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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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Humor, Vernacularization, and Intermedial Laughter in Maoist Pingtan

Humor, Vernacularization, and Intermedial Laughter in Maoist Pingtan

(p.105) 6 Humor, Vernacularization, and Intermedial Laughter in Maoist Pingtan
Maoist Laughter

Li Guo

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter explores how humor in Maoist pingtan tales facilitated the vernacularization of the tastes and practices of popular culture, and revamped pingtan into an ideal media of socialist new comedy. Adaptations of pingtan tales through film, folk performances, and radio broadcasted songs facilitated the vernacularization of new notions of the self and the nation, generated intermedial laughter in various taste cultures and media territories, and instigated the individuals’ negotiation and interaction with multivalent socio-political ideals. Guo argues that vernacularization of Maoist pingtan, which allowed multiple styles to bleed into this classic storytelling art, was a process of necessity and accommodation in Maoist China when revolutionary linguistic codes are transposed into traditional arts, as well as the shifting relationships between individuals and the nation-state community.

Keywords:   humor, Pingtan storytelling, citizenship, media, vernacularization

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