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Political Lyric

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Chapter Summary

The rise and fall of political lyric is worth close examination from both an empirical and a theoretical perspective. As an integral part of the history of modern Chinese literature and culture, the political lyric is good case for a more theoretical inquiry into the relationship among art and politics, ideology, and society. It marks the achievements as well as limitations of revolution in the modern age. This chapter focuses on the political lyric in the early People's Republic era, not only because this is when the genre enjoyed a privileged environment for its fullest development but also because there are subtle differences between political lyric poetry written after 1949 and its predecessors. China's turn toward a market economy, the collapse of the hegemonic rule of official ideology, and the public's growing distrust of grand historical narrative made political lyric sound less convincing.

Keywords: modern Chinese literature; political lyric

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