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“Without ism” An Ism for One Man

Noël Dutrait


Gao Xingjian won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000 for his works begun in China in the early 1980s. After moving to France in 1987, he has also written theoretical texts proposing not a major principle or ism, but the opposite, the absence of ism and a “cold” literature, free of all political or ideological influence. He has since had to confront the inherent contradictions between being famous as well as weak and isolated, the latter condition being conducive to producing literature and art in line with his convictions. This article looks at his work through the prism of the absence of ism.

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Noël Dutrait, « “Without ism” An Ism for One Man », China Perspectives [En ligne], 2010/2 | 2010, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2013, consulté le 22 juillet 2018. URL :

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Noël Dutrait

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