Plays 1982–1985: Moderism Transferred

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:
Plays 1982–1985: Moderism Transferred

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This chapter shows that the formal structure of Gao Xingjian's early plays are essentially modernist. In other words, the paradigm of modernism is translated into these plays. Although it is not exactly a theory, modernism functions as one. It is a writing paradigm with which a way of seeing and comprehending what constitutes reality is constructed through the depiction of the characters' relationship with their environment. Likewise, Gao Xingjian's plays written in the early 1980s show successful acculturation of a modernist theatrical paradigm, that is, how European modernist dramatists construct their views on the human condition, into the Chinese polysystem. Transformation and “disfiguration” are necessary to the process, given that the circumstances in the Chinese target culture were widely divergent from those of the European cultures.

Keywords: Gao Xingjian; modernism; plays; dramatists; human condition; China; polysystem; transformation; disfiguration

Chapter.  11952 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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