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Gao Xingjian: Nobel Prize 2000 France, China    PWF 2010

Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000—“for an  oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama”. For Gao, life is a process of fleeing—from political oppression, from others, even from oneself. “Once the self has been awakened, one cannot flee—this is the tragedy of modern man.”

Playwright, novelist, essayist and painter Gao Xingjian was born in 1940 in Ganzhou, in eastern China. His father worked for a bank, his mother was an actress—who guided her son towards painting and traditional Chinese theater. In 1962, Gao received a degree in French literature from the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute and subsequently was assigned work as an editor and translator at the Foreign Languages Press.

Refusing to conform to the Communist Party’s guidelines for literature, Gao wrote in secret—burning a suitcase full of manuscripts at the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution. Under investigation, he fled to a remote mountain village. Writing became his only salvation.

In 1975, Gao returned to Beijing and resumed his position at the Foreign Languages Press. In 1980, he began to see his writings published and was reassigned to work as a writer at the People’s Art Theater, where his avant-garde plays drew crowds, as well as the suspicion of the authorities. Once again, he fled—traveling to the source of Yangtze River, composing his great novel Soul Mountain, and eventually finding exile in Paris 1987.

“A writer does not speak as the spokesperson of the people or as the embodiment of righteousness. His voice is inevitably weak—but it is this weak voice that is most authentic.”

Gao Xingjian’s work includes: Soul Mountain, One Man’s Bible, Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather, The Other Shore, Ink Paintings, Return to Painting, After the Flood, The Case For Literature, and The Aesthetics of Creation, which is forthcoming.

Gao Xingjian lives in Paris.

 

Dramas and performances

Signal Alarm (1982)
Bus Stop (1983)
Wild Men, "Savages" (1985)
The Other Shore (1986)
Shelter the Rain (1981)
Dark City (1988)
Transition of Sheng-Sheng-Man (1989)
Escape (1990)
Death Sector / Between Life and Death (1991)
A Tale of Shan Hai Jing (1992)
Dialogue & Rhetorical / Dialogue and Rebuttal (1992)
Weekends Quartet / Weekend Quartet (1999)
Nighthawk / Nocturnal Wanderer(1999)
Snow in August (2000)
Collection (1995)

Fiction

Constellation in a Cold Night (1979)
Such a Pigeon called Red Lips (1984)
Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather (1986–1990)
Soul Mountain (1989)
One Man's Bible (1998)

Poem

Sky Burial (1986)

Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian: Parisian Notes

01.07.2011 Café Central

You never know who walks into Café Central—to share your thoughts.

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Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian: The Case for Literature

11.01.2010 Readings

Nobel Lecture 2000

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Gao Xingjian – Yang Lian

Gao Xingjian and Yang Lian: "Stream of Language"

12.02.2009 Interviews

Gao Xingjian and Yang Lian in conversation

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Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian: Soul Mountain

06.02.2009 Readings

Chap 46: She says she hates you!

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Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian: Soul Mountain

06.02.2009 Readings

Chapter 16: I walk into the courtyard.

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Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian: I Really Wanted to Remind Them

06.02.2009 Interviews

Gao Xingjian in Label France Magazine

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Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian: "Got rid of the constraints"

06.02.2009 Interviews

Gao Xingjian in conversation with Asia Source in New York City

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