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Gao Xingjian, the Nobel Prize and Chinese intellectuals: notes on the aftermath of the Nobel Prize 2000

Lovell, Julia (2002) Gao Xingjian, the Nobel Prize and Chinese intellectuals: notes on the aftermath of the Nobel Prize 2000. Modern Chinese Literature and Culture 14 (2 (fal), pp. 1-50. ISSN 1520-9857.

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On 12 October 2000, when Gao Xingjian, a novelist and playwright born in China, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, China's century-long quest for Nobel glory finally came to an end. Chinese intellectuals and politicians had worried for decades over when a Nobel Literature Prize would come to China, particularly since the mid-1980s when the search for a Nobel Prize was promoted to the level of an official policy issue and Nobel anxiety attained the status of a "complex" (Nuobeier qingjie) amongst writers, critics and academics. However, the lack of a Chinese laureate was now, it seemed, resolved and the mystique of the prize dispelled: Chinese literature could live happily ever after. Reactions to Gao's prize across the global Chinese community, and particularly in the Mainland, immediately refuted such hopes, as rumors and accusations of politicization began to circulate. This essay explores the historical and cultural background to the Chinese "Nobel Complex," examines the significance of Gao's prize in the contemporary world literary economy, and analyses reactions to the award in Mainland China for the light they shed on the links between modern Chinese literary intellectuals, politics and national identity.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: MCLC is edited by Kirk A. Denton at the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, The Ohio State University. Publication of the journal is generously supported by the East Asian Studies Center and the Institute for Chinese Studies at The Ohio State University.
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Sandra Plummer
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2008 14:44
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:16

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