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The Making and Remaking of China's "Red Classics"Politics, Aesthetics, and Mass Culture$
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Rosemary Roberts and Li Li

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390892

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390892.001.0001

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Great Changes in Critical Reception

Great Changes in Critical Reception

“Red Classic” Authenticity and the “Eight Black Theories”

(p.22) 2 Great Changes in Critical Reception
The Making and Remaking of China's "Red Classics"

Richard King

Hong Kong University Press

Zhou Libo’s 1958 Great Changes in a Mountain Village is a “red classic” novel about the Communist Party’s collectivization of agriculture in the mid-1950s, written following a period of immersion in the process in the author’s hometown of Yiyang, in Hunan Province. While Zhou’s personal involvement and familiarity with local peasants provided an air of authenticity to the work, his presentation of “real people and real things” ran counter to the emphasis on heroism and class conflict in Cultural Revolution art theory. The chapter follows the condemnation of Zhou Libo and his novel, particularly as it appeared in 1970 in the Hunan provincial newspaper, the treatment of the author, and his posthumous rehabilitation.

Keywords:   village fiction, agricultural collectivization, authenticity, Cultural Revolution criticism, “eight black theories”

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