Forthcoming: “Calling for a New Renaissance” by Gao Xingjian

With “Calling for a New Renaissance,” the Nobel Laureate explores his primary aesthetic concerns of the past decade. He criticizes the influence of ideology on art and literature and calls for a new Renaissance that would generate truly innovative creations. Unprecedented in this book is Gao’s insight into how, despite being educated in the People’s Republic of China, he succeeded in educating himself both in Chinese literature and in world literatures. Professor Mingwei Song of Wellesley College writes:

“This book is a tour de force! It introduces to English-language readers to the profound thoughts of one of the world’s most distinguished writers. In this book, Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian addresses pressing issues about literature, ideology, politics, environment, and the human and inhuman conditions of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Gao Xingjian’s thinking matters now more than ever as we live in a time wrought with uncertainties and threats resulting from ideological conflicts, technological changes, and environment catastrophes. Gao’s thoughts on literature and politics, together with his artworks, as Jianmei Liu so eloquently states in her foreword, ‘have exemplified a personal renaissance in literature and art in a time besieged by commercial desires, political struggles, and spiritual destitution,’ and this new renaissance represents a third space that exists outside the dualist thinking and goes beyond the ‘either/or’ dichotomies, ‘achieving a Zhuangzian state of absolute spiritual freedom.’ Gao’s literature and art, in their unique way, have upheld the individuation of literary writing and artistic creation at a pivotal time of history when sweeping changes are taking over literary and artistic production, now oriented toward the digital, the cybernetic, and the virtual. This book also showcases Gao Xingjian’s masterful expressions of artistic freedom through breathtaking visual images, in 45 of Gao’s paintings selected by Gao himself. This collection by Gao is one of its own kind, with the verbal and visual parts interwoven in a rich, synergistic manner.”

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