The Case For Literature

When Gao Xingjian was crowned Nobel Laureate in 2000, it was the first time in the hundred-year history of the Nobel Prize that this honour had been awarded to an author for a body of works written in Chinese. His plays, novels and short fiction have undeniably won a victory for Chinese literature. Written between 1990 and 2002, these bold and extraordinary essays include Gao's Nobel Lecture, 'the Case for Literature', and embody his argument for literature as a universal human endeavour rather than one solely defined by national boundaries. the essays deal with history, politics, philosophy, archaeology, anthropology and linguistics, in addition to presenting Gao's innovative ideas on narrative and theatre aesthetics, and constitute the kernel of his thinking on literary creation.