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Literature in Maoist China (1949-76). After, the War of Resistance, a long civil war with the Nationalists (1946-49), who fled to Taiwan Founding of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Literature in Maoist China (1949-76). After, the War of Resistance, a long civil war with the Nationalists (1946-49), who fled to Taiwan Founding of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Literature in Maoist China ( )

2 After, the War of Resistance, a long civil war with the Nationalists ( ), who fled to Taiwan Founding of the PRC on Oct. 1, 1949 Founding of the PRC "We the 475 million Chinese people have now stood up and the future of our nation is infinitely bright." --Mao Zedong

3 Socialization of the Economy Nationalization of industry Collectivization of agriculture

4 Mass culture and nation-building Party control was a process of tightening and loosening Yanan Legacy establishment of cultural institutions (e.g., Chinese Writers Association ), controlled by the Party, to which you had to belong if you wanted to publish Nationalization of the publishing and distribution system the formation of a national network of Xinhua bookstores distributed all books Cultural Sphere Wenzhous first Xinhua Bookstore, circa 1950

5 Literary and intellectual campaigns (e.g., campaign against Hu Shi, Hu Feng ) Cultural Sphere Anti-Hu Feng cartoons produced during the 1955 campaign

6 Hundred Flowers Campaign ( ): launched by Mao in 1956 to let a hundred flowers blossom, a hundred schools of thought contend ( ) Writers respond with a return to May Fourth style critical realism Lin Binyan, Wang Meng, Wang Ruowang, Zhong Dianfei, etc. Wang Ruowang, A Visit to His Excellency: A Five-Minute Movie ( : ; 1957) Hundred Flowers and Anti-Rightist Campaigns Wang Ruowang

7 Anti-Rightist Campaign (1957): aimed to attack rightist elements; Mao claims that 10% of the population are rightists Several hundred thousand attacked Hundred Flowers and Anti-Rightist Campaigns

8 Literary Production in the Maoist period Unease of writers in adjusting to the new regime and its ideological demands Censorship and self-censorship Eulogies to the new regime (e.g., The East is Red ) Stories of consciousness raising (e.g., Li Zhuns Dont Go That Road ) Writing the revolutionary past (e.g., Red Crag ) Officer: Water…if you dont speak, well stick them in again, all 10 fingers. Sister Jiang: Go ahead, theyre made of bamboo, but the will of a communist is made of steel. Officer: Ill break your will Jiang: You can cut off my head, and my blood can flow, but a communists will cant be broken.

9 Literary Production in the Early Maoist period Revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism (e.g. Yang Mo, Song of Youth [ ]) also a consciousness raising text story follows Lin Daojings ( ) maturation from a lonely and romantic young woman into a mature revolutionary; its a novel about transcending ones bourgeois background and embracing the revolutionary consciousness of the masses

10 Cultural Revolution: Political Origins Struggle between two factions (pragmatists and radical lefts or Maoists) during 1950s and 60s Pragmatists: Deng Xiaoping (right) and Liu Shaoqi (next to Mao, below)

11 Cultural Revolution: Political Origins Great Leap Forward ( ) and the failure of the Maoist vision ends in horrible famine Mao retreats from politics in 1962 The CR was thus Maos attempt to reassert himself in a political reaction against the emerging power of the pragmatists over policy and bureaucracy Right: Great Leap Forward poster Beat the GLF war drum even louder

12 Cultural Revolution: Ideological Origins Logical implementation of Maos long held ideas on permanent revolution ( ) idealist reaction to bureaucratism, top-heavy party structures out of touch with the people desire to implement a kind of mass-line democracy idealist egalitarianism and socialist utopia Each Generation is Red, CR poster

13 Cultural Revolution: Cultural Origins to bring an end to bourgeois and feudal culture and institute a new culture of the workers, peasants, and soldiers Attack on the four olds ( ) (customs, culture, habits, ideas), and radical iconoclasm May Fourth writers attacked Red Guards burn books (above); black elements at a struggle session in Harbin (left)

14 Cultural Revolution: Cult of Personality Cult of personality and ideological correctness Little Red Book (below) The East is Red ( ) Mao buttons (lower right)

15 Cultural Revolution: Development Mao reasserts himself Student movement and Red Guards Political purges Factionalism suppression of the Red Guards Sent-down youth ( ) (1968) Gang of Four Left: Mao swims the Yangtze (7/25/1966); Top: poster of Mao meeting with Red Guards; above: 1974 painting of sent-down youths

16 Cultural Revolution: Fiction Yanan Seeds by Hua Tong Cover of a comic book version of Yanan Seeds (ca. 1970s)

17 Cultural Revolution: Culture and Film Jiang Qing ( ) emerges through the cultural domain to assert herself politically Prescribed aesthetics promoted an extreme version of socialist realism dominated by the two unities (liang jiehe ) and the three prominences (san tuchu ) Two unities: socialist realism and revolutionary romanticism Three prominences: give prominence to the positive characters, the heroes, and the principal hero Early Cultural Revolution poster of Jiang Qing

18 Cultural Revolution: Model Dramas From , model dramas ( ) and film versions of model dramas (e.g. Red Lantern) dominate the cultural landscape White-haired Girl ( ) Two principal forms: New style Peking opera, ballets Clip from The Red Lantern: Li Yuhe: Thank you, Ma! I drink this wine you give me at parting, Ma. I'm filled with courage and strength. Hatoyama invited me to a "friendly" feast. Well, I can manage even a thousand cups. This is stormy, treacherous weather, Ma, always remember that! [The song is sung by Li Yuhe, an underground Communist railroad worker, in parting with his family after being arrested by the Japanese police.] above: scene from Taking Tiger Mt. by Strategy (opera)

19 Cultural Revolution: Model Dramas Red Detachment of Women ( ), 1970 Synopsis: Wu Qinghua ( ), a bond servant in the household of the evil warlord Nan Batian ( ), who owns a coconut plantation in Hainan, is victimized by Nan and his henchmen; she escapes and is found near death by a couple of Party members who take her back to join their womens detachment; the troop goes on a clandestine mission into Nans compound; Qinghua, unable to restrain her emotions, attacks Nan Batian, disobeying orders and jeopardizing the mission; Nan escapes; Qinghua is reprimanded and her gun taken away, now her hair is cut and she dresses in blue like all the others; Hong Changqing ( ), the troupe commander is captured by Nan and burned at the banyan tree; on the final mission, Qinghua an the others attacks the compound; she kills Nan, and is given the job of replacing Hong Right: images from Red Detachment of Women

20 Red Detachment of Women ( ; 1970 )


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