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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.
never again heard. There was no way of knowing whether it had been attacked by a leopard and its neckband chewed up or whether it had met a clever hunter who had smashed the neckband with his riﬂe butt. Close to daybreak two shots sound from the lower part of the compound. Their mufﬂed echoes reverberate in the valley for a long time, stubbornly lingering like smoke in the barrel of a riﬂe that’s been ﬁred. 40 7 You regret not ﬁxing a time to see her again, you regret not chasing after her,
ﬁsh-scale overlapping shapes always conjure up childhood memories. I recall rainy weather, rainy weather when, drops of transparent water clinging to it, the spider web in the corner of the room trembles in the wind. This sets me thinking about why I have come into the world. Roof-tiles have the power of making me weak and making me succumb to inertia. I want to cry but I have already lost the ability to cry. The medium burps a couple of times: the spirit must be attaching itself to her. She
sincere then your wish will be granted? Whether or not your wish is granted depends on your fate and lucky people don’t need to search for it? This means that if you wear old iron shoes you won’t ﬁnd it anywhere and to look would be a total waste of time! Are you saying that this Lingyan is just an insensate rock? If I don’t say that, what should I say? If I don’t say that, is it because I shouldn’t say it or because I can’t say it? That is entirely up to you, she will be what you want her to be,
when you put up an arm, and further on you have to bend down. “There’s a small door,” you say, feeling your way in the dark. “What do you see?” She stays in her room. “Nothing, it’s solid timber, without any joins, oh, and there’s a lock.” “It’s really scary,” you hear her say from the other side of the door. 104 You go back to your room and ﬁnd that by putting a big bamboo tub upside-down onto a pile of straw you can stand on it and climb onto a rafter. “Quick, what can you see?” she asks
them eagerly looked back, even the hunchback. There were more than ﬁfty of them, all staring with their heads turned to one side. Now don’t laugh just yet. Who’s laughing? Let’s talk about Old Lu’s wife in the house next door. Right after dinner, she was sitting at the doorway sewing shoe soles and saw all this happening. So she said, Hunchback, your foot’s treading in dog shit! This really embarrassed the hunchback. On those very hot days when all the villagers sat out on the streets to eat