Étienne Barilier - an imaginary correspondence between two critics, one of whom considers her a carnival figure, while the other one sees in Yuja Wang a reincarnation of Chopin


Étienne Barilier, Chinese Piano or Dueling over a Recital, Trans. by Benjamin Ivry, Bautz, Traugott, 2015. 


Yuja Wang: a novel heroine
One often talks about the Chinese pianist more because of her sexy outfits than because of her art. This product of our epoch in which nothing is done without mediatization, is however one of the most interesting phenomena of the moment: she can even pride herself on having inspired a formidable epistolary novel, Piano chinois by Étienne Barilier (Zoé), an imaginary correspondence between two critics, one of whom considers her a carnival figure, while the other one sees in her a reincarnation of Chopin. Thus, all by herself, Yuja Wang has, no less, reignited the aesthetical debate on the universality of art. - Le Figaro





Étienne Barilier (*1947) is a distinguished French writer living in Lausanne. He has written a huge amount of highly successful novels and essays on a widely divergent range of topics. A number of his works are dedicated to musical figures, notably to Alban Berg, to Mozart, and to the name B-A-C-H as a musical motif. ‘Piano chinois’ was published in 2011 and, after having been translated into Chinese, Japanese, German and Polish, is here presented in its long awaited English version.

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