Gao Xingjian Soul Mountain

ISBN 13: 9780007119233

Soul Mountain

3.55 avg rating
( 3,221 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780007119233: Soul Mountain

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2000. Part travel diary, part philosophy, part love story, ‘Soul Mountain’ is an elegant, unforgettable novel that journeys deep into the heart of modern-day China.

In 1982 Chinese playwright, novelist and artist Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer, the very disease that had killed his father. For six weeks Gao inhabited a transcendental state of imminent death, treating himself to the finest foods he could afford while spending time reading in an old graveyard in the Beijing suburbs. But a secondary examination revealed there was no cancer – he had won a ‘reprieve from death’ and had been thrown back into the world of the living.

Faced with a repressive cultural environment and the threat of a spell in a prison farm, Gao fled Beijing. He travelled first to the ancient forests of central China and from there to the east coast, passing through eight provinces and seven nature reserves, a journey of fifteen thousand kilometres over a period of five months. The result of this epic voyage of discovery is ‘Soul Mountain’.

Interwoven into this picaresque journey are myriad stories and countless memorable characters – from venerable Daoist masters and Buddhist monks and nuns to mythical Wild Men; deadly Qichun snakes to farting buses. Conventions are challenged, preconceptions are thwarted and the human condition, with all its foibles and triumphs, is laid bare.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

As one of Gao Xingjian's characters remarks, if a fiction writer could know the true stories of the people he passes on the street, he would be amazed. Surely the Nobel laureate's own story, which forms the basis of Soul Mountain, is worthy of amazement. In 1983 Gao was diagnosed with lung cancer, the disease that had killed his father. At the same time, he had been threatened with arrest for his counterrevolutionary writings and was preparing to flee Beijing for the remote regions of southwest China. Shortly before his departure, however, the condemned man got at least a partial reprieve: a second set of x-rays revealed no cancer at all. On the heels of this extraordinary redemption, he began the circuitous journey that would lead him to the sacred (and possibly mythical) mountain of Lingshan--and to this daring, historically resonant novel.

A destination chosen arbitrarily, at the suggestion of a fellow traveller, the elusive Lingshan becomes rich with meaning for the narrator of Soul Mountain. Meanwhile, the narrator himself shows a tendency to go forth and multiply. First he divides into You and I. Then You generates yet a third voice, a somewhat simple but intense young woman named She, followed by He--and none of these personae can resist the elemental lure of the sacred site. Indeed, the search for Lingshan becomes a metaphor for all spiritual striving:

Would it be better to go along the main road? It will take longer travelling by the main road? After making some detours you will understand in your heart? Once you understand in your heart you will find it as soon as you look for it? The important thing is to be sincere of heart? If your heart is sincere then your wish will be granted?

Along the way, I and You mourn the devastations of the Cultural Revolution, when thousands of monuments, temples, and graves were reduced to rubble. The obliteration of these reminders of the dead becomes a torment to the narrators of the novel, who struggle to assert their individuality--itself a proscribed act in Communist China--against what they see as a false and brutal ideal that has swept away history, literature, and tradition as decisively as it has destroyed the ancient forests. (At one point Gao describes the sad spectacle of the few remaining pandas, who wander a shrinking woodland wearing electronic transmitters.) Seamlessly translated by the Australian scholar Mabel Lee, Soul Mountain is a masterpiece of self-observation set against a soulful denunciation of "progress" and practicality. --Regina Marler

Review:

‘Gao’s portraits of fellow wanderers, farmers and party officials are vivid and shine a light on their place and time. The language (wonderfully translated by Mabel Lee) is luminous and tactile…There’s a feeling of entering and moving through a place we had seen only through mist.’ Time Out

‘When he writes of his experiences in the real world, Gao transcends cultural barriers. A good story will out in any language, and when Gao is good he is staggeringly so. His writing about the Cultural Revolution is remarkable.’ Daily Telegraph

‘A picaresque novel on an epic scale…”Soul Mountain” bristles with narratives in miniature – stories from ancient Chinese history, folk tales, childhood reminiscences, memories of the Cultural Revolution, as well as bitter arguments and passionate sex. Gao’s aim is to represent “the ineffability of life”, and, as far as that is possible to do, he has done it in this complex, rich and strange novel.’ Independent on Sunday

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Gao Xingjian
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800071192330000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.56
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From U.S.A. to United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Gao Xingjian
Published by HarperCollins Publishers (2001)
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2001. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # FC-9780007119233

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.30
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.80
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Gao Xingjian
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2001)
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2000. Part travel diary, part philosophy, part love story, Soul Mountain is an elegant, unforgettable novel that journeys deep into the heart of modern-day China. In 1982 Chinese playwright, novelist and artist Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer, the very disease that had killed his father. For six weeks Gao inhabited a transcendental state of imminent death, treating himself to the finest foods he could afford while spending time reading in an old graveyard in the Beijing suburbs. But a secondary examination revealed there was no cancer - he had won a reprieve from death and had been thrown back into the world of the living. Faced with a repressive cultural environment and the threat of a spell in a prison farm, Gao fled Beijing. He travelled first to the ancient forests of central China and from there to the east coast, passing through eight provinces and seven nature reserves, a journey of fifteen thousand kilometres over a period of five months. The result of this epic voyage of discovery is Soul Mountain . Interwoven into this picaresque journey are myriad stories and countless memorable characters - from venerable Daoist masters and Buddhist monks and nuns to mythical Wild Men; deadly Qichun snakes to farting buses. Conventions are challenged, preconceptions are thwarted and the human condition, with all its foibles and triumphs, is laid bare. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007119233

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.17
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Gao Xingjian
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2001)
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2000. Part travel diary, part philosophy, part love story, Soul Mountain is an elegant, unforgettable novel that journeys deep into the heart of modern-day China. In 1982 Chinese playwright, novelist and artist Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer, the very disease that had killed his father. For six weeks Gao inhabited a transcendental state of imminent death, treating himself to the finest foods he could afford while spending time reading in an old graveyard in the Beijing suburbs. But a secondary examination revealed there was no cancer - he had won a reprieve from death and had been thrown back into the world of the living. Faced with a repressive cultural environment and the threat of a spell in a prison farm, Gao fled Beijing. He travelled first to the ancient forests of central China and from there to the east coast, passing through eight provinces and seven nature reserves, a journey of fifteen thousand kilometres over a period of five months. The result of this epic voyage of discovery is Soul Mountain . Interwoven into this picaresque journey are myriad stories and countless memorable characters - from venerable Daoist masters and Buddhist monks and nuns to mythical Wild Men; deadly Qichun snakes to farting buses. Conventions are challenged, preconceptions are thwarted and the human condition, with all its foibles and triumphs, is laid bare. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007119233

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.43
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Gao Xingjian
Published by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Soul Mountain, Xingjian Gao, Mabel Lee, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2000. Part travel diary, part philosophy, part love story, 'Soul Mountain' is an elegant, unforgettable novel that journeys deep into the heart of modern-day China. In 1982 Chinese playwright, novelist and artist Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer, the very disease that had killed his father. For six weeks Gao inhabited a transcendental state of imminent death, treating himself to the finest foods he could afford while spending time reading in an old graveyard in the Beijing suburbs. But a secondary examination revealed there was no cancer - he had won a 'reprieve from death' and had been thrown back into the world of the living. Faced with a repressive cultural environment and the threat of a spell in a prison farm, Gao fled Beijing. He travelled first to the ancient forests of central China and from there to the east coast, passing through eight provinces and seven nature reserves, a journey of fifteen thousand kilometres over a period of five months. The result of this epic voyage of discovery is 'Soul Mountain'. Interwoven into this picaresque journey are myriad stories and countless memorable characters - from venerable Daoist masters and Buddhist monks and nuns to mythical Wild Men; deadly Qichun snakes to farting buses. Conventions are challenged, preconceptions are thwarted and the human condition, with all its foibles and triumphs, is laid bare. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007119233

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.05
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.75
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Gao Xingjian
Published by Flamingo (2001)
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Speedy Hen
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0007119232. Bookseller Inventory # ST0007119232

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.08
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Gao Xingjian
Published by HarperCollins Publishers 2001-05-26, London (2001)
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers 2001-05-26, London, 2001. paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007119233

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.67
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Gao Xingjian
Published by Flamingo 2001-08-20 (2001)
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Flamingo 2001-08-20, 2001. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00458638

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.19
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.49
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Gao Xingjian
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Paperback Quantity Available: 6
Seller
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2000. Part travel diary, part philosophy, part love story, 'Soul Mountain' is an elegant, unforgettable novel that journeys deep into the heart of modern-day China. In 1982 Chinese playwright, novelist and artist Gao Xingjian was diagnosed with lung cancer, t. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780007119233_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.80
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Gao Xingjian
Published by Flamingo (2001)
ISBN 10: 0007119232 ISBN 13: 9780007119233
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Print on Demand
Seller
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Flamingo, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 528 pages. In Stock. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # __0007119232

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.75
Within United Kingdom
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book