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Abstract

In her article "World Humanism(s), the Divine Comedy, Lao She's "灵的文学与佛" ("Literature of the Soul and Buddhism"), and Gao's Soul Mountain" Letizia Fusini analyzes the Lao She's and Xingjian Gao's conceptions of literature as an activity concerning the realm of the spirit. Fusini utilizes Dante's Divine Comedy for comparison between the literary ideals pursued by the two Chinese writers and regards Lao She's and Gao's humanist and non-political approach underlying their respective notions. Considering Lao She's call for the emergence of a "Chinese Dante" (1941), Fusini contends that China might have found its own "Dante" in Gao who seems to have shared the same destiny of the exiled Florentine poet. Although Lao She ascribed to the Buddhist clergy the task of creating a Chinese literature of the soul modeled on the Divine Comedy, Fusini argues that Gao might have fulfilled this task without resorting to any religious frameworks, but to a personal, intense, and profoundly Chinese spirituality.