Gao Xingjian's Idea of Theatre

From the Word to the Image

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This book argues that Gao Xingjian's Idea of Theatre can only be explained by his broad knowledge and use of various Chinese and Western theatrical, literary, artistic and philosophical traditions.

The author aims to show how Gao's theories of the theatre of anti-illusion, theatre of conscious convention, of the "poor theatre" and total theatre, of the neutral actor and the actor - jester - storyteller are derived from the Far Eastern tradition, and to what extent they have been inspired by 20th century Euro-American reformers of theatre such as Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Jerzy Grotowski and Tadeusz Kantor. Although Gao' s plays and theatre form the major subject, this volume also pays ample attention to his painting and passion for music as sources of his dramaturgical strategies.
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Biographical Note

Izabella Łabędzka, Ph.D. (1990) in Comparative Literature, Adam Mickiewicz University, is Professor of Chinese Studies and Theatre Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, specializing in Chinese and comparative drama. She has published on contemporary Chinese theatre, comparative literature and drama.

Review Quotes

"...Izabella Labedzka's Gao Xingjian's Idea of Theatre: From the Word to the Image makes numerous invaluable, highly-informed, and intelligent contributions to the study of Gao Xingjian's theater, and will steer the study of Gao's theatrical works in many new and productive directions."
Mary Mazilli, SOAS, University of London, MCLC (June 2010)

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE
CHINESE AVANT-GARDE: NEW TRENDS IN CHINESE EXPLORATORY AND EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE
CHAPTER TWO
ACTOR IN THE SPACE OF ILLUSION AND ANTI-ILLUSION
CHAPTER THREE
NEW NARRATIVE STRATEGIES
CHAPTER FOUR
FROM REALISM TO SUR-REALISM: POETICS OF THE ABSURD AND THE GROTESQUE
CHAPTER FIVE
BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, REALITY AND DREAM: TOWARDS AN ONEIRIC IMAGINATION
CHAPTER SIX
IN SEARCH OF THE TOTAL THEATRE

BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

Readership

All those interested in Chinese contemporary and traditional theatre,comparative literature and drama, aesthetics of the avant-garde art and theatre, as well as sinologists and theatre specialists.

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