Political Allegory in the 1980s

Xiao Jun and Bai Hua

in Speaking to History

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255791
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942394 | DOI:
Political Allegory in the 1980s

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Although the Goujian story does not appear to have had a significant impact during China's Cultural Revolution decade, it never disappeared entirely. Mao Zedong died in September 1976, and the political leadership of China passed to Deng Xiaoping. Among the new policy directions that were adopted under Deng's leadership, beginning in the late 1970s, was a palpable (although frustratingly inconsistent) loosening of the political constraints on Chinese intellectual life. In these circumstances, criticism of the Mao years (and at least indirectly of Mao himself), although certainly not without its risks, became a live possibility. Two Chinese intellectuals who perhaps took advantage of this possibility were writers Xiao Jun, who had been intermittently at war with the Communist Party ever since the early 1940s in Yan'an, and Bai Hua, who joined the Red Army during the civil war and was known for his strong support for the short-lived democracy movement of 1979.

Keywords: China; Goujian; intellectuals; writers; Mao Zedong; Deng Xiaoping; Cultural Revolution; Xiao Jun; Bai Hua; Communist Party

Chapter.  10759 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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