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Ran, Liping (2009) Against the stream of desire: A psychoanalytical interpretation on woman characters in Gao Xingjian's novels. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This paper contains an introduction, four main chapters, and a conclusion. The introduction introduces into preparatory discussions on background, questions, proposal, aim, method, theories, and division of content. Chapter one interprets Gao's earlier novel collection Geiwo laoye mai yugan (Buying my Grandpa a Fishing Rod) (1989) as woman's repressed desire under the ruling of the patriarchy. Chapter two reveals the protagonist's self-awakening under the influence of a culture with natual intelligence in Lingshan (Soul Mountain) (2001). Chapter three discusses Gao's Yige ren de shengjing (One Man's Bible) (1999) to reconstruct the personality at post-modern stage. Chapter four constructs the aesthetics of desire for life by discussing Gao's style of language and interpreting his later novel Shunjian (A Moment) (1999). The conclusion summarizes what have been discussed and promotes life to a higher level by Wang Guowei's "Jingjie," which enables the "poetics of life." The 1-19 parts form an integral whole, showing their interactivity using the structure of summation-division-summation. In theme, this study opens up a literary topic that everybody can reach-life. In the depth of the theme, it explores the development of human personality by analyzing the transmutation of the protagonist's inner world. In the width of knowledge involved, it contains literature, philosophy, psychology, religion, science, art, poetics, and aesthetics. The psychoanalysis as methodology traces and realizes a psychological progression of philosophical meditations on life. The use of symbolism, analogy, sense perception, artistic analysis jointly gives this thesis a poetical disposition with natural sensuousness and aesthetic connotation. In the choice of materials, it encompasses those that can both suit the topic and reflect the voices of different levels. To sum up, life's positive potential may bring fragile mind out of nihilistic state and give it a positive meaning. Thus the development of a positive personality must be the right path to the wholeness of human personality.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:02

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