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Maoist Laughter$
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Ping Zhu, Zhuoyi Wang, and Jason McGrath

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528011

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528011.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2021. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Revolution Plus Love in Village China

Revolution Plus Love in Village China

Land Reform as Political Romance in Sanliwan Village

(p.37) 2 Revolution Plus Love in Village China
Maoist Laughter

Charles A. Laughlin

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter compares Zhao Shuli’s novel Sanliwan Village (1955) to its 1957 screen adaptation Huahao yueyuan (Happily Ever After, dir. Guo Wei), emphasizing how the work’s humorous aspects are enhanced by the cinematic medium through lively performance, visual negotiations of social space and romantic tension. The chapter uses the problem of leisure under socialism as a point of departure, looking at Zhao Shuli’s story both as a representation of emotionally rich social life in contemporary China and as an object of leisurely enjoyment by itself. Placing the film in the context of film comedies that emerged in the “Hundred Flowers Campaign,” it demonstrates how romantic tension can be used to humanize and ameliorate political struggle, marking a continuation of the debate on Revolution + Love in late 1920s fiction.

Keywords:   Zhao Shuli, Sanliwan, Guo Wei, Wang Qiuying, Leisure, Comedy, social space

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