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  • Of Mountains and Seas

Of Mountains and Seas

A Tragicomedy of the Gods in Three Acts

Gao Xingjian

English , 2008/05 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Literature

229 x 152 mm , 152pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-962-996-375-0

  • US$32.00

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Of Mountains and Seas is one of the most spirited and fun-filled plays written by Gao Xingjian, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Literature. Based on the ancient text The Classic of Mountains and Seas, the play re-enacts the classical world of Chinese mythology, traversing the creation of humans to the beginning of Chinese dynastic history. It is a world of magical powers and child-like wonderment, peopled with ghosts, ghouls and monsters, and comprised of the famous Battle of Zhuo Lu between Chi You and the Yellow Emperor, the shooting down of the nine of the ten suns by Yi the Archer, and the theft of no-death drug by Chang E, who then flies away to the moon and becomes the Moon Goddess. In employing song and dance, acrobatics and other Chinese folk art forms, the play carries on Gao's search for a "total theater" and a new form of modern Eastern drama. Of Mountains and Seas is also an ambitious attempt by Gao Xingjian to construct a grand narrative of Chinese mythology, wrestling it back from the contaminations of ideology, politics and didacticism so as to restore its authenticity. With this innocence and purity of origin, Gao insists, the play offers a glimpse of the collective consciousness of the Chinese race and human nature in general.

GAO Xingjian is the winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first Chinese to receive the award. Best-known for his novels and plays, he is a multitalented artist who also excels as stage director, painter, poet, photographer and literary theorist. In 2007, he completed his movie Silhouette/Shadow, in which he was the writer, director and actor. Born in Jiangxi, China, he has settled in Paris, France since 1987.

Gilbert C. F. FONG graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Presently he is professor and reader at the Department of Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. An acclaimed translator, Fong translated into English many plays by Gao Xingjian. He also translated Samuel Beckett??s Waiting for Godot, Jean Genet??s Haute Surveillance, Dale Wasserman??s Man of La Mancha, Antonio Sk?rmeta??s Burning Patience, and Arthur Miller??s Death of a Salesman into Chinese, all for stage performances in Hong Kong.

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