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Socialist Realism

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Chapter Summary

"Socialist realism" describes much more than a style of fiction in Chinese literature. The term came to the attention of Chinese intellectuals via the new Russian socialist state. Zhou Yang's use of "socialist realism" was inspired by the October Revolution and its new culture. The term points to the impact of that victory on the Chinese Revolution. The notion of international peoples and their cultures signals socialism as a worldwide, inherently international phenomenon. The artist's relation to the people is a variant of the relation between consciousness and reality in socialist realism. In Mao's analysis, art and literature originate from social reality in its richness and immediacy, and the current reality is the authentic source from which artists can draw inspiration. Artworks as mental forms are products of reflection on certain social experiences. Revolutionary art is therefore a reflection of the people's life experience in the minds of revolutionary artists.

Keywords: Chinese literature; Chinese Revolution; Mao Zedong; revolutionary art; socialism; socialist realism; Zhou Yang



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