment and the threat of a spell in a prison farm, Gao fled Beijing and began a journey of 1 ...more
Paperback, 510 pages
Published October 23rd 2001 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 1989)
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Cory Sheldon I'm finding I just need to really be awake due to it's very meandering quality. Certainly not a fast read in that way, also, not a great book to read…moreI'm finding I just need to really be awake due to it's very meandering quality. Certainly not a fast read in that way, also, not a great book to read in bed when I'm sleepy. I do find it pretty engaging if I'm wide awake, though.(less)

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Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nobels
Why do you give yourself reading tasks? Why do you embark on a journey to read all Nobel Laureates in Literature?

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 the
Horace Derwent
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It throes me, the content, the soul of the author and the struggling people. Now that we're here, but it's still so far away...all the mistakes one life contains, all the struggle we fought was in vain...they all finally start to fade away

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
May 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the patient, who are constantly looking for...something
This is barely a book. It's the at once epic and intimate journey of one man, told in different persons and with feelings sometimes instead of words (somehow), almost miraculously bound together and made tangible.

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
25th of February 2013.
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 painter
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A powerful spiritual experience, coming from an author still alive!!

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.
Feb 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, travel, china
I could have enjoyed this book very much. Spiritual journeys, fragmented writing style, interlocking narratives, historical references and the unfolding changes of history. Unfortunately, the more I know about Chinese, the more I think this translation could have used a bit of work. There are references to 'father' here which I think could be 老子, which refers to Laozi, author of the Dao De Jing. I even recognized a few mangled 成语, or idiomatic expressions.

One of these days I may have to read th
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cao Hành Kiện và Linh sơn

Cái đẹp và sự thương cảm - đó là định nghĩa chính xác nhất về nghệ thuật.

1. Cao Hành Kiện

Lời cảm tạ của Cao Hành Kiện (với quốc vương Thuỵ Điển tại lễ trao giải Nobel văn học 2000):

“Quốc vương bệ hạ tôn kính,

Con người đang đứng trước mặt ngài hãy còn nhớ, anh ta hồi tám tuổi, bà mẹ bảo viết nhật ký, anh ta đã viết như thế này, và cứ viết mãi cho đến lúc trưởng thành.

Anh ta cũng còn nhớ, khi vào trường trung học, thầy giáo dạy tập làm văn treo lên bảng m
Dane Huckelbridge
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is admittedly a bit challenging—its structure is unconventional, folk tales mingle with personal history, and it isn't bound so much by a plot as by a pervading spirit of search. But what a beautiful search it is. In seeking out a mountain that may or may not exist, Xingjian takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery that isn't marked so much by what it reveals, as by what remains hidden and perfectly unknown. The last page is perhaps my favorite in literature—a perfect silence, e ...more
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people with previous experience with metafiction who are slightly scared of pandas.
Recommended to Alison by: I picked it up off the street.
I’d like to start with a view that dissents with those of some other reviewers, who (in praise, often) claim that this book works outside the rules of fiction, or is unlike all other books, or isn’t even a novel. Of course it is a novel, and a hyperliterary one at that–and it operates within structures of fictional form that are common (even commonplace) in the twentieth century, not to mention in earlier works that share some of its more astonishing features (such as Don Quixote). And Gao got a ...more
Nick Wellings
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 nothin
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A book demands contemplation 1 15 Dec 13, 2013 04:24PM  
Beijing CS Book Club: Soul Mountain, Gao Xingjian 1 18 Dec 19, 2011 06:38AM  
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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...
“You should know that there is little you can seek in this world, that there is no need for you to be so greedy, in the end all you can achieve are memories, hazy, intangible, dreamlike memories which are impossible to articulate. When you try to relate them, there are only sentences, the dregs left from the filter of linguistic structures.” 48 likes
“Young man, nature is not frightening, it's people who are frightening! You just need to get to know nature and it will become friendly. This creature known as man is of course highly intelligent, he's capable of manufacturing almost anything from rumours to test-tube babies and yet he destroys two to three species every day. This is the absurdity of man.” 17 likes
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