Conclusion: The Obligation of Creation

  • Todd J. Coulter


The conclusion takes up the deeper political and cultural implications of Gao’s work. What drew me to Gao originally was what I interpreted as stubborn resistance to established norms and an unwillingness to be defined. Considering the totality of his acknowledged cultural heritage and aesthetic project, I argue that Gao manifests a transcultural sensibility of identity expressed through the unique aesthetics of his dramaturgy. This aesthetics is predicated on a playful manipulation of established theatrical discourses that allows one to exist always at the periphery and never in the center. This playfulness necessitates constant creation, and it is here that Gao most happily resides.


Communist Party Cultural Implication Chinese Aesthetics Liberate Struggle Chinese Expatriate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 12.
    Gao Xingjian, “La raison d’être de la littérature,” in Le Témoinage de la littérature (Paris: Seuil, 2004) 115.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    Jean-Paul Sartre, “A Plea for Intellectuals.” Between Marxism and Existentialism, translated by Jonathan Matthews (New York: Pantheon, 1974), 246.Google Scholar
  3. 18.
    Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual (New York: Vintage, 1994), 53.Google Scholar
  4. 19.
    Erika E. S. Evasdottir, Obedient Autonomy: Chinese Intellectuals and the Achievement of Orderly Life (Honolulu: University of Hawai’I Press, 2005), ix.Google Scholar
  5. 23.
    Rana Mitter, A Bitter Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 276–277.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Todd J. Coulter 2014

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations