Quotes from Soul Mountain

Gao Xingjian ·  510 pages

Rating: (3.6K votes)


“You should know that there is little you can seek in this world, that there is no need for you to be so greedy, in the end all you can achieve are memories, hazy, intangible, dreamlike memories which are impossible to articulate. When you try to relate them, there are only sentences, the dregs left from the filter of linguistic structures.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Young man, nature is not frightening, it's people who are frightening! You just need to get to know nature and it will become friendly. This creature known as man is of course highly intelligent, he's capable of manufacturing almost anything from rumours to test-tube babies and yet he destroys two to three species every day. This is the absurdity of man.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Only a lunatic would think that art is superior to nature.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“I believe in science but I also believe in fate.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Men always look differently at women, even if it's not your intention it is wrongly interpreted as such.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Reality exists only through experience, and it must be personal experience. However, once related, even personal experience becomes a narrative.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Soul Mountain, the story of one man’s quest for inner peace and freedom.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“لا زلت أعتقد أننى أفهم كل شىء.
الأشياء تجرى خلفى، هناك دوما عين غريبة تترصدنى،
الأفضل هو التظاهر بالفهم.
التظاهر بالفهم،
فى الحقيقة، إنى لا أفهم شيئاً،
لا أفهم شيئاً على الإطلاق،
هكذا الأمر، لا أكثر.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“When a man gets to middle age shouldn’t he look for a peaceful and stable existence, find a not-too-demanding sort of a job, stay in a mediocre position, become a husband and a father, set up a comfortable home, put money in the bank and add to it every month so there’ll be something for old age and a little left over for the next generation?”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Mucizeler inanmadım hiç, kadere inanmadığım gibi; ama ümitsiz bir durumdaysanız , mucizelerden başka ümit bağlayacağınız ne kalır?”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“You’ve lived in the city for a long time and need to feel that you have a hometown.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Tú sabes que no hago nada más que hablarme a mí mismo para distraer mi soledad. Sabes que mi soledad es irremediable, nadie puede consolarme, no puedo recurrir a otro que a mí como interlocutor de mis discusiones.
En este largo monólogo, <> es el objeto de mi relato, en realidad es un yo que me escucha atentamente, <> no es más que me propia sombra.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“El hombre no puede deshacerse de esta máscara, es la proyección de su carne y de su alma. Se le pega a la piel, jamás podrá liberarse de ella, pero está sumido en un profundo asombro, como si no pudiera creer que se trate de sí mismo.
Esta imposibilidad de abandonar la máscara le causaba inmensos sufrimientos. Una vez que se la ha puesto, es imposible arrancársela, porque no tiene voluntad personal, o, si la tiene, no conoce el modo de expresarla y prefiere no mostrarla. La máscara deja así la impresión de un hombre que se contempla eternamente en el más profundo de los asombros.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Reality is myself, reality is only the perception of this instant and it can’t be related to another person.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Tuzağa yakalanmış hissediyorum kendimi. Dev bir zıpkınla vurulmuş, korkunun ağları içinde çırpınan bir balık gibiyim; kaderini değiştiremeyeceğini bile bile çırpınan, bir mucize olmadıkça kurtulmayacağını bilen bir balık. Ama ben hayatın boyunca hep bir mucize beklemedim mi?”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“ضحايا الظلم هم دائما من النساء”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“La diferencia entre la novela y la filosofía nace de que la novela es una producción de sensibilidad, sumerge en una mezcla de deseos los códigos de los signos arbitrariamente construidos, y, en el momento en el que este sistema se disuelve y se transforma en células, aparece la vida. Entonces se asiste a la gestación y al nacimiento, lo cual es aún más interesante que los juegos del espíritu, pero, al igual que la vida, no responde a ninguna finalidad.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Te bastará con familiarizarte con la naturaleza y ella se acercará a ti. El hombre, si es inteligente, por supuesto, es capaz de crearlo todo, desde las calumnias hasta los bebés probeta, pero al mismo tiempo extermina a diario dos o tres especies en el mundo. Este es el gran autoengaño de los hombres.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“En esta época no existía el individuo, no se distinguía el «yo» del «tú». El «yo apareció muy al comienzo a causa del miedo a la muerte; lo ajeno al «yo» se transformó en lo que se denomina el «tú». El hombre era entonces incapaz aún de temerse a sí mismo, su conocimiento de sí mismo no provenía más que del otro. Sólo el hecho de apresar o de ser apresado, de estar sometido o de someter, le confirmaba en su existencia. La tercera persona que no tiene relación directa con el «yo» y el «tú» es «él». Y «él» no aparece sino de forma paulatina. Más tarde, he descubierto que ocurre otro tanto con «él»: fue la existencia de seres diferentes la que hizo retroceder la conciencia del «yo» y del «tú». El hombre ha ido olvidado paulatinamente su «yo» en la lucha por la vida con el prójimo y, sumergido forzosamente en el mundo infinito, ya no es más que un granito de arena.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“La verdad de la vida, es decir, la naturaleza de la vida, debe ser tal como es y no de otro modo. Si me he apartado de la verdad es porque no he expuesto mas que una serie de fenómenos de la vida que no pueden, claro está, reflejarla como es debido. El resultado es que no he hecho más que seguir un camino equivocado deformando la realidad.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Si uno se pone a pensar sobre ello, la meta última de la vida humana es algo que carece de importancia, es como un enjambre de abejas. Si uno lo deja estar acabada lamentándolo, pero si lo coges los insectos te picarán, por lo que es preferible dejarlo estar y observarlo sin tocarlo.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“At that time the individual did not exist. There was not an awareness of a distinction between “I” and “you”. The birth of I derived from fear of death, and only afterwards an entity which was not I came to constitute you. At that time people did not have an awareness of fearing oneself, knowledge of the self came from an other and was affirmed by possessing and being possessed, and by conquering and being conquered. He, the third person who is not directly relevant to I and you, was gradually differentiated. After this the I also discovered that he was to be found in large numbers everywhere and was a separate existence from oneself, and it was only then that the consciousness of you and I became secondary. In the individual’s struggle for survival amongst others, the self was gradually forgotten and gradually churned like a grain of sand into the chaos of the boundless universe.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Reading this chapter is optional but as you’ve read it you’ve read it.”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


“Yours is much worse than Eastern! You’ve slapped together travel notes, moralistic ramblings, feelings, notes, jottings, untheoretical discussions, unfable-like fables, copied out some folk songs, added some legend-like nonsense of your own invention, and are calling it fiction!”
― Gao Xingjian, quote from Soul Mountain


About the author

Gao Xingjian
Born place: in Taizhou, Jiangsu, China
Born date January 4, 1940
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