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Literature in Maoist China ( )

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1 Literature in Maoist China (1949-76)

2 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. After, the War of Resistance, a long civil war with the Nationalists ( ), who fled to Taiwan Founding of the PRC on Oct. 1, 1949

3 Socialization of the Economy
Nationalization of industry Collectivization of agriculture

4 Cultural Sphere Mass culture and nation-building
Party control was a process of tightening and loosening Yan’an Legacy establishment of cultural institutions (e.g., Chinese Writer’s Association 中国作家协会), 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 Wenzhou’s first Xinhua Bookstore, circa 1950

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

6 Hundred Flowers and Anti-Rightist Campaigns
Hundred Flowers Campaign 百花运动 ( ): launched by Mao in 1956 to “let a hundred flowers blossom, a hundred schools of thought contend” (百花齐放,百家争鸣) Writers respond with a return to May Fourth style critical realism Lin Binyan 刘宾雁, Wang Meng 王蒙, Wang Ruowang 王若望, Zhong Dianfei 钟惦棐, etc. Wang Ruowang, “A Visit to His Excellency: A Five-Minute Movie” (见大人: 五分钟电影; 1957)

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

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 东方红) Stories of consciousness raising (e.g., Li Zhun’s 李准 “Don’t Go That Road” 别走那条路) Writing the revolutionary past (e.g., Red Crag 红岩) Officer: Water…if you don’t speak, we’ll stick them in again, all 10 fingers. Sister Jiang: Go ahead, they’re made of bamboo, but the will of a communist is made of steel. Officer: I’ll break your will Jiang: You can cut off my head, and my blood can flow, but a communist’s will can’t be broken.

9 Literary Production in the Early Maoist period
Revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism (e..g. Yang Mo, Song of Youth [青春之歌]) also a consciousness raising text story follows Lin Daojing’s (林道静) maturation from a “lonely and romantic young woman into a mature revolutionary”; it’s a novel about “transcending” her 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 大跃进 ( ) and the failure of the Maoist vision ends in horrible famine Mao retreats from politics in 1962 The CR was thus Mao’s 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 Mao’s long held ideas on “permanent revolution” (继续革命) 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 (四旧) (customs, culture, habits, ideas), and radical iconoclasm May Fourth writers attacked Red Guards burn books (left); “black elements” at a struggle session in Harbin (above)

14 Cultural Revolution: Cult of Personality
Cult of personality and ideological correctness Little Red Book (below) “The East is Red” (东方红 ) 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 (知青) (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
“Yan’an Seeds” by Hua Tong Cover of a comic book version of “Yan’an Seeds” (ca. 1970s)

17 Cultural Revolution: Culture and Film
Jiang Qing (江青) 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 两结合) and the “three prominences” (san tuchu 三突出) 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“ (样板戏) and film versions of model dramas (e.g. Red Lantern) dominate the cultural landscape White-haired Girl (白毛女) 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 (红色娘子军), 1970 Synopsis: Wu Qinghua (吴清华), a bond servant in the household of the evil warlord Nan Batian (南霸天), 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 women’s detachment; the troop goes on a clandestine mission into Nan’s 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 (洪常青), the troupe commander is captured by Nan and burned at the banyan tree; on the final mission, Qinghua attacks the compound, kills Nan, and is given the job of replacing Hong Right: images from Red Detachment of Women

20 Red Detachment of Women (红色娘子军; 1970)

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