Drawing on the existing scholarly studies that have gone beyond the misogynist paradigm, such as those by Mabel Lee, Gilbert Fong, Terry Siu-han Yip, Kwok-kan Tam, and Mary Mazzilli, I intend to explore the connection between the Zen Buddhist comprehension of Dao and the representation of women in Gao Xingjian’s novels and plays. As desire and sexual relationships play a very crucial part in the realm of Zen, the role of women is inevitably bound up with self-awareness and self-reflection, which are enshrined by Gao Xingjian as necessary on the path toward individual enlightenment. According to Gao, even if women’s roles are socially and culturally constructed or sometimes become a privileged trope of defying social convention, the truth that emerges from secular life often incorporates the spirituality into women’s unique biological and psychological construction, immune to men’s full understanding but inexorably furnishing a way leading to the state of Zen.
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Liu, J. (2018). Women and Dao in Gao Xingjian’s works. Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, 15(2), 235-250.