An Individual in Night: Ballade Nocturne and Gao’s Philosophical Woman

  • Todd J. Coulter


This chapter looks at Gao’s most recent play and the first to be translated directly from French to English. Many of Gao’s characters and narrators are women displaced in time and location. This chapter uses Ballade Nocturne to explore how Gao’s female characters are engaged in a type of performative philosophy to give voice to a minoritarian power against the dominance of male-centric language and identity. The chapter takes time to consider the play in production as well.


Female Character Major Language Male Audience Stage Direction Translation Mine 
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  1. 2.
    Gao Xingjian, Ballade Nocturne, translated by Claire Conceison (London: Sylph, 2010), 17.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, translated by Brian Massumi (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press 1987), 104.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    Judith Butler, Undoing Gender (London: Routledge, 2004), 165.Google Scholar
  4. 16.
    Claire Colebrook, Gilles Deleuze (London: Routledge, 2002), 146.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Todd J. Coulter 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd J. Coulter
    • 1
  1. 1.Colby CollegeUSA

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