Gao Xingjian: gow shing-jen
Gao Xingjian is the first Chinese recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Born in 1940 in Jiangxi province in eastern China, he has lived in France since 1987. Gao Xingjian is an artistic innovator, in both the visual arts and literature. In addition to Soul Mountain and One Man's Bible, three other volumes of his work have been published in the United States.
This biography was last updated on 12/30/2010.
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A Discussion With Gao Xingjian
Gao Xingjian was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature "for an uvre
of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has
opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama." The following
is an excerpt from his acceptance speech.
Language is not merely concepts and the carrier of concepts, it simultaneously activates the feelings and the senses and this is why signs and signals cannot replace the language of living people. The will, motives, tone and emotions behind what someone says cannot be fully expressed by semantics and rhetoric alone. The connotations of the language of literature must be voiced, spoken by living people, to be fully expressed. So as well as serving as a carrier of thought literature must also appeal to the auditory senses. The human need for language is not simply for the transmission of meaning, it is at the same time listening to and affirming a person's existence.
Borrowing from Descartes, it could be said of the writer: I say and therefore I am. However, the I of the writer can be the writer himself, can be equated to the narrator, or become the characters of a work. As the narrator-subject can ...
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