Gao Xingjian One Man's Bible

ISBN 13: 9780007142415

One Man's Bible

3.66 avg rating
( 719 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780007142415: One Man's Bible

The new novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author of international bestseller ‘Soul Mountain’. ‘Unforgettable. “One Man’s Bible” burns with a powerfully individualistic fire of intelligence and depth of feeling.’ New York Times

The unnamed narrator of this book recalls his Beijing boyhood, his tenth birthday, the death of his grandfather, the accidental drowning of his mother and the effect all this trauma had on the frail, sensitive young boy he was then. He then pulls us forward in time to view the sexually active adult he has become, engaged in a series of difficult relationships, in constant trouble with the Chinese authorities, and in danger of being marked out as a ‘counter-revolutionary’. The book moves between the nightmare of the Cultural Revolution insanities of the late 1960s and early 1970s to the tentative, limited liberations of the 1990s, and the narrator moves between China, Hong Kong, Paris and Frankfurt. Through it all throbs an overwhelmingly powerful sense of the past, distant and near, and a moving and unprecedented insight into the character of modern China.

Gao has his narrator say of the book’s purpose: ‘Your writing is not in the cause of pure literature, but you’re also not a fighter using your pen as a weapon to promote right, moreover you don't know what’s right. You know you’re certainly not the embodiment of right and you write simply to indicate that a sort of life worse than a quagmire, more real than an imaginary hell, more terrifying than the judgement of the last day has existed. Furthermore, it’s highly likely that after people have forgotten about it, it will make a comeback, and people who’ve never gone crazy will go crazy again, and people who've never been oppressed will oppress or be oppressed. This is because madness has existed since the birth of humanity.’

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Review:

‘Brilliant and poetic, keen and original…Gao has written a book drenched in the political turmoil in China. But his ambition is to transcend the specifics of time and place, to write a meditation on literature itself and its ability to reveal the raging, brutal, brilliant beast that is mankind…“One Man’s Bible” burns with a powerfully individualistic fire of intelligence and depth of feeling…Unforgettable.’ New York Times

‘An absorbing historical primer on the decades of Maoist terror…Both more personal and more political than its predecessor, “Soul Mountain”, “One Man’s Bible” is a Chinese variation on an important global literary theme: the desperate quest by those living under dictatorships of all kinds to escape the crushing forces of totalitarian collectivism.’ TLS

‘Everything a novel should be…Like all good novelists Gao creates a world, not as a kind of wallpaper or filling but as a place in which the protagonist suffers and sometimes is happy.’ Literary Review

‘Dreamlike, elegant and haunting.’ Boston Globe

'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

'There is a sense throughout that Gao is running after things that are already vanishing. On the nature reserves, people are shooting bears and even pandas; trees are being cut down a hundred times faster than before. Stones inscribed with historical inscriptions have been dynamited to yield materials for bridges that were never built… Soul Mountain is Gao's attempt to bring back what is lost. In the end, his gift is to look beyond politics at the human condition, offering no easy explanations and refusing artificial allegiances.' Sunday Times

From the Publisher:

Moving between the nightmare of the Cultural Revolution and the tentative, limited liberties of the China of the 1990s, One Man's Bible weaves memories of a Beijing boyhood and amorous encounters in Hong Kong with a fictionalized account of Gao Xingjian's life under the communist regime where a single sentence spoken ten years earlier can make one an enemy of the state. A fluid, elegant exploration of memory, One Man's Bible is a profound meditation on the essence of writing and exile, on the effects of political oppression on the human spirit and on how that spirit can triumph.

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Gao Xingjian
Published by Flamingo (2002)
ISBN 10: 0007142412 ISBN 13: 9780007142415
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Gao Xingjian
Published by Flamingo (2002)
ISBN 10: 0007142412 ISBN 13: 9780007142415
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Flamingo, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. BRAND NEW COPY, Perfect Shape, No Black Remainder Mark, 507-609Fast Shipping With Online Tracking, International Orders shipped Global Priority Air Mail, All orders handled with care and shipped promptly in secure packaging, we ship Mon-Sat and send shipment confirmation emails. Our customer service is friendly, we answer emails fast, accept returns and work hard to deliver 100% Customer Satisfaction!. Bookseller Inventory # 0907120006

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