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Special Feature

Gao Xingjian: Fiction and Forbidden Memory

Zhang Yinde


From Soul Mountain to One Man’s Bible, Gao Xingjian’s fiction is committed to a labour of transgressive remembering: excavating minority heritages eclipsed by the dominant culture, protecting individual memory from established historiography, and sounding the dark areas of personal memory, less to indulge in “repentance” than to examine identity. The writing of memory, thanks to fictionalisation, thus comes to resemble an exorcism that makes it possible to defy prohibitions by casting out external and internal demons and by imposing the existential prescription against normative judgement.

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Electronic reference

Zhang Yinde, « Gao Xingjian: Fiction and Forbidden Memory », China Perspectives [Online], 2010/2 | 2010, Online since 01 June 2013, connection on 24 July 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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Zhang Yinde

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