REPRESENTATION OF CHINESE ECOLOGY IN GAO XINGJIAN’S SOUL MOUNTAINJournal: IMPACT : International Journal of Research in Humanities, Arts and Literature (IMPACT : IJRHAL) (Vol.4, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2016-01-28
Authors : ANURAG BHATTACHARYYA;
Page : 37-44
Keywords : Nature; Ecology; Landscape; Yangtze River; Ecosphere;
Soul Mountain (2000) traces a five month journey of the protagonist from Beijing to Sichuan province and from there followed the Yangtze River to the coast. The description of the trip is supposed to be based on the author’s journey along the catchment areas of the Yangtze River in 1983. In Soul Mountain the depiction of the varied biodiversity witnessed in the natural forests has an almost sacramental value: it holds out the promise of a renewed authentic relation of humanity and the earth. On his wanderings into the nature reserves Gao witnesses how people are shooting bears and even pandas; tress are being cut down a hundred times faster than before. Stones inscribed with historical inscriptions have been dynamited to yield materials for bridges that were never built. The novels focus on literature’s potential to sensitize readers to the environmental or ecological aspects of a place. Ecology can be viewed as “the study of the structure and function of nature”-it is understood that mankind is a part of nature. The paper seeks to interpret Soul Mountain through natural sciences and shows that the novels derive their vital truth from laws of nature. It further examines the representation of ecology and degraded landscapes in Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain and also interrogates the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem, all identifiable entities or forms in the ecosphere. The concept of disharmony in the relationship between humankind and nature and the possibility of finding a solution in traditional knowledge system is part of the discourse in the novel.
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