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Worker-Peasant-Soldier Literature

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Chapter Summary

The term "worker-peasant-soldier literature" refers to the literary movement that dominated the first seventeen years of the People's Republic of China and peaked during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1967). It was mainly inspired by a speech that Mao Zedong delivered in 1942 in Yan'an, the site of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) headquarters following the Red Army's historic Long March and escape of encirclement by the Nationalist Kuomindang (KMT) troops in Jiangxi province. The concept of using "worker-peasant-soldier literature" to build a new nation did not originate with Mao's Yan'an speech; his presentation was merely a timely exploration and summary of the literary theories and practices that had been developing since the May Fourth movement. In post-Maoist China after the Cultural Revolution (1976 to the present), "worker-peasant-soldier literature" has gradually become obsolete except as an objectionable term associated with the Maoist literary policies that suppressed freedom of writing.

Keywords: China; Chinese Communist Party (CCP); Jiangxi province; literary movement; Long March; Mao Zedong; Nationalist Kuomindang (KMT) troops; worker-peasant-soldier literature



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