After the international success of Rickshaw Boy, Lao She returned from the US to Mao's China in 1949 with high hopes. Welcomed back by his comrade from Chongqing days, Zhou Enlai, he was accorded the title, ‘People's Artist’ along with a slew of committee posts. Lao She had never shied from identifying himself as a ‘petty bourgeois’ writer who had a sense of righteousness but no enthusiasm for political factionalism. That he did so at a time when Mao's 1966 rectification campaign declared its objective to repudiate reactionary bourgeois academics, was to seal his own doom. 40 years after his fiction first started to explore China's emergence onto the global stage, Mao's Cultural Revolution got underway and Lao She was driven to drown himself. Lao She's play of the period, Teahouse, ranks in cultural magnitude with J. M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World (1907), each a monument to the twentieth-century struggle of decolonizing nationhood. The consensus is that non-Western modernisms have a place not as derivative products of a Euro-American original but as full partners in a literary movement, best understood by regarding modernism as an aesthetic response to conditions of modernity that are globally structured but nationally or locally particular.
Hong Kong Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.