who he is. Margarethe returns to her is left to meditate on the horrendous epoch he has managed to survive. The author's reconstructed self, conjured from memory, becomes the story. This is Gao's second novel to The book avoids cumbersome homeland, and the exüed protagonist streams of italicized thought or trivial meanderings of consciousness. The action is fragmented but clearly presented. Gao muses and contem- plates the word-games of his life. At heart, though, he honors language appear in EngUsh, and the second seamless translation from Mabel Lee. As in Soul Mountain, which intro- duced Gao to the American pubUc, the author works within the frame- book to a reader with the note, "Lan- too highly to taint the book with self-indulgent rambtings. He finds himself "autographing" his own work of a twisting, fractured narrative. The novel can't quite be caUed plotless; throughout it there are a number of sustained affatis, sexual guage is a miracle that allows people to communicate." Although he doubts the miracle, observing that people often fail to communicate, he refuses to lose faith. and poUtical. There are recurring characters and settings, but death, isolation or insanity seem the only possible resolutions for citizens
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 2003
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