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Rethinking Orient

In Search of Sources and Inspirations


Edited By Adam Bednarczyk, Magdalena Kubarek and Maciej Szatkowski

The contributions in this book address a vast variety of questions concerning the sources and mutual inspirations in Oriental and European literatures. The authors discuss selected texts from both historical and synchronic perspectives. They reveal and scrutinise the sedimented layers in their search for the original as well as for the repetitive and universal. The book revolves around the creative reception of one’s own cultural heritage and of works which originated in other cultures.

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The Other and the Stranger in Contemporary Chinese Drama: Two Dogs’ Views on Life Directed by Meng Jinghui (Maciej Szatkowski)


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Maciej Szatkowski

Nicolaus Copernicus University Poland

The Other and the Stranger in Contemporary Chinese Drama: Two Dogs’ Views on Life Directed by Meng Jinghui

Abstract: Meng Jingui created the most recognizable and acclaimed spoken theater in China in the end of the XX century. In 2008, Meng directed Two dogs’ view on life, a comedy is settled the in convention of commedia all’improviso, Chinese jester theater (滑稽戏 huajixi) and xiangsheng 相声. After the Maoist era, China, thanks to Deng Xiaoping’s open door policy, implemented economic reforms that have completely changed the image of the country. The authorities introduced new reforms, slogans, political and social campaigns, eugenic attempts to create a better society and the New Chinese. All those topics are mentioned in the drama. Against the background of a dehumanized society, Meng portrays the characters of the two dogs – the Others, foreign visitors, internal migrants who cannot adjust to the new city life. The play and the drama is a hybrid of styles and literary and theatrical conventions. This is a carnivalesque comedy where laughter provokes the tears of sorrow.

Key words: contemporary Chinese drama, Meng Jinghui, huajixi, the Other


The play Two Dogs’ Views on Life (两只狗的生活意见 Liangzhi gou de shenghuo yijian) directed by Meng Jinghui was premiered in 2007 on one of the stages of the Chinese National Theatre (中国国家话剧院 Zhongguo guojia huajuyuan). Between May 2007 and January 2008 alone, the play was performed 120 times...

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