Fictions 1979–1987: Adopting Modernism

Jessica Yeung

in Ink Dances in Limbo

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9789622099210
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207042 | DOI:
Fictions 1979–1987: Adopting Modernism

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Before Gao Xingjian left China in 1987, eighteen of his short stories were published. Like his essays on modernism, these stories show a similar transition from a relatively conservative to a more experimental position. This change is most obviously marked by a shift from the dominance of naturalist realism to psychological realism. It is worth noting that the act of narration is presented as a conscious action in both “Stars” and “Pigeon,” although it serves different purposes respectively. Such an awareness later becomes a consistent feature in the repertoire of Gao's writings. In “Stars” it highlights the existence of a source of the story and promotes a sense of factuality, whereas in “Pigeon” it celebrates fictionality by demonstrating the narrative capacity of the artistic imagination. This view is very close to the one suggested in his call for modernism in A Preliminary Exploration.

Keywords: Gao Xingjian; modernism; naturalist realism; psychological realism; narration; Stars; Pigeon

Chapter.  6752 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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