Cambria Press author Professor Liu Jianmei, Professor of Chinese Literature at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, gave a speech about her book, Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics, coedited with Mabel Lee, at the Cambria Press reception at the AAS 2018 conference in Washington, DC.
Watch Professor Liu Jianmei’s speech and/or read the transcript below.
“I will jump right to the first question people ask about our book, which is what does your book bring that is new to Gao Xingjian studies? Previous studies on Gao Xingjian usually focus on particular areas of his fiction, plays, painting, film or poetry, or used his essays to explore his ideas on literature and creative aesthetics. This new book, which I have coedited with Mabel Lee, aims to cross the boundaries of these media, and to provide a comprehensive investigation of Gao Xingjian’s creations and ideas. The purpose of this is to showcase his transcultural, transdisciplinary, and transmedia explorations, and examine how he has persistently projected the struggles and agonies of the individual’s inner landscape into vivid images on stage, in films, in black-and-white paintings, and in the multilayered narrative expressions in fiction and poetry, and even in dance and music.
The second question people ask is what is different in your approach to this volume? Well, this volume crosses the boundaries of traditional academic writing and takes the reader to the in-between spaces of different styles of writing, research, and commentary, which help us better understand Gao’s endeavors in literary, theatrical, and pictorial creation and their accompanying philosophical insights. The chapters in this book transgress the boundaries of different media and genres—fiction, drama, poetry, painting, film—in their deliberations, and these diverse approaches serve to broaden the scope of Gao Xingjian research through what can be described as a dimension of heightened freedom, that is suggestive of Chan Buddhist comprehension. Gao Xingjian often states that for him creative innovations emerge at boundaries and in-between space. The aim of this collection thus seeks to explore such boundaries and in-between spaces in academic research on Gao Xingjian.
Finally, I want to thank Toni Tan and Victor Mair for their strong support of our new book. I also want to thank our contributors for their excellent essays and David Armstrong for his patience and help through the whole process of publication. We are really grateful to Cambria Press.
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About the book
Since Gao Xingjian’s Nobel win in 2000 he has demonstrated his profound erudition across cultures in his creative explorations in literature and the visual arts. His intense intellectual curiosity can seldom be matched by his contemporaries, and his creative achievements in literature, the dramatic arts, painting, and film have been extraordinary, and have been reflected in his aesthetic treatises on art and literature. English-language publications have been in the forefront of Gao Xingjian research since the 1980s, and this book fills a Gao Xingjian research hiatus simply because it is hard to keep abreast of his stridently innovative creations. This volume brings readers up to date on Gao Xingjian, who is probably in this age of uncertainties, one of the foremost aesthetes in literature and the visual arts.
Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics demonstrates the extensive reach of Gao Xingjian’s transcultural, transdisciplinary and transmedia explorations. Showcased here is the panoramic aesthetics of a polymath who has successfully personified modern-time renaissance by projecting the struggles of the individual’s inner landscape into vivid images on stage, film, black-and-white paintings, and in the multilayered narrative expressions of fiction and poetry, even dance and music, to evoke a sense of sincerity and authenticity that penetrates a viewer/reader’s heart. The volume is divided into four parts: philosophical inquiry; transdiscipline, transgenre, transculture; cine-poems with paintings, dance and music; and identifying and defining the self. The chapters probe different aspects of Gao Xingjian’s work, bearing testimony to their diverse specializations.
This book will appeal to Chinese literature scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, and general readers with an interest in the broad subjects of contemporary Chinese literature, high arts, avant-garde culture, women’s and gender studies, Sinophone film and transmedia culture, comparative literature, and cultural studies.
Title: Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics
Editors: Mabel Lee and Liu Jianmei
Publisher: Cambria Press
362 pp. | 2018 | Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979466.cfm