Dionysus on the Other Shore, Letizia Fusini argues that throughout his early exile years (late 1980s-1990s), Gao Xingjian gradually moved away from Absurdist Drama to develop a dramaturgical system with tragic characteristics. Drawing on a range of contemporary theories of tragedy, this book reconfigures some of the key tropes of Gao’s post-1987 theater as varied articulations of the Dionysian
sparagmos mechanism. They are the dismemberment of the dramatic self, the usage of constricted spaces, the divisive nature of gender relations, and the agony of verbal language. Through a text-based analysis of seven plays, the author ultimately aims to show that in Gao’s theater, tragedy is an ongoing and mostly subtextual dynamism generated by an interplay of psychic forces concurrently cohesive and divisive.
The complex interweaving of different Western visions of China had a profound impact on artistic exchange between China and the West during the nineteenth century.
Beyond Chinoiserie addresses the complexity of this exchange. While the playful Western “vision of Cathay” formed in the previous century continued to thrive, a more realistic vision of China was increasingly formed through travel accounts, paintings, watercolors, prints, book illustrations, and photographs. Simultaneously, the new discipline of sinology led to a deepening of the understanding of Chinese cultural history. Leading and emerging scholars in the fields of art history, literary studies and material culture, have authored the ten essays in this book, which deal with artistic relations between China and the West at a time when Western powers’ attempts to extend a sphere of influence in China led to increasingly hostile political interactions.