In her paper, "Nobel in Literature 2000 Gao Xingjian's Aesthetics of Fleeing," Mabel Lee explores the aesthetic dimensions of Gao Xingjian's play Taowang (Fleeing 1990), and its significance in establishing the recurring motif of "fleeing" in Gao's later writings on literature. Lee argues that the intensely emotional times during which Gao wrote Fleeing were comparable to those seventy years earlier confronting May Fourth writers. Urging his compatriots not to be "bystanders," Lu Xun, the most influential of May Fourth writers, had chosen to allow his creative self to suicide, as shown in the prose-poems of Yecao (Wild Grass 1927). For Gao Xingjian, however, such heroic gestures are anathema. He is prepared to be a "bystander" and he refuses adamantly to sacrifice his creative self. Although the play is undeniably an aesthetic appraisal of a specific political event, Fleeing is resoundingly a declaration for literature that is unburdened by politics.

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