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Towards ‘cultural revolution literature’

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Chapter Summary

The literary campaign that unfolded in 1958 can be seen as an important step in the movement towards "Cultural Revolution literature". Zhou Yang's summarizing article "A Great Debate on the Literary Front" was published when the anti-rightist struggle in literary and arts circles concluded. During the three years prior to the outbreak of the "Cultural Revolution", critical attacks in the area of literary and artistic theory were focused on Shao Quanlin's theory of "writing middle characters", as well as propositions such as "write truth" and "deepen realism". There were two different types of literature during the "Cultural Revolution". One consisted of officially published literary works, and the other was literary works secretly, or semi-secretly, published and circulated. Theater also had a structural influence on other literary forms, and this could be primarily seen in the use of scenes, or settings, in fiction, poetry, and prose.

Keywords: cultural revolution literature; literary campaign; Shao Quanlin's theory; theater; Zhou Yang



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