This collection contains two plays by Gao Xingjian, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2000. "Escape" was written in 1989 in the wake of the June 4 Student Movement in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. With the publication of the play, Gao was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party, dismissed from his state appointment and his house in Beijing confiscated. Perhaps because of this controversy, "Escape" has become the most performed of all of Gao's plays: it has been staged in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Japan, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and Canada. Wherever it was staged, it was given a locally relevant intepretation and was well received, which lends credence to Gao's claim of the universality of the play he describes as the tragedy of modern man. "The Man Who Questions Death" is the latest of Gao's plays. It is also one of the most exciting and powerful. Here Gao condemns the commercialization of modern art and ponders on life and the inevitability of death. At once sad and comical, the play traverses anger, cynicism, resignation, release, and total freedom, culminating in what he terms "black absuridity."
No other two plays illustrate more of Gao Xingjian's ideas on life and art. In "Escape" and "The Man Who Questions Death", he describes the encroachment of politics and commercialism on the individual and the arts, and uses this as the basis to comment on the existential challenges facing mankind. The plays are also perfect examples of Gao Xingjian's accomplishment as a dramatist and his idea of the theater. In them we can experience for ourselves the now familiar Gaoian monologue and get to understand his concept of the neutral actor. This collection is a must read for anyone who wants to appreciate Gao Xingjian as dramatist and thinker.
Buy Escape and the Man Who Questions Death book by Xingijan Gao from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
The Chinese University Press
Publisher: The Chinese University Press
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Author Biography - Xingijan Gao
Gao Xingjian is the Nobel Laureate in Literature 2000, the first time the prize had been awarded for a body of works written in the Chinese language. Gilbert C.F.Fong is currently Professor and Cahirman at the department of Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong