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In 1983, 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 second 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 15,000 kilometers into the remote mountains and ancient forests of Sichuan in southwest China. The result of this epic voyage of discovery is Soul Mountain.
Bold, lyrical, and prodigious, Soul Moutain 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.
along the greyish paths between the ﬁelds. Enjoying yourself? Yes. Don’t you think it’s wonderful? I don’t know, I can’t say, don’t ask me. You lean against her arm and she leans towards you, you look down to her, you can’t see her features but you sense her small nose and you again smell that familiar warmth. Suddenly she comes to a halt. Let’s go back, she mutters. Back where? I have to get some rest. I’ll take you back. I don’t want anyone with me. She is quite adamant. Do you have relatives
ancestral temple is quite a good job. The old man says the place isn’t open to outsiders and with these words starts pushing you out. You say your surname is Li and you’re a member of the clan. You’ve been abroad and are now back visiting your native village. He wrinkles his bushy white eyebrows and looks you over from head to toe. You ask if he knows that earlier on there was a grave robber in the village. The lines on his face deepen and you wince at his expression, most memories can’t help
high, as if I were holding a ﬂame torch. The lighter goes out even though there’s no wind. The surrounding darkness becomes even thicker, boundless. Even the intermittent chirping of the autumn insects becomes mute. My ears ﬁll with darkness, primitive darkness. So it was that man came to worship the power of ﬁre, and thus overcame his inner fear of darkness. I ﬂick my lighter again but the weak dancing ﬂame is immediately extinguished by an invisible, formless wind. In this wild darkness terror
guides. Of course, it isn’t hard to ﬁnd places like Lingtai, Lingqiu, Lingyan and even Lingshan on provincial maps and you know very well that in the histories and classics, Lingshan appears in works dating back to the ancient shamanistic work Classic of the Mountains and Seas and the old geographical gazetteer Annotated Water Classic. It was also at Lingshan that Buddha enlightened the Venerable Mahakashyapa. You’re not stupid, so just use your brains, ﬁrst ﬁnd this place Wuyizhen on the
it was while he was away working. These itinerant craftsmen are out on their own all year round and earn quite a bit of money through their trade. It’s not hard for them to ﬁnd a woman to sleep with as there are plenty of wanton women about who want money. But he shouldn’t have taken advantage of a mute girl. He raped her, played with her, and then discarded her. When the Goddess Tianluo came to take his life, was it this mute girl who came into his mind? Of course. She appeared before his eyes