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Read eBook LingshanAuthor Gao Xingjian –

In , Chinese Playwright, Critic, Fiction Writer, And Painter Gao Xingjian Was Diagnosed With Lung Cancer And Faced Imminent Death But Six Weeks Later, A Second Examination Revealed There Was No Cancer He Had Won A Reprieve From Death Faced With A Repressive Cultural Environment And The Threat Of A Spell In A Prison Farm, Gao Fled Beijing And Began A Journey Of , Kilometers Into The Remote Mountains And Ancient Forests Of Sichuan In Southwest China The Result Of This Epic Voyage Of Discovery Is Soul MountainBold, Lyrical, And Prodigious, Soul Mountain Probes The Human Soul With An Uncommon Directness And Candor And Delights In The Freedom Of The Imagination To Expand The Notion Of The Individual Self

10 thoughts on “Lingshan

  1. says:

    Why do you give yourself reading tasks Why do you embark on a journey to read all Nobel Laureates in Literature Over the years, reading all kinds of books by a wide range of different authors from all over the world, I asked myself that question quite often Some laureates had been favourites for decades before I started the project, others were completely new to me, and some were even hard to find in bookstores After I had finished Gao Xingjian s Soul Mountain, I thought I had an answer to the question It made me move into unknown territories, discovering elements of literature that enriched me in a surprising way, and it challenged my comfort zone by inviting me to embark on a spiritual journey in China I would never have read this novel without the project that made me look beyond the most famous, the most popular, the most well trodden paths After reading some of his plays, I dared to attempt Gao Xingjian s masterful novel a collection of disruptive narratives reflecting on humankind and nature, and their fragile relationship to each other I am sure many layers of the the novel remained unseen by me, being a novice in Gao Xingjian s world and mindset, but enough of it resonated strongly and left me utterly grateful when I closed the heavy volume what a great philosopher Young man, nature is not frightening, it s people who are frightening You just need to get to know nature and it will become friendly This creature known as man is of course highly intelligent, he s capable of manufacturing almost anything from rumours to test tube babies and yet he destroys two to three species every day This is the absurdity of man And part of the absurdity of wo man is to set herself strange tasks

  2. says:

    It throes me, the content, the soul of the author and the struggling people Now that we re here, but it s still so far awayall the mistakes one life contains, all the struggle we fought was in vainthey all finally start to fade awayI can get purified from reading it and obtain from it whenever I scatter my eyes on and imprint my fingers in the pages, so why don t you give it a shot What a beautifully written book of a mastermind, and it s still being banned in Chinkland for sure, it throes me tooFuck Can I say some F words

  3. says:

    This is barely a book It s the at once epic and intimate journey of one man, told in different persons and with feelings sometimes instead of words somehow , almost miraculously bound together and made tangible.I am prone to exaggeration But I have such specific remembrances memories of feelings and moments of hyper awareness tied to this book For all the incredible books I have come across so far, NONE of them gave me what this book did None of them made me so viscerally part of their story.

  4. says:

    A powerful spiritual experience, coming from an author still alive I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the author took refuge in France, was living in an inner city project housing at the time he got the Nobel Prize A deeply enriching story of his journey, which is at the same time entertaining A powerful combination of depth and lightness I haven t come across a chronicle of journey like this for a long time It fits so well with his Nobel Prize speech, in wisdom and modesty.

  5. says:

    25th of February 2013 I cannot help, but to refer these news Chinese Officials Admit Cancer Villages Due To Pollution Exist.http chinese offici Buddha Sakyamuni and Mahakayapa Preamble Lingshaw means Soul Mountain In this book there s an enlightening preface by No l Dutrait referring that, in China, in the end of the 1970 s there was a timid political liberalization , therefore allowing writers not to serve the communist party Gao Xingjian is a writer and painter born in 1940 in 1997 he was granted French citizenship In several interviews I ve watched, he said in good French in my natal country, my name and books are censured About the Olympic Games, Gao commented, that everybody is aware about censorship in China Anti spiritual Pollution Campaign I read also that his present book is a literary response to the devastation of the self by painter Bada Shanren 1625 1705 Gao said that painting starts where words cannot go but while reading this book I had this great feeling I was viewing terrifically beautiful landscapes.of forests and mountains and of soul s.It s a different style of writing Gao s quite good enabling images through words Gao affirmed that the artist can express himselfhas a voice of his ownhe s a conscience The Chinese writer thinks that a single writer cannot change the worldit s utopic And yet his words will endure.Gao asks who reads the political speeches only Historians but Shakespeare, and the Greek Tragedies and Don Quijote everybody reads them by painter Gong Xian 1660 1700 The book s story is auto biographical especially in what concerns the diagnosed terminal cancer and, in general, the China hinterland tour 5 months.The StoryThe main character of the story is a matured man called Li.He lived a lot of time in the city.We found him with a back pack on a 12 hours bus rideon his way to visit his natal landin South China Li muses that everybody returns here due to advanced age who can escape nostalgia He watches the people they hug tightly, they have their own vocabulary, quite different from the Northern people these are rustic Here, while reading,we get introduced to a new style of narration an omnipresent narrator addresses Li constantly telling him things, like you, yourself, don t know why you came here On the train Li heard that there was a place called Lingshaw Soul Mountain.How can you get there Li took a bus to little Wuyi village old books speak about Lingshaw like Classic of the Seas and the Mountains they say that the Buddha awakened there the venerable Mahakayapa Li s trip is a voyage to return to Nature, to have an authentic life he should have abandoned pollution a long time ago He had been diagnosed lung cancer by painter Gong Xian 1660 1700 On his trip he recalls old traditions that the Cultural Revolution prohibited like the dance around the fire till dawn the old songs and lyrics were replaced by Mao s quotes Li says that some of his country men declared to be of QIANG ethnicity to be allowed to have children, hence escaping birth control policies Li comments I came here to study the popular chants The Qiang race live between the high Tibetan plateau and the Sichuan basinand they adore the fire Li wanted to escape the literary world and the smoke of his room It s Springtime and Li says I let my spirit wander he s back to a place of childhood and youth In Wuyi he meets a woman, who was staring at the mountains but then she disappeared Li watches a young couple laughing,joyfully The Omnipresent narrator s voice tells him you ve passed that age, you don t feel the same joy as they do.The woman wasn t as happy as the couple, she doesn t look like them.Li feels the need to communicatewhen he sees the woman buying grapefruit But she doesn t answer The Voice is back on Li you don t know how to love, you lost your virility, so weak you are Li recalls mountains walk.It s cold in the mountains, despite being springtime Li spent two nights at the Panda s Observation field Li tells the story of the Dragon Feast and the tragedy stories suicides of the Passage of Yu, a village mentioned in the Historical Memories of Sima Quan 145 86 B.C Forests The Chinese writer loves nature and describes the one million years old Beeches 40 meters tall.Li explains the concept of Kalpa the succession of existences and rebirths of man, in Buddhist religion and the parallels between Kalpa and the Bambu tree 60 years cycle by painter Hs Wei 1529 1593 The guide tells Li that once there were tigers,but now no tigers in South China Nature doesn t scare you, but man does , concludes Li Li is worried is there still a primitive forest, yet untouched by man yes, at point 11M12M Li knows about the Blue Bird, that seeks food for Mother Queen of the West It s in Tang s poetry Remembered the pollution of river Minjiang not to speak of the Yangzi s the Three Gorges will destroy the equilibrium of the Yangzi Basin And then there are references to the metallic black of the Tsugas trees firs trees of dark grey.and the rare white azalea The cuckoo singing like Big Brother wait for me Li is breathlessin a state of serenity never known before But Li will say Nature fooled me a man with no beliefs, who s afraid of nothing and thinks he s important Li is lost in the forest I yell fog falls upon me and all Li has got is seven candies in his pocket For all his life he s been expecting a miracle Li is back on the dialogues with the different woman She told him she wanted to die It should be good to die in purity.Nobody can recognize her, nobody knows her name those names she gave at the hotel were false She tells her story to Li She met a man, loved himbut vomited,despite not being pregnant they had plans, but no kids included.And then, hysterically, she insulted him, due to her griefand love ended She worked in a hospital,but hated work and family, even her father a drunken man, a weak man, subjugated by her stepmother Li asks hurt woman if she wants to cross the river, to the other side there, it s Lingshaw the Soul Mountain.A place where you can see marvels, that will help you forgettingand get liberation Li says she s truly cunning She says she s not stupid by painter Hua Yen 1682 1756 Li speaks about himself about the time when lung cancer was diagnosed had he experienced repentance he went through a period of time remembering his own errors was he ungrateful to others, or the other way around At that time a friend told him about respiratory practices Qi Qong that could help him Li started walking in parks, where people took cages with birds for a stroll.The city was polluted Also, Li started reading the Book of Mutations, the YiJing and its hexagrams His friend had studied genetic engineering he thought life is admirable a chance phenomenon Li acknowledges his mother really loved him but she passed away And he really hated his wife, whom he separated from Li thought life was an inextricable knotof rage What the fibroscopy revealed there was nothing May the Buddha be praised He had promised if he had another chance he would change course in his life And miracle happened Li the one who thought about young people praying what a foolishness Li the one who felt pity for those praying Now he felt he was reciting the name of the Buddha Amithaba, with all his heart , before receiving the fibroscopy result Man is nothing in the face of adversities One day Li consults a psychic woman she s having convulsions and tells about his destiny you are surrounded by great difficulties and the little men Li knows them the Sanshithe little men living in the body of men, hiding in the throat, feeding on saliva The psychic woman tells him too you ve found the white tiger Li knows what that means The Great Emperor Tang was a Li too Li is the descendant of a family of generals and ministers, not only of tomb robbers.Li ancestors are recalled The psychic woman had told Li I think you won t get pardonthere s an evil man who wants to punish youyou ll hardly escape Nine white tigers.The story goes on.What will Li find in Soul Mountain Will he ever get pardoned or find liberation Time to ascribe 4 and a half stars to Gao s He plainly deserves them by painter Zheng Banqiao 1693 1765 Post Scriptum I recall when I was a child the Yangtzi water was pure in all seasons.Gao Xingjian Chongqing city,south west of China,in The Economist,Feb 4th 2012 air pollution,2013 Beijing China s cancer villages areas with cancer patients significantly above the national average mapped out by various researchers and produced by environmentalist Deng Fei in 2009.

  6. says:

    This book is admittedly a bit challenging its structure is unconventional, folk tales mingle with personal history, and it isn t bound so much by a plot as by a pervading spirit of search But what a beautiful search it is In seeking out a mountain that may or may not exist, Xingjian takes the reader on a journey of self discovery that isn t marked so much by what it reveals, as by what remains hidden and perfectly unknown The last page is perhaps my favorite in literature a perfect silence, enshrouded in snow, in which the divine can appear everywhere and in everything even as something as seemingly unimportant as a frog Really a lovely book, but not an easy one.

  7. says:

    I d like to start with a view that dissents with those of some other reviewers, who in praise, often claim that this book works outside the rules of fiction, or is unlike all other books, or isn t even a novel Of course it is a novel, and a hyperliterary one at that and it operates within structures of fictional form that are common even commonplace in the twentieth century, not to mention in earlier works that share some of its astonishing features such as Don Quixote And Gao got a degree in French literature and appears to have been well acquainted with modernism So there s that, to start.I am not a huge, huge reader of nonlinear and or nontraditional narrative myself, but the events surrounding this book s composition in the wake of the Cultural Revolution gave it a fresh interest for me So to place this book within a literary context is hardly to denigrate it or to take away from what makes it wonderful on the contrary, I think that that enriches it Also, if you don t know where Guizhou or Anhui are, look at a map I promise that being able to follow the narrator s travels will increase your reading pleasure.Additional thoughts here

  8. says:

    This was a difficult book to read Not because I found Xingjian s writing style too disjointed or because I thought it was too dense, but because his gaze never seemed to swerve far away from his own navel In the beginning the book seemed very promising but as I continued it read and like the recounting of a long and stupid dream.Xingjian s preoccupation with himself reaches the point that when one character has the temerity to impose on his splendid isolation with a story of her own suffering it makes him physically ill In another chapter he abandons a child by the road Allegory or not, it is very telling of the kind of character that the I, he, you of the book is There were interesting parts in the book, yes, but they all seemed to be used solely as backdrops to his endless self adoration.I realise the book is meant to be a meditation on the self and that is well and good but the impression it leaves me with is a man so enraptured by himself that he thinks every slightest creative whim of his own and every particular about his life has immediate significance and importance to the reader.His treatment of women is also off somehow They are invariably portrayed as cluelessly drifting along until snatched up by some willful male For example, there are countless references to horrible crimes against women, including a lot of rape, that do not seem to do much in the way of raising the ire of the author but are instead presented as some immutable law of the universe.That said, there were times when the book offered an engrossing window into the country and people there but without any overarching vision to tie those solitary gems together they remain unpolished diamonds buried in a soulless mountain of dung.

  9. says:

    This book won a Nobel for liturature but, I have to admit it was a strugle for me to get through It is over 500 pages and I have NEVER been so glad to be done with a book The author frequently refers to China s many Dynastys and The Culturol Revolution a very sad time for the people of China and their culture Perhaps if I was familiar with the history of China and the culture I may have enjoyed the book.Perhaps something was lost in translation Much of it was very metaphysical, phylosophical and at times digresed into uninteligable nonesense There is no continuous story line and what little story there is seems to be scattered through the book in no aparent order of sequence Maybe I m an idiot and that is quit possible the book made absolutly no sense If you even think about reading it I would sugest that you read chapter 74, a short little chapter If you like that chapter and it makes sense to you, by all means read the book That being said there were some chapters that were enjoyable and very beautifuly written.

  10. says:

    1 I read it in Chinese and sort of understand where is Gao coming from After had suffered personally the catastrophes of ten years Cultural Revolution and witnessed the destruction of traditional values, especially the metaphysical dimension of the Chinese culture under the Communist Regime, Gao wishes to paint again or recapture the original beauty of the tradition, which is inseparable from the mystical and even whimsical layers of the reality perceived by the local people who possess rather a less sophisticated mindset and sentiment before the intrusion of the ideological materialism of the government 2 Hence, it would be difficult to appreciate the book without acknowledging the author s attempt to reconstruct the notion of transcendence in his spiritual journey Notice the transcendence in the book is unlike the platonic or medieval nonphysical realm as a Western would have understood neither is a purely fictional and magical thing that has no basis in human existence As a Chinese myself, if I understand Gao correctly, the notion of the transcendence is much like this a mixture of Taoism and Buddhism with the primitive experiences of the local people in relation to the world, the supernatural phenomena and legends in particular, a mixture that has not been largely emasculated and contaminated by the ugliness, monotony, and boredom of a naturalistic mentality, which according to the character himself, is utter unlivable and destructive to human spirit 3 Then, what is exactly the definition of this mixed notion of transcendence or soul mountain he searches for Even throughout the book, there is no explicit answer given because there is none Any effort or attempt to access or describe the mystery of being is determined to fail, since transcendence, by essence, is uncontrollable and ineffable Further, it is precisely because human beings are intrinsically oriented toward such mystery, we are forever under the unquenchable longing for being in unity with it, we are forever on the journey of climbing the mountain that may redeem the soul 5 In other words, the main character of the story does not know what is exactly he is seeking but he knows he is seeking something that goes beyond him simultaneously and irrepressibly resides within his most inner being It is precisely because the things he is seeking are beyond him, his seeking becomes both possible and meaningful In other words, if they are to be found like whatever can be identified, manufactured, and manipulated, as what materialism and political power of the Communist government have done with the nation, then he would not have begun his seeking for meaning in the first place As it has been said, this does not mean he is seeking something that does not exist In fact, the things he seeks exist precisely in the process of seeking and cannot be captivated and hence ceased in the process Consequently, seeking can go on and perpetually strikes and surprise him and us.4 This is why in his attempts to restore the notion of transcendence in the novel, he spends huge portions to rediscover the lost and oblivious legends and mysteries of the native cultures in the southeast of China after the Cultural Revolution, and these stories and fables some of them are fascinating and some of them are dreadful , kept in the memories of old generations, open up a world that is ultimately immune to any cognitive and sentimental categories that are meant to eradicate mysteries and wonders of the world.5 For Gao, at least from my reading of the novel, history is not objective knowledge based on evidence and documents, but it is a collective living memory of a group of people In a sense, this collecting living memory is much real and richer than than the former because people often tend remember things much intriguing and enchanting, alluring their imagination, and inspiring the will for adventure..we are not beings live on material necessities, we are dreamers, thinkers, and hopers.the world is not composed of matter, but orchestrated by mysteries and for mysteries..