Archive for the ‘Gao Xingjian’ Category

Summary: A Texas writer who listens to “Soul Mountain” while driving in his car around Houston describes Gao Xingjian’s ambivalence towards the modern novel and traditional storytelling.

The Peripatetic Novel

This review is a little special: it’s about a book I heard completely while driving around in my car. I recently returned to my home town, Houston, a city where people spend unbearable amounts of time in the solitude of their cars, driving from work to home and work again. In Houston waiting in traffic is synonymous with living. One passes through neighborhoods in air-conditioned comfort, cursing the red lights and slow-moving cars. The purpose of Houston life, it seems, is to wander around without having to feel the breeze or notice the trees, people or shops. The only interruption to the routine are the weekly visits to the gas station, where the traveler parks, inserts his debit card into the machine and pumps gas into his tank Then, if he is lucky, he can leave as quickly as he came, merging into the grumbling fog of traffic. (more…)