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Ink Dances in LimboGao Xingjian's Writing as Cultural Translation$
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Jessica Yeung

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099210

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099210.001.0001

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Plays 1986–1990: Portraying the Individual

Plays 1986–1990: Portraying the Individual

(p.101) 6 Plays 1986–1990: Portraying the Individual
Ink Dances in Limbo

Jessica Yeung

Hong Kong University Press

From 1986 onward, Gao Xingjian's plays displayed an increasingly distinctive emphasis on the split between the individual self and the collective. The concern for the well-being of the individual turns into fierce criticism and interrogation of the Communist ideology of collectivism and the more traditional Chinese practice of demanding the individual's conformity to community ethical codes. However, this does not yet describe the full picture of Gao's individualism since in his plays written after 1986, the liberal humanist individualism is engaged in all kinds of interplay with a host of other sentiments and ideologies including nationalism, nihilism, and even Buddhist philosophy. The subjectivities of the individuals portrayed in those plays are therefore also inscribed with the traces of conflicting and varying cultural and ideological influences. This chapter examines the portrayal of the individuals in this group of plays.

Keywords:   Gao Xingjian, collectivism, community, individualism, nationalism, nihilism, Buddhism, philosophy

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