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A shattered mirror : the literature of the Cultural Revolution King, Richard 1984

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A SHATTERED MIRROR: THE LITERATURE OF THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION By RICHARD KING M.A. Cantab., 1976  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Asian Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1984 ©Richard King, 1984  E-6  In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission.  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956  Main Mall  V6T  1Y3  Vancouver, Canada  Date  (3/81)  ABSTRACT The  literature  examined author  by  of  the  Cultural  Revolution  c o n s i d e r i n g the d i v e r g e n t  i n contemporary China  (1966-76) i s  r e s p o n s i b i l i t e s of  t o " s o c i e t y " and  the  "self."  R e s p o n s i b i l i t y to " s o c i e t y " i s a m a t t e r of p r e s e n t i n g i n a favourable socialist  light  the  progress  s o c i e t y of the People's  " s e l f " i n v o l v e s both r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of l i f e  concern  realities  thereby  the  Chinese  Republic;  f o r the  recorded  by  i n s p i r e confidence  The  reflect  i n the course  mistrust and  as  potentially  p r e s t i g e (and  literature a  the  "social"  their  own)  i n the  towards  Communist  responsibility  abnegation  and  author.  be  in conflict, i f  charted  by  has  the  Party  literature  works t h a t  leaders  of the  will  liberated  areas  boost  the The  already  1940's  and  I n s i s t e n c e on  the  t o the  virtual  t o w r i t i n g s i n which  the  " s o c i a l " o r i e n t a t i o n i s so s t r o n g t h a t i t o f t e n p r e c l u d e s  the  " s e l f ; " they  gave r i s e  the  to  culmination  "social"  in  to  "self"  among t h e r e a d e r s h i p .  towards the  and  nation's  proved hard  to " s o c i e t y " l e d a t t i m e s  of the " s e l f , " and  accurate  a sanguine image,  r e s t a t e d w i t h i n c r e a s i n g v i g o u r a f t e r 1949. author's  the  of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n r e p r e s e n t s the  d i r e c t e d tendency  evident  c o n c e n t r a t i o n on  been f o r Communist  subversive  demand p r e d o m i n a n t l y  Party's  of  tendency has  the  by the  l e a d e r s . In p r a c t i c e , however, the b a l a n c e maintain.  in  " s e l f " need not  authors  nation  individual  as i t i s observed  W r i t i n g f o r " s o c i e t y " and the  of  f e a t u r e f i c t i o n a l c o n f l i c t s i n which n o r m a t i v e P a r t y  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o v e r c o m e t h e e n e m i e s of s o c i a l i s m and  ii  win  the  love of the populace. The  l i t e r a t u r e of the  d i s m i s s e d i n China and  C u l t u r a l Revolution has  the West s i n c e  1976.  been largely  This neglect i s  unfortunate, both because of the i n t r i n s i c interest of the study and  because the l i t e r a t u r e i s an i l l u s t r a t i o n of the extremes to  which insistence on " s o c i a l " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y can This  thesis  i s an  investigation  of  features of C u l t u r a l Revolution l i t e r a t u r e . chapters,  the  literary  policy  lead.  certain  In the two  i s examined t h a t  emphasis on " s o c i a l " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .  important opening  l e d to  this  Thereafter (in chapter 3)  the B e i j i n g Operas c r e a t e d as l i t e r a r y exemplars i n the  first  half of the C u l t u r a l Revolution w i l l be analysed to extrapolate the  model t h a t  was  to serve f o r a l l other a r t .  In  each  of  One  of  chapters A - 6, a C u l t u r a l Revolution novel i s examined. these i s a c o l l a b o r a t i v e scrutiny; day,  the other two  are by the most celebrated  the peasant author Hao  Golden  Road, do  the  e f f o r t produced under c l o s e  Ran.  writer of  Only i n one novel, Hao  concerns  of  the  "self"  Party the  Ran's The  balance  the  predominately " s o c i a l " burden of Cultural Revolution l i t e r a t u r e , r e s u l t i n g i n the best writing of the period; i n a l a t e r work, the same author i s seen t o propaganda.  The  background, the  decline  into  f i n a l chapter reviews two  producing  factional  novels with a s i m i l a r  r u s t i c a t i o n of urban youth, to compare  the  i d e a l i s t i c images of C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n l i t e r a t u r e w i t h  the  sombre p i c t u r e r e f l e c t e d i n the " s e l f - o r i e n t e d w r i t i n g of  the  l a t e 1970 s. ,  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract  i i  L i s t of Figures  ix  Figures  x  Acknowledgements  xii  Introduction I.  1  A l t e r n a t i v e Frameworks i ) "Expression  2  of F e e l i n g s " vs. "Vehicle f o r Morality"  ii)  "Cog" v s . "Scout"  2 4  i i i ) Party Leadership vs. Dissident I n t e l l e c t u a l s  5  i v ) R e a l i s m v s . Romanticism  7  ,  I I . " S o c i e t y " and " S e l f "  13  i ) "Society"  15  i i ) "Self"  17  I I I . The L i t e r a r y M i r r o r  21  IV. O u t l i n e o f the P r e s e n t Study  26  1. The A s s e r t i o n o f P a r t y C o n t r o l : from Qian Xingcun t o Mao Zedong  31  I . B e f o r e Yan'an  32  i ) Shanghai  32  i i ) Jiangxi  36  I I . Yan'an  38  i ) Mao and the " L i t e r a r y O p p o s i t i o n "  38  i i ) The " T a l k s "  43  iv  a. F u n c t i o n of the A r t s  44  b. Role of the A r t i s t  46  i i i ) " N a t i o n a l Forms"  50  I I I . From 1949  t o the Eve of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n  55  Appendix - New  Wine i n Old B o t t l e : Four Faces o f a Bogus B r i d e  60  2. C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n L i t e r a r y Theory: Yao Wenyuan and J i a n g Qing I . Yao  63  Wenyuan  64  i ) Yao's E a r l y Career i i ) The  O b j e c t of Yao's A t t a c k s : the "Blooming and  Contending" of 1961-2  i i i ) H a i Rui Dismissed i v ) The  65  "Three-family  from O f f i c e  71  Village"  75  v) Zhou Yang  78  v i ) Yao's L i t e r a r y P o l i c y f o r the  Cultural  Revolution  80  I I . J i a n g Qing i ) "On i i ) The  82  the R e v o l u t i o n i n B e i j i n g Opera" "Summary" Assembly  P a t t e r n f o r L i t e r a r y C r e a t i o n : The Model Works  I . The  85 90  i i i ) "Comrade J i a n g Qing's T a l k t o an on the A r t s " i v ) The "Three Prominences" 3. The  68  R e v i s i o n Process  94 97 100 103  i ) T a k i n g T i g e r Mountain by S t r a t e g y  107  i i ) The  110  Red  Lantern  v  i i i ) Shajiabang  113  I I . Common F e a t u r e s of C h a r a c t e r and P l o t i ) "Three Prominences" C h a r a c t e r i s a t i o n  115 115  a . C e n t r a l Heroes  116  b. Secondary Heroes  120  c . The Masses  121  d. V i l l a i n s  122  e. "Turnabout C h a r a c t e r s "  124  i i ) Plot Structure  127  I I I . Models f o r L i f e and L i t e r a t u r e  129  IV. C o n c l u s i o n  132  4. H i s t o r y o f B a t t l e s a t Hongnan: the F i r s t Modeli n f l u e n c e d Novel I . " T h r e e - i n - o n e " : t h e W r i t i n g Team  136 137  I I . H i s t o r i c a l Background: A g r i c u l t u r a l Collectivisation I I I . A p p l i c a t i o n o f the Opera Model i ) Characterisation a . A New  141 147 147  Hero of C o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n  147  b. Secondary Heroes  150  c . The Masses  151  d. Enemies W i t h i n and Without  153  i i ) Plot  156  IV. N o n - o p e r a t i c Elements  162  V. C o n c l u s i o n  167  5. E x p l o r i n g the L i m i t s : The Golden Road I . C r e a t i v e Adherence t o the Opera Model  vi  172 174  i ) Lofty, Large and Complete": the Central Hero  177  i i ) Stock Characters and Individuals: the Secondary Heroes  182  i i i ) A Parallel Structure: the Villains  184  iv) The Sibling Split: Representatives of the Masses v) Transformation of a Peasant Archetype:  187  a "Turnabout Character" II. Narrative Technique  193 197  i ) Operatic Structure  197  i i ) Shifting Perspective  199  i i i ) Enlightenment through Authority Figures  202  III. Romantic Love and Revolutionary Romanticism  205  IV. Conclusion  207  Appendix - Hao Ran: a Brief Literary Biography  211  6. Factional Politics in Command: Hundred Blossom Valley  216  I. Features of "Conspiratorial Literature and Art"  217  II. The Divided village  221  III. The Opera Model: Azalea Mountain  228  IV. From "Middle Character" to "Turnabout"  233  V. Purification through Fire  237  VI. Faction as "Society"  238  7. "Society" and "Self": the Cultural Revolution Novel in Perspective  243  I. Historical Background: Up to the Mountains and Down to the Villages  246  II. The Journey  252  III. The Path of Life  262 vii  IV. The S p o i l e d B r a t and the T r a g i c H e r o i n e  274  Conclusion  282  Notes  286  Introduction  286  Chapter 1  293  Appendix t o Chapter 1  300  Chapter 2  301  Chapter 3  308  Chapter 4  312  Chapter 5  315  Appendix t o Chapter 5  318  Chapter 6  320  Chapter 7  323  Conclusion  326  G l o s s a r y o f Chinese Names and Terms  328  Glossary of Journals C i t e d  342  Bibliography  345  viii  LIST OF FIGURES  Fig. 1. "Workers, Peasants and Soldiers are Masters of the Stage," in Zalan wenyi heixian, Geming cankao wenxian #15 (1967). The cartoon shows heroes and heroines of the Model Works, most brandishing copies of Mao's Quotations. From left: Yang Zirong, Fang Haizhen, L i Tiemei (with red lantern), Wu Qinghua (with banner of the Red Detachment), The White-haired Girl, Yan Weicai. Under Yang Zirong's boot, from l e f t are: Hai Rui, L i Huiniang, Liu Shaoqi.  Fig. 2. "Study Lu Xun, Carry on the Revolution to the End", Wall-poster, Fudan University, March 1976.  ix  Fig. 1  x  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  The f i r s t f o u r y e a r s o f my graduate s t u d e n t s h i p were f i n a n c e d by t h e g e n e r o s i t y o f t h e Draper's Company o f London and t h e I s a a c Walton K i l l a m F o u n d a t i o n ; my r e s e a r c h i n China was sponsored by the B r i t i s h C o u n c i l . W h i l e c o n d u c t i n g my r e s e a r c h a n d p r e p a r i n g t h i s t h e s i s , I h a v e b e n e f i t e d f r o m t h e a d v i c e and i n s t r u c t i o n o f P r o f e s s o r s C h i a - y i n g Yeh Chao, M i c h a e l Duke, Ted H u t e r s , Graham Johnson and P e t e r R u s h t o n o f t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a ; C. T. H s i a of C o l u m b i a U n i v e r s i t y ; Wang Yongsheng and Wu Huanzhang a t Fudan University; Milena Dolezelova-Velingerova o f the U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto and Donald Holoch o f York U n i v e r s i t y . The a u t h o r s Hao Ran, Q i n Z h a o y a n g , Wang Ruowang a n d Zhu L i n g r a c i o u s l y p e r m i t t e d e x t e n s i v e i n t e r v i e w s i n China. To these i n s t i t u t i o n s and i n d i v i d u a l s I e x p r e s s appreciation.  xii  my  grateful  INTRODUCTION  The literature with which this thesis i s concerned marks an attempt at a cultural transformation that was to spearhead the political and social transformations of the Cultural Revolution. The Communist Party media i n the mid-1970's claimed magnificent success i n creating a popular culture that was both  truly  socialist and truly Chinese, in accordance with the synthesis of the p r i n c i p l e s of Leninism and the r e a l i t i e s of the Chinese Revolution that Mao Zedong had contrived i n the revolutionary base areas during the war with the n a t i o n a l i s t s . *  This  transformation, i t was claimed, resulted in the robust figures of China's workers, peasants and soldiers dominating the performing, literary and fine arts, replacing effete and treacherous elites (see f i g . 1); and those same proletarians wielding  the pen i n  vigorous defence of the revolutionary vanguard (fig. 2). The legacy of the Cultural Revolution, i n the arts as i n society, i s not the glorious one i t s defenders claimed.  The  writing of the period i s too often crude, dogmatic and formulaic, concerned almost exclusively with narrow and often f a c t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l goals, and scarred by ubiquitous Mao quotations i n heavy type.  Therefore the literature of the Cultural Revolution  has l a r g e l y been passed  over by s c h o l a r s p r e f e r r i n g to  concentrate on the post-Mao literary renaissance which began with the "wounds" and "exposure" literature of the late 1970's. 1  Yet  the literature of the Cultural Revolution deserves, and rewards, more study than has so far been accorded i t .  Here was the  culmination of a tendency in existence since the founding of the Chinese Communist Party i n the 1920's to direct  cultural  endeavour i n such a way as to propel the Chinese people towards the communist society that i s i t s goal. We w i l l be examining the development  of the literary theories of the Cultural Revolution,  and of the l i t e r a r y models of the 1960's that were to be the embodiment of these theories. A l l of these were designed to impose an orthodox message and appearance on modern Chinese literature.  Through analysis of representative novels of the  1970's we w i l l evaluate the literature thus produced. Many influential frameworks have been offered by Chinese and Western scholars to analyse conflicts of ideas and wills in the development of modern Chinese l i t e r a t u r e .  Four that have been  considered in the preparation of this study w i l l be summarised below before we elaborate on the paradigm that shapes the present investigation: the i n t e r a c t i o n of the author's d i v e r g e n t responsibilities  to "society" and "self."  I. Alternative Frameworks i) "Expression of Feelings" vs. "Vehicle for Morality" In the second of his lectures on The Sources of China's New Literature (Zhongguo xin wenxue de yuanliu) given at Furen University in 1932, Zhou Zuoren postulated two opposing themes  2  running through Chinese literary history.  He categorised these  with two aphorisms: f i r s t , "poetry as the expression of feelings" (shi yan zhi) which i s derived from the Preface to the Book of Odes (Shijing),^ and secondly, " l i t e r a t u r e as a vehicle for morality" (wen y i zai dao), a term coined in the eleventh century but with antecedents in the staunch Confucianism of the Tang literatus Han Yu."'  Zhou Zuoren saw social upheaval as conducive  to the s p i r i t u a l / a e s t h e t i c  "expression of f e e l i n g s " i n  l i t e r a t u r e , with strong government favouring the "vehicle for morality" approach. Zhou's c l e a r  preference was  f o r the "expression of  feelings," which more closely adhered to his d e f i n i t i o n of literature as "something that uses an aesthetic form to transmit the author's particular thoughts and feelings so that the reader can derive pleasure from i t ; " ^ and he was suspicious of "the political —  in particular the revolutionary p o l i t i c a l ;  the  r e l i g i o u s or quasi-religious; and the utilitarian"^ tendencies i m p l i c i t i n the view of l i t e r a t u r e as a "vehicle for morality." Zhou set himself the task of identifying periods of ascendancy for these expressive and pragmatic l i t e r a t u r e s , praising the former and denigrating the latter. Zhou's framework is, as David Pollard wryly observes, "not a Q  very delicate a n a l y t i c a l instrument,"  and he undermined his  argument with the excessive zeal with which he pursued i t back into history, claiming for example that the strong government of the Tang dynasty favoured "vehicle for morality" literature and 3  therefore produced l i t t l e of value; but his analysis works quite well for the modern period.  The May Fourth movement, in which he  was a leading player, brought about a flourishing of literature that was  indeed an "expression  of feelings" in i t s tendency  towards the i n d i v i d u a l i s t and subjective. Yet Zhou predicted, accurately enough, that under a strong government, the pendulum would swing back to an o f f i c i a l l y sanctioned "moral" literature. Given the  increasing  insistence on  a  state-sponsored  "morality" from the communist victory to the death of Mao,  i t is  not surprising that many of the most popular of the writers of the Republican period ceased creative work. "A different kind of fiction i s in demand now,"  Shen Congwen told the visiting Kai-yu  Hsu i n 1973; "I can't d e l i v e r . "  9  Even within the moral orthodoxy of communist literature, we can discern that in the post-Mao social and ideological upheaval, there has been greater emphasis on the "expression of feelings," making for a l i t e r a t u r e reminiscent of the May  Fourth period.  i i ) "Cog" vs. "Scout" Rudolf Wagner's recent essay on the function of art and the artist as reflected in the debates of the mid-1950's (the Hundred Flowers period) presents two opposing roles for the writer: the "cog" and the "scout." The  10  f i r s t of these positions, derived from L e n i n  1 1  and  reiterated by Mao at Yan'an, was that literature should function as a "cog and a screw," that i s , an integrated and subordinate  A  component of the machinery operated leadership.  by the revolutionary  This parallels the didactic "moral" function of the  arts outlined above. The second position, also imported from the Soviet Union, though this time i n the "thaw" which followed the death of Stalin, was propounded by Valentin Ovechkin, who likened the writer to an array scout, working i n the i n t e r e s t s of the Party but independent of i t s organisational machinery. The "scout" notion, though immediately drawn from the Soviet Union, had Chinese antecedents i n the bureaucratic o f f i c e of censor, which entrusted i t s holders with the burdensome and precarious task of pointing the errors of their sovereign.  By revealing  inequity and incompetence within the communist system, and by illustrating their effects of the characters in their reports and stories, the Chinese "scouts," Liu Binyan chief among them i n both the f i r s t and second "Hundred Flowers," intended the Party's leaders to reform.  to inspire  Their c r i t i c i s m s , l i k e those of  many of their censorious predecessors, were not always gratefully received by their rulers, and many of the young "scouts" spent twenty years in disgrace for their temerity. i i i ) Party Leadership vs. Dissident Intellectuals The most prevalent view of the history of Chinese literature under communism presents a running battle between the Communist Party leadership and dissident intellectuals. C. T. Hsia, i n h i s History of Modern Chinese F i c t i o n , portrays an oppressive Party enforcing obedience from authors and squashing individual expression. "Precisely because a l l novelists 5  under Mao  Zedong begin with types [Hsia writes], they have 1  9  created nothing."  Hsia's portrait of communist fiction i s one  of servile hacks producing works the best of which are "very dull 1o  and mechanical,"  wherein natural human feelings are  repressed  to meet the "jealous demands of the Party and state." ^ 1  Hsia's dim view of contemporary Chinese culture i s developed in Merle Goldman's L i t e r a r y Dissent i n Communist China, which concentrates on the dissenters in a scheme which sets the Party, with Zhou Yang acting as i t s chief agent, against an opposition of bold and independent-minded i n t e l l e c t u a l s in a series of repressive campaigns dating from the Yan'an rectification. ^ 1  The same kind of "good guys" and "bad guys" analysis, this time with the roles reversed, can be found in the writings of Yao Wenyuan and his successors, the polemicist writing-groups Cultural Revolution.  Yao's view was  leadership, i d e n t i f i a b l e with the  of the  of a "correct" Party  person of Mao  Zedong,  constantly under attack from enemies within and without the Party (whom he stigmatised  variously as r e v i s i o n i s t s ,  rightists,  counter-revolutionaries, capitalist-roaders, etc., depending on the prevailing campaign).  Yao's own  work w i l l be considered at  length below; here we c i t e one example from other hands, a c o l l e c t i v e enterprise dating from the mid-1970s.  This i s a  university textbook on l i t e r a r y history between 1942 and  1972  e n t i t l e d Thirty Years on the Battle-front of A r t i s t i c Theory (Wenyi sixiang zhanxian sanshi n i a n ) .  lp  In this text, the same  dissenters who are the heroes of Goldman's work are the villains 6  of the piece, but they are seen, not as independent c r i t i c s of Party p o l i c i e s , but agents for a succession of purged Party leaders (Peng Dehuai, Liu Shaoqi, Lin Biao,  etc.) who  were  supposedly busily plotting to subvert the revolution in which a l l played leading roles.  Gross distortions allow a simple two-line  struggle to be traced throughout. This analysis, now discredited in China, resembles that of the Western scholars noted above in i t s perception  of the debates i n the a r t s p i t t i n g  Party  leadership against the rest, and (as w i l l be shown in a study of Yao's writings below) in i t s shared contempt for Zhou Yang. The weakness of the Party vs. intellectuals scheme i s that neither  side was  as united  as  the  analysis requires;  the  Communist Party has c e r t a i n l y had i t s share of f a c t i o n a l i n fighting throughout the history of the People's Republic, and has seldom managed the unanimity to enforce any cultural policy for long.  Furthermore, the "anti-Party" coalition posited by Yao and  his inheritors contains Party leaders and artists with l i t t l e in common beyond their eventual  falling  out  with Mao  Zedong.  Goldman's subsequent analysis, which views c o n f l i c t s in the c u l t u r a l arena by dividing both the Party leadership and  the  i n t e l l e c t u a l s between "pragmatists" and "radicals," i s a wiser one, though some of the major figures defy categorisation.^ iv) Realism vs. Romanticism Finally, we must consider the meaning of two aesthetic terms commonly used in the categorisation of literary works in China: 7  realism (xianshizhuyi) and romanticism (langmanzhuyi).  These are  d i f f i c u l t , imprecise and ambiguous terms, even more so in modern China than in the West.  Their meanings have not remained  constant, either in the republican or communist years, and have become a l l the hazier when incorporated i n hybrid forms l i k e "socialist realism" and "the combination of revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism." Realism, as Raymond Williams explains, has been used in the West since the nineteenth century to describe "a method or an attitude in art and  literature —  at f i r s t  an  exceptional  accuracy of representation, later a commitment to describing real 1 ft  events and showing them as they r e a l l y exist."  The purpose of  their art, for the realists of nineteenth century Europe, was to study  contemporary  impersonally,  life  and  objectively."  19  manners " d i s p a s s i o n a t e l y , To  this  pursuit of  truthful  representation Friedrich Engels (in his l e t t e r to Margaret 20 Harkness  ) added the dimension of t y p i c a l i t y , whereby r e a l i s t  writing i l l u s t r a t e s tendencies i m p l i c i t in society at a given stage of development.  In Georg Lukacs' phrase, realism i s shaped  by a "hierarchy of significance"  within which the situation and  characters can be interpreted.  Such a hierarchy i s of course  defined by the ideological perspective of the author.  Thus his  knowledge and understanding of human society are of c r u c i a l importance.  Jaroslav Prusek cites as the qualities necessary to  produce a great work of art "deep emotional engagement and a s c i e n t i f i c a l l y founded grasp of social processes, 8  00  giving the  example of the pre-eminent Chinese r e a l i s t Mao Dun as a writer thus qualified. The intention of realist writing to portray underlying truth and  present a l o g i c a l l y a r t i c u l a t e d picture of r e a l i t y ,  opposed  to  an  i d e a l v i s i o n of  man  and  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y involved exposing the apparently  the  world,  as has  seamier side  of  proper and harmonious societies like Dickens' London  or Mao Dun's Shanghai, and thus associated realism with the cause 23  of s o c i a l  reform.  The  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of realism with  revelation of corruption, i n j u s t i c e and oppression has been a constant in modern Chinese literature, from the novels of Mao to  the  post-Cultural  Revolution  "new  realism"  Dun  (x i n  xieshizhuyi). ^ The communist parties of the Soviet Union and China, while following Engels in advocating realism as a desirable approach to literary creation, have seen f i t to mitigate i t s propensity for the revelation of a darker side to s o c i a l i s t  society.  The  introduction in the Soviet Union of "socialist realism" (by Maxim Gorky at the First Writers Conference of 1934) sought to ensure that the engagement of the r e a l i s t would be " s o c i a l i s t " i n accordance with the d i r e c t i o n of the Communist Party and led, especially i n the post-war commissariat of Andrei Zhdanov, to direct intervention by the Soviet state in the creative process. " S o c i a l i s t realism" was advocated as i t s policy by the Chinese Communist Party until i t s break with the Soviet Party in the late 1950's.^-* The " s o c i a l i s t " epithet carried the expectation that 9  writers share the s o c i a l i s t goals of the Party, view man and society i n terms of their potential rather than their observed failings,  and thus eschew the kind of revelation that could  present socialism and the Party in unfavourable light. of  unmodified  realism  since  1949  has  Advocacy  been regarded  with  considerable suspicion by Party leaders as a demand for licence to c r i t i c i s e , or expose, the s o c i a l i s t system.  In the extreme  case of the mid-1960's, realism was condemned i n Jiang Qing's "Summary" (Jiyao),  as anti-socialist and counter-revolutionary.  The romanticism that was imported from the West during the early days of the May Fourth movement involved the liberation of 97  both the imagination and the individual from convention.  Guo  Moruo and others of his colleagues who f i r s t espoused romanticism had by 1923 combined i t with Marxism to l i n k the causes of 98  individual liberation and national revolution. While realism i n i t s t r a d i t i o n a l sense  has pursued the  typical, romanticism, from the euphoria that followed the French Revolution, dealt with the promise  of mankind i n writings  characterised by "imagery, symbol and myth"^ rather than graphic 9  description, and produced heroic figures l i k e Goethe's Werther (brought before a Chinese audience by Guo Moruo i n 1921). The concept of romanticism met  with less favour among  Chinese theorists in the decade following communist victory, but we should note that the promise of the realisation of mankind's potential in the post-revolutionary Chinese society was already 10  implicit i n the "socialist" epithet that preceded the o f f i c i a l l y sanctioned "realism." The combination  of realism and romanticism was f i r s t  proposed i n China i n March 1958 during the drive to collect folkop,  songs during the Great Leap Forward. month by the "combination revolutionary  It was followed the next  of r e v o l u t i o n a r y  r e a l i s m and  romanticism" (geming xianshizhuyi  he geming  langmanzhuyi xiang jiehe) that was to be demanded of a l l writers for the next two decades.  This combination was f i r s t described  in essays praising Mao's poem "Reply to L i Shuyi" (Da L i Shuyi) i n which Mao's f i r s t wife and Li's husband, both of whom perished i n the c i v i l war, are imagined joyfully transported to heaven. The poem i s a highly romantic one, the "revolutionary" component provided by the cause i n which both martyrs perished and i n which their survivors achieved victory. evident.  "Revolutionary  There i s l i t t l e realism  romanticism" did not long  remain  confined to poetry: the f i r s t issue of the Party journal Red Flag (Hongqi), i n June of 1958, called  f o r the "combination of  revolutionary romanticism and revolutionary realism" — referred to thereafter as the "double revolutions" (shuangge) to be applied throughout l i t e r a t u r e .  A recent commentator has  commented caustically that the reason for the introduction of the "double revolutions" i n the late 1950's was that the large dose of subjectivism and optimism  conveyed  by " r e v o l u t i o n a r y  romanticism" was indispensible i f anything good was to be said about the U t o p i a n and ill-conceived Great Leap.  While most of  the p o l i c i e s of the Great Leap Forward were abandoned i n the early 1960's, nominal adherence to the "double revolutions" was maintained, and they were re-emphasised i n the Cultural Revolution.  A 1973 text-book on Marxist  (Cultural Revolution  style) defined  literary  theory  the two components as  follows: What we mean by revolutionary realism i s the concrete m a n i f e s t a t i o n i n l i t e r a t u r e of the revolutionary s c i e n t i f i c search for truth of the p r o l e t a r i a t , which r e q u i r e s that [ a r t i s t i c ] creation should adhere rigorously to the Marxist theory of r e f l e c t i o n , enter deeply into l i f e , and starting from the true facts of l i f e , profoundly r e f l e c t the objective process of the h i s t o r i c a l development of the revolutionary reality. What we mean by r e v o l u t i o n a r y romanticism i s the revolutionary idealism of the p r o l e t a r i a t which requires that creation should express the great ideals of communism, the m i l i t a n t s p i r i t of revolutionary heroism, and revolutionary optimism of the proletariat as they struggle to realise this ideal. 34 The effect of the "double revolutions" was to s t i f l e the c r i t i c a l potential of "realism" beneath the weight of Party direction and utopianism  imposed  by the two " r e v o l u t i o n a r y s " and one  "romanticism." An i l l u s t r a t i o n of the way the " r e a l i s t " and "romantic" approaches i n post-1949 China have d i f f e r e d i n portraying the social change of, for example, agricultural collectivisation, i s as follows: the "realist" author shows recognisable peasant types learning to adapt to unfamiliar but ultimately desirable policies by means of arguments among family members and neighbours, and through bitter experience.  Since the realism i s of a socialist 12  or revolutionary nature, the arguments put forward by progressive peasants, combined with practical experience, win over the more conservative.  The "romantic" counterpart presents the same  c o n f l i c t s in terms of a struggle between a pre-eminent hero embodying the Party's policy, and a recognisable v i l l a i n opposing i t (a t r a i t o r , the representative of a purged leader, etc.), resulting  i n the  triumphant  victory  of  the  hero and  the  or.  humiliation of the v i l l a i n , to the delight of the masses. latter  The  i s a scenario commonly seen i n Cultural Revolution  literature. In the chapters that follow, we w i l l refer to a l l four of the views on the disposition of the conflicts in modern Chinese literature that have been introduced above.  We now  turn to the  paradigm that, i t i s suggested, offers the best approach to the study of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e under communism: "society" and "self." II. "Society" and "Self" In  his essay  on  the s t o r i e s of Feng Menglong (1574-  1645/6),-^ c. T. Hsia observes that "the dichotomy of feeling to be discerned i n a great many of the sanyan tales stems ... from O "7  the s t o r y - t e l l e r ' s dual allegiance to s e l f and society."  In  Hsia's reading of Feng's stories, "self" i s essentially a matter of emotional fulfillment, particularly in the area of sexuality, and i t i s seen i n c o n f l i c t with "society" — morality  of Confucianism  the conventional  which " i s i d e n t i f i a b l e 13  with  the  suppression of one's deep-seated instincts for the maintenance of O Q  s o c i a l decorum."  00  "In story after story", Hsia writes, "he  [Feng's narrator] pulls himself away from the brink of sexual licence to assert the importance of law and order."^ duty  9  A sense of  to preserve the s o c i a l order r e s u l t s i n the author  maintaining a balance-sheet of just deserts (baoying, usually translated "retribution"), with virtue rewarded, and condign punishment visited on those who, albeit with the tacit approval of the narrator, step beyond conventional l i m i t s . single story, Feng Menglong's masterpiece Shirt,does  the author  Only in a  "The Pearl-sewn  s a t i s f y the divergent demands of  licence and decorum to the extent that, in Hsia's words " i t i s no longer necessary to speak of the i r r e c o n c i l a b l e claims of s e l f and society."^  1  Hsia's essay establishes a dialectic (though this i s not the term he uses) between personal fulfillment and social obligation similar to that which has been observed i n the Western literary tradition,  and which provides the vocabulary for this analysis  of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e under communist leadership. There are differences between the understanding of the terms as used by Hsia and as they appear i n the present study: here we w i l l elaborate on the meanings, for present purposes, of "society" and "self."  14  i ) "Society" What w i l l be considered  as "social" literature shares some  common ground with i n Feng Menglong's f i c t i o n inasmuch as the l a t t e r conforms to the Confucian code.  The communism of the  literature under review i s likewise a state morality devoted to the establishment  (pre-1949) and preservation (post-1949) of a  society predicated upon i t . An author's responsibility to "society" i s both monitored by the Communist Party and to a considerable extent measured i n terms of perceived loyalty to the Party.  It i s the Party which  sets guidelines for l i t e r a r y creation and assesses i t s s o c i a l consequences.  So a work's "partyness" (dangxing, c.f. Russian  partinost) i s an integral part of i t s "socialness." adherence to an o f f i c i a l view of man and the world  Imposed  should not i n  theory trouble authors who are either members of the Party or at l e a s t share i t s broad goals; but i t does i n f a c t become problematical i n a period such as the Cultural Revolution, when artists are required to reflect in their works the sharp changes in historical analysis and Weltanschauung that result from elite struggles within  the Party  hierarchy.  Writers eager to  accommodate themselves to such s h i f t s , either for reasons of Party  l o y a l t y or opportunism, face the danger that, i n  propagating  views for which they have scant sympathy, they may  commit a contemporary Chinese trahison des clercs.  The writing  of the novelist Hao Ran i n the f i n a l year of the Cultural Revolution  i s examined below i n the context 15  of a possible  betrayal of conscience. "Social" literature in the context of China since 1949 tends to be popular in nature (that i s , designed to have mass appeal), portraying and appealing to the broad constituency (gong-nongbing, "workers, peasants and soldiers") with which the Communist Party i d e n t i f i e s i t s e l f , and of which i t sets out to be the vanguard.  It i s optimistic and exemplary, in that i t portrays a  universe unfolding as i t should and the members of a great nation achieving their potential i n effecting the transformation of Chinese society towards the eventual goal of communism. Since i t dwells on human potential rather than human f a i l i n g s , less savoury  features of s o c i a l i s t  society  appear as tenacious  survivors of a feudal or imperialist past, and the means to their eradication i s demonstrated.  As such, the intellectual process  by which " s o c i a l " l i t e r a t u r e i s created i s inductive,  with  received truths about human behaviour and s o c i a l development applied to a particular case.  Here, as in the literary world of  Feng Menglong, a system of "just deserts" i s i n operation, b e n e f i t s a c c r u i n g to those who commit themselves e n l i g h t e n e d Party i n i t i a t i v e ,  to an  danger stalking those who  v a c i l l a t e , and punishment meted on those who oppose or subvert it.  4 3  Like  popular  literature  everywhere,^  this  communist  "social" writing functions according to conventions with which i t s audience feels at home. As in Western popular fiction, be i t detective/cowboy/romantic, etc., problems are resolved, order i s 16  restored, the hero(ine) triumphs. For i t s formal conventions, Chinese popular writing has frequently reverted to the "simulated context" (to use Patrick Hanan's t e r m ^ ) of the street-corner story-teller, coupled with the recycling of plot components from t r a d i t i o n a l narrative adapted to f i t the setting of the modern work. This t r a d i t i o n a l intertext was expanded i n the Cultural Revolution, with stock characters and plots from a corpus of literary models reappearing  elsewhere i n the arts i n s l i g h t l y  different guises and situations.  The accessibility to a popular  audience that conventionality brings to a literary work has been almost  invariably  overseeing  favoured by Communist Party o f f i c i a l s  the arts since the 1940's over  the pursuit  of  aesthetic refinement, i f this l a t t e r leads to more d i f f i c u l t styles less suited to presenting an inspirational picture to an audience of modest educational attainment. i i ) "Self" At the heart of the l i t e r a t u r e of the " s e l f , " as i t i s understood below, are two related concepts.  First, concern for  the individual as he/she relates to society, whether or not they conform to the exemplary figures of the " s o c i a l " works.  To a  certain extent, this corresponds to the exploration of the psyche and pursuit of emotional f u l f i l l m e n t posited as the s e l f i n Hsia's dialectic; but i t i s as much concerned with political and professional relationships as emotional ones, and more conscious of social effect.  Secondly, belief that i t i s the responsibility 17  of the i n d i v i d u a l author, free of organisational direction, to interpret the r e a l i t i e s of s o c i a l l i f e .  In this respect i t i s  the opposite of i t s "social" counterpart, and i t i s for this that many of i t s proponents have found themselves the targets of Party censure.  The i n t e l l e c t u a l process  here i s deductive,  conclusions being drawn from an author's perception material rather than derived from a received vision.  with  of h i s In cases  where Party-imposed s t r i c t u r e s on the arts have been l i f t e d to allow the f l o u r i s h i n g of " s e l f - o r i e n t e d writing, (as i n the Hundred Flowers of 1956,  the "blooming and contending" of 1961-2,  or the post-Mao "ideological liberation"), the results have often been pessimistic, and involved revelation of s o c i a l  evils  perceived as prevalent or f l o u r i s h i n g i n s o c i a l i s t society. Especially i n the most recent period, the l i t e r a t u r e of the " s e l f " has been manifested  i n the recounting of tragedies of  individual suffering, many of them wrought by the injustice and disequilibrium of the Cultural Revolution. of confidence  In these works, loss  i n the proper working of the social order has  undermined belief in "just deserts" and resulted i n f i c t i o n a l works i n which the h y p o c r i t i c a l and unjust secure power by destroying the righteous and innocent.^  A l l this i s not to say  that the tendency towards the " s e l f " i s of necessity  anti-  communist; indeed the most celebrated of the writers who were ostracised for their non-"social" (or "anti-Party") writings i n 1956 and who returned to write i n the same vein after 1978 (Liu Binyan, Bai Hua, Wang Meng) protest their loyalty to the Party,  18  of which they are reinstated members.  It i s simply that they  reserve the right, and assert the duty, of the author to present reality as he sees i t , independent of o f f i c i a l interpretations of current social conditions and tendencies. Writers who feel responsible to their own consciences and to their (generally well-educated) peer-groups, rather than to a broad and somewhat nebulous "mass" audience,  are the ones who  experiment with form. The post-Mao "stream of consciousness" (yishi l i u ) f i c t i o n and "shadows" (menglong) poetry have both been accused of i n a c c e s s i b i l i t y and obscurantism, but their authors are anything but irresponsible.  Wang Meng, the leading  exponent of "stream of consciousness" writing, has emphasised social responsiblity as a main theme of his work,^ and a sense of responsibility has been seen as the "motivating force" of the "shadows" poet Bei Dao.  48  "Society" and " s e l f " offer contrasting viewpoints on the momentous changes that have taken place in the People's Republic of  China.  Faced  collectivisation,  with  the  upheaval  of  agricultural  the Great Leap Forward,  the C u l t u r a l  Revolution, the adoption of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y system, etc., should the author show how  men  can best contribute to, and  benefit from the r e a l i s a t i o n of these p o l i c i e s (the " s o c i a l " approach)?  Or should he rather concentrate on the effects,  beneficial or injurious, on the individual (the "self") as he has himself observed them i n the course of p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l  19  change? two  The final chapter of this study offers a comparison of  novels which describe urban youths  dispatched to the  countryside i n the mass rustications of the Cultural Revolution. To the " s o c i a l " novelist, r u s t i c a t i o n offers a youngster the chance to prove himself i n heroic and p a t r i o t i c endeavour; f o r the author who concentrates on the "self," the story i s one of f u t i l i t y and alienation i n a cruel environment. In the literature of the Cultural Revolution, we are dealing with  a literature  approach,  that i s overwhelmingly  "social" i n i t s  or, to use the terminology of the a l t e r n a t i v e  frameworks outined above, i t i s a "vehicle" for the "morality" of communism, produced by authors who are "cogs" in the machinery of the state, unambiguously following a Party line and displaying a strong bias towards "romanticism" of the "revolutionary" kind. Yet " s o c i e t y " and " s e l f " do not have to be mutually exclusive; i n fact, i n the view of l i t e r a t u r e presented by Mao among the cave-dwellings of Yan'an i n 1942 and often reiterated, the apparently contradictory q u a l i t i e s demanded of the arts ( a c c e s s i b i l i t y and refinement, praise and exposure, etc.), have been seen as complementary goals for the a r t i s t to pursue. So while the Cultural Revolution literature examined in this study i s determinedly "social," i t i s not obliged thereby to ignore the sensitivities individual.  of the author  or eliminate concern  Yet this i s frequently the case:  f o r the  for a work to  s a t i s f y the demands of "society" and " s e l f " i n post-1949 China would be as great an achievement for i t s time and place as "The  20  Pearl-sewn S h i r t " represents for the vernacular story of the seventeenth  century.  Though the balance  i s maintained i n  extensive passages of one Cultural Revolution novel, Hao Ran's The Golden Road (Jinguang dadao),^ none of the " s o c i a l " works considered here meets these demands throughout, and most f a l l well short of this standard. III.  The Literary Mirror The metaphor of the mirror, which provides the t i t l e for  this study, i s central to Chinese theories of narrative writing, be the mirror a bronze one (jian) or a glass ( j i n g z i ) .  It i s  i m p l i c i t i n the r e f l e c t i o n (fanying) of l i f e that i s cited by most c r i t i c s in China as the function of literature.^  Communist  literary c r i t i c s can further point to Lenin's characterisation of Tolstoy as "the mirror of the Russian revolution."^ For the Confucian, history proceeded i n an ordered cycle, the f l o u r i s h i n g and decay of moral force reflected i n the r i s e and f a l l of dynastic houses. The past repeated i t s e l f , lessons for  present rulers being furnished from the conduct of their  predecessors.  The concept of history as a "comprehensive mirror  to assist government" existed well before Sima Guang enshrined i t in the t i t l e of h i s multi-dynastic chronicle Z i z h i tong.jian i n CO  the eleventh century.  The justification for recording the past  was moral as much as mimetic, praising the ancients for their virtue and censuring their e v i l as a guide to present and future rulers.  The moral pattern that gives shape to the dynastic 21  histories i s the same one that informs Feng Menglong's fictional world; their thesis i s that Confucian propriety i s the key to the satisfactory working of society. To a staunch anti-Confucian like Lu Xun, expressing himself through the perceptive madman of his f i r s t vernacular story, the morality of the histories was a rationale for cannibalism. Factuality was not sacrosanct i n h i s t o r i c a l writing. I t could be s a c r i f i c e d i n support of a righteous judgment, or the record could be distorted on the insistence of a prescient sovereign concerned for his place i n history.  B e l i e f i n the  contemporary significance of past events has made h i s t o r i c a l analogy a powerful weapon i n l i t e r a r y and p o l i t i c a l writing. Thus, for example, the turpitude of the Sui Emperor Yangdi was used by a seventeenth-century declining Ming dynasty.-^  author as an allegory for the  Debates over current policy have often  been fought through historical proxy; the criticism of the Great Leap Forward which provoked the f i r s t salvo of the Cultural Revolution was Wu Han's Hai Rui Dismissed from Office (Hai Rui ba guan), a drama set in the Ming dynasty.-'-'  And i n the early post-  Mao years, contemporary themes of r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of disgraced leaders, righteous resistance to oppression, etc., were a l l explored i n historical dramas.^ The past as mirrored in communist historiography illustrates the progression of human society in the stages described by Marx and Engels.  Mao Zedong shared with many of his predecessors as  rulers of China the desire to have the record of the distant and  22  recent past r e f l e c t his current interests. totalitarianism that "who who  Orwell's axiom of  controls the past controls the future,  controls the present controls the past,"-^  was implicit in  Chinese theories of government well before 1949, and has been much in evidence since. Mirrors i n Chinese narratives, l i k e " r e a l i s t " writings in the modern period, have often served  as  the  conveyors of  unpalatable truth. A recent essay by a Chinese c r i t i c cites two examples where the harbinger of doom was held responsible for the image: Simply because mirrors r e f l e c t the real state of a f f a i r s , there have been repeated cases, from ancient times to the present day, of people venting their spleen on mirrors. As the annals record: Xiahou Yuan of Cao [Cao's state of] Wei was struck i n the l e f t eye by a stray arrow; when he saw t h i s i n a mirror he became furious and hurled the mirror to the ground. Another case from the annals: Zhang Yu of the state of Shu was adept i n the techniques of physiognomy. Whenever he picked up a mirror, he could see in his own face that he would die by execution, which was tough on the mirrors, since he smashed them. Xiahou Yuan really was a one-eyed dragon, Zhang Yu t r u l y had a doomed visage, neither of which was the mirror's doing. Therefore we should r e h a b i l i t a t e the maligned mirrors: they were not guilty. 58 Perhaps the most celebrated mirror in Chinese literature i s the occult "mirror for the romantic" (fengyue baojian) which hastens the demise of the lovelorn J i a Rui i n chapter 12 of The Dream of the Red Chamber (Honglou meng). It i s presented to the a i l i n g youth by the peripatetic limping Daoist with instructions to look only at the reverse.  strict  This i s the side that  shows him his true destiny, a death's-head. The obverse i s his  23  erotic fantasy, the beckoning image of Wang Xifeng and the consummation of his sexual desires.  Over-indulgence i n the  latter reflection leads swiftly to the young rake's demise. When his grand-father, seeing him bewitched, t r i e d to destroy the mirror, i t i s snatched from the f i r e by i t s donor, who lays the blame with those who "took falsehood as truth" rather than with u• 59 his mirror. Like the d e f i n i t i o n s of realism, the mirror metaphor has been used to support varying views of the arts: as the reflection of underlying and archetypal truth, or as the l i t e r a l reflection of the world as i t i s . Mao demanded interpretative reflection in his Yan'an "Talks" (in the celebrated l i u geng "six even mores" passage), and i n s i s t e n c e on  a s o c i a l i s t view of things  outweighed concern with f a c t u a l i t y i n t h e o r e t i c a l writings on l i t e r a r y truth i n the period under study here. As expressed by Yao Wenyuan in his rebuttal of the calls for truthful writing by those condemned as "rightists" in the late 1950's: we need truth, but i t only that kind of truth that i s p o l i t i c a l l y c o r r e c t , that r e f l e c t s the fundamental laws of l i f e , that we are in need of. 60 That the l i t e r a r y mirror held up by Yao and his associates presented a grotesque distortion, and not a correct synthesis of truth, has been a major criticism in subsequent writings.  Here  we w i l l quote from two of the defenders of the more l i t e r a l than interpretative mirror, twenty years after Yao's attacks on their "rightist" ideas.  First Liu Binyan, who used the metaphor in his  speech to the Fourth Congress of Writers and A r t i s t s i n 1979 i n  24  defense of his own reportage: ... l i t e r a t u r e i s a mirror. When the mirror shows us things i n l i f e that are not very pretty, or that f a l l short of our ideals, i t i s wrong to blame the mirror. Instead we should root out and destroy those conditions that disappoint us. Mirrors show us the true appearance of things; literary mirrors speed the progress of society. Smashing a mirror is no way to make an ugly person beautiful, nor i s i t a way to make s o c i a l problems evaporate. History has shown that i t i s better not to veil or to smash l i t e r a r y mirrors. Isn't this truth a l l too clear from the extended period of time in which our r e a l i s t t r a d i t i o n i n l i t e r a t u r e was dragged toward an evil dead end? 61 Secondly, Bai Hua, who was himself shortly to discover the limits (in  of Party tolerance of revelations of injustice;  he articulated  the accusation made by many of the r e h a b i l i t a t e d " r i g h t i s t s , " that in their twenty year ostracism, practising writers had lied to the people to ingratiate themselves with the Party leadership. He complained that, from the Great Leap Forward on: l i t e r a t u r e beautified the sins of boasting and exaggeration, turning them into i l l u s t r a t i o n s of the superiority of the s o c i a l i s t system. I f writers had instead taken a more personal approach, pondering life's questions and writing according to their own feelings, then they might well have written works which truly reflected l i f e and played a role i n the rectification of current policies. 63 If we look through the eyes of these "rightists,"  outsiders in  the Cultural Revolution, we see the artists who flourished during the period beguiled  into " s o c i a l " writing by the forbidden  obverse of the mirror, gazing at the beckoning i l l u s i o n of a Maoist U t o p i a ,  and avoiding the death's-head that was the truth  facing the nation.  Clearly this i s a picture that suits the  interests of i t s authors, since their two heydays appear as noble  25  exceptions to a dismal rule. Less self-serving, and more succinct, are the two lines that comprise the stanza on art i n the poem "Notes from the City of the Sun" (Taiyang cheng zhaji) by Bei Dao, who was barely nine years old at the time of the anti-rightist campaign: A million scintillating suns appear in a shattered mirror 64 I believe that Bei Dao means here the literary mirror referred to above, smashed by those who could not face a true image and r e f l e c t i n g instead an i l l u s o r y brightness.  If so, i t i s a  trenchant criticism of the literature of the f i r s t three decades of the People's Republic, which culminated,  during the Cultural  Revolution, i n a l i t e r a t u r e so concerned with presenting the Party's view of society that i t lost contact with manifest social realities. IV. Outline of the Present Study The c r i t i c i s m s cited above are relevant here i n that they r e l a t e d i r e c t l y to the l i t e r a r y product Revolution.  The shocking  of the C u l t u r a l  and t r a g i c r e v e l a t i o n s of the  persecution of literary figures during the Cultural Revolution which surfaced in the late 1970's, while of significance i n the intellectual and social history of modern China, are beyond the purview of this study; some appropriate references are appended in a footnote.  Similarly, the history of the period, which has  been described elsewhere,  w i l l not be provided except as i t  relates to the content of specific literary works.  The Cultural Revolution i s an easily definable period, beginning with Yao Wenyuan's attack on Wu Han's drama in November of 1965,  and ending eleven years later with the death of Mao and  the arrest of the "Gang of Four" (sirenbang) in September/October 1976.  In l i t e r a t u r e the f i r s t f i v e years (1966-71), saw  the  establishment of rules for creation, and the refinement of the Model Works (yangbanxi);  otherwise,  almost a l l l i t e r a r y  publication was suspended.^  Publication of other literary works  resumed i n the second half of the Cultural Revolution (1971-6) and the short stories of the period are considered in an article 68 by David Pollard. °  For this study, examples have been selected  from novels, which have, with one or two exceptions, been ignored by Western scholars:^ from the f i r s t , History of Battles at 9  Hongnan (Hongnan zuo zhan shi),^°  released in February 1972,  the l a s t , Hundred Blossom Valley (Baihuachuan),^  1  to  published the  month of the death of Mao Zedong. The  novels  countryside.  analysed  here are a l l set i n the Chinese  This i s not to say that there were no novels with  industrial, military or educational settings, but the choice of r u r a l f i c t i o n i s the obvious one.  The Chinese countryside i s  home to eighty percent of the nation, and i t s many changes since 1949  have provided the setting for many of the best  novels  written under communist rule; rural fiction i s also the metier of Hao Ran, indisputably the foremost author to survive from the pre-1966 years and write in the Cultural Revolution. 27  The f i r s t two chapters below deal with communist literary theory from the 1920's to the 1960's. assertion  of the  need  Chapter 1 traces the  for a communist  viewpoint  and  the  justification for Party control in the arts from the early years of the Communist Party to the eve of the Cultural Revolution. Attention i s paid to Mao's "Talks," consideration of which i s indispensible for any study of communist l i t e r a t u r e i n China. Chapter 2 covers Cultural Revolution literary theory as defined by Yao Wenyuan and Jiang Qing in the mid-1960's. From i t w i l l be discerned the parameters within which l i t e r a r y creation was practised in the subsequent decade.  It w i l l be seen that the  demands placed on authors to convey a "social" message supportive of Communist Party policy, already evident in the polemical writings of Qian Xingcun in the late 1920's, were extended and enforced by Yao Wenyuan and Jiang Qing forty years later. Chapter 3 deals with the f i r s t literary realisation of the theory of the preceding chapter.  Examined are the development to  the status of literary exemplars, and the common features, of the Model Operas. The operas, purportedly the triumphant combination of s o c i a l i s t content with a r t i s t i c excellence, set a standard that  a l l literature  was  obliged  to  follow,  in  their  reinterpretation of history and society, i n their depiction of revolutionary heroism, and in their strict ordering of character and event. The remainder of the study, chapters 4 - 7 ,  examines novels  produced within the theoretical parameters established above and  28  adhering to the opera model.  The f i r s t of these, analysed i n  chapter 4, i s History of Battles at Hongnan, a novel of extreme orthodoxy produced by a c o l l e c t i v e authorship collaboration agricultural  with  Party  leadership.  collectivisation  in close  I t presents  the  of the e a r l y 1950's i n a  perspective that reflects the Cultural Revolution rewriting of modern Chinese history, the elite struggle between a collectivist Mao Zedong and an individualist Liu Shaoqi being enacted within the microcosm of a single v i l l a g e in suburban Shanghai.  In  chapter 5, the h i s t o r i c a l period i s the same, but the scene shifts to Hebei Province for Hao Ran's The Golden Road, which i s generally  acknowledged as the best 7  Revolution.  novel  of the  Cultural  2  I t w i l l be shown that Hao Ran,  while  keeping  within existing guidelines and following the opera model, s t i l l retained the concern for the material and emotional welfare of the individual peasant that had characterised his earlier work. Chapter 6 presents another novel by the same author at the end of the Cultural Revolution.  Hundred Blossom Valley has a  contemporary setting, and supports not the general "social" goals of the Communist Party, or i t s revision of the past, but the ongoing ambitions of one (apparently dominant) group within the Party's Central Committee.  It i s representative of the factional  l i t e r a t u r e of the f i n a l months of the Cultural Revolution, supporting the claims of Jiang Qing and succession, which was  her colleagues to  later condemned as "conspiratorial."  Hao Ran, i t represents a low point in a distinguished career. 29  For  The overriding concern with " s o c i a l " goals which pervades Cultural Revolution literature i s contrasted i n the final chapter with the return, in the literature of the late 1970's, to a focus on the "self."  This i s done through comparison of two novels  reflecting a major social movement of the period: the rustication of urban youth. (Zhengtu)  Guo Xianhong's 1973 novel The  Journey  takes a young hero and his band of followers from  Shanghai to action-packed struggle on the Soviet border; Zhu Lin's The Path of L i f e (Shenghuo de l u ) t a l e of one c i t y  girl  stranded  7 Z >  (1979) i s the tragic  i n an a l i e n a t i n g  rural  environment. The contrast in mood between the pre- and post-1976 novels i s s t a r t l i n g ; the r h e t o r i c a l conventions of Cultural Revolution f i c t i o n are reversed by an author holding up to the reader the frightening reverse side of the historical mirror.  30  CHAPTER 1 THE ASSERTION OF PARTY CONTROL; FROM QIAN XINGCUN TO MAO ZEDONG Just as the Cultural Revolution, as a p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l movement, was  j u s t i f i e d largely by i t s association with  Zedong, so the attempted c u l t u r a l transformation  Mao  drew i t s  authority from Mao's writings on the arts. Foremost among these are his  "Talks at the Yan'an Forum on the  wenyi zuotanhui shang de jianghua)  —  1  heart of Mao's "Talks" i s the demand  the  licence of  of  serving  a subjection subjective, tradition,  that  individual intellectual  society  and the  Communist  that of necessity individualistic  (Zai Yan'an  hereafter "Talks."  the  the  Arts"  writers subject  to  Party  the discipline that governs i t ;  entailed a break with  and  pessimistic^  May  and the production instead of partisan,  and motivational works. decisive response  on  The  "Talks"  Mao's  part  were  Chinese s o c i e t y ,  enunciation matters. Cultural policy  Fourth populist  to debates  artist in a their  the basis for Communist Party policy i n  these  the  Revolution  have been  at Yan'an  since  Though  and  the  a s p e c i f i c and  concerning the function of art and the role of the socialist  At  revisionist literary historians presented  Mao's formulation  of  of  the  literary  at Yan'an as an unprecedented act of genius, there were  in fact antecedents Party's establishment  within in  the  Communist  the 1920's. 31  Party  since  the  This historical context  w i l l be provided  below,  literary activity  of  Jiangxi Soviet,  with an outline of the  nationalist  before  Shanghai  and  revolutionary the  consideration of Yan'an,  communist the "Talks"  and Mao's limited subsequent pronouncements on the arts. focus of l i t e r a r y c o n f l i c t since Yan'an has rather than formal; adopt,  we  their  been functional  for a Maoist vision of forms the arts should  must look elsewhere than the  discussions  The  "Talks,"  to the  of National Forms (minzu xingshi) at Yan'an  manifestations  i n the l i t e r a r y  works  and  produced  thereafter under communist control. I. Before Yan'an i) Shanghai One of the f i r s t tasks facing the fledgling Communist in  the  literary  1920's was to establish i t s e l f as the vanguard and  intellectual revolution that  expression  in  the  months  had  a tide  of  the  dramatic  surrounding  n a t i o n a l i s t i c demonstrations of May 4, 1919. movement was  found  Party  the  The May  Fourth  for social change which the Party  sought  to channel i n directions commensurable with the proletarian revolution that  had  brought  the Communist Party to power  in  Russia. Among themselves  the earliest from Sturm  idealism were  May Fourth intelligentsia to transform und  Drang romanticism  to revolutionary  the youthful members of the Shanghai-based Sun and  32  Creation societies (Taiyang one of their  number, Qian  she, Chuangzao she).  Xingcun (alias Aying) on the leading  l e f t i s t writers Lu Xun and Mao Dun exemplify often inept  attempts  to propel the the decisive  after the purges  the earnest and  made by spokesmen for the Communist Party  literary years  Attacks by  l e f t towards a " s o c i a l " l i t e r a t u r e i n  between  the decimation  of the Party  of 1927^ and the formation of the League of  Left-wing Writers (zuolian) i n 1930. Qian Xingcun's espousal of Marxism (he became a Party member in 1926) led him to demand works of literature that would agitate a  popular audience to revolutionary activism, and he found the  fiction of both Lu Xun and Mao Dun unsuited to this mission. criticised  He  the stories of Lu Xun's two collections Call to Arms  (Nahan) and Hesitation (Panghuang) as more likely to depress than inspire  young  readers.  p i t i f u l petty-bourgeois, creation A Q,  of a  Lu Xun himself was dismissed the product,  as a  l i k e his most enduring  bygone age."* The case made against Mao  Dun's Eclipse (Shi) trilogy was that i t s characters were hapless victims of an ineluctable their  own  Eclipse,  destiny as Mao Dun's  fate rather than proud masters of  Qian  first  Xingcun  fiction,  would have them be. written  presents the reactions of young i n t e l l e c t u a l s contemporary events:  between  student  an o f f i c i a l suffers  political  1927-8,  to momentous  in the f i r s t part, Disillusion (Huanmie),  every hope of a g i r l (Dongyao),  in  and romantic  i s dashed;  in Vacillation  for his inability alternatives;  33  to decide  and the young  graduates fulfill  of  Pursuit (Zhuiqiu) f a i l  themselves  hedonism.^  in their attempts to  through education,  The author  defended  as an accurate reflection of  journalism  the bleakness  of  or  his fiction  his own mood:  I can only, therefore, t e l l the truth: I ain rather disillusioned, I am pessimistic, I am depressed, and I express these feelings in the three novelettes without the slightest disguise. 7 The  individualistic realism of literature implicit in Mao  Dun's  self-defence was unacceptable to Qian Xingcun, who used his essay on Mao Dun as a platform for his own views on the function of the arts.  In  a  style  that  has been  characterised  as  o  "deduced, dogmatic  and very aggressive,"  agitational "proletarian import  literature"  (the  Qian advocated term was a  an  recent  from Japan) wherein the writer would function as the  mouthpiece of the masses (rather than speaking for himself alone) and "observe the world vanguard"  9  through  the  eyes  of  the  proletarian  (the Communist Party).  Neither Lu Xun nor Mao Dun was a Party member at the time of Qian's attacks, them  into  10  and his exhortations did not succeed in turning  propagandists for Party policies;  however his stern  demands f o r a " s o c i a l " l i t e r a t u r e and s t r i d e n t tone are significant in their  anticipation of the rhetoric of later years  when the words of Party Qian's  spokesmen were to carry greater force.  vituperation  was  silenced  in the  interests  of  solidarity in 1930, when the Communist Party succeeded in uniting the  squabbling progressives of Shanghai around the common  cause  of r e s i s t i n g imperialism with the formation of the League of  Left-wing  Writers.  Party's f i r s t  The setting-up of the League was  the  success in gaining leadership of progressive  i n t e l l e c t u a l s , and was a component i n the changing climate of opinion that brought the communists to victory. Symbolic of this new  unity (albeit tenuous) was  Qian Xingcun (with Xia Yan) inaugural meeting. 4),  the appearance  as  Under the  of  Lu  Xun and  joint chairmen of the League's guidance of Qu Qiubai (from  1931-  the League maintained a more or less united front, but i t s  f r a g i l i t y was shown i n 1936. policy  changed  alliance  from  with  In that year, Communist  confrontation  with  a l l anti-Japanese  Party  the Nationalists to  forces, and the League was  disbanded; the l e f t i s t l i t e r a t i were called upon to adhere to the new  line by producing works emphasising patriotism rather  class  or p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n .  The  clumsy  than  and arbitrary  methods used by Party spokesman Zhou Yang e_t a_l to win Lu over led Xun's  to the new "National Defense Literature" to  (guofang  Xun  wenxue)  a  series of bitter exchanges in the last months of  Lu  life.  Zhou Yang's unsubstantiated denunciation  Lu  Xun's acolyte distrusting  Hu  Feng  as  a traitor  led  Lu  Xun  of  to  "start  and even detesting those young men like Zhou  Qiying  [Zhou Yang] who like to slander others." The failure discipline instructive autonomous  of  Zhou Yang and  his  associates  to  impose  on the question of National Defense Literature was an one  for  the  Communist  l e f t i s t s l i k e Lu Xun,  Party:  i t showed  that  potent force i n opposing  corrupt regimes as they may be, do not l i g h t l y a l t e r cherished 35  opinions  to accommodate changes in Party policy.  conflict  between independence  Yan'an,  When the  and d i s c i p l i n e resurfaced in  the Party was to attempt by means of the rectification  campaign,  to  transform the  literary intelligentsia.  i i ) Jiangxi No  such problems of disciplining established writers into  supporting  Party  policies  embattled Jiangxi Soviet;  confronted the  leadership  of  the  the problem was rather one of bringing  revolutionary l i t e r a t u r e and art to an i l l i t e r a t e  peasant  populace.  to  Soviet he  Qu  after  was  Qiubai  served as Commissar of Education  his arrival from Shanghai in January  l e f t behind on the evacuation of  the  the  1934 until Soviet the  following year. Despite the brevity of his tenure, Qu played a major role in shaping the literary policies of the Soviet,  and  thereby contributed greatly to the views Mao was to formulate  at  Yan'an.  14  In the early 1930's in Shanghai, Qu Qiubai had expressed his view  that the May Fourth movement had failed to produce a  popular  literature.  revolutionary works accessible mass audience  Instead,  writers  as  he  saw  the new  a Westernised  truly  generation  elite,  of  producing  only to their own kind, and alienated from any by  their  class  (petty-bourgeois),  their  language (Europeanised baihua vernacular) and the inaccesibility of their writings.  The "proletarian May  Fourth"  that Qu  demanded would require a transformation of the a r t i s t s , from  bourgeois to proletarian revolutionaries, and their works, from e l i t e to popular.  In the case of the a r t i s t s ,  t h i s was to  involve abandonment of patronising attitudes proletariat and protracted experience of the popular audience.  As  of the  life  for their works,  of the "proletarian May Fourth" was to language  towards  the  and language  the  literature  be written in the common  (putonghua) of the people;  i t was  to have as i t s  content their "actual revolutionary struggle;" and i t was derive i t s form from popular styles was  already  familiar.  Thus,  with  two years  to  which  the audience  before  his departure  for Jiangxi, Qu Qiubai envisaged that, for example, the stories of  The  Water Margin  (Shuihu zhuan) could  be recycled  to  dramatise the exploits of the heroes of the Soviet. -' 1  To the extent that the scanty source materials now available on can  the literature of the Jiangxi Soviet permit  conclusions, i t  be seen that a popular agitational literature of the  kind  that Qu had advocated did in fact emerge. The inhabitants of the Soviet were struggle  presented  for survival,  local folk-songs. to  tell  statement  of by  with  works a r i s i n g  in forms  out  of  the  ranging from spoken drama to  New words were set to traditional  wives sending husbands off to  war;  and  love-songs a  policy  army commander Zhu De and political commissar  Mao  Zedong was written in doggerel. ** 1  The organisation of  a r t i s t s (on which Qu had not spoken)  was styled on Soviet practice.  For example, drama was taught at  the Gorky Drama School and performed by 37  "blue-denimed  troupes"  modelled on s i m i l a r  groups  i n the Soviet  Union.  the writer-performers  were  extremely young,  had  reputation and movement.^  were not i d e n t i f i e d  Consequently they could  immediate needs of the Soviet  with the easily  Most  of  no previous May  Fourth  adapt to meet the  for propaganda in what Qu called  "traditional popular forms." Although Qu  Qiubai himself was depressed at the last by the  gulf that had existed had  tried  to serve,  between  he  in terms of the organisation of the  needs of the moment.  Qu Qiubai had  that the Party II.  the peasantry  the recycling of t r a d i t i o n a l forms in service of the  political level,  and  much experience had in fact been gained  in the Jiangxi Soviet, both arts and  himself  On a theoretical and practical  provided a model for the literary policy  was to adopt at the other end of the Long March.  Yan'an  i) Mao and the "Literary Opposition" By 1942,  the year of the Yan'an Forum and the rectification  campaign, Mao Zedong had established himself firmly as the leader of  the  Communist  Party.  He  had  been  actively  engaged in  revolutionary war for fifteen years and had been Party  Chairman  for seven. Furthermore he had, i n 1941, staved off a challenge to  his leadership from Wang Ming and the Soviet-trained "twenty-  eight  bolsheviks."^  At Yan'an,  he had begun the synthesis  of  the theoretical system that became known as "Mao Zedong thought"  38  by combining the Marxism of  Lenin  he had read (largely in the writings  and Stalin) and learned from colleagues  with his own  20  experiences as a revolutionary.  The empirical combines with  the t h e o r e t i c a l i n Mao's Yan'an essay "On Practice" (Shijian 9I  lun)  with which he defended himself against those at Yan'an  (whom he called dogmatists) returning from their Party  education  in the Soviet Union believing that they were better q u a l i f i e d than he to lead the Chinese revolution.  This p r a c t i c a l i t y i s  evident in his attitude to the arts. The sources of Mao's views on the arts are twofold: his  own reading preferences and literary practice, and secondly  theories inherited from or  through  the Soviet  Union  from  translations  such intermediaries as Qu Qiubai (in Jiangxi), Zhou  Yang and Chen Boda (at Yan'an). His " l i t e r a r y w o r l d " considered  Mao acknowledged his indebtedness to the May  movement and praised i t s anti-imperialism, Qiubai,  22  w i l l be  first.  Though  unimpressed  produced, finding  with  i t insipid  Chinese society. His own  Fourth  he was, like Qu  the l i t e r a t u r e that i t had and remote from the realities of  preference,  autobiography dictated to Edgar Snow, The Water Margin and Three Kingdoms I  first,  as expressed  was  (Sanguo  i n the  for the tales of zhi yanyi): "What  enjoyed were the romances of old China,  and especially  stories of r e b e l l i o n s ... I believe that perhaps I was much influenced by these books,  read at an early age.  J  It i s not  surprising that the May Fourth writer he most appreciated 39  was Lu  Xun.  Lu Xun was a more t r a d i t i o n a l ,  writer  than his younger associates.  small-town  central China  the Qing  dynasty,  and less  Europeanised,  His best fiction i s set in  around the time of the collapse  and  depicts  struggling  of  tradesmen,  insecure i n t e l l e c t u a l s and other t y p i c a l characters from late imperial and early republican China that Mao would have known well.  So i t was  precisely the traditionalism that Qian Xingcun  abhorred that made Lu Xun's writing accessible to  Mao.  Mao's disdain for most May Fourth writing should not be seen as  absolute anti-intellectulism on his part.  Certainly he  less than fond memories of the Westernised elite who had  had  spurned  him as a young provincial during his sojourn in Beijing, and whom he decried i n the "Talks" as "remote and uncomprehending" towards the came  the masses  they  affected to lead.  humanistic individualism to  Yan'an,  of  the  mistrusted  Xun d i s c i p l e s who  and resented their pretentions to leading  roles in the a r t i s t i c  l i f e of  from the control  Party Central.  himself as an  Lu  He  of  intellectual  of them by virtue of  his  the  liberated areas independent Yet  and artist poetry,  Mao  clearly  on a par with the best and  their senior as a  revolutionary. In his poem "Snow" (Xue), Mao himself as a warrior-leader of the stature  had  portrayed  of Qin Shihuang,  Tang Taizong and Ghengis Khan, yet surpassing them a l l as "exceptional  character" (fengliu  saw  renwu)  with  an  his greater  l i t e r a r y cultivation. Mao's  literary  theories were  40  profoundly  utilitarian.  From  the Stalinist interpretation of Lenin's "Party Organisation  and Party L i t e r a t u r e " ^ he took the view that the arts were a component  in the overall activities of the revolutionary Party  (the "cog and screw" theory mentioned  in the introduction). In  this respect, Mao was both a Stalinist and a traditional Chinese leader; as John K. Fairbank has observed of imperial "print  was  to  be used  i n the service  China:  of orthodoxy as  97  judged by the political authorities.  Mao's views on the arts  f a l l within the mainstream of Chinese pragmatism as defined by James J. Y. Liu, as "a means to achieve political, social, moral no  or educational purposes. Much of what Mao had to say on the future development of the arts and the role of the artists was derived from Qu Qiubai. The "national  scientific  democracy  was  Fourth." their  Both  ideology  mass culture"  strikingly  similar  Mao associated with  to Qu's "proletarian May  men saw the need for intellectuals to transform and their language to bring them closer  majority of the population,  and maintained  to the  that long-term  integration of intellectuals among the masses was the only that this could be achieved. art  Furthermore,  could identify. Mao's  considerable; indeed,  with  indebtedness to Qu  Qu Qiubai's  way  both advocated that  for a popular audience should be in a form  audience  new-  which that Qiubai  p o l i t i c a l biographer  was Paul  G. Pickowicz observes that: " f i r s t , while the ideas of Mao and Qu are by no means identical, Mao been s a i d  already  by  Qu.  said  very  Second, 41  little  that had not  and perhaps more  significant,  where their views differ, Qu seems to have adopted  the more radical positions. Mao's formulation of policies for the arts in 1942 came as a direct response to the views of a group of i n t e l l e c t u a l s whom Gregor  Benton  opposition,"  J1  Qing and Wang bitter  has  described  a  Yan'an  whose members included Ding Ling, Shiwei.  experiences  considerable  In  addition  to  their  of revolutionary  Nationalist-controlled had  as  "literary Xiao Jun,  long and  activity  often  in  the  "white" areas, the f i r s t three named also  l i t e r a r y reputations.  They may  well have  regarded themselves as heirs to the legacy of Lu Xun and natural leaders of modern Chinese Mao,  Ai  literature,  while welcoming them to Yan'an,  the  positions which  was unprepared to cede to  them. Their Mao,  criticism of the Yan'an leadership,  was  contained  "literature (Jiefang  column"  and  implicitly  in articles many of which appeared of the Yan'an  ribao).  Their  newspaper  essays  in  Liberation  the  Daily  included c r i t i c i s m s  of  inequities existing at Yan'an (which need not concern us here), and,  crucially to the present discussion,  artist They  incompatible  with those of Mao,  believed, f i r s t ,  himself  in  the  right of the a r t i s t to express "Apart from  freedom," Ai Qing wrote i n "Understand  Respect Authors" (Liao j i e zuo.jia, no  privileges."  33  the  Zhou Yang and Chen Boda.  without fear of p o l i t i c a l intervention:  creative  demand  views on art and  zunzhong  Secondly,  zuojia), "authors  separation  42  Authors,  of the roles  of " P o l i t i c i a n s and  A r t i s t s " (Zhengzhijia  demanded by Wang Shiwei. Wang concern themselves with soul,  held that  politicans  human society, artists  and that n e i t h e r should meddle  territory.  yishujia)  was  should  with the human  i n the  other's  (Wang's argument i s disingenuous, i n that, while  decrying the meddling of politicians in the arts, he i s reserving the right to intervene i n p o l i t i c s himself.) Wang suggested that  politicians  who gained control of the arts would use them  for self-aggrandisement, while act  with  integrity.  artists  Thirdly,  could  be relied upon to  i t was the duty of the artist  to expose the "darkness" (hei'an) i.e.,  injustices,  harmful  practices and attitudes, as Wang and Ding Ling had done in their criticisms of Yan'an  life.  Wang Shiwei  more important for  artists  to purge  individual and their own outward"  (qiangkou  maintained  the uncleanliness of the  society than  xiang  wai)  to "turn  to lance s p i r i t u a l  patients with  palliatives.  ills  the guns  by c r i t i c i s i n g the enemy.  Ai Qing saw the a r t i s t as a surgeon of the soul, scalpel  that i t was  wielding a  rather than soothing h i s  The scalpel recommended for the  purpose by Ding Ling and Luo Feng was the incisive zawen essay used by Lu Xun against his opponents in Shanghai. i i ) The "Talks" The humanism,  individualism and desire for autonomy of  these authors typified those aspects of May Fourth thinking that Mao wished to see transformed. The '*Talks" are Mao's refutation.  43  The familiarity of the "Talks", and the availability S.  McDougall's judicious commentary on the  extant,  of  Bonnie  e a r l i e s t text  make further extensive analysis unnecessary.  Here we  w i l l concentrate only on what Mao had to say about the function of the arts and the role of the artist. a. Function of the Arts What then i s the crux of the matter? In my view i t consists fundamentally of the problems of working for the masses and how to work for the masses. 39 Thus Mao,  early in  his concluding speech to  the Forum, sought  to define the tasks facing the authors of the base areas. "masses" he to these  defined  as workers, peasants and soldiers,  groups the revolutionary  the petty-bourgeoisie  how  these groups were to be served, were  i n his conclusion.  goals defined  present case  unity  This i s ,  Shiwei's  preferred  Mao's audience  was  Mao  In terms  of  emphasised political  to be subordinate to p o l i t i c s and  should serve  Japan.  adding  cadres in his introduction  and  c r i t e r i a : the arts  The  by p o l i t i c a l leaders —  i n the  under Party leadership in resistance to of course,  a direct  separation doubtless  contrast with Wang  of p o l i t i c s  aware.  Unlike  from Wang,  art,  as  Mao did  wish to "turn the guns outwards" focussing criticism on the enemy while emphasising The on  the positive at  Yan'an.  v i t a l fourth section of Mao's conclusion, ostensibly  the importance of the p o l i t i c a l  criticism,  was  in  fact  criterion  in  literary  a systematic refutation of the views  44  of  the  literary opposition,  "Politicians  and A r t i s t s . " ^  mankind as starting-points  particularly of  for a r t i s t i c creation,  inter-personal relations and humanity  and  love.  Shiwei's  Mao rejected humanism and love of  by saying that i n a class society,  of  Wang  class differences define  override  Rejecting  and countered  abstract  considerations  Wang's notion of the arts as  responsible for exposing the inequities of Yan'an society, proposed  that,  instead, praise  towards the people  and  for  the enemy.  (gesong) should be directed  the Party,  while exposure (baolu) should be  Mao  despite their shortcomings,  almost  exclusively  Further, Mao specifically  reserved  ruled out the use  of the zawen essay that Ding Ling and Luo Feng had advocated. The nature of the zawen had been as a means to expose an unjust society Mao,  i n which  the writers had l i v e d ,  the different nature of 1930's Shanghai  rendered the form plainest here:  obsolete.  the evils of  and  and, to  1940's Yan'an  Mao's u t i l i t a r i a n i s m i s at i t s  what i s not appropriate to the Party's cause,  even i f cherished by writers and associated with Lu Xun, must be done away with. The  d i a l e c t i c a l nature of Mao's thinking on the function  of the arts i s evident i n references to " a c c e s s i b i l i t y " (puji) and  "refinement"  (tigao),  rendered "popularisation" practical popular  constraints audience,  and  and  imposed  terms  which  are  "raising standards." by the scant  Given  education  the relative success  Soviet's literary policies i n agitational terms,  45  elsewhere the  of the  of the Jiangxi Mao opted for  " a c c e s s i b i l i t y " i n bringing a motivational largest possible numbers, immediate  message  but s t i l l stressed the  to the  need for  "refinement" of works intended for cadres and students  and future large-scale "refinement" to meet the changing needs of a better educated mass audience. Mao's  insistence  on  the subordination  of the arts to  politics, and indeed his calling of the Yan'an Forum in the f i r s t place,  testify  especially or  to h i s r e c o g n i t i o n of the power of a r t ,  when i t  depress  i s of high aesthetic quality,  i t s audience.  control, the arts could the  cause  was too  of  Like Lenin,  be  powerful  Mao saw that under his  invaluable  the Communist  Party;  a weapon  to  the revolution and  and that conversely,  to be l e f t  quality  for the  literature  art  i n the hands of  independent humanists like the literary opposition. problem was that to produce Party  to inspire  of  An inherent the  required  workers, peasants and soldiers, the services  of intellectuals, most of whom were of petty-bourgeois origins, was essential, b.  Role of the Artist Implicit  in Mao's "Talks" was  the time being at least,  that, for  literature and art were to be provided  for the masses by an educated elite. to provide  the recognition  The l i f e of the masses was  the raw material for the arts,  but Mao did not see  the masses themselves giving that material artistic shape. artist's  role was  The  to process l i f e into elegant l i t e r a r y form  for the masses to appreciate.  In the "Talks," the people who produce art are referred to as "workers in the arts" (wenyi gongzuozhe), i n preference to Ai Qing's "authors" (zuojia) or Wang Shiwei"s "artists" (yishujia). Mao perceived the a r t i s t as a l i t e r a r y artisan,  reworking  material under his master's watchful eye, rather than a revered professional, the engineer of the human soul or the s p i r i t u a l surgeon. In t h i s context, Mao refuted Wang's description of Lu Xun as a lonely t i t a n  struggling  bitterly  with  h i s own  impurities, and presented him instead fiercely defying the enemy and  humbly serving  of  limited aspects  to  support opposite  the people. (Both are plausible of Lu Xun's complex positions;  character,  analyses selected  Mao and Wang both sought, as  have many others i n subsequent l i t e r a r y debates, to bring the shade of Lu Xun on side.)^ Mao's  attempt  to define  form given to l i f e required art i s contained i n a  from  the character of the l i t e r a r y the reshaping  resounding, i f imprecise,  was l a t e r used to j u s t i f y  of l i f e  into  passage which  the Cultural Revolution  policy  regarding the portrayal of pre-eminent heroes; i t came to be known as the "six even mores" (liu geng): life as reflected i n a work of a r t can and should be even more lofty, even more intense, even more concentrated, even more typical, even more ideal and thus even more universal than actual ordinary l i f e . 42 How  were  unfamiliar  intellectuals  who  were  ( i n Mao's  with and patronising towards the masses be  to assume the role that Mao had in mind for them? 47  opinion) persuaded  Mao's answer  to  this  question was the same as had been Qu Qiubai's a  decade  earlier: by transforming their thinking and their language. was  to  be  achieved by thorough study  Marxism-Leninism peasants  and  and  approved  In  introduction to the "Talks,"  a  conciliatory passage  Mao offered his own  transformation  could  come  the study of Marxism-Leninism was probably  in  Shan  previous  the  response to the  was s t i f l i n g to  year  creativity;  about.  Mao's emphasis  on  sterner  in  his conclusion,  raised  by  of revolutionary  "feudal,  petty-bourgeois,  art-for-art's-sake,  pessimistic."  44  For Mao,  orthodoxy (correctness) and  Ouyang theory  insisted that he c e r t a i n l y  those creative impulses that  nihilist,  to to  wanted to see destroyed bourgeois,  in the  masses  study Mao  workers,  from petty-bourgeois  objection  that  of  example as an  proletarian ideology, and from alienation from the acceptance by them,  texts  by protracted contact with the  soldiers.  instance of the way this  of  This  were  liberal, individual,  aristocratic,  decadent,  there was no contradiction between creativity.  These latter comments by Mao are a clear condemnation of the May  Fourth  style  of  writing  in which the members  "literar-y opposition" were well versed; the epithets  used by Mao,  Ling's  many of  i n language reminiscent  of Qian  be applied to Mao  creative  Dun's Eclipse  famous story "Diary of Miss Sophie"  riji). ^ 4  With  the  the  for example,  Xingcun, to describe undesirable legitimately  of  impulses could trilogy  (Shafei nifshi de  conditions Mao prescribed for art 48  or Ding  and  the  artist  under Communist Party control, May Fourth-style  writing  could not long survive at Yan'an. (Many "Talks"  commentators  for  C. T. Hsia,  their  writing  rejection  in the West have decried  of  May  Fourth  writing.  "in repudiating the Western t r a d i t i o n in  the For  modern  Chinese l i t e r a t u r e [the Talks] ... reversed the course of that l i t e r a t u r e and k i l l e d i t s potential for future development." ^ 4  Hsia implies here source  for  that  the  West provided the only possible  the development  eminent analysis  of Chinese l i t e r a t u r e ;  his own  of China's classic fiction (inter alia) refutes  this by demonstrating the wealth of the indigenous t r a d i t i o n . One  may  infer that his remarks on the "Talks" are emotional  outburst as much as scholarly conclusion.  More pertinent i s the  contention of his brother T. A. Hsia that Mao, harmed the arts by giving them to those  taking them  the  Party. ^ 4  individualists  who  could not be r e l i e d upon criteria  he  engendering  had  set  to  away Mao  from the i n d i v i d u a l and  did indeed maintain that  were challenging produce works  f o r t h : supporting  confidence  in  the e f f e c t of the "Talks" not at  the and  than  the  have  adhering  to  the  effort,  war  the  etc. T. A.  their focus i s on  He points out  been  original  observation, madeinl962, i s prophetic  49  authority  Yan'an, but a f t e r the  of the People's Republic.  application of the "Talks" dogmatic  his  the Communist Party,  Hsia's objections are the more cogent in that  establishment  in his "Talks",  text of  far  more i l l i b e r a l  itself; the  that  Hsia's  puritanical  readings  of  the text  p r e v a l e n t during the  Cultural  Revolution.) While Mao was clear as to the function of art, his "Talks" give l i t t l e indication of the form artistic works should take. To demand that l i t e r a t u r e should arise out of real l i f e , and to demand (in passing) "proletarian/socialist realism"^ as a means to that end, s t i l l appears to leave choices regarding form and style in the hands of the author. of  However, Mao's recommendation  the "budding literature and art" (mengya zhuangtai de wenyi)  of the masses as models for l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c workers to emulate was an indication of Mao's approval for positions taken on "national forms" by others at Yan'an, notably Zhou Yang and Chen Boda. The influence of the debates on "national forms" i s evident in the literature produced after the Yan'an Forum. i i i ) "National Forms" In  extant texts of Mao's Yan'an writings,  there i s only a  single, tangential reference to "national forms," as something to be  integrated  with foreign forms i n the enduring quest  holy grail of a modern and quintessentially  Chinese  for the  culture.*^  At the Jiangxi Soviet, this integration had been seen i n the use of  both folk-song (an indigenous  form) and spoken drama (a  Western importation) to convey a propaganda message. In Yan'an, the  foreign  forms,  accessibility/refinement position.  like  the "refinement"  dialectic, were to take  of the  a subservient  Mao's views on the unsuitability of most Westernised 50  writing to the conditions of Yan'an, and their antecedents in the thought of Qu Qiubai, have been outlined above. Further, Mao had l i t t l e knowledge of the Western l i t e r a r y heritage, did  not f e e l the need  and he  (as had Marx and Engels) to make i t  widely available to a mass a u d i e n c e . T h e excited the imagination  writers that had  of the revolutionary intellectuals of  Beijing and Shanghai — Byron, Shelley, Keats, the young Goethe, Balzac, Yeats, Ibsen et a l ^ — 1  imitative  meant l i t t l e to Mao, and the  works of their Chinese admirers were a l i e n and  objectionable to him. An alternative model,  also unfamiliar in i t s form but made  more acceptable by virtue of i t s ideological content,  was the  work of Gorky and the other Russian "socialist realists." literature  had influenced some Chinese  writers:  Countryside  i n August (Bayue de Xiangcun),^  2  Xiao  Soviet Jun's  a sinification of  CO  Fadeyev's  The Rout,  was popular,  i f controversial, when i t  appeared i n Shanghai i n the mid-1930's. It was, however, the original  Russian  novel that Mao praised  in his "Talks," both  because of i t s association with Lu Xun (who had translated i t ) and out of distaste Yan'an.-*  4  academy  for Xiao Jun's c r i t i c i s m s  Zhou Libo, who taught Russian literature at the Lu Xun in Yan'an,  admitted to the influence  writing on his novel Hurricane (Baofeng zhouyu).^ Yan'an  of l i f e at  and thereafter,  there seems to have been  of  Sholokhov's  However, at no  wholesale  borrowing from Soviet sources. It  was the indigenous literary tradition that was chosen to  provide the forms which, emptied of Confucian ideology and feudal customs, could be r e f i l l e d according to the political guidelines of  the  "Talks." "National forms" encompassed  f o l k - a r t s (balladry,  story-telling,  both  performing  yangge, etc.) and more  elite forms with broad popular appeal (classic fiction, opera, etc.).  While  Beijing  the folk forms were readily accessible to a  local audience and provided a basis for literary work at Yan'an, the limitations imposed by their rustic regional nature became clear as  the Red Army headed south;  the more literary "national  forms" retained their appeal even after the withdrawal  from  Shaanxi. The  advocates  of "national forms" at Yan'an saw that  folk  styles would be a useful i n i t i a l vehicle in conveying a communist message,  as  had been done in the Jiangxi  "Talks,"  Zhou  forms"  in  Yang, terms  for example, of  the  Before  had discussed the  dialectical  accessibility and refinement,  Soviet.  the  "national  relationship  between  maintaining that folk idioms  were  an acceptable base from which to build a more refined proletarian culture."*  For Zhou Yang,  7  a strictly  temporary  ranging tastes limited  the transformation of folk idiom was  expedient;  a reader with  his  wide-  could hardly be s a t i s f i e d for long with such  fare. A stronger advocate of "national forms" among  Mao's advisers at Yan'an was Chen Boda, whose commendation of the integration of popular sinification  culture  of Marxism  was  a component in the wider  in which he and Mao were the major  figures, and which resulted in Mao Zedong thought.  CO  Chen  saw  "national forms" as the means whereby the masses could contribute (albeit through the intermediacy of i n t e l l e c t u a l s ) to the creation  of a revolutionary  t r a n s i t i o n to socialism,  Chinese  culture  during  the  and he rejected the argument (put  forward by Wang Shiwei, and resulting i n a sharp r h e t o r i c a l exchange) that popular forms origins  in a  dispensed  backward  were irrevocably tainted by their feudal  culture  with a l t o g e t h e r , W a n g ' s  and  were  best  implication that feudal  Chinese culture could be more harmful than Western culture was unacceptable to a nationalist like Chen Boda. That the  the significant feature of literature produced  rectification campaign was the "persistance  forms"  has been noted by many  observed  the conscious revival  traditions Chinas  range  in his landmark study Die Literatur  und  of traditional  commentators. (Jaroslav of a wide  Ihre V o l k s t r a d i t i o n e n , ^  after  Prusek  of popular  des Befreiten  and C y r i l Birch and  others have made similar observations in the case of fiction.*^) A mass movement bawdy local  was  launched to transform the comic  and often  dramatic form of yangge ("rice-sprout song") into a  medium for mass education and the promulgation of Party policy. A Beijing Opera with a h i s t o r i c a l setting but a contemporary message, Forced to Ascend Liangshan showed the righteous rebellion of The  (Bi shang  Liangshan)  Water Margin to latter-  day rebels of Yan'an and won Mao's praise for opening a new era in o p e r a ; ^  i t was followed by The White-haired G i r l (Baimao  dramatisation  of a contemporary story i n which the  sufferings of the central character are brought to an end by arrival  of  communist  witnessed  troops.  Audience reaction  to  the  the  play  by Jack Belden attested to i t s effectiveness as  propaganda;  the  familiarity of i t s formal  conventions  must  have contributed to i t s political effectiveness. The  influence of story-telling and balladry i s seen in  early stories of Zhao Shuli, after  the  Rhymes"  Yan'an Forum.  (Li  some of the f i r s t fiction to appear  In his best-known story "Li Youcai's  Youcai banhua),  written  in  1943,  the  tales (kuaiban) of the central character indicate an apparently harmonious village, communist  authorities.  influence Daughter  of  clapper-  corruption in  and justice i s restored by the  Both Prusek and  Birch  note  the  Son  and  The Water Margin on the Yan'an novel New  Heroes  (Xin  emu  yingxiong  zhuan)  and  of  Kingdoms on Heroes of Liiliang (Luliang yingxiong zhuan) ;^ says  of  the  latter  the  novel that i t "is very  clearly  Three Birch  9  for  consumption, new wine in an old and well-loved bottle."^  mass  0  It i s not suprising that works in a traditional style easily accessible to a peasant audience should have made such effective propaganda which Wang truly  a  at new  What i s questionable i s the  extent  literature grew out of this imitation of  the  to old.  Shiwei's misgivings about "national forms" as a basis for a modern  transpired, the  Yan'an.  new  Chinese  traditional  literature had  been  prescient.  As  works provided not only the vessel  wine (the song-and-patter framework of the  yangge,  it for the  simulated story-teller context of the novel) but also much of i t s  body (stock character-types, changed  by the essence of communism with which the tincture  infused. well  plot motifs) with only the flavour  The  into  novels  tenacious grip of the "national forms" persisted  the post-1949 years,  of  was  the  1950's  and  and many of the most  1960's  borrowed  popular  liberally  from  traditional works."^ 7  There  have been occasions when a familiar,  even hackneyed,  plot-line or character-type has been delightfully revived in the hands  of a sophisticated writer. Appended to this chapter i n  illustration i s an account of the recycling of a  tale from  The  Water Margin i n three manifestations from Yan'an to the mid1960's.  Essentially,  "national  forms"  literature, writing the  fostering  that  May  has  however, been  a  archaism  the  perpetuation  conservative  force  at the expense  of  in  of the Chinese  the bolder  might have inherited the modernism of the best of  Fourth tradition and s t i l l been Chinese enough  in i t s  language and style to reach a mass audience, and thereby realised the "proletarian May Fourth" desired by Qu Qiubai. III.  From 1949 to the Eve of the Cultural Revolution Both  the literary  politics and the major  period have been described elsewhere,  novels  by Merle Goldman  of the and Joe  73 C. Huang  J  respectively,  and need not be reviewed  length.  Germane to the present study i s the way i n which the  Yan'an position on the s o c i a l  here at  and p o l i t i c a l role of the  arts  as a component in political struggle was periodically restated in 55  response to v a r i o u s  perceived  threats. Such r e i t e r a t i o n s  habitually coincided with the resurfacing of the developmental model associated with Yan'an.^  4  After 1949,  Soviet-style governmental institutions were set  up to oversee writers and artists,  and Party literary policy was  enunciated by the heads of these institutions, notably Zhou Yang. Cultural  Revolution  dominated at  Certainly  eclecticism,  of  there  were periods  of  and  to  examine  more l i b e r a l i t y  subject-matter.  Mao's  the  towards  rectification.  Xun  a r t i s t s in their  interventions, as emphasised  struggle concern to Xun  control and  His f i r s t move against a target in the  arts  1949 was his objection to the film The Life of Wu Xun zhuan);  his  than  comments  had  in  concerns of the  afterwards, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y presaged tighter  after  as  greater  featuring a wider range of subjects permitted  greater freedom  individual choice  years  by a "black line" contrary to Mao's policies as stated  Yan'an. ^  debate,  literary histories portray these  placed  greater  been the case at  Yan'an,  emphasis where  (Wu  on  class  his  prime  had been to unite the population of the liberated areas  support the military struggle. showed  the  masses  passively  Mao held that The Life of Wu grateful to  a  wealthy  philanthropist rather than rising up to overthrow feudalism; thus it  represented  to him propaganda for the feudal  gentry  and  a  76 distortion of the role of the proletariat. Mao's orchestration of the campaign against Hu Feng in 1954 was  in response to a challenge to the authority of the 56  "Talks."  Hu Feng (whom Lu Xun had defended against the Party in 1936) had objected  both to Party control of the arts and to the elevation  of the "Talks" as a totem after 1949. The campaign against Hu Feng was  presented  in suppressing  by Mao  a consciousness-raising  counter-revolutionaries.  exercise  Its effect was to  77  provide f a i r warning of what was to come in terms of l i t e r a r y rectification, and to hasten the ascent of Yao Wenyuan. In  the mid-1950's Mao offered some elaboration of h i s  Yan'an utterances  on both  form and content.  In his  "Talk to  Music Workers" of August 1956 he reiterated the position Chen Boda had taken on "national forms," insisting that the purpose of studying foreign art was to "create a new socialist art of the various peoples of China, forms  and styles."  following  which w i l l possess i t s own national  The  anti-rightist  year (1957) marked  dissenting  intellectuals  rectification.  a return to harsh reminiscent  end  criticism of  of the Yan'an  Mao's 1957 essay "On the Correct Handling of  Contradictions Among the People" neibu  campaign of the  (Guanyu  maodun) established guidelines c r i t i c i s m s of the Party  that  and  zhengque chuli renmin would bring  to an  i t s p o l i c i e s (including  those by authors representing the "scout" view of the a r t i s t ) unleashed year.  by the Hundred  Mao  Flowers  movement  of the previous  admitted a lack of class character to the twin  slogans of that year —  " l e t a hundred flowers bloom,  hundred schools of thought contend" (baihua qifang, zhengming),  let a baijia  and amended this lack by presenting six c r i t e r i a 57  for  distinguishing politically  flowers"  acceptable works,  (xianghua) from unacceptable  weeds" (ducao).  ones,  or "poisonous  The two most important of these, ( i n Mao's  estimation), were that works of art "should and  or "fragrant  not harmful,  be  beneficial,  to s o c i a l i s t transformation and socialist  construction", and that "they should strengthen,  and not shake  off or weaken,  Party."^  the leadership of the Communist  did not carry out the attack typically  he l e f t i t to Zhou  on  the " r i g h t i s t s "  Yang  9  Mao  himself;  to summarise  the Party's  case against those who were judged to have made excessive on  criticisms. Following Mao expressed Party  the second "blooming and contending"  disillusion and exasperation with the effects of  policies in the arts (inter alia) in two short  evaluations" (pishi) in 1963 and 1964. arts, has  of 1961-2,  "critical  He concluded that in the  especially in the field of opera "socialist transformation had minimal effect up to now," and that  supposed  the institutions  to control the arts "have not carried out Party  policy, have  acted officiously,  workers, peasants  have not made contact with the  and soldiers,  and have not reflected P»i  socialist revolution and reconstruction.  In other words, the  literature anicipated at Yan'an had failed to emerge. i t was time to wipe the slate clean and start again, his  agents were  Yao Wenyuan and Jiang Qing.  the literary establishment revolutionary transformation  and  their  For Mao, and in this  Their attacks on  proposals  for  a  of the arts are the basis for the 58  discussion, in the next chapter, of Cultural Revolution literary theory.  59  APPENDIX TO CHAPTER 1 NEW WINE IN OLD BOTTLES: FOUR FACES OF A BOGUS BRIDE  To  illustrate the perpetuation of the "national forms" and  to  show how a motif from the Chinese tradition could be reworked  by  communist authors within a new context, we w i l l review an  incident from The Water Margin and three recent The  reworkings.  t a l e might best be called "come-uppance at the hands of a  bogus bride." As i t appears i n the o r i g i n a l , a bandit c h i e f t a i n forces  an unwilling father to give up his daughter in  after the wedding feast, the g i r l bedchamber  marriage;  i s replaced in the b r i d a l  by the "stout fellow" (haohan) Lu Zhishen. The  bandit gets as far as stroking Lu's  bare belly  before the "bride" siezes him and  beats  i n the dark  him up.* (In an  equivalent story i n Journey to the West (Xiyou j i ) i t i s the Monkey King Sun Wukong who plays wife to the Zhubajie,^  venal  pig-spirit  In the Yan'an novel New Son and Daughter Heroes,  the groom i s a Japanese army commander and the  intended  reluctant bride i s the novel's romantic heroine L i t t l e Plum. Her place i s taken member The plot  at the wedding  of a communist  by Niu Xiaoshui,  a young  guerilla band — the latter-day haohan.  i s more elaborate than the Water Margin original,  Xiaoshui bewigged,  with  high-heeled and lipsticked as the bride. When  the drunken groom claims his  conjugal rights,  he gets no more  than a f e e l of Xiaoshui's leg before the "bride" shoots him.  60  Much the same scene provides the Sparks  in  the  Reeds  masterminded by provide the  musicians  appear,  as  the  convential  wedding-scene  guerilla  the  guerillas,  Aqing's  wife,  bearers for the  this  case,  (When the opera  Qing as a model opera,  Shajiabang,  In  1964 opera  however,  the commander and his retinue 4  Jiang  here  and sedan-chair  are captured before the ceremony. by  the  teahouse proprietress  marriage of a nationalist commander. the "bride" does not  to  (Lutang huozhong);  the  cooks,  climax  with  the  was adapted new  title  finale was abandoned for a more  attack, to the detriment of the  opera  as  entertainment. The  final  version of  the  "bogus  bride"  motif  to  be  considered i s as i t appears, much adapted but s t i l l recognisable, in Hao Ran's 1964 novel Bright Sunny Skies (Yanyang Tian).  Here  a  consummated.  Jiao  like L i t t l e Plum the ideal match for the novel's  hero,  marriage  Shuhong, is  i s to be arranged rather  courted  discovers  by that  the  bookish and  Shuhong  will  than  untrustworthy be  taking  Ma  her  Liben.  turn  to  Ma guard  unharvested crops at night, and arranges to meet her at her post, lending her a large straw hat to wear. wearer  of  That night, seeing  the hat crouching at the assigned spot  the  huddled in a  padded coat, Ma delivers his words of passion. Emboldened by the silence of the listener, the  bristly  cheek  of  persuaded to replace her. mouth  Ma risks a kiss, Shuhong's  father,  and comes up against whom  the  girl  has  Ma's boldness costs him a punch in the  and an earful of insult.^  This i s the most comic version 61  of  the story,  both because i t i s the least violent and  the  reader discovers at the same time as Ma Liben who  the  hat,  since  the  author  has  led up  to  describing only Ma Liben's excited anticipation.  the  because i s under  incident  by  Creative use of  a familiar motif has enriched the story, leaving the reader with something that combines the a c c e s s i b i l i t y and refinement which the Yan'an "Talks" had aimed to synthesise.  62  CHAPTER 2 CULTURAL REVOLUTION LITERARY THEORY: YAO WENYUAN AND JIANG QING The opening salvo of the Maoist counter-attack against the "blooming and contending" of the early 1960's was a collaboration involving i t s named author, Yao Wenyuan, with Mao Zedong and Jiang Qing. With "A Criticism of the Recent Historical Drama Hai Rui Dismissed from O f f i c e " (Ping xinbian l i s h i j u Hai Rui ba guan),* the setting of c u l t u r a l policy passed into the hands of Yao and Jiang Qing, who were to command the arts in China for the next decade. In articles and speeches dating from the five years 1964-8, Yao Wenyuan and Jiang Qing established guidelines for literary endeavour in the Cultural Revolution. Thereafter, they ceased to publish i n their own names, working instead through surrogates organised into writing-teams. The essays and speeches of Yao Wenyuan and Jiang Qing a  rationalisation  authorities  for the denunciation  and literary  production  following the communist victory, exegesis  and seek,  counter-revolutionary; should  years  new  rules for  Yao's role was to attack specific members  Mao (both the man  literature  cultural  through puritanical  stern  of the literary establishment, and specific to  the  of the seventeen  of the "Talks," to j u s t i f y  a r t i s t i c creativity.  of  offer  be.  and only  his thought)  works, and  as inimical consequently  by implication did he decree what  Jiang Qing  63  concentrated,  i n the  documents now rather than personal  available,  on  attacking l i t e r a r y  personalities (though there i s ample evidence of  v i n d i c t i v e n e s s elsewhere),  guidelines  theories  and  establishing  and exemplars for art that would contain i t within an  exclusively  "social"  role i n the service of the p o l i c i e s  of  the Communist Party and by extension, of her own ambitions and caprices. I. Yao Wenyuan Yao Wenyuan had been active in Shanghai literary circles for a  decade  1965.  before his attack on Wu Han was published in November  His previous a c t i v i t i e s q u a l i f i e d him for the role of  cultural avenging angel at the outset of the Cultural Revolution. Particularly  in essays dating from the "anti-rightist" movement  of the late 1950's, of the arts,  Yao had exhibited a highly p o l i t i c a l view  and a polemical style, that set the style for  Cultural Revolution c r i t i c a l writing. essays by Yao —  on Wu Han's opera,  the "three-family  on a newspaper column  village" of Deng Tuo,  and on Zhou Yang, epitomise  the  Three major c r i t i c a l by  Wu Han and Liao Mosha,  Cultural Revolution attack  on  the l i t e r a r y  establishment of the seventeen years 1949-66.  From  three  these  theoretical  essays  can  basis for Yao Wenyuan  control over the arts,  be e x t r a p o l a t e d  and  the  Jiang Qing's seizure of  and an early indication of the art,  and  the artists, that would be permitted to flourish in the Cultural Revolution.  64  i)  Yao's Early Career Yao  -3  became known as an aggressive c r i t i c (the Chinese terra  i s gunzi "cudgel") for his attacks on writers during the first  in  the  prominently,  campaign  against  Hu  and  in the "anti-rightist" campaign.  outlook on a r t i s t i c questions was political  Feng,  message  Writing in 1958,  of  art  his  of  the  then,  more  Central to  Yao's  concentration  on  the  and emphasis on class struggle.  he had this summary of  of the f i r s t decade  1950's,  the  literary  history  People's Republic:  The history of China's new literature i s primarily the history of the proletarian l i t e r a r y l i n e struggling with the bourgeois literary line both i n s i d e and outside revolutionary literature. It i s the history of Marxist-Leninist l i t e r a r y theory struggling with naked feudal restorationism, reactionary bourgeois and revisionist theory cloaked in Marxist terminology. It i s the history of the world of revolutionary literature struggling with enemies outside and enemies who have sneaked i n . 4 Yao presented himself as the defender of the Communist Party Marxism-Leninism Yao,  revisionism  special arts  and  are  against  meant believing that art, and  subservient to politics and must His  those " r e v i s i o n i s t s " who  Yao,  and  spheres. artists,  most  virulent  follow attacks  defended themselves by  a charge frequently,  the  To were  warranted special treatment, and denying that  instructions.^  dogmatism,  revisionism in cultural  and  the  Party's  were  on  attacking  and justifiably, laid against  strengthened by drawing authority  Practice" in which dogmatism and empiricism  65  from Mao's "On  are both condemned.  Thus Yao interpreted directed at Mao),  the  anti-dogmatism  and later  of  (which was aimed at himself),  of Hu Feng (which was  Yao Xueyin and Liu Shaotang  as a rejection of the theoretical  base provided for the arts in Mao's "Talks." Yao as  consistently used his interpretation of Mao on the arts  the  base from which to attack those who  opposed  to  cultural  were theoretically  him or who stood in the way of  circles.  his  advancement  Targets of attack among writers of  in  fiction  included Wang Meng and Liu Binyan, young authors whose idealistic heroes  (in stories published in 1956) were suppressed by craven,  corrupt or cynical office-holders;^ Yao construed their stories as attacks on socialism.^  Their offence was linked to  Qin Zhaoyang, the editor who had published People's Literature (Renmin wenxue). "realist"  literature  that  their  that  of  stories in  Qin had further demanded a  was "loyal to l i f e "  as  the  author  perceived i t , in preference to the Party control implicit in both the  "socialist  the  "combination  romanticism"  realism" advocated at Yan'an and i t s of  revolutionary  (formulated  after  realism  and  Qin's article  on  successor,  revolutionary realism  was  Q  published). Ba Ren,  Other targets included the humanist literary c r i t i c  whose emphasis on "man"  at Yan'an, took to be a denial class struggle  in  (ren) Yao Wenyuan, following Mao of  defining human  his past association with  the  determining r o l e of  relations; and Ba Jin, for 9  anarchism  and  the  depressing effect of his writings on the young. This  series  of  attacks  on  leading 66  potentially  10  cultural  figures  inevitably  alienated  establishment, demonstrable  and  Yao  Wenyuan  from much  has been denounced,  ultra-leftism  of  since  the  Yao's  fall,  as  on h i s part.** However, w h i l e he  was  c o n s i s t e n t i n h i s demands f o r a p o l e m i c a l " s o c i a l " Yao  was  punctilious  guidelines Ragvald new  at  any  in  stage.  literary  his As  adherence  his  literature,  to current  critical  biographer  w r y l y observes of h i s a n t i - r e v i s i o n i s t w r i t i n g s :  i n s i g h t gained by Yao shows  a  strange  Party Lars "every  coincidence with  the  19  official  elaboration  Condemnation writing, Yao  greatly  outweighs  commendation  works produced  his anti-revisionist  essays,  under h i s a u t h o r i t y .  than  schooling.  This  is  b e f o r e 1949,  Liu's c l a i m  inspired  them,  these  in his  Yan'an  the a e s t h e t e s  post-1949 works, he  and  the  defense, areas  to t h e i r  (Baowei Yan'an) as one  and  lavished  the Great Leap, (which  rather  than  times,  claiming author  of a new  the a r t s  who  t h e o r e t i c i a n s he d e s p i s e d . * ^ p r a i s e on were  " n a t i o n a l forms"),  both and  Yao  "Talks" that  He h e l d up Du P e n g c h o n g ,  schooled i n b a t t l e  latter-day  practical  i n the l i b e r a t e d  works,  were ephemera s p e c i f i c  n o v e l Defend  replace  of  that  them l a s t i n g v a l u e .  author  s t r o n g e r on  of for  i n c l u d i n g t h e e a r l y s t o r i e s o f Zhao S h u l i .  refuted  of  as a p r e v i e w  shown  a g a i n s t L i u Shaotang, of works produced  the  Yao's  Yao's p r e f e r e n c e was  p r o p a g a n d i s t i c w o r k s by a u t h o r s  experience  for  in  b u t i t i s i n s t r u c t i v e t o s e e what k i n d o f l i t e r a t u r e  praised in  simple  of r i g h t i s m and r e v i s i o n i s m . "  the n e w - s t y l e  of  breed would Of  folk-songs  s i m p l e propaganda  and  the f i c t i o n of uneducated  67  worker-writers  like  Hu Wanchun.  Yao  abandoned the specific  authors he praised  when the situation demanded (Zhao Shuli was  denounced for his  "middle characters,"  supposed hagiography of  Du  Pengchong for his  Peng Dehuai), but r e t a i n e d h i s  preference for works of this kind. Yao's perception of his role throughout his career was that, as  a  critic,  he  should  be a Party cadre  political surveillance over the arts. he saw  i t , was  time of  not to the a r t i s t s ,  His responsibility, but to the Party.  as  By the  his attack on Wu Han, Yao had significantly narrowed the  scope of this responsibility, with Mao,  exercising  identifying the Party exclusively  and the ideology to be defended as Mao's thought.  t h i s sense, he was, develop)  a  insisted  that  as  Ragvald  Chinese equivalent artists  eulogise  Party and i t s leader (Stalin),  suggests of  (but  does not  Andrei Zhdanov,  socialism,  In  who  the Communist  and eschew "tastes and habits  that have nothing in common with the morality and traits of the Soviet people." ^ 1  For Yao,  as for Zhdanov, political criteria  were primary, and his sensitivity to political innuendo was never more acute than in his three Cultural Revolution criticisms. i i ) The Object of Yao's Attacks; the "Blooming and Contending" of 1961-2 Though Peng Dehuai had been dismissed, at Mao's insistence, for  his blunt condemnation of the Great Leap Forward i n 1959,  there was clearly support for his position among the leadership  68  in the early 1960's. coincided  The  with economic  brief  liberalisation  policies marking  of  1961-2  retreat from the mass  mobilisation and p o l i t i c a l activism of the Great Leap.  The  manifestations of  use  Merle  the  "blooming  Goldman's phrase* ) were 7  his  mass-line  the  strident  and  contending"  (to  indirect criticism of Mao and  p o l i c i e s , and a tendency i n the arts away from and often simplistic social writing that had won  Yao Wenyuan's praise in the late 1950's. The attacks on Mao came from Beijing, where they appeared on the  opera  Han's  stage and in newspaper columns.  drama  on Hai Rui,  other operas  settings made i n d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m s of heroine  of  with  Mao.  to  Wu  historical  The Tang dynasty  Tian Han's Xie Yaohuan pleads with a harsh ruler who  has put h i s own pride The  In addition  concubine  before the interests of the peasantry.  L i Huiniang, i n Meng Chao's opera of the same  name, i s executed after peasants' land  by  criticising  her ruler  ther  confiscation of  husband, and returns as a ghost  1 8  to  be  avenged.  Both  collectivisation of peasant  implicitly  land  condemned  the  to form the people's communes  as confiscation,  and portrayed Mao, through analogy with past  autocrats, as an  uncaring tyrant forcing unpopular policies on  the  peasantry*  criticised  Mao  The and  Yanshan" (Yanshan  the Great Leap were "Evening Chats at  yehua) by Deng Tuo,*^  Beijing's daily and from  two newspaper columns which s i m i l a r l y  evening  papers  which appeared i n  i n 1961-2,  and  "Notes  Three-Family V i l l a g e " (Sanjiacun zhaji), by Deng, Wu Han 69  and Liao Mosha in the Beijing 1961 to 1964.  Some of the allegations made by Deng, Wu and  20  Liao against Mao essay  "A  w i l l be summarised in the analysis of Yao's  Criticism  "Sanjiacun")  journal Frontline (Qianxian) from  of  'Three-Family  Village'"  (Ping  below.  21  At the same time these criticisms were being made, Xia (the  Party  offical  supervising  cinema and  a  Yan  long-time  associate of Zhou Yang) was encouraging film-makers to broaden the scope of their works to include more personal and intimate films, in  contrast  predominantly  to  the propagandistic, nationalistic and  military themes of the rushed productions of the  late 1950's. This led to screen like Ba Jin's Family (Jia), puzi) and  Rou  adaptations of May Fourth works  Mao  Dun's Lin Family Store (Linjia  Shi's Early Spring i n February (Zaochun eryue),  each of which featured  intense  struggles  hearts  within  sympathetically Debates tendency  on  away  the formulations  the  psychological of  bourgeois  and  moral  characters  portrayed. l i t e r a r y theory i n the early 1960's showed from the " s o c i a l " function of art i m p l i c i t "socialist realism" or "revolutionary  a in  realism  and revolutionary romanticism."  At a conference i n 1962  stories about  Shao Quanlin proposed that  the countryside,  stories might concentrate renwu) neither heroic poor  on nor  "middle characters" evil,  peasantry as necessarily  official  rather  progressive  than  on  (zhong jian showing the  politically,  as  policy dictated, and as they had appeared in the  70  stories of the Great Leap Forward. Shao's heterodox  theories, in the  and many others which were condemned  Cultural  uncontested before that. a full-scale political of  Mao  or the  evidence  by  no  means  campaign to condemn either the criticisms  de-emphasis  of complicity  as  were  However, for Yao Wenyuan, the lack of  in a conspiracy against Yang,  Revolution,  as  by  on  class  conflict  was  clear  the o f f i c i a l s overseeing the arts  Mao  by bourgeois intellectuals.  Zhou  Party o f f i c i a l in charge of the arts, was for Yao the  chief culprit. Yao's three criticisms w i l l be summarised below in the order of their publication, starting with his essay on Wu Han's opera. iii)  Hai Rui Dismissed from Office Wu  about  Han, the  shortly  the deputy mayor of Beijing,  Ming dynasty "upright o f f i c i a l "  had begun to write (qingguan) Hai  Rui  after Peng Dehuai's c r i t i c i s m of Mao at the Lushan  Plenum in  August  Rui ba guan) was  1959. Wu  Han's f i r s t  1961 and withdrawn after the opera,  Hai Rui Dismissed from Office  It was presented in  a few performances.  set i n Suzhou i n  family of Xu J i e ,  opera.  1569-70,  The  story of  i s as follows:  a former prime minister r e t i r e d to  tyrannises the l o c a l peasantry.  (Hai  the  Suzhou,  His son seizes the land of an  old peasant and abducts his granddaughter.  When  the peasant  protests, he i s beaten to death i n court on the orders of a magistrate bribed by the Xu family.  Hai Rui, newly appointed as  71  district  governor,  discovers  the  true facts of the  case  and  rights the injustices done to the peasants by having the young Xu executed and the corrupt magistrate fired.  He restores the land  expropriated by the Xus to i t s r i g h t f u l owners. despite the pleas and threats of Xu Jie,  This he does  and at the cost of his  governorship as Xu engineers his dismissal by the remote and arbitrary Jiaqing Emperor. Wu Han's h i s t o r i c a l Great Leap,  analogy was clear enough:  collectivisation  direct peasant ownership given i t  to  of  only  land  had taken i t out  the t i l l e r , and unreasonable demands had been  Dehuai apprised himself of policies  devastation, was  that  the  Further,  situation,  he was ousted by Mao.  The  play  name  Dehuai in 1959. Yao  dismissed  Hai  Hai  Rui  as well."^  Peng  7  drama represented the f i r s t  by  restrained and c i v i l tone (for example, "comrade" throughout).  observed: "the  we dismissed  a t t a c k on a l a r g e body of works, had,  who  and  Peng Dehuai i s a  people; i t  of Peng Dehuai  Rui,  Wenyuan's criticism of Wu's  influential  protested  nor the debate over the  opera, but the point was not l o s t on Mao, Emperor  and  when Peng  were causing widespread famine and  mentioned neither i n Wu's  Jiaqing  of  a decade after land reform had  placed on the peasantry by local officials.  against  i n the  and  a l a r g e group of  Yao's  standards,  a  Wu Han i s addressed  as  Yao was prepared to accept the challenge  to the Great Leap implicit in the opera, but avoided the personal implications for Mao and Peng in the portrayal of the Emperor and  72  Hai  Rui respectively.  interpretation  Yao chose to attack Wu Han f i r s t for his  of history (both of the Ming  and the People's  Republic) and then for his class stand. Yao contested the claim that the h i s t o r i c a l Hai Rui had "righted injustices" (ping yuanji) and "restored land" (tui tian) to i t s true owners.  He asserted that Hai Rui had actually  sentenced the younger Xu to banishment rather than death. (Wu had admitted as much i n his preface, claiming the change was for dramatic effect.) Yao also claimed that Hai Rui had given the land confiscated from the Xus not to the peasants, but to other landlords.  To Yao, Hai Rui was not an upright and incorruptible  supporter of the people against bad government, as Wu Han had showed him, but an oppressor himself.  Turning to the modern  period, he denied that the Chinese people had suffered injustices at the hands of the Communist Party, and denounced the opera's "restoring claimed,  of land"  as an attack on the communes  when, Yao  i t was actually the Party that had given the peasants  their land in the f i r s t place. Yao  was on d i f f i c u l t ground debating Ming history  with an  acknowledged expert like Wu Han, particularly since Wu had freely confessed hampered  to bending certain h i s t o r i c a l facts. He was  also  in his demystification of the historical analogy by the  self-imposed between Mao  constraint against and Peng Dehuai.  denouncing the  class  strongest condemnation  mentioning  the  conflict  Yao's expertise lay rather i n  orientation  of opponents,  of Wu Han was on that score.  73  and  his  For him,  Wu  Han's opera,  represented benevolent their  and  his  the perpetuation of ruling class.  salvation  on  Wu  their  works  on  Hai  Han's  peasants depended for  preferred)  oppressors themselves.  avoiding the issue of class struggle and power of the masses in the  Rui,  the oppressor's myth of the  a representative of officialdom,  than (as Yao would c l e a r l y have overthrow  other  creation  rather  rising  up  Wu Han was  denying  of history.  to thus  the motive Furthermore,  Hai Rui was unacceptable to Yao as a hero, since his heroism was not mass-based,  but dependent on a  strong individual sense of  justice. Yao Wenyuan's attack on Hai Rui Dismissed from Office echoed Mao's criticism of The Life of Wu Xun, seen  to  have  subverted  in that both works were  Mao's teaching on  by  the  saviours.  In his essay, as i n his a n t i - r e v i s i o n i s t works, Yao  himself of  presenting  himself  "poisonous  weed."  exhibited  his  the strongest possible as  political  spokesman for orthodoxy  resolution  to cede the  base  by  against a Yao right Han.  also to Yao  of h i s t o r i c a l analogy (he was himself  the attempted  Jiang Qing's behalf  not  to opposing scholars l i k e Wu  the power  responsible for  the  on oppressor-class  As defender of Mao and the Party,  interpret history recognised  dependent  struggle  presenting  assured  people passively  class  ten years  exoneration of Empress Lii on later),  and was unprepared to  leave the historical mirror in the hands of his enemies.  74  iv)  The "Three-family Village"^ Yao's  essay  "A  0  Criticism  of 'Three-family  published six months after his article on Hai Rui,  Village'"  was similarly  framed as the rebuttal of covert attacks on Mao and his policies. However, this second "criticism" was by no means the f i r s t attack 29  on Deng Tuo,  Wu Han and Liao Mosha, and p o l i t i c a l advantage  was by then swinging towards Mao, Yao and Jiang Qing; so the rhetoric was much more strident than the earlier piece,  and the  threesome was denied the courtesy of comradeship. Many of the essays that had appeared i n the two columns, ostensibly light  discursive pieces on history and scholarship,  contained attacks on Mao by historical anology, as u n r e a l i s t i c ,  arbitrary and domineering.  hundred a r t i c l e s we w i l l here take Tuo's "Evening Chats" and "three-family criticism.  one  village," In an essay  portraying him Of the several  only three,  two  c o l l e c t i v e l y written  that  most  of Deng by the  c l e a r l y represent this  on "Doctrines of Caring  f o r the  Workforce" (Aihu laodongli de xueshuo), Deng Tuo praised the forbearance of former rulers in exacting corvee labour from the peasants,  set i n the Rites of Zhou (Zhouli) at "three days [per  annum] i n a good year, two only one  day  in  a  in a  poor year."  massive levies for prestige Leap was inescapable;  days  by  middling  year,  and  The contrast with the  construction projects in the Great implication, Mao had much to learn  from feudal emperors i n caring for his people. A cautionary tale from the Ming dynasty allowed Deng Tuo to 75  mock Mao's rashness in  Business  who  finds  afford a Deng  replaced Not was  step  Under  by  "The  him;  moral  and  of  of  the Great  arose out  predicated As  the  Leap:  of a t o t a l  on  have  the  "this  enemy.  Mao  stubbornly  results  of he  p e r s i s t e d with  errant  the  totally  policies,  he a l s o t a l k e d t o o much t o no c l e a r Wu  Nanxing,-^  j a r g o n of the f o l k - s o n g s  i s our  benefactor,/  They a l s o a d v i s e d  to "read more, t h i n k more, and The  plan  w i t h f a n t a s y ... ."^*  c l i c h e s and  Wind  it.  misconception,  f o r t h i n g s y e a r s ahead,  cramming them i n t o a s i l l y c h i l d ' s  East  to  direct  purpose.  the  "three-  v i l l a g e " i n an a r t i c l e " G r e a t Empty T a l k " (Da kong  p a r o d i e d the Leap  bring  story  the  t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e pseudonym  family  pauper  on  misconception.  suggested,  i t will  a  h i s hopes w i t h  being  o n l y had  jiadang),  she smashes the egg and  basis,  reality  j i d a n de  In " S e t t i n g up  t o h i s w i f e t h a t he w i l l e v e n be a b l e  unfeasibility  reliable  previous  it  the  (Yige  f a n t a s i s e s on the w e a l t h  remarks  on  each new  Egg"  he s u g g e s t s  Tuo's  no  egg  concubine,  bearing had  w i t h One  an  b u t when  i n l a u n c h i n g the Great Leap.  rhyme West  the  Great  which ended: is  our  those tempted t o " g r e a t empty  talk"  say  The  of  hua)  Wind  less.  bludgeon of Yao's r h e t o r i c was  i n sharp c o n t r a s t t o  e l e g a n t r a p i e r s of the " t h r e e - f a m i l y v i l l a g e " as he  launched  f u r i o u s a s s a u l t on the passage quoted above: In o s t e n s i b l y c r i t i c i s i n g i n d i r e c t l y condemned the E a s t Wind i s our b e n e f a c t o r o u r enemy" a s "empty t a l k , " and " p o m p o s i t y . " T h i s was a  a c h i l d ' s poem, he statement t h a t "the and the West Wind i s "jargon," " c l i c h e s " flagrant denigration  76  the this  of the Marxist-Leninist s c i e n t i f i c thesis [ s i c ] that "the East Wind prevails over the West Wind" as "empty t a l k " ... What was Deng Tuo's purpose? It was to slander the great Mao Zedong thought that leads us forward as "empty talk;" to get us to abandon Mao Zedong thought i n our p o l i t i c a l l i f e and to give up the Marxist-Leninist l i n e . He even went so f a r as to make the extravagant demand that our Party should "say less and take a rest when the time comes for talking". If Mao Zedong thought were l a i d to rest, would i t not be possible for revisionist ideas to be rampant? This desperate denunciation of Mao Zedong thought could not do i t the least harm; on the contrary i t showed even more c l e a r l y that Mao Zedong's thought i s an i d e o l o g i c a l weapon of unlimited revolutionary force which makes a l l cow-demons and snake-spirits tremble with fright. 35 The strident and almost hysterical tone of Yao's writing in this and subsequent pieces demonstrates that, although h i s position strengthened to apparent invulnerability, he remained acutely sensitive to opposition.  The virulence of the passage  quoted above i s representative of Cultural Revolution rhetoric and  i t s influence  discourse,  can be seen not only  i n the  polemical  but also (as chapter 4 below w i l l show) i n the  literary writing of the Cultural Revolution. The newspaper column of the "three-family village," like Wu Han's opera, no longer  presented any threat to Yao  Wenyuan,  the Chairman or h i s wife at the time of Yao's attacks. The "three-family village" were s t i l l in office, however, and Yao's essays were part of a concerted drive to stamp out the criticisms of defiant and unmanageable i n t e l l e c t u a l s , and to oust the Beijing municipal and cultural authorities. the  In 1966,  Yao won  day: Deng Tuo died in j a i l before the year was out, Wu Han  perished in 1969, and only Liao Mosha survived to give t e a r f u l 77  testimony when Yao and Jiang Qing stood t r i a l in 1980. v) Zhou Yang Yao's  separation of Mao from the Party i n his attacks on  the l i t e r a r y  activities  greatest effect  in  his  of the early 1960*s was essay  Counter-revolutionary liangmianpai with  "A Criticism of  Zhou  Zhou Yang).  Yang" As  supervising the nation's  the arts,  Zhou Yang  in policy,  to  Two-faced  fangeming  Party o f f i c i a l charged and overseeing  had accommodated himself to numerous shifts  including the retreat from the Great Leap Forward and 1960's, the backlash against  launched the Cultural Revolution.  Zhou  had  attempted  to  intellectuals to each other. and  the  (Ping  intellectuals  the l i b e r a l i s a t i o n of the early which  the  seen  represent  the  Party  and  the  Thus he could be blamed by writers  a r t i s t s for suppression of i n t e l l e c t u a l freedom on  the  Party's behalf, and by the Party i f the intellectuals were unduly c r i t i c a l or failed to produce the masterpieces of socialist art expected of them. shown  The  untenability of  by condemnation  standpoints Zhou was  of Merle  Zhou's  position  is  of him i n 1967 from the contrasting  Goldman and Yao Wenyuan.  g u i l t y of suppressing  dissenters  in  To Goldman, a series of  o o  campaigns  dating  from 1942;  abetting those same dissenters and save his  own  skin  when  to Yao,  Zhou was  criticising  them  guilty of only  Mao's position became clear.  to Both  c r i t i c s , however, largely concurred in their assessments of 78  Zhou's i n t e l l e c t u a l prowess. pseudo-intellectual" intellectual"^),  Goldman saw him as an  (a judgment  "urban  later revised to "urbane  and Yao claimed that  Zhou's "published  writings and private talks ... abound in reactionary twaddle and are riddled with mistakes and obvious fallacies." * 4  Zhou than  had actually handled his charge with greater  his c r i t i c s allowed him in 1967.  more ambiguous  than Yao's,  His position was  in that Yao felt himself responsible  only to Mao, and not at a l l to the intellectuals. whom Yao had to destroy;  ideological  much  when the latter replaced him as de  facto cultural commissar,  a rival  finesse  adversary,  but  he  Zhou Yang was was  also  an  better read i n Chinese and foreign  l i t e r a t u r e and theory, and more e c l e c t i c than Yao,  the basis  for whose Cultural Revolution theory was romantic loyalty to Mao.  42  The  essence of Yao's attack on Zhou Yang was that Zhou had  been two-faced i n his service to the Party. (Here "Party" stands for Mao.)  Yao demonstrated Zhou's heterodoxy by  history of the l i t e r a r y debates of the 1950's, first them,  encouraging those opposed to Mao,  retelling the showing  Zhou  then when Mao attacked  taking responsiblity for presenting Mao's case, and  f i n a l l y protecting the offenders from harm by s t i f l i n g further criticism. Zhou's they  Yao was  thus  f i n a l statements were  merely  able  on each  to dismiss the orthodoxy  of  campaign by asserting that  a smokescreen to conceal his real sympathy  for the heterodox. (This case i s hard to make, especially in the  case of the "rightists," whose lengthy internal exile represented a punishment that should have satisfied even Yao.) The divergence between Zhou and Yao's positions i s clearest for the early 1960's when Zhou, responding to the initiatives of many Party and State leaders, that  43  presided over the liberalisation  gave rise to the criticisms of Mao on stage and i n print,  and  to the films Yao pilloried for sympathetic portrayal of the  bourgeoisie those  and lack of class struggle.  years  control  What Zhou had done in  that was anathema to Yao was  to the extent  that  the arts  to loosen  Party  explored characters as  individuals rather than as members of classes. scenarists had returned to May Fourth texts with  That cinema multi-faceted  bourgeois characters as subject matter showed that they, l i k e many other artists and intellectuals, rejected the strictures on the arts that Mao had enunciated at Yan'an, Party,  socialism,  between rein,  workers,  Zhou Yang,  of praising the  peasants and soldiers.  who had briefly allowed these  The breach  artists  and Yao Wenyuan, was t o t a l and i r r e c o n c i l a b l e .  free Under  Yao's leadership, a new cultural dispensation was inevitable. vi)  Yao's Literary Policy for the Cultural Revolution Yao's  by  three "criticisms" cited above reveal those practices  intellectuals  criticism  as  political  crimes: any  of Mao, relaxation of Party control of the arts, and  concentration class  that he regarded  on conflicts within the individual rather  struggle.  For Yao's view of the role of the artist, 80  than we  must look elsewhere, to two speeches given to mark anniversaries, thirty  years  after Lu Xun's death and  Yan'an "Talks." though the  twenty-five  after  the  Like Mao, Yao presented Lu Xun as a role model,  Lu Xun that Yao offers to support his own  position  is a revised form of the one Mao used against Wang Shiwei in 1942, and i s hardly 1966 model Lu Xun completely masses. thought  44  recognisable as the historical figure;  i s an unswerving proletarian revolutionary  l o y a l to Mao  and absolutely integrated with the  For the a r t i s t , as for everyone else,  are  the  the  only true talisman,  as Yao's  Mao and his  speech  on  the  "Talks" makes clear: We must c e r t a i n l y place the studying, grasping, and carrying out of Mao Zedong thought in a position higher than anything else, greater than anything else, f i r s t before anything else and more important than anything else. 45 Such an elevation of Mao's thought to the status of a totem Yao shared with Lin Biao, but Lin's demise in no way diminished the cultivation of the myth of Mao,  which continued unabated through  the f u l l decade of the Cultural Revolution. Yao's Cultural Revolution theories, precedented as they were by his anti-revisionist writings, were also heavily influenced by his  association, from  biographer her,  a  Roxanne  1965,  with Jiang  Qing.  Witke found Yao "clearly  eunuch to Jiang Qing's empress.  47  Jiang  Qing's  subservient" ^ 4  to  Yao's clearing of the  cultural stage was the prerequisite for the empress' grand entry.  81  II. Jiang Qing The been  Cultural Revolution was for Jiang Qing what Yan'an  for Mao:  the opportunity to scotch prevailing  humanistic  views and provide new political direction for the arts. her role essentially as clarifying and implementing p o l i c i e s Mao those  had enunciated  entrusted  the succeeding  quarter-century. for  been empowered  and  his  but  which  She indicated to Roxanne Witke  to  implement policy at Yan'an,  thoroughgoing transformation Her identification  49  "Talks"  she suggested in a 1967 speech that  4  ensued.  the literary  her intervention i n the arts derived  Mao's "Talks;" ^ and  had she  his  She saw  with supervision of the arts had subverted in  that the authority from  in  had  policy featured  the mid-1960's and  of of  the  arts  would  have  her actions with her husband  in the self-promotion of her heyday in  i n her defence  after her f a l l .  Chairman Mao's dog," she told her accusers "who[m]ever he told me to  a more  bite,  I bit."-'  "I  was  at her t r i a l in 1980, 0  Certain differences do exist, however, in the answers given by Jiang Qing and Mao on basic questions concerning the function of the  arts and  the most suitable people and methods for  producing them. husband  Conflicting  are incompatible  of h e r s e l f  with  i n her essays and  autobiography she gave to Witke, since;  but they  differences  in  the  views  between  and  her  the image Jiang Qing presented speeches and  i n the  oral  and have not been addressed  are i n s t r u c t i v e  in  understanding  the  arts produced after the Yan'an Forum and in 82  the Cultural Revolution. Jiang  Qing  shared  On  the  function  Mao's u t i l i t a r i a n i s m ,  subordinate to the other work  of the  seeing  Party.  Qing had higher strategic expectations  art, art as  However Jiang  the arts. Mao  had  seen a symbiotic relationship between revolutionary art  and  revolutionary realities  of  inspirational Party.  practice, the  with the former based  latter  terms,  of  of  and,  by  consolidating  presenting  popular  support  Jiang Qing saw art as playing a leading,  supporting,  role  the  than " s o c i a l i s t  it  in  for  the  rather than  in the transformation of man and society;  the source of the arts, potential than  i n the  as she conceived  i t , was  actual (more "revolutionary  realism").  a and  more the  romanticism"  Of a l l Chinese communist leaders,  Jiang Qing has had the greatest faith in the motivating force of art:  she  indicated  consciousness"^ and  to  Witke  that  "drama  shapes  that "the superstructure could lead the  CO  base.  In purely strategic terms,  the suasive powers of the control won her l i t t l e  arts,  she grossly overestimated  since  a decade of c u l t u r a l  public sympathy in 1976. If Jiang Qing  believed that she could turn ideals into reality by putting them on stage and making people watch them, then the public reaction to her f a l l must have been a disillusioning experience for her. On the question of who was to produce the arts, Jiang Qing, like  Mao, (and Qu Qiubai before him) expressed mistrust  that  artists left to their own devices could produce works that would serve the i n t e r e s t s of the revolutionary vanguard, but 83  her  solution to this dilemma was  more  radical than his had been.  Mao had sought to bring about the ideological transformation of the Yan'an intellectuals, most by means of people,  of whom were of bourgeois origin,  theoretical study and protracted exposure to the  so that they  of the Party.  would acquire the proletarian standpoint  Jiang  Qing  chose  rather  i n t e l l i g e n t s i a wholesale i n favour of more amenable to Party of  Mao's  belief  in  control. the  to r e j e c t  less educated  This i m p l i c i t  potential  writers rejection  of i n t e l l e c t u a l s , and  others of bourgeois origin, to transform their thinking profound effect on the course  of  It provided the justification for  the  the the  had  a  Cultural Revolution. maltreatment  of many  older intellectuals who were seen as incorrigibly inimical to the Party and i t s chairman by virtue of their class background and learning, and  thus undeserving of humane treatment.  Jiang Qing's disquisitions on a r t i s t i c method show her to be more  specific  concentrated  and on  intellectuals  Fourth  the  function  (once  transformation), May  less flexible than  away  they  tradition,  individual  artistic  art,  had  husband.  and  aimed  undergone  Mao to  had steer  ideological  from the individualistic and Westernised to  demonstrably national form; the  of  her  "worker  in  produce a "social" literature in a but,  as a poet himself, he allowed  the arts" a  substantial  role  in  creation. Jiang Qing was prepared to allow considerably  less autonomy than Mao.  Her mistrust of established authors with  commensurable egos may have been due to the disregard i n which 84  they held her as much as their unmalleability; i t led to her sponsorship of young and unknown authors, "creative  groups" (chuangzuo  zu).  who create art should be constantly audience  and, more importantly,  the i n i t i a l phase  She f e l t that the people supervised  both  by  their  by the Party authorities; i n  of the "revolution in the arts" over which she  presided, she herself was could not be  often assembled i n  presented.  only that the arts  the sole a r b i t e r of what could or Such intimate supervision ensured not  would support the Communist Party (as Qian  Xingcun had demanded i n the 1920's and Mao had i n s i s t e d at Yan'an),  but that this  support would  the Party leadership (both  present the interests of  long-term and immediate) at any given  moment. This led inevitably to the use of art as a weapon i n factional struggle,  wielded by those who  (Jiang Qing chief among  controlled  the arts  them) against their adversaries.  Three of Jiang Qing's many speeches and articles from mid-sixties basis  w i l l be reviewed below to indicate the ideological  for her attempt at cultural transformation;  followed formula  the  these w i l l be  by discussion of the "three prominences" (san tuchu) that  was employed i n refining operas to model form and  was subsequently required in a l l a r t i s t i c and literary practice. i) "On the Revolution in Beijing Opera"(Tan Jingju geming)-^ Jiang Festival  Qing's speech,  given at the extensively publicised  of Beijing Operas on Contemporary Themes in July of  1964 was by no means that festival's keynote address. 85  The major  speeches on the reform of opera were by Beijing mayor Peng Zhen and culture minister Lu Dingyi,  who encouraged the trend towards  operas on modern themes as complementary to the continued staging of h i s t o r i c a l pieces, roles to  and urged performers i n revolutionary  cultivate revolutionary attitudes themselves.^  Jiang  4  Qing's address, which went unpublished until the f a l l of Peng and Lu, was (as much as can be judged from the 1967 text more  radical in tone,  tham  reform (gaige) in Beijing opera.  text  of Jiang Qing's speech,  available)  calling for a revolution (geming) rather Before dealing  with  the  i t i s worth considering her choice  of Beijing Opera as the base from which to transform the arts. As an actress in Shanghai in the 1930's,  Jiang Qing's  area  of expertise was in the Western forms of spoken drama (huaju) and cinema. It was natural therefore that the performing arts should be  the focus of her activities after 1949.  been  in  the political control of cinema,  outranked in  the  making of films. Opera, was  universal performed  the field  of  had  been  her  subsequent  in that i t was a "national form,"  of the Chinese performing in  the common language  arts; of  conducive to promotion on a nationwide basis. opera  she  better suited to her in her role as reviver of  the principles of Yan'an,  Opera,  where  and frustrated by Xia Yan and others more experienced  endeavours,  most  Her f i r s t foray had  and  China,  the  Beijing was  Further,  most  Chinese  plots traditionally portrayed in highly stylised form the  triumph of good over evil,  and could easily be adapted to  differing versions of good and e v i l .  That the scripts and 86  suit stage  directions  could  also  be  endlessly  changed  to  clarify  the  political message also held appeal to the perfectionist in Jiang Qing. The message  suitability  had been shown i n the work of Wu Han and others i n the  early 1960*s. had,  of opera to carry a contemporary political  It was in reaction to their works that Jiang Qing  on Mao's behalf, begun her own  Peking Opera in 1962.  investigations into the  She had almost certainly been instrumental  in Mao's singling out of opera as a bastion of "dead men"  in  his  1963 " c r i t i c a l evaluation." The  final  reason for Jiang Qing's involvement  in Beijing  Opera was simple opportunism: as the size of the Festival and the number of works performed indicates,  the movement to create  operas with modern settings was underway and gathering by  1964.  Leadership in modern Beijing Opera  to leadership reform was  in  the arts,  a focus  for  tantamount  and as such the conflict over opera  the  internecine struggle that  building in the Communist Party preceding  was  momentum  was  in the years immediately  the Cultural Revolution.  Jiang Qing's most notable supporter i n her bid for control of the  arts,  as of 1964,  Shanghai, who  before.  "Talks" and demanding  Ke Qingshi,  then mayor of  had voiced many of the opinions put forward by  Jiang Qing in July months  was  1964  Ke's  some  speech had insisted on adherence to Mao's  his six tighter  at a smaller regional f e s t i v a l  criteria  (of  1957),  implicitly  Party control of the a r t s , and had c a l l e d 87  for dramatisation of the exemplary deeds of heroic proletarians, including the formation of a human dam against flood-water later immortalised in Ode to Dragon River.-^ Jiang Qing's speech "On  the Revolution i n Peking Opera"  began with condemnation of that great drama  companies  majority of the  nation's  which persisted in performing operas on other  than contemporary themes. Despite her personal experience with i t , she  dismissed spoken drama (a Western form that had existed  in China only province  since  the  May  Fourth  movement) as  of "foreigners and ancients" (wairen guren);  the opera  the while  stage "which i s of course a place to educate the  people ... i s f u l l of emperors,  kings,  (diwang  and beauties ( c a i z i jiaren),  jiangxiang), scholars  generals,  [setting forth] feudalism and the bourgeoisie.  She  ministers  presented  herself as the champion of the majority against those despised minorities ("landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, r i g h t i s t s and bad l o t s (di fu fan you huai)  who,  she alleged,  s t i l l dominated the arts, and demanded instead, as had Ke Qingshi that  artists follow the "worker-peasant-soldier" line  "Talks,"  of Mao's  producing operas presenting revolutionary heroes and  set in the fifteen years since 1949. In her remarks on the mechanics of writing, Jiang Qing advocated the three-in-one (san jiehe; also known as san heyi) combination  of Party a u t h o r i t y , p r o f e s s i o n a l author  representatives of the masses.  and  This method had already been  promoted by Lin Biao in the preparation of tales of heroic 88  soldier-martyrs like the novel Song of Ouyang Hai (Ouyang Hai zhi ge)~* in the mid-1960's, and had the advantage, for Lin and Jiang 7  Qing, of allowing leadership input process.  The theme of a given work was  leaders, from  at any stage of the creative  executed by  selected  artists  readers  to  be set by political  and revised  after  channelled through  process Jiang Qing later described  the  suggestions leaders, in a  as "democratic centralism on  a broad scale." The Qing's  concentration on heroism that was to dominate Jiang theory  forming  as  producing  on the structuring of a she  told  operas  work  was  her audience that "our  already  purpose  on contemporary themes i s mainly to  in  extol  CO  the p o s i t i v e characters." that "leadership" Tiger Mountain  In this context she cited changes  (prinicipally by  Strategy,  herself) one  of  had made to five  operas performed  at the f e s t i v a l which were to become Model Works later. the  Taking  two  years  The changes had involved reducing the roles played by  negative  characters and strengthening  the  hero  Yang  Zirong (a process that w i l l be discussed in the next chapter). It i s quite apparent from the published speeches that Qing  was  committed  to a  more t i g h t l y  Jiang  controlled  and  p o l i t i c a l l y engaged operatic theatre (as a synechdoche for the arts as a whole) than Peng Zhen or Lu Dingyi, years before revealed.  the exact  Her struggle  Beijing Opera F e s t i v a l ,  nature  of  though i t was  that theatre  was  two  fully  with Peng Zhen i n t e n s i f i e d after the as  Peng refused 89  her demand that he  "give her an opera troupe to  reform on  her own.  conflict led both to make statements on the arts 1966:^°  budui wenyi gongzuo zuotanhui  on Work i n  Entrusted Comrade  Qing" (Lin Biao tongzhi weituo Jiang Qing  ii)  i n February of  Jiang Qing's was the "Summary of the Forum  the Arts with which Comrade Lin Biao  The  y  Jiang  tongzhi zhaokai de  jiyao), hereafter "Summary."  The "Summary" If the Cultural Revolution was Jiang Qing's Yan'an,  been  suggested  "Talks."  Like  above,  then  Mao's work,  the "Summary" was Jiang  chose  Qing's  i t came at the start of a political  campaign aimed i n large part at i n t e l l e c t u a l s . Jiang Qing  as has  to refute theories  they  Both Mao and  opposed,  leaving  ad hominem attacks on the theories' proponents to Chen Boda (at Yan'an) or Yao Wenyuan (in 1965-8), and then to lay down their own rules for the creation of the arts. primarily with the p o l i t i c a l commendation  of Jiang Qing  F i n a l l y , both deal  role of the arts:  Lin Biao's  to the armed forces was an astute  one, that "she i s very strong politically [emphasis mine: on a r t i s t i c work, The  literary  R.K.]  and an insider (neihang) in the arts. theories  attacked by Jiang  Qing  i n the  "Summary" dated from the periods of relatively relaxed control of the  arts  during the l i f e of the People's Republic:  1950's (prior to the attack on Hu Feng), 1956,  and  the "blooming  the Hundred Flowers of  and contending" of  1961-2. A l l  had subsequently been contested by Party spokesmen; 90  the early  but Jiang  Qing f e l t they were  still  prevalent,  blamed those who had  allowed  and, l i k e Yao Wenyuan,  such theories  had then (in her view) protected  to be raised,  the offending theorists.  immediate target was Peng Zhen, who had sought campaign Yao Wenyuan had  launched  l i m i t i n g i t to academic debate,  and An  to defuse the  against against  Wu Han  by  and had chastised "scholar-  tyrants [Yao himself being the obvious, i f unnamed example] who are always  acting  tyrannically and trying to overwhelm people  with their power."^ Jiang  Qing  selected  for condemnation  eight  propositions  later referred to as the "eight black theories" (heibalun).^ Of these, three dealt with realism: advocated by Hu Feng,  "the broad path of realism" of  Zhaoyang from the Hundred realism" raised by rural  fiction.  Qin  Flowers movement and "deepening  Shao Quanlin At  these were "write the truth"  issue,  at  as has  the 1962  conference on  been discussed  i n the  introduction above, was whether the writer should portray an individually-conceived reality.  The  r e a l i s m of Hu  individual vision;^  4  " s o c i a l i s t realism" commitment  or an officially-sanctioned  with  Shao Quanlin's suggestion  political  basis  idealism  revolutionary  of  specifically  an  Qin Zhaoyang opposed the Soviet doctrine of  and control)  the only valid  Feng was  version  the more ambiguous (in terms  "realism that  of  the socialist age;"  thoroughgoing  realism  of and was  for romanticism implicitly criticised the inherent  r e a l i s m and  in  the  "combination  revolutionary 91  of  romanticism"  formulation.  From  3  Jiang  Qing's point  of view,  the  unrestrained realism  of these three slogans was  one  invariably led to the  tarnishing of  image  revealing  truths  unpalatable  inappropriate to socialist Three artist's  other  choice  by  man.  material,  following the Great Leap.  Party's  and condoning emotional t r a i t s  "black theories," of  the  which  this  time  had arisen in  concerning  the  three  the years  Two are associated with Xia Yan,  who  had been most responsible for the choice of less proletarian and motivational smell  of  subject  matter for films:  gunpowder'" reflected  Xia's  the militarism of many Great Leap movies,  "opposition  disenchantment  "discard  predictably (and probably  'the with  and was seen by Jiang  Qing as an attack on revolutionary heroism. intention to  to  S i m i l a r l y Xia's  c l a s s i c s and challenge orthodoxy"  was  rightly) interpreted by Jiang Qing as  "discarding the c l a s s i c s of Marxism-Leninism  and r e b e l l i n g  against the orthodoxy of people's war" when making movies.  And  from Zhang Guangnian's "opposition to  the  decisive  factor"' she  'subject  matter  inferred opposition  (or her own) imposition of themes  to  as  the Party's  on a r t i s t s . ^  Shao Quanlin's plea for more "middle characters" in fiction, another  "black theory,"  detract  from the importance of heroic revolutionary  stereotypes  and  downplay class struggle,  conflicting  to  within  an  was for Jiang Qing an attempt  by showing  uncommitted individual rather than  ideas  both  to  between classes.  Emphasis on class struggle was also the basis for denunciation of  Zhou  Gucheng's theory that "the spirit of the age i s the merging  of various trends." Contradiction" social  Jiang Qing interpreted Mao's view, from "On  (Maodun lun)^^ that the dominant  force i n  change was contradiction, to mean that the opposition of  i r r e c o n c i l a b l e class ideologies was paramount in establishing the  s p i r i t of any given  period.  Zhou  had already been  scolded by Yao Wenyuan for "bourgeois i d e a l i s t i c thinking" for his view  that the opinions of members of different classes could  usefully be combined. In her onslaught on the "eight black theories," Jiang  Qing  chose to attack the same fundamental targets as had Mao at Yan'an:  defence of the artist's right to express an individual  view of r e a l i t y , efforts  on  proletarian such  ideas  and unwillingness  praising characters  could  have persisted  anti-Party  diametrically "black  of  their  an e s t a b l i s h e d  type pursuing o f f i c i a l l y sanctioned goals.  proved to her that "we have been black  to concentrate  line"  and  theory  into the People's Republic  under  Chairman  line  which i s  Mao's thought."  This  featured in the personal attacks by Yao  Wenyuan  (inter alia)  singled  out as purveyors or defenders  Mao's; i t was also  the dictatorship of a  anti-socialist  opposed to  That  on  used  Zhou  Yang  to discount  and others who could  be  of theories inimical to virtually everything that  had been created prior to Jiang Qing's own involvement with Beijing Opera. Such unequivocal condemnation of the former dispensation, 93  in the s p i r i t of Mao's aphorism that "there i s no construction without d e s t r u c t i o n " (b_u _p_o b_u l i ) , ^ was prerequisite the  for the creation of a new  "Summary"  an e s s e n t i a l  socialist  culture, and  expands on the form that culture was to  take.  To replace the individualist/bourgeois heroes seen as populating the "black line" works,  Jiang Qing demanded proletarian "Models"  (yangban) featured in "Model Works" (yangbanxi) ^ mostly set in a 7  revised dramas  form of Beijing will  Opera.  (The model characters and  be analysed in the next chapter.)  As for the environment in which the heroes were to function, Jiang  Qing  reiterated Mao's injunction that class struggle was  under no circumstances to be forgotten. recommended elsewhere as "three-in-one" as "democratic centralism"  The creative process  appears in the "Summary"  (minzhu jizhong zhi),  with the  emphasis on leadership and popular  input at the expense of  authorial  also  control.  Jiang  clarification  of  realism  revolutionary romanticism."  the  and  the  Qing  combination  offered  of  her own  "revolutionary  The realism was of  heightened variety of the s i x "even mores;" and the  romanticism hardship, The literary  was an emphasis on the glory,  rather  of revolutionary struggle. "Summary" offers the most coherent statement policies  of the Cultural Revolution,  rationale for condemning what had gone before line"), emulated  than the  of the both the  (the "black  and for the rules for creating l i t e r a r y models to be throughout the arts.  One further speech w i l l be 94  considered,  dating  from November  star was most clearly in for i t s revelation  of  of 1966, when Jiang Qing's  the ascendant.  It  has  been selected  Jiang Qing's attitude to the Chinese and  Western literary traditions in the context of the appearance of the f i r s t eight Model Works. i i i ) "Comrade Jiang Qing's Talk to an Assembly on the Arts" (Jiang Qing tongzhi zai wenyijie dahui shang de jianghua)''  1  79  Even  in the much revised text available,  this  address,  largely directed towards the opera company whose endeavours Jiang Qing  had  controlled  unrestrained  during  1966,  is  statement on the arts.  her  most rhetorically  Its purpose was to justify  the models by identifying them as the realisation of the literary theories  of  offered  of  promote  the  Mao.  the  (tuichen chuxin) and "use foreign  wei  zhong  yong) were  their original meaning.  so  ancient things  proscriptive  assimilated.  benefit  Mao's dialectical intent was  her  to for to  former,  religion,  or capitalism (as a l l traditional  had to some extent) they  absolutism. Likewise, i t was  she  popular national forms,  i f old forms had any connections with ghosts,  Chinese culture  as  The purpose of the  vras the production of new,  or the moralities of feudalism  could  the interpretations  new"  she claimed, but  however,  Mao's injunctions to "select from  China" (yang contradict  In fact,  simply could  not  be  replaced by a rigid  impossible that anything foreign  ideal of  Chinese s o c i a l i s t  dismissed Western " c l a s s i c s " as irrelevant 95  to  art. the  She  present  day,  and denounced  poisonous. of  modern  Her choice of  Western  culture  popular: rock-and-roll  Western culture  forms  was  a  as degenerate and  to summarise  the  bizarre combination  dancing  (afei  wu), jazz; the  striptease; and the avant-garde remembered from days:  corruption of  the  immodest:  her  Shanghai  impressionism, symbolism, abstractionism, primitivism  (yeshoupai), modernism. observed:  D. W. Fokkema, then resident in Beijing,  "As far as I know, no  spoken so disparagingly knowledge  of i t . "  culture,  of Western  Chinese authority has ever culture  yet  with so l i t t l e  Her object was not to understand  however, any  more than  t r a d i t i o n a l Chinese culture.  It  than neither could be suited to  i t was  Western  to understand  was s u f f i c i e n t  to  assert  s o c i a l i s t content, and thus,  within the letter of Mao's law, both could be discarded. (It i s worth noting, however, that in her a r t i s t i c practice, as in her personal l i f e , Jiang Qing allowed herself more latitude than those she controlled: b a l l e t , in which two of the Model Works were performed,  i s a foreign form whose Chinese name,  balei wu, i s merely a t r a n s l i t e r a t i o n of the French; and the piano, used to accompany Lantern, To  Jiang  Qing's  the  first  mind,  the  Lin Biao,  degenerate  Red  traditional  works had already been replaced by eight Model Works,  triumph for the Cultural Revolution, of Mao,  version of The  i s neither Chinese nor proletarian in i t s origin.)  foreign-influenced better:  a model r e c i t a l  and  something  which she claimed  as  a  sanctified by the approval  Zhou Enlai, Chen Boda, Kang Sheng and others,  and welcomed by the people.  Though she was actually to continue  to  for  intervene  impression perfecting already keep her  in  the  given  arts  by  the  several  years  come, the  speech i s that a mission  of unprecedented  been accomplished,  —  the  socialist literary exemplars —  had  even  i f other work might in future  away from the arts.  T h i s speech, considered here,  the l a s t  of J i a n g Qing's works to be  reveals most clearly the face she presented to  the Chinese people in the Cultural Revolution: charged with carrying out of  to  Mao's w i l l  (or  a radical zealot  her  interpretation  i t ) by establishing a socialist culture in a society s t i l l  polluted by unhealthy  ideas.  Her crusade  behalf conveniently complemented her own those who she f e l t 1930's  on her husband's  desire for revenge on  had suppressed her thespian career i n  the  and spurned her leadership aspirations i n the 1950's.  In the 1960's, i t was her turn to be dominant. iv) The "Three Prominences" (san tuchu) Jiang Qing's emphasis on the role of the hero was already evident i n the documents discussed above.  She was  not, of  course, the f i r s t Chinese authority to propose the portrayal of heroes.  Her contribution was to formulate, during the course of  the r e v i s i o n of the modern B e i j i n g Operas, a system of stratification  that would show off to best advantage their  proletarian heroes.  This system was the "three prominences."  Jiang Qing claimed in her interviews with Roxanne Witke to have  97  discussed i t with Ke Qingshi, who died in 1965, o f f i c i a l l y enunciated until 1968,  but i t was not  in an article by her supporter  and later culture minister Yu Huiyong: Based on the s p i r i t of Comrade Jiang Qing's directives we have summed up three prominences as an important p r i n c i p l e in depicting characters, v i z : of a l l characters, give prominence to positive characters, of positive characters give prominence to heroic characters, of heroic characters give prominence to the most important one,i.e., the c e n t r a l character. 75 A precise ordering of characters was thus set within a given opera (or novel, short story, film, comic-book, painting, etc.): a  single central hero or heroine supported by  figures,  surrounded  villains. as the  (The  by  acquiescent  secondary  masses, and  Insistence  on  transformation  opposed  by  same system was also conversely described also  the "three enhances" (san peichen) whereby the villains  heroic  enhanced the  that of the  positive characters,  "three prominences" was the  of  portrayal  focus  of  etc.)  for  the  operas from their pre-1964 versions  to  model form, a process to be described i n the next chapter, and thus for the  changes throughout the arts i n the Cultural  Revolution. The effect of the "three prominences" was highly  stratified  vision  i r r e c o n c i l a b l e divisions,  of  s o c i e t y , with  to r e f l e c t a abiding  and  r e c a l c i t r a n t enemies s t r i v i n g to  thwart the inevitable progress of the proletariat, but vulnerable to exposure and humiliation at the hands of exemplary heroes. Jiang Qing naturally  presented  the "three prominences" as  98  derived from mores" of  Mao's  the  writings, p a r t i c u l a r l y  the  six  "even  "Talks," but there i s more to them than that.  The most important added ingredient i s the pre-eminent socialist hero(ine), as precise a model as possible for the audience to emulate. The  "three prominences" formula sought to provide the ideal  form for the propagation of a political message. When, following Jiang  Qing's  was generally conveyed,  fall, from  rather  exception was  critics the  immediately  point of view of  than the vehicle  Mao Dun,  attacked  that  the  carried  it,it morality  it.  One  who likened i t s "formalism" to the  "three unities" of the neo-classical French theatre of Racine and Corneille, portrayal  as a device to draw of  action  literature  and character.  realistic in the sense that Jiang her  "Summary." The  away  from realistic  Certainly  i t was anti-  Qing had criticised realism in  central heroes  of  the  Model  Works, as  analysis of their c o l l e c t i v e features i n the next chapter w i l l show, were grounded the  firmly  in  her  own idealism  concerning  working class. Thus Jiang Qing and Yao Wenyuan committed themselves to the  promotion  of a l i t e r a t u r e  that  was  demonstrably  Chinese,  accessible to a mass audience, and a suitable vehicle for a normative vision of man and society, untainted by the influence of the "self."  For a look at the form this new literature was to  take, we shall next consider the Model Works.  99  CHAPTER 3 THE PATTERN FOR LITERARY CREATION: THE MODEL WORKS The  f i r s t group of Model Works sponsored by Jiang Qing was  presented in 1966. in  the form  of "Modern Revolutionary  xiandai jingju). gradually operas.  Of the eight models of that year,  1  added  and  to the model corpus,  production,  where  four  i n i t i a l l y ballet and symphonic  The nine Model Operas  of the century-old Beijing Opera. the  including another  later painting and sculpture,  discussed here).  in  Opera" (geming  During the next half decade, other works were  (The non-literary forms,  music,  Beijing  five were  will  not be  were in a modified form  Many of the modifications were  some  Western  technique  was  incorporated, including elaborate stage-settings and l i g h t i n g , and an orchestra augmented with brass, woodwind and a string section; these aspects (which have been introduced elsewhere ) w i l l not be considered in the analysis of the literary model in this chapter.  Instead, concentration w i l l be on the texts of the  operas. (The Strategy  nine  Model  Operas are: Taking Tiger  (Zhiqu Weihushan), The Red Lantern  Shajiabang,  On the Docks (Haigang),  Mountain by  (Hongdeng j i ) ,  Ode to Dragon River  (Longjiang song), The Red Detachment of Women (Hongse niangzi jun),  Raid on the White Tiger Regiment (Qixi  Fighting on the Plain (Pingyuan  zuozhan), 100  Baihutuan),  Azalea Mountain  (Dujuan shan). ) These models were by no means the f i r s t Chinese operas to have contemporary been performed  settings.  Experimental  modern  pieces  had  i n the Republican period by opera companies  including that of Mei Lanfang, the greatest player of female roles i n the history theatre" troupes  of the Beijing  i n the Jiangxi  depicting contemporary events, performed in Yan'an in 1945.  Soviet performed  and The  operas  White-haired Girl was  Further works with modern themes  appeared after the communist victory was Raid on the White Tiger  theatre."Guerilla  in 1949;  Regiment,  Beijing Opera company serving with the  among  the f i r s t  a production  of  the  Chinese forces in Korea;  i t was among the f i r s t group of models. Model Operas were i n existence i n some  In fact,  a l l of the  form before  the 1964  Festival of Operas on Contemporary Themes. Jiang  Qing's contribution was  not the creation of the  operas, but their transformation to models, a task she  exercised herself relentlessly for  a  decade.  to  which  A hyperbole  often repeated i n eulogies of the Model Works was that "every word and every through  phrase,  every tone and every beat,  with the heart's blood of Comrade  Immediately  following  her  leaders of  as (Mao  merely  claiming the credit due  Zedong, Zhou  the models,  7  but  the  Jiang  Qing."^  f a l l (when the Model Operas were  s t i l l highly regarded i n o f f i c i a l c i r c l e s ) , portrayed  i s soaked  Enlai etc.) for contemporary 101  Jiang to the  Qing  other  was state  sponsorship  evidence  of  her  decisive involvement i s considerably more convincing. What were Jiang Qing's reasons for promoting "Model Works?" The  pre-1966  regarded  leadership had given extra weight to  novels  they  as desirable by designating them "keybooks" (zhongdian  Q shu)  and  printing them in large numbers.  The  "keybooks"  presented human models for emulation (as for example Ouyang Hai), but the books themselves were other l i t e r a r y endeavour.  The  describe works of art (here etc.)  originated  promulgating  the  with  not presented as models for a l l  of  "model"  Jiang  Model Works  Qing.^ was  to  views of  Her  views.  By  transforming  music,  purpose  ensure  in  the greatest  revolutionary struggle  revolutionary heroism in order to promote those  (yangban) to  xi_ "drama" includes ballet,  possible prominence to her own and  use of  the  public acceptance  nation's culture, she  believed she could also transform society. The  model status of works sponsored by Jiang Qing was  also  intended to set them aside from whatever had preceded them.  The  worthlessness  she  condemned in to  of the indigenous and her  statements  her achievements  of the mid-1960's was  her behalf  by  Zhang  that  the  in  1871  blank  characteristically years  "from  kongbai)."*^  And  A claim  her Gang of Four colleague Internationale [written  by Eugene Pottier] to the Model (yipian  contrasted  in creating the Model Works.  reportedly made on Chunqiao was  imported art that  Works  Jiang  is  Qing  immodest in her own claim that  a complete was  also  "hundreds of  of the bourgeoisie and thousands of years of feudalism had 102  their influence.  But  they are nothing  to be a f r a i d of  weren't they a l l cast down when opera was [first]  eight Model Works released?"  reformed and  the  11  To understand the nature of the literary model epitomised the  —  by  operas and later applied in fiction, we w i l l f i r s t examine  the development of the operas model versions; secondly,  from  their  pre-1964 texts to the  by examination of a l l nine opera texts  we w i l l extrapolate the common features that define a Model Work. I. The Revision Process What  did Jiang Qing seek to put into the operas that  not there in the 1964 versions? how  the proletariat behaves,  and how  First,  emphasising  Party  Mao's  her own idealisation of  what i t means to be a Party member  revolutionary struggle works.  the Communist  was  Secondly, the history of  from a Cultural Revolution  perspective,  own contribution.  It i s axiomatic in Marxism that the proletariat i s the politically advanced class;  most  Jiang Qing sought to present a stage  proletariat strong in i t s resistance to oppression, easily won to the  cause  failings.  of  the Communist Party,  For  example:  Jiang  and almost  Qing  without human  demanded of  an  actress  portraying a g i r l (Chang Bao in Taking Tiger Mountain) recalling the murder of her mother that she cover her face with her hands.  no longer  slump down and  "Working-class  people don't s i t  down or bury their heads when they 1  cry," Jiang Qing said, "they  n  cry standing." 103  The  stage  proletariat,  d e s p i t e i t s capacity to defy  oppression, cannot quite save i t s e l f , either by overthrowing the oppressors or identifying hidden class enemies. This i s the role reserved  f o r the Party, represented  by the central heroic  figures. Where the masses of the Model Operas d i f f e r from the peasants of Hai Rui Dismissed  from Office i s only that they are  of the same class origin as their saviours. Changes contrived  made  i n the presentation  of Party  members  to show them simultaneously absolutely loyal to the  Party leadership  (meaning here, as for Yao Wenyuan, Mao i n  particular) and capable of feats of initiative.  When  a human  dam i s proposed to combat flooding in Ode to Dragon River, the Party  members are the f i r s t  to volunteer:  Uncle Ajian: We are Party Members ... L i Zhitian et a l : Let's go. 13 Wartime opera communists are f u l l of physical courage: Yan Weicai of  the Korean-war opera Raid on the White Tiger Regiment  that "no danger however huge can stop/a  Communist  claims Party  member."*  4  Jiang  Qing's understanding  of revolutionary  struggle,  revealed i n changes she directed in specific operas,  as  was derived  from a s i m p l i s t i c reading of Mao's essays on contradiction. She saw enemy  contradiction as meaning —  struggle  armed with  struggle a concealed  conflict found expression  only c o n f l i c t against an  with a m i l i t a r y  foe, or class  t r a i t o r . In the Model Operas, the  i n oppression committed by national or  104  class enemies and revenged by the operas with a  civilian  unmasked by the hero  proletariat.  setting contain a  or  model status was accorded.  class enemy who i s  revision of the operas,  was  f u l l of vicious  as  attacks  Lin Biao,  element of class struggle.  Jiang Qing's orders before  Jiang Qing's own r e c o l l e c t i o n  her  recounted  by etc.  to Roxanne  —  of  Witke,  unscrupulous enemies —  Zhou  who tried to downplay  the  Thus in her memory, l i f e imitated art  as she overcame class enemies within the leadership revolutionary ranks  of the  heroine, most of these enemies having  been added to the early s c r i p t s on  Yang, Peng Zhen,  All  in order to emphasise  of  the  class struggle on the  stage. Jiang Qing's preoccupation with scores that must be settled and  t r a i t o r s who  must be rooted out p a r a l l e l s Yao Wenyuan's  constant vigilance for enemies, and  i s symptomatic of  the  paranoia of the leading radicals in the Cultural Revolution. The operas' emphasis of  the  on  Chinese r e v o l u t i o n  the  role of Mao i n the  can  be  seen as  Jiang  history Qing's  contribution to the perpetuation of the myth of Mao  launched by  Lin Biao in the army after the purge of Peng Dehuai.  Lin's major  contribution  to  the d e i f i c a t i o n of  the  Chairman  " l i t t l e red book" Quotations of Chairman Mao, collection words)  the  (Mao Zhuxi yulu)^ a  which presented Mao's thoughts as (in Stuart Schram's  "absolutely  truths," -' and 1  was  immutable and  universally  Lin's effusive introduction was  for subsequent eulogies  of Mao. ^ 1  105  the  valid  touchstone  When Mao's writings are quoted in the Model Works, they have immediate efficacy in winning doubters over to the cause central hero or heroine.  of the  When the peasants of Ode to Dragon  River balk at making the sacrifices the Party leadership demands, the heroine Jiang Shuiying's quotation of Mao's essay on Norman Bethune (a passage internationalism"  included  the  "patriotism  and  section of the " l i t t l e red book"* ) wins them 7  over straight away.*  Jiang Shuiying's a r i a ,  8  the quotation,  in  which follows  drives home the decisive importance of Mao's  writings in the operas: The precious book I hold warms a l l our minds, Within our breasts the red sun shines, ... Reading the precious book, we hear the Party's c a l l , Like drums of war inspiring one and a l l . 19 Mao  i s referred to in a l l of the operas,  and  extensively  quoted in many. He and his words are the inspiration of guerillas in  the war against Japan,  1949 peasants Chairman Mao"  Chinese soldiers i n Korea,  and stevedores and many others.  post-  "Long  live  are the last words of heroes executed by their  enemies.^ Key to the idealisation of proletarians and Party members, the emphasis on conflict,  and the increased importance of  Mao,  was the transformation of the the central heroes of the operas, who underwent considerable change during the revision process supervised by Jiang Qing. individual  to  heroic  This transformation was from  stereotype (dianxing)  embodying Jiang  Qing's ideals of the proletarian  and  promoting the myth of Mao.  made to three operas w i l l  Changes  106  the  heroic  communist  and  be described to i l l u s t r a t e the a c q u i s i t i o n of model features. The three are Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, The Red Lantern and Sha.jiabang. i)  Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy This was the most extensively revised of a l l the Model  Works. Jiang Qing's lengthy involvement with i t i s the source of the  Cultural Revolution cliche about perfectionism:  to refine one opera" (shinian mo y i x i ) .  21  "ten years  This revision process  99  has  received some scholarly attention,  here w i l l be limited to one key element:  and discussion of i t the transformation of  the hero Yang Zirong. Taking Tiger Mountain is an adaptation of the most exciting episode  in Qu Bo's military romance Tracks in the Snowy  (Linhai  xueyuan),  Forest  which recounts the exploits of a small Red  Army unit behind enemy lines in the latter years of the c i v i l war of 1945-9. order  to  Yang Zirong, the unit's scout, poses as an outlaw i n i n f i l t r a t e the mountain stronghold  tyrant a l l i e d while  to the Nationalists and smuggle i n his  the bandits  birthday.  of a  bandit unit  are drunkenly celebrating their leader's  The novel,  and early operatic versions of the story,  presented Yang as a  swashbuckling hero whose impersonation  included  (mildly) racy  s t o r i e s and coarse manners. Though a  dedicated communist of proletarian origin, Yang Zirong, i n premodel incarnations, also had the flavour of the t r a d i t i o n a l "stout fellow" (haohan), rough and jocular as well as earnest and 107  revolutionary.  In the  interests of  Jiang Qing's  revolutionary purity, i f at the expense Yang's language, smartened up.  of  of realistic portrayal,  rakish behaviour, posture and clothing were  More important, his heroics were placed  the context of d i s c i p l i n e loyalty to the expressed  notions  i n an a r t i c l e  written by (or  Party and for)  firmly in Mao.  As  the company  performing the opera, and in the offical translation: While delineating h i s [Yang's] i n d o m i t a b l e courage and soaring spirit, we also give expression to the steadiness and poise, the sagacity and alertness i n his make-up. The description of these facets rests firmly on one e s s e n t i a l point, the soul of the hero Yang Zirong, and that i s "the morning sun in his heart" — a red heart that i s i n f i n i t e l y l o y a l to Chairman Mao and his thought ... without Mao Zedong thought, Yang Zirong would certainly be reduced to a nincompoop, a vulgar and miserable mountebank ... 24 Comparison  of the novel and opera versions of a single  incident illustrate the change in Yang Zirong. volunteers outlines job.  for  to  the  role  his commanding  of  bandit  It comes as Yang  impersonator  and  officer his qualifications for the  The i n i t i a l points he makes are the same in both versions:  possession of  a map  coveted by the tyrant, knowledge of bandit  slang and ability to act the bandit. There i s a subtle difference in his final reason,  however,  and thereafter the conversation  takes a very different turn: a) "Fourth ..." Yang Zirong paused b r i e f l y , his eyes flashing stern and resolute, "... I have f a i t h i n my h e a r t f e l t loyalty to the Party and the people." "You think these t h i n g s w i l l guarantee victory?" 108  "Yes! That's what I believe." "You're wrong! ... The fourth criterion i s only the weapon enabling you to i n f i l t r a t e the enemy camp. It can only help you crawl into the enemy's belly. That isn't the main problem today, the key i s how you can carry on our work when you're in his belly." 25 b) Yang Z i r o n g : The third condition i s the most important ... Commander: That i s a Liberation Armyman's heartfelt loyalty to the Party and Chairman Mao! Yang Zirong: Commander, you understand me! Commander: Old Yang, this i s no ordinary task! Yang Zirong: Commander! A Communist Party member always obeys the Party's c a l l Taking for himself the toughest tasks of a l l ... Moving mountains like the foolish old man, I ' l l get through a l l hardships, be sure I can ... .26 Loyalty  to the people in the original version has been  in  model by loyalty to Mao,  the  individual  trait,  implicit  role-model  traditional  but  typical of  for  and that loyalty communist  replaced  i s not  an  solidarity.  his mission i s no longer  The  drawn  fiction (the monkey-king Sun Wukong) but from  from Mao's  writings (the foolish old man whose story i s used as a parable in 97  the  third  Finally,  of  the constantly-read articles (lap san  pian) '). z  i t i s inconceivable that the Model Opera Yang could  contradicted  by his commanding officer as happens in the  be  novel.  Profession of loyalty to the Party and the chairman i s guaranteed to  win any argument, and anyway, the hero i s never wrong.  while  the  model  Yang  early Yang i s forced to elaborate on  his  plan,  launches into an aria about what i t means to  So the  be  a  Party member. The typification (dianxinghua) of Yang to a "scout 109  hero of the Chinese  Liberation Army armed with revolutionary no  courage of the revolutionary ii)  The Red  Lantern  Another  opera  impact  was The  Red  proletariat  i s complete.  29  on which Jiang Qing had early Lantern,  and here,  Mountain, her emphasis was  as  on the hero,  and  in  decisive  Taking  Tiger  in this case the  railwayman and underground communist organiser L i Yuhe. story of L i and his enjoyed  family's resistance to Japanese occupation  considerable  operatic forms i n  The  the  popularity  in a number of  early 1960's.  versions were performed at the  Two  1964 festival:  regional  Beijing opera The Red  Lantern,  the chosen vessel for Jiang Qing's reform, and Naturally the Revolution  W i l l Have Successors (Geming z i you  houlairen),  on  performed by a company from Harbin. The  revision of the opera,  as recounted by Jiang Qing  and  Qian Haoliang, the actor who played L i Yuhe, took place against a background  of  conflict with "enemies," in this case headed  by  Ol  deputy culture minister Lin Mohan. of  the  hero —  prominences?" aged  should The  railwayman  upright  it  At issue was the portrayal  follow "realism"  or  the  "enemies" wanted L i to look like a middle-  (shabby and slightly stooped) as opposed to the  and martial posture favoured by Jiang Qing,  portrayed daughter,  as  "three  more  or less equal to his adoptive  rather than standing above them.  to  mother  Jiang Qing's  Yuhe (the one that appears in the model version) i s , 110  and  be and Li  of course,  prominent and  supreme.  The  model L i  Yuhe most c l e a r l y  epitomises Jiang Qing's romanticised proletariat i n his martyrdom (he i s one of only two heroes was purportedly written by her. undergone,  he  to  final  die), a scene which  Despite the torture he  remains erect and  elegant;  has  as Jiang Qing  explained to Roxanne Witke: "Since he has just gotten [ s i c ] out of p r i s o n ,  logically  dishevelled.  h i s c l o t h i n g and  h a i r should  But because he i s on the verge of becoming a  martyr, we have made him appear clean and tidy, for he must present a d i g n i f i e d image. naturalism." Li with  We  white and pure, don't go in for  32  Yuhe's relationship with his mother  and  daughter,  and  the villainous Japanese commander Hatoyama, also changed in  the revision process; the  be  the end result being to set the hero above  other characters.  Here i s Qian Haoliang's summary  of  the  technical aspects of the revision: Comrade Jiang Qing required us to use the best of everything in portraying the heroic proletarian figure of L i Yuhe. That i s to say, the best music, the best singing, the most forceful gestures, and the most important positions on stage should be used to show off the character of L i Yuhe, and make his heroic form more prominent, higher and f i n e r . 3 3 The  model  L i i s also purged of a l l feelings that stand between  him and his mission, the delivery to his comrades of a secret code. In some her  from  early versions,  capture,  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was  L i hid his daughter to protect  but J i a n g to  Mao,  Qing  the Party 111  i n s i s t e d that his and  his class rather  than his  family.  Consequently  he welcomes the readiness with  which she faces death with him on the Japanese execution ground. Though  Li's role i s primary,  his mother and daughter,  the  secondary heroines, remain strong characters. Each dominates in a powerful scene: history  to  the  Granny L i as she recounts their tragic family she  vows  revenge after her father and grandmother are k i l l e d ,  and  inherits the of  the t i t l e .  g i r l Tiemei,  spirit  and Tiemei herself  as  of resistance symbolised by the red lantern  The v i l l a i n Hatoyama was considerably reduced to  prevent him from stealing the show. The textbook on the Cultural Revolution version of Marxist l i t e r a r y theory mentioned above stressed that Hatoyama's role should be as a f o i l for L i Yuhe, with his e v i l t r a i t s conniving,  (oppressor-class attitude,  etc.) p r e c i s e l y  (proletarian world-view, in  complementing  Li's virtues  uprightness, resourcefulness, etc.),  accordance with the "three prominences."^  however,  cruelty,  as in the other operas,  4  In  this case,  the "three  prominences" does  not work quite according to i t s formulation.  Hatoyama and the  rest of the opera v i l l a i n s do the  positive characters,  villains masses,  are always and  not  only  strong  even secondary  enhance  (peichen) a l l of  the central hero.  Model opera  enough to oppress or dupe the heroes, gallantly though they may  defy them, cannot overcome them.  It i s L i Yuhe who gains the  moral (though not the military) victory over Hatoyama.  112  iii)  Shaliabang-  33  In this, the third opera to be considered, revision involved a change in the primary heroic role from one character to another and  also a change in t i t l e .  Reeds and  (Lutang huozhong),  teahouse  The original text, Sparks in the  centred on the underground  proprietress Aqing's wife,  who f i r s t  communist protects a  detachment of Red Army wounded from the nationalist forces, cleverly  then  engineers the wedding at which the nationalist officers Of.  are  captured.  over  the  The changes,  suggested by Mao and carried out  next two years by Jiang Qing,  emphasise armed  struggle  (which  Mao  were made  had led) rather  to than  underground resistance (in which Liu Shaoqi had been engaged) as decisive  in winning the c i v i l war; as such, they are historical,  as well as a r t i s t i c revision. the  The new t i t l e , Shajiabang, i s  name of the fictitious village in which the action occurs,  and the new hero i s Guo Jianguang, wounded troops.  the o f f i c e r commanding the  The elevation of Guo was achieved through  complementary techniques described in two set phrases (chengyu): "the  boat stands t a l l as the waters r i s e " (shui zhang chuan  gao), i.e., increasing the intensity of the plot more decisive;  and "the rock emerges as the waters  (shui luo shi chu), makes the hero  shows the hero  i.e., diminution  more forceful  by  subside"  of other characters  contrast.  A military  climax replaced the wedding hoax to downplay the role of Aqing's wife,  and Guo's lines were increased by incorporating those  of another character from the 1964 text and adding a long and 113  intricate aria in which he summarises the strategic  balance, his  loyalty to Mao and his confidence in victory. these changes,  Even  Shajiabang i s nearer than any of the  having two p r i n c i p a l  heroes.  Guo  Jianguang,  after  operas  to  a composite  cobbled together from two characters in the  original, has  of the verve of Aqing's wife;  despite the change  of  ending,  still  the l a t t e r ,  has the opera's  best  scene,  none  as  she  conceals the whereabouts of the wounded in a fast-talking "battle of wits" (zhidou) with enemy commanders. Dissatisfacton with the disposition  of  heroic  characters may have been the  cause for  Jiang Qing's unwillingness to hear the opera praised. Revisions form  i n other  similarly  dominant  focussed  and embodying  by Jiang Qing.  operas on  from  original  to  model  making the central  figure  the idealised proletarian image desired  A further change that took place i n the two  operas with post-1949 settings,  On the Docks and Ode to Dragon  River was the inclusion of a concealed "class enemy,"  whose  unmasking by the heroine was both a lesson for the audience i n how to practise class  struggle and a warning to those whose  vigilance might be reduced. Doubters i n believing in personal fulfillment or group over  revolutionary  enemies rather Once  than  both  the interests  altruism) were shown  harbouring  The  model  for  version enshrined on c e l l u l o i d  of  as  a small  deluded  by  genuine grievances.  the revision process was complete,  inviolable.  operas (those  the  texts  stage performance and  in definitive  114  was  were the  editions  (biaoben); score,  these  editions,  had p r e c i s e  choreography,  i n addition to the text and musical  i n s t r u c t i o n s on s e t s ,  costume, make-up and stage properties, even down  to the exact measurements of carried (but  not used) by  this  detail  was  to  the red pencil and notebook  the commanding  volunteering scene of Taking all  officer  Tiger Mountain. ^  ensure  i n the  The point of  4  that there  interpretation by an individual director, an actor,  lighting,  could  be no  or improvisation  by  that would differ from the o f f i c i a l version. It i s a  paradox that absolute obedience was required i n operas portraying heroic acts of revolutionary initiative. II. Common Features of Character and Plot i)  "Three Prominences" Characterisation Beijing opera,  in common with other Chinese operatic forms,  has always presented characters in personality types, into genres and subgenres,  divisible  readily i d e n t i f i a b l e by their  clothing, actions and singing styles. (The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the  various roles  History modern  are described  of Chinese Drama. *) 4  Beijing  in William The  In  Operas  of the  theatre likewise present a set of character  types, though d i f f e r e n t from those theatre.  Model  Dolby's study k_  some  cases  of  the  traditional  the characteristics coincide: the  stooped and shifty t r a i t o r s of On the Docks and Ode to Dragon River correspond to the clowns (chou) of e a r l i e r dramas. In  115  other cases,  characters from the modern dramas draw from more  than one t r a d i t i o n a l character type: Granny Lantern,  a beldame (laodan)  role,  Li  also adopts  warrior (wusheng) style when times toughen;  to  perform not only i n the ingenue (qingyi) style  in  childhood, but also in the major  traditional  differences  woman  i n the  the male  and the actress  portraying Jiang Shuiying i n Ode To Dragon River  The  of The Red  was required she learned  warrior (wudan) style. characterisation  and modern Beijing stages, according to  of  the  those  who  directed opera reform, was that the modern stage was dominated by the  figures of workers,  ruling-class will  be  peasants and soldiers,  figures of the past.  presented  prominences": villains.  This new set of stereotypes  here in the order suggested  central  heroes,  Thereafter another  secondary group  will  Within  be  the "three masses  several of the operas,  and are  and  introduced,  Though their role  e x p l i c i t within the "three prominences" formula,  appear i n having  by  heroes,  the "turnabout characters" (zhuanbian renwu). i s not  rather than the  they  significant  in  the only roles with any hint of development or ambiguity. these  the dramatis  four broad character types w i l l be personae  of  found a l l  the Model Operas and almost  a l l of  the characters of Cultural Revolution fiction. a.  Central Heroes Each  of the model opera has a single central hero or  heroine, who i s the focus of the action.  116  A l l of them  drawn  from  the groups that comprise  the broadly  defined  "proletariat"  (wuchan j i e j i "the unpropertied c l a s s " rather  than gongren  jieji  "industrial  working  class,"  which i s  also generally translated "proletariat"), i.e., workers, peasants and soldiers.  But these  are no ordinary proletarians;  they  embody the unity of revolutionary ideals with r e a l i t y , of revolutionary with scientific nature, of universality (gongxing) with i n d i v i d u a l i t y (gexing), they are the refined and concentrated c r y s t a l l i s a t i o n , true, good and wonderful, of the proletariat. 42 These  are mature men and women, Party members whose loyalties  are primarily the time  to Mao Zedong.  of the action,  family commitments.  None i s conspicuously married at and L i Yuhe i s the only one with  Their class and Party affiliations take the  place of family in their thinking. whole-heartedly  Thus they are free to work  i n the revolutionary cause.  A l l have a  personal history of suffering at the hands of oppressors, and are inspired to revenge work and by  i s rewarded  by the present sufferings of others;  by final triumph.  Two, however,  their  L i Yuhe  Hong Changqing of The Red Detachment of Women, are executed their enemies before victory i s won. The central heroes are of two kinds, military and civilian. The five military heroes,  Tiger  Mountain),  Yan Weicai (Raid on the White Tiger Regiment),  Guo Jianguang (Shajiabang), and  a l l men, are: Yang Zirong (Taking  Hong Changqing (The Red Detachment)  Zhao Yonggang (Fighting on the Plain).  The operas in  which  they appear concentrate on the battle with an enemy better armed but  lacking a mass base or a righteous cause. 117  War allows  these heroes outwit  to exhibit daring and resourcefulness as they  and overcome  their enemies. These are glamourous roles;  a l l disguise themselves to i n f i l t r a t e enemy territory - - Zhao Yonggang dons three different disguises as he  destroys a  munitions store of the occupying Japanese army and k i l l s i t s commander. Subtler q u a l i t i e s are required of the c i v i l i a n heroines,  who are L i Yuhe (The Red Lantern),  the Docks), (Ode  Ke Xiang  (Azalea  hero and  Fang Haizhen (On  Mountain) and Jiang  Shuiying  to Dragon River). Like the soldier heroes, they face  external  threat,  emergency, women  enemy  or climatic  and further have to combat a t r a i t o r .  The three  must  either  also  from  a  military  an  educate a misguided  colleague  i n the  process. Jiang characters, a  Shuiying,  the only peasant among the central  i s representative of this type.  heroic  She i s the model of  peasant Party cadre. At the suggestion of her Party superiors,  she plans to build a dam and flood  a f e r t i l e s t r i p of her own  Dragon River brigade's land i n order  to divert water to drought-  stricken neighbours.  The brigade leader (who  for a g r i c u l t u r a l production) i s appalled  i s responsible  at the flooding of  valuable crops, and a prosperous peasant i s loath to lose h i s private  plot,  but both are won  over  by  Jiang Shuiying's  selfless example and timely reading of Mao on Bethune. When the uncompleted dam i s threatened by high waters, peasants i n forming  a human dam.  Shuiying leads the  F i n a l l y she exposes the 118  c o n c e a l e d v i l l a i n , a f o r m e r l a n d l o r d , as he t r i e s t o sabotage t h e dam.  Thus she conquers n a t u r e ,  of a colleague. the  t h e c l a s s enemy and t h e doubts  Most p r a i s e d about t h e o p e r a and i t s h e r o i n e was  "Longjiang s t y l e " (Longjiang fengge),  encapsulated i n  this  passage o f p r a i s e by an e l d e r l y peasant s u p p o r t e r : In order to care f o r the l i v e l i h o o d of the commune members and l e s s e n t h e b u r d e n on t h e state, Shuiying, sick a s s h e i s , h a s been s l a v i n g day a n d n i g h t i n t h e p a d d y - f i e l d s . She g e t s up a t c r a c k o f dawn t o b o i l d r i n k i n g - w a t e r f o r t h e p e a s a n t s and mend t o o l s . A t n i g h t she goes from house t o house h e l p i n g p e o p l e w i t h their t r o u b l e s and o r g a n i s i n g work. These l a s t few days her eyes have been r e d w i t h f a t i g u e and she's l o s t weight, b u t s h e j u s t w o r k s h a r d e r and n e v e r c o m p l a i n s . 43 These q u a l i t i e s combine w i t h J i a n g S h u i y i n g ' s  familiarity  with  Mao's w r i t i n g s and a c u t e n e s s t o c l a s s s t r u g g l e t o make h e r t h e paradigm f o r l a t e r peasant c a d r e heroes i n f i c t i o n and f i l m . They embody t h e d e s i r e o f t h a t f a c t i o n p r o m o t i n g t h e "Yan'an Way" t o p r o l e t a r i a n i s e t h e p e a s a n t r y , downplaying love f o r land, crops and f a m i l y i n f a v o u r o f s t a t e , p o l i t i c s and P a r t y . The  n i n e o p e r a heroes e x h i b i t more common c h a r a c t e r  (resolution,  courage,  individual  ones.  universality  with  vigilance, Though  class  each  invariably  predominates,  essentially  to  for  l o v e and h a t r e d )  was  individuality,  supposed  the  the  traits  to  combine  former  central  than  heroes  quality were  be emulated a s models r a t h e r than u n d e r s t o o d as  people.  119  b.  Secondary Heroes The  secondary  central heroes, close  links  heroes  serve as staunch supporters  to  the  orchestrating praise for them, emphasising their  with  their colleagues and  the  people  (lest  the  heroics of the central figures be seen to be individualistic and insufficiently mass-based).  As such,  their roles are as "stars  showing off the moon, green leaves highlighting a red flower." Pride  44  of place among the secondary heroic characters must  go to the revolutionary grannies who appear in four of the Model Works.  Militant  matriarchs are a stock type in the traditional  Beijing repertory (especially in operas about the Yang family); -* 4  but  these  characters serve another  purpose  maltreatment at the hands of villains — —  as  well:  their  a l l are shot or tortured  inspires the hero to righteous class revenge.  Take, for  example,the Korean Aunt Choe (Cui Daniang) i n Raid on the White Tiger Regiment. Herself the mother of popular  adoration of the Chinese  representative Yan Weicai. village,  a soldier,  army and  When South  she voices  their heroic  Korean troops  burn her  Aunt  Choe l e a d s the v i l l a g e r s i n d e f y i n g and  denouncing them,  and i s shot, f i r s t by the Korean commander and  then, fatally, by their American advisor. Her death i s a "blood debt" (xue zhai) to be exacted by Yan Weicai. ^ 4  Other Taking his  secondary heroic characters include the commander in  Tiger  Mountain (indicating support for Yang Zirong  Party and army superiors),  (Fighting  on  the  from  the village organisers L i Sheng  Plain) and  Aqing's 120  wife  (Shajiabang),  epitomising  civilian  young g i r l a c t i v i s t  support for m i l i t a r y  Alian,  who  s u p p o r t of J i a n g S h u i y i n g  Cultural Revolution The enemies  the  t o Dragon R i v e r ,  and  urges  l i k e these recur constantly i n  fiction.  secondary and  and  l e a d s o t h e r young p e a s a n t s i n  i n Ode  doubters to reform. Characters  heroes,  heroic  characters  l e a d e r s h i p t o comrades,  may  offer  defiance  but they do not  have  to the  w h e r e w i t h a l t o r e s o l v e the p r o b l e m s posed i n the operas.  For  e x a m p l e , L i Sheng's h e r o i c a c t o f d e f i a n c e a g a i n s t a J a p a n e s e commander i s e s s e n t i a l l y a f u t i l e of a m i l i t a n t granny.  gesture,  l e a d i n g t o the  Only the hero Zhao Yonggang can  death  overcome  the enemy. c. The  Masses  The  major f u n c t i o n s of the l e s s e r p o s i t i v e c h a r a c t e r s a r e t o  s u f f e r ( i n t h e operas w i t h pre-1949 s e t t i n g s ) , protective support of  i n s t i n c t i n the c e n t r a l hero; to  a  military  The Red D e t a c h m e n t ;  and  to o f f e r  t h u s arouse a enthusiastic  hero's  p l a n s l i k e the women s o l d i e r s  or  be  to  initially  unenthusiastic  t o w a r d s t h e c e n t r a l f i g u r e b u t be  won  example and  group i n c l u d e s the  teaching.  of A z a l e a M o u n t a i n ,  This l a t t e r who  are transformed  o v e r by  her  (or  his)  partisans  f r o m a band o f  brigands  t o d i s c i p l i n e d t r o o p s by the P a r t y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  Ke X i a n g ,  the  Dragon  prosperous  p e a s a n t Chang Fu  of  Ode  to  whose d e v o t i o n t o h i s p r i v a t e p l o t of l a n d o b s c u r e s  River,  h i s view  p u b l i c i n t e r e s t u n t i l J i a n g S h u i y i n g ' s s e l f l e s s n e s s shows him  121  and  of the  error  of  his  ways.  Civilian  masses  are  often  passive  in  their  g r o u p o f l u n c h i n g w o r k e r s i n The Red L a n t e r n they  cannot  change t h e i r  suffering;  this  may g r u m b l e ,  but  lot:  Member o f t h e m a s s e s E: S a l e s w o m a n , g i v e me a b o w l o f g r u e l . What s o r t o f t a s t e do you call this? I t ' s a l l mouldy! A: Yeah, t h e r e ' s a l l kinds of s t u f f i n the r a t i o n s . Saleswoman: T h e r e ' s n o t h i n g we c a n do a b o u t i t . B: Ugh! ( c r u n c h e s a p i e c e o f g r i t and s p i t s it out) B r o k e my t o o t h o n i t ! A: It's f u l l of g r i t ! B: We j u s t d o n ' t g e t t r e a t e d l i k e h u m a n s . A: Hush now, y o u ' l l o n l y g e t i n t o t r o u b l e . B: How c a n we e a t i t ? We c a n ' t k e e p g o i n g l i k e this. 47 Such d e f e a t i s m role  as  the  However, action  among t h e m a s s e s d o e s n o t t a l l y  makers  of  in  the  cause  for  away  nationalist  the  however,  d.  asssigned  them  in  Mao's  decisive writings.  i n t h e same o p e r a , a member o f t h e m a s s e s d o e s t a k e  gratitude  or  history  w i t h the  heroine  they  of  the L i ' s  are  the  help,  hero.  A  disguises  soldiers  passive  who  suffering  herself  are  and h e l p l e s s  before  neighbor,  as T i e m e i  shadowing  some  her.  the  to  in draw  Mostly,  central  hero  Chinese opera t r a d i t i o n offered r i c h p o s s i b i l i t i e s  for  intervenes.  Villains  The the Model  diverting Operas,  upstaging virtuous  the  portrayal of  of  the  e v e n a f t e r b e i n g s c a l e d down t o p r e v e n t t h e m  from  heroes,  conquerors.  wickedness,  are All  of  often  and t h e v i l l a i n s  more c o l o u r f u l  the v i l l a i n s  122  are  than  middle-aged  their and  male  (as i s true of almost a l l the wicked characters in Cultural  Revolution literature), obvious  enemies  and they f a l l into two main  (who  pose  a military  categories:  threat) and  concealed  traitors.  the  Three  of the military operas feature a foreign  chief  villain,  brutal  men  as  These  are  two Japanese and one American.  whose low cunning i s no match are  prepared to  die  for  the  hero.  The  while  the  Japanese  at  American  advisor (of Raid on the White Tiger Regiment) tries  escape  least  invader  fighting,  and leave his South Korean a l l i e s to their  Chinese  counterparts,  nationalist  army,  but rather  more  the deceptions  of  usually  are  bandits  fate.  affiliated  as cruel as the foreign  intelligent  and  initially  Their to  the  oppressors,  suspicious  their communist adversaries.  to  For  of  example,  the Viper (Dushedan) of Azalea Mountain i s astute enough to capture and mistreat  Granny Du,  partisan leader Lei Gang, Gang,  a  mere  the  using her  secondary  as  adoptive mother of the bait  for a trap.  Lei  hero, succumbs, but the central  heroine Ke Xiang leads a surprise attack to rescue the captives. Concealed characters:  traitors  are  hidden  only  from  the  other  they are immediately revealed to the reader by their  place at the bottom of the cast l i s t s , and to the viewer by their stooped  posture  undermine others villain  and  and green stage  lighting.  They  struggle  destroy the central heroic figures, and to  away from the heroes' path. of Ode to Dragon River,  Thus Huang  Guozhong,  to turn the  not only tries to sabotage the  123  dam  built to divert water to needy brigades,  foment  opposition to the heroine's plan among  with personal and local enrichment. revealed as a former oppressor class,  concerned  he i s thus of an  and a l l h i s actions can be explained as origin.  The heroine's  i s therefore class struggle.  villain  those  In the denouement, Huang i s  landlord's b a i l i f f ;  stemming from his class him  but also tries to  S i m i l a r l y Qian Shouwei,  of On the Docks, i s of a capitalist  his past association with  struggle with  foreign bosses.  class by virtue of  His conniving i s also  presented as typical of his class. There are also lesser villains: the sidekicks and stooges of the oppressors.  These include the brutal Old Fourth,  of the Southern  Tyrant  the s i n i s t e r  bailiff  in The Red Detachment of Women, and  but inept Indestructibles (Zhong jingang)  who  cluster about the Vulture i n Taking Tiger Mountain. They, and the enemy soldiers fate  of the military operas,  wind up sharing the  of their masters.  e. "Turnabout Characters" As the central hero's struggle with the v i l l a i n represents a dramatisation  of "contradictions with  transformation  of  immature  symbolises "contradictions the focus of similar  to  Mao's the  condemned i n  among  or  the enemy," doubting  so the  characters  the people," which had been  1957 anti-rightist "middle characters"  speech. (zhongjian  Jiang Qing's "Summary, "  124  in  These are renwu),  their  as  initial  reluctance to accept  the  the works i n which  they  socialist orientation appear.  But while  characters" of the rural f i c t i o n of the persist  in their  sympathetically "turnabout weakness  conservatism  portrayed  commended  and  the "middle  early 1960's  doubting,  nonetheless,  in  the  may  and  be  of  the  doubts  characters" are presented as delusions engendered of  wholeheartedly  vision and enemy deception,  and must  be  by  rejected  as the characters transform themselves from doubt  to certainty and follow the lead of the hero(ine). Lei Gang of Azalea Mountain i s a secondary hero who i s also a  "turnabout character." He i s heroic in that he i s fearless in  his  opposition to the Viper,  trust  he  emmissary  but flawed by impetuosity and  places in his lieutenant Wen Qijiu.  When  Ke  band,  Xiang assumes leadership of the  the  the Party  Lei  Gang  (egged on by Wen) opposes her lenient treatment of captives,  and  her  His  restraint in not launching futile  conversion foolhardy  comes as,  counter-offensives.  languishing in the Viper's j a i l after his  attempt to rescue Mama Du,  he hears of Ke Xiang's own  debt of blood (the murder of her husband by the she i s awaiting the propitious moment to repay. Ke's  example,  Lei  Viper),  which  Enlightened by  sees through Wen's blandishments and  shoots  him. A  non-heroic character who turns away from delusion i s  young dock-worker Han Xiaoqiang in On the Docks.  the  Though himself  the son of a docker and thus of solid proletarian background, his ambition  is  to go to sea,  and he i s distressed by his  125  job  on  land.  His disillusionment i s heightened by the artful v i l l a i n  Qian Shouwei's educated young  insistence that dock work i s demeaning to an man  like  himself.  of  Han's conversion,  like  that  of  past sufferings  father) by docker. the  (in  A  significant  of Lei Gang,  feature  i s the recalling  this case the tragic death of his  the heroine and an elderly stalwart,  here a retired  The youngster sees the importance of his job,  true reason for Qian's apparent concern,  own  realises  and destroys his  application for a job away from the docks. Initial  neglect of revolutionary goals or class struggle  in favour of otherwise laudable economic concerns i s the error of L i Zhitian,  the brigade leader i n Ode  another "turnabout character."  to Dragon River  L i i s persuaded,  sufferings of drought-stricken neighbours, by Jiang example and constantly  by her  important than  of  the  Opera  correctness and considerations  and actually  Model  The  of Mao  texts,  by  the  Shuiying's  to believe a  reiterated tenet of Cultural Revolution Maoism  that p o l i t i c a l  production,  quoting  and  lead  struggle  of agricultural in  the  industrial world  characters" complete the spectrum of  Model  dramatis personnae.  (at least  or  are more  ideal  Operas) to  "turnabout  class  —  greater productivity.  Theirs i s a role that i s  frequently  seen in expanded form in novels modelled on the operas, since i t is  only through them that an author can deal with problems  might  legitimately arise in the execution of Party  policy,  demonstrate the process whereby doubters can be won over.  126  that and  ii)  Plot Structure The  good,  Model Operas are simple tales of the triumph of Maoist  personnified  by  a central heroic figure,  represented by aggressors and traitors. features  of  triumph  melodrama  of  idealism  moral  of  (as defined  virtue  the  moral  over views  by  over  evil  They bear the two  main  Northrop  villainy, assumed  and to  Frye): the  be  "the  consequent  held  by  the  AO  audience."  Here,  devotion  to  oppression, course and  Mao  of course, and  unshakable  his  "virtue" i s of a specific kind:  works,  righteous anger  faith in the inevitable victory of Mao's  for the Chinese revolution and (for the  heroines) alertness to class struggle.  Model  Works are  that Longjiang that Yan fail  highly predictable —  civilian  heroes  The plots  i t is  of  and his "dagger squad" (jiandaoban)  to capture  the  headquarters  the  inconceivable  brigade might not have a record crop yield,  Weicai  regiment.  against  of the White  or  could Tiger  Such predictability i s common in popular literature  (as has been suggested i n the introduction) and can be seen elsewhere in the  Chinese opera tradition.  of the  heroic tales  derived  from  of  of  them follow  The a  For example,  many  Water Margin and the operas pattern  of:  unjust  exercise  power/righteous resistance/persecution/flight to Liangshan. There  are two standard plots in model opera,  the  military  straightforward  struggle  and the c i v i l i a n . The  military  plots  deal  with  127  against  armed  oppressors,  standard plan: with  varying  only  slightly  from  confronted by apparently insuperable forces, but  support from the people and inspiration from Mao  works, the  this  hero  and  his  infiltrates enemy-occupied areas in disguise,  then masterminds a raid in which the enemy i s defeated. The  c i v i l i a n operas,  which were the applicable model  fiction with post-1949 settings, are rather more complex,  for with  "internal" as well as "external" contradiction, class struggle as well as combat with an obvious foe. The plot i s seen as a series of contradictions, each focussing on the central character, which develop  from e x i s t e n c e (cunzai) through variation  (zhuanhua) and exacerbation final  (jihua) to clash (chongtu) before  resolution ( j i e jue).  A d i s t i l l a t i o n of a l l the c i v i l i a n  plots gives a model of this kind:  the central character's  determination to carry out enlightened Party external threat (armed force or resistance from a narrow-minded concealed enemy, who  to  bitterness,  disabuse  colleague and sabotage from a  colleague's  doubts.  by the hero(ine) and an older character,  Two means  to arouse  and the quotation of a seminal  With the i n t e r n a l contradiction thus  hero(ine) can lead a united force.  encounters  the doubter - the r e c a l l i n g of past  the w i l l to class revenge, text.  natural disaster)  i s a member of a non-proletarian class.  The enemy cunningly fuels the are used  policy to meet an  act  of  resolved  Mao the  valour against the external  Finally the class enemy i s unmasked and revealed to have  a long history of wickedness.  128  The significance attached i n c i v i l i a n operas to class struggle, a tenet  central to Cultural Revolution ideology,  unmatched in Chinese literary theory. writings of Mao any  evident i n the Chinese Works,  Similarly the person and  are eulogised to a much greater extent than in  previous works.  Model  is  A  further common feature of the operas, opera t r a d i t i o n and emphasised i n the  i s revenge (bao). A revenge theme appears in each  opera, reportedly on the insistence of Jiang Qing, for whom retribution in art, The f i n e s t c a l l  as i n l i f e , for revenge  Tiemei of  their  Jiang Qing  to  was of considerable importance. is  Granny  family's history  tears  even  (a  Li's recounting to  scene  which reduced  in 1972 ): 49  In the s t r i k e , your own parents perished at devils' hands, L i Yuhe worked everywhere for revolution's plans. He vowed to keep the martyr's red lantern alight, Wiped h i s wounds, buried the dead and returned to the fight. Your father was dragged away to j a i l from us here, Leaving us to pay a debt of blood and tears. You must: be courageous, be determined that you w i l l see that debt repaid by the enemy; a blood debt must be paid in blood! 50 the  III.  Models for Life and Literature From the time the f i r s t group of eight works were  models the  in 1966,  and in successive media campaigns  declared  thereafter,  operas (and the other models) were presented as exemplars to  be emulated in social behaviour and in the creation of art. Emulation  of heroes set up by the Party has been a 129  feature  of communist education in China, Lei  the prime post-1949 case  being  Feng, the model of frugality and selfless dedication since  1963.-**  Where  the opera heroes and heroines differ as models  i s i n their alertness to class struggle.  One factory which  became famous during the Cultural Revolution for fostering the s p i r i t of the #4  model  Factory (Yimin  longer  heroes was Shanghai's Benefit the People sichang),  s h i f t s worked  and  where  emergencies  attributed to emulation of one (The factory  also  singing only  arias  Granny L i ,  or another  had three from  production targets met,  of  amateur  the Model  Operas,  Tiemei and Lei Gang troupes.)  offered  this  report  the opera heroes.  operatic  societies  and known as the  An article celebrating  the factory's success i n making accessible model  resolved were a l l  (puji)  the  opera  as testimony to i t s efficacy:  There was a g i r l working in the biscuit-making plant who had seemed willing to make progress before being corrupted by the sugar-coated bullets of a scion of a "four bad element" [landlord/ rich-peasant/ counter-revolutionary/ bad l o t ] family. She was infected by e v i l bourgeois thought and committed errors. An experienced worker saw i t and was saddened; she tried on many occasions to discuss i t with the g i r l and make her recognise her f a u l t s , but to no a v a i l . Then the older worker thought of [the scene in which] Granny L i educates Tiemei by recounting their bitter family history and thus makes Tiemei see c l e a r l y and strengthen her resolve to fight. So she told her own family history to the g i r l , remembering past bitterness and thinking of present sweetness, solemnly saying "You should be like Tiemei, red-hearted, courageous and with steely determination, don't be defeated by a sugar-coated bullet" ...[The g i r l ] determined to take Tiemei as her model (bangyang,) to be tested i n the billows of class  130  struggle, and always revolutionary heroes. 52 This  passage  demonstrates  to walk the road of  that  extended not only into l i f e ,  emulation of  the  but into reportage of  models life;  was  under  the influence of the models, documentary evidence was transformed into myth. The  opera model was also intended to influence the creation  of fiction. there  has  fiction,  In the Chinese context,  traditionally been a symbiotic relationship opera  storytelling, plot-lines  this was not unreasonable:  and  etc.),  the  popular  whereby  oral  authors  between  tradition  (balladry,  in one medium  borrowed  and technique from the others.  The great novel  The  Water Margin, whose sources were the oral tradition and opera, in i t s turn gave rise to numerous operas, recitations, etc. Many of China's greatest novelists (Li Yu, were  also  dramatists,  and  Luo Guanzhong,  Cao had considered  Cao  Xueqin)  writing  masterpiece in opera form before composing i t as a novel.  his It i s  thus well within the Chinese t r a d i t i o n that f i c t i o n should borrow from opera, Model  Works  Cultural the  and as subsequent chapters w i l l show, the  were highly i n f l u e n t i a l i n  the  shaping  of  Revolution novels. Many of the novelists writing  in  f i r s t half of the 1970*s acknowledged a debt to the  models,  among them Hao Ran, the leading writer of the period. Two of his novels,  both showing evidence of the Model Works' influence,  w i l l be  considered in subsequent chapters.  This i s not to say  that the operatic model necessarily provided a good basis for writing novels.  Judgment  on  that  question must be 131  suspended  until representative novels of the period have been analysed. IV.  Conclusion How  successful  the unprecedented  were  socialist  the  Model  literary  Works  in  tradition  founding  Jiang  Qing  had demanded in her speeches in the mid-1960's? First, portrayal failure  the acknowledged "basic duty" of the operas was of  of  the  central heroic figures,  and the  success  a given work depended to a large extent on  the or  having  a hero or heroine sufficiently exciting to the imagination, whom the  viewer or reader would wish to emulate.  the  Gang  of Four,  prominences"  method  After the f a l l  much criticism was directed for creating heroes who  decisive and politically correct.  at  the  were  of  "three  impossibly  A typical example follows:  No matter what the 'hero's' status, age, experience, education, and position at work may be, he must be head and shoulders above others. This sort of character can do anything, has analysed everything, can predict the future, makes plans l i k e an immortal, spouts MarxismLeninism, astonishes people with his actions, and no matter what objective conditions are like, always succeeds straight away. 53 However, the credibility of the hero i s not the prime issue; in fact  the  operas i n which the stronger heroes appear (Taking  Tiger  Mountain  which  should be the most objectionable according to  quoted works.  and The Red Lantern are the  above, are actually  obvious  the most coherent and  examples), the  critic  entertaining  At the opposite extreme, Shajiabang, i n i t s revised  form, suffers crucially  from weakness at the centre, 132  since the  "model" hero Guo Jianguang i s not only implausible (which can usually  be forgiven  uninteresting the  in  an  opera hero) but l i f e l e s s and  as well, which i s unpardonable. That  clearest case of the  revision  opera i s  under Jiang Qing being to the  detriment of the drama. Secondly, permitted  the  by  range  of  subject-matter and  Jiang Qing was too narrow to serve as  sole literary fare for half a decade. no  romance  in the Model Operas.  and righteous anger, triumph)  expression  class  a nation's  There i s l i t t l e humour and  The dominant emotions  hatred and  f a l l within a limited range.  (pain  class love, revenge and While there i s no reason  why i n d i v i d u a l operas should impose these l i m i t a t i o n s and not succeed,  i t i s hardly feasible that a theatre-loving audience  could be s a t i s f i e d with nothing else for long. Defenders of the operas i n the 1970's were especially  sensitive about charges  that the Model Works  imposed "strictures"  development of  the  arts  say  only  that  the  i n China.  (kuangkuang) on  Their  defense  their  the  Model Works do  a historical,  not  fulfill  naturally  the  role  of  political and social education that was  assigned to them in the campaigns to promote them. they  reaction  their vulnerability to the charges.  Thirdly, providing  to  expression constricted was bourgeois and  thus harmful to the viewer, but the vehemence of testified to  was  the  (according  to Chinese  tradition)  As history, support the  interpretation of the past best suited to present rulers, in this case  emphasising  the  decisive nature of 133  Mao  on  the Chinese  revolution.  Two operas stand out as p a r t i c u l a r l y wayward  historically. to  In Azalea Mountain,  set in 1928, we are expected  believe that a partisan group would accept a stranger, and a  woman at that,  as their leader simply because she i s a member of  the Communist Party, even though the Party had been decimated the year  before.  regiment  And in The Red Detachment of Women, the women's  whose  historical  predecessor  was  nationalist troops i s presented triumphant.  massacred  by  To the unlikelihood  of the operas in general i s added, in these two works, an element of  feminist  responsible. perpetuated  fantasy for which Jiang In terms  Qing  i s presumably  of p o l i t i c a l education,  the operas  the divisive and dangerous policy of seeing social  problems as caused by the a c t i v i t i e s of class enemies, thus adding credibility less  than  to witch-hunts  against those who might have  completely proletarian backgrounds.  And, the  testimonials of the workers as the Benefit the People #4 Factory notwithstanding, i t i s hard to see the heroes of the Model Operas as a complete guide to social practice. Finally,  as Frye's  definition of melodrama  makes  clear,  audience concurrence in the m o r a l / p o l i t i c a l views expressed i s essential  for appreciation  the Cultural  Revolution,  ensure acceptance attend numerous as  of those showings  of the Model the authorities views by requiring  Works.  During  attempted that  of the films of the models,  to  everyone as well  by constant r e i t e r a t i o n of those views and praise of the  operas i n the media.  After the f a l l 134  of the Gang of Four,  however, the deification of Mao and the class antagonism of the models quickly became outmoded, thus diminishing sympathy for their social burden. models as  under  attack after 1976 that accounted for the  strongest attacks on  and term,  It was disenchantment with the  propaganda weapons for policies and people (especially  Jiang Qing)  designed  to perpetuate,  society, they the  the  models.  If the models had  in the long term,  clearly failed.  been  a new vision of man  However,  in the short  half-decade from 1972 to 1976, the message of the  model was proclaimed in officially-sponsored with  audience  examination  the remainder of  fiction.  It i s  of representative works of this fiction that this study i s concerned.  135  CHAPTER 4 HISTORY OF BATTLES AT HONGNAN: THE FIRST MODEL-INFLUENCED NOVEL  History 1972, in  was the  of Battles at Hongnan,  the f i r s t full-length novel to be released in China s i x years s i n c e the beginning  Revolution.* novel,  published i n February of  As a f i r s t attempt  i t was  by Jiang Qing, leadership.  intended  at the Cultural Revolution  to exemplify  the qualities required  Yao Wenyuan and other members of the new cultural  It was written by a "three-in-one" writing team of  the kind pioneered by Lin by Jiang Qing  Biao in the early 1960's and adopted  in her Beijing Opera  speech of 1964.  the importance attached to the venture himself involved i n authors  of the C u l t u r a l  that Yao Wenyuan was 9  the creative process,  towards the simple and  Such was  directing the  highly p o l i t i c a l style he  favoured. In addition to i t s preparation by a "three-in-one" team, the novel  also adhered to Party policy by modelling i t s e l f  operas discussed in the previous chapter.  on the  Like them, i t offers  a revised version of events i n the history of modern China to the best  advantage  relationships Its  plot,  of Mao,  and presents  are defined by the "three  though  c h a r a c t e r s whose  prominences"  system.  lacking i n the climactic finale of the opera  model (the novel was the f i r s t in a projected series of which no others  were  published),  nevertheless demonstrates many of the 136  standard features of the model. past  These include: the recalling of  suffering to arouse the desire for  introduction  of a Mao text,  revenge,  the decisive  and the resolution of contradiction  in society by means of class struggle. The  novel  will  the "three-in-one" opera model.  be considered below for i t s creation by  process,  Conclusions  for i t s r e a l i s a t i o n of the  on the literary merit of this novel  w i l l permit g e n e r a l i s a t i o n collective  and  both on the v i a b i l i t y  of the  writing process and the opera model.  I. "Three-in-one": the Writing Team The purpose of forming writing groups rather than relying on individual  authors  Party control  on l i t e r a t u r e .  Wenyuan's suspicion from  to create f i c t i o n was to impose Lin Biao,  Jiang Qing and Yao  of l i t e r a r y i n t e l l e c t u a l s was  Mao's distrust  strict  inherited  of the " l i t e r a r y opposition" at Yan'an.  They suspected that established authors, both survivors from the Republican period and those f l o u r i s h i n g under the "black l i n e " (of 1949-66) s t i l l harboured bourgeois or revisionist ideologies, both i n their interest i n the i n d i v i d u a l i t y , rather than the t y p i c a l i t y , of their  characters, and f e l t more answerable to  themselves than their political masters. The Mao  sponsors of "three-in-one" writing groups f e l t (as had  at Yan'an) that the intended recipients of literature were  insufficiently schooled and sophisticated to themselves,  and  produce  i t for  therefore the expertise of intellectuals was 137  needed.  (It would seem that the Cultural Revolution leadership  had l i t t l e respect for the achievements i n education i n the People's Republic, as they s t i l l thought i n the Yan'an terms of sending authors "down" to the masses to create mass literature, and concentrated their energies, l i k e Mao, rather than refinement.)  The new  on a c c e s s i b i l i t y  leadership sought to utilise  the technical talents of these intellectuals yet deprive them the means to express line. to  viewpoints  that  might conflict with Party  The means to that end at Yan'an and in the 1950's had been  i n s i s t that authors should transform  prolonged contact with the masses and by  their thinking study  and  Jiang  Qing,  tougher  the artist  provide  the  masses  are  Lin  implicit  description of the function of  three components of the creative trinity: the thought,  Under  external controls were added.  The limitations placed on the role of in the Cultural Revolution  by  of Marxism  before getting a freer hand to write themselves. Biao  of  the  "leadership provides  provide the l i f e ,  the  author  the technique.  The "three-in-one" system permitted surveillance of the artist from above (the Party) and below (the masses); in practice i t was the Party that exercised the decisive role, especially over the s l i g h t production of the early 1970's.  Jiang Qing  indicated to Roxanne Witke that she reserved the right to ignore the opinions of the masses i f they did not suit her purposes, in a process she called "democratic centralism on a broad scale." The  "History  of Battles at Hongnan composition group" 138  4  had  f i v e members based in Shanghai county, a densely farming area to the west of the c i t y of Shanghai. Party representative,  answerable to  Chunqiao i n Beijing,  and  rectitude  of  professional,  the work. an  had experienced  writers in  this  Tian.  slot.-*)  young residents of Shanghai county,  from metropolitan part  Shanghai  after  of the Cultural Revolution  was  (Other such groups  had been selected on  l o c a l journals.  the  but had been  rustication  basis  two-line struggle between Maoist and on  there as  of urban youth. writing  was supplied  group:  by Yao  the writing  revisionist  team:  (i.e., Liu  the collectivisation of suburban  agricultural land in Hongnan village in early 1950's.  sent  of reports written for  The theme of the novel  policies  was set.  high-school graduation  Wenyuan through the Party representative on  Shaoqi-inspired)  three were  the novel  Nor had they volunteered for membership in the they  a literary  The other  where  The three were not native to the area,  and Zhang  the i d e o l o g i c a l  The second member Zhou  There was a  Yao Wenyuan  responsible for  editor named  populated  Shanghai county in the  The choice of Hongnan county was to celebrate an  editorial comment written by Mao commending the achievements of collectivisation there; the Chairman could thus be kept as close 0  as possible to the action. After  discussion between the Party  representative and the literary professional, a plot outline was prepared i n four sections,  one each to be written by  professional and the three young writers. duties,  Released from other  the four writers conducted research into the history 139  the  of  collectivisation in the area and  then  wrote  rewritten  by  by  interviewing  area residents,  their respective sections.  Zhou Tian,  These  who added a prologue and an  were  epilogue.  The writing process was completed in a year and a half,^ no mean feat for a novel of six hundred pages. The  "three-in-one" system in operation for the  writing  of  History of Battles at Hongnan was slightly different from the one which  had  produced Lin Biao's literary exemplar,  The  Song  of  had  likewise  Q Ouyang  Hai  required  six years before. i t s author  to  The earlier novel  produce  imagination rather than his own,  a  figment  of  the  Party's  and had involved extensive field  research among the comrades of the eponymous martyr. However the literary professional, Jin Jingmai, had written the work alone the  "masses" furnished the  raw  material  for  the  novel  — and  suggested revisions, but did not provide young hack writers whose work  could be rewritten by a more  experienced  colleague.  Though Jin Jingmai had more control over the form of his novel, the guiding  principle was  the Party's,  the  message in palatable  the same:  input  was  writer(s) merely serving to present  the  form.  the decisive  The ideological differences between  the two works cannot be ascribed to their authors, Party l i n e when  history  and s o c i a l relationships prevailing  the novels were composed. Chief  the  on  but to the  two  society.  among these differences was the analysis presented in novels of the chief contradicions existing  in  Chinese  In The Song of Ouyang Hai, the struggle i s exemplified 140  within the hero himself, with  Ouyang  himself  Hai  to  Battles  learning to efface the self  and  altruism,  to  dedicate  his f e l l o w - s o l d i e r s and society. In History  at  becoming  between self-fulfillment and  Hongnan,  this same contradiction  is  of  externalised,  a class struggle between proletarians possessed of  self-denial  like  Ouyang Hai's and  representatives  proletarian classes (middle-peasants,  landlords,  of  non-  bourgeois  intellectuals, etc.) who for various selfish or malevolent reasons oppose the policies set forward by Mao.  The de-emphasis of class  in the earlier novel and i t s re-emphasis a change  in  the Party's  policy.  II. Historical Background: "What  is  in the second follows  Agricultural Collectivisation  the purpose of going over historical events  more?"  asks  the narrator rhetorically towards the end  novel's  prologue.  The  answer:  "the  purpose  is  to  once  of  the  explain  history, to explain historical experience."  9  As i t s t i t l e makes plain, the subject of History of Battles at  Hongnan  i s history;  like the Model Operas,  i t provides  revised version of a c r i t i c a l phase in China's recent past. collectivisation  of agriculture, a process which began  after the communist victory,  a The  shortly  was chosen for historical review in  the f i r s t Cultural Revolution novel for three major reasons:  it  had been of immense organisational and ideological importance  in  the building of the new society of the People's Republic; been  the  f i r s t sign after the communist victory of  a  i t had conflict  between two opposing developmental strategies; and i t had already provided  the  setting  for popular novels presenting a  view  of  history of which the Cultural Revolution leadership disapproved. The single  Communist Party's promise of land to the t i l l e r was the most  important  factor in radicalizing the peasantry,  without whom there could have been land reform,  which began as the  no  communist victory.  communists took  over new rural  areas during the c i v i l war and was completed after 1949, means whereby the Chinese peasants were persuaded themselves over their land  in  an  landlords  economic  and  and  The  was the  to  take possession  assert of  the  ideological transformation known  as fanshen (usually translated as "emancipation").  William  Hinton, in his account  of the land reform in a Northern Chinese  village, attests that  "through this process they [the peasants]  had  transformed themselves from passive victims of natural and  s o c i a l forces into active was  the  essence  Under household  the  builders  of fanshen."  land reform,  of  poorer peasants, soon became clear, same families least able  to  This  land,  agricultural equipment  among  landlords hired  wealthy and  allowing them to farm i n family units.  It  in the  the  and  and  hands  especially  who  new world.  10  possessions confiscated from  peasants were redistributed  a  poorer areas,  that  had been destitute before land reform  cope  equipment, manpower,  with  individual  farming,  the were  lacking  and the c a p i t a l to buy seeds and  f e r t i l i s e r , while the r e l a t i v e l y  prosperous 142  middle-peasants  were able  to  take  Agricultural prevent  rural  the fullest advantage of land reform.  collectivisation  society  from  was  seen as  degenerating once  divided between rich and poor,  exploiter and  were,  within  however,  manner side  disagreements  thus  more into  exploited.  Briefly  held that the creation of wealth was the and  means to one  There  the leadership as to  and the pace of collectivisation.  collectivisation,  the  that  the  stated,  one  prerequisite for  the  move  toward  collectivisation should wait until the more successful individual farmers  had  stability;  amassed for  prerequisite  the  some capital other  side,  in a  period  of  collectivisation  social  was  the  for the creation of wealth by the poorer peasants,  who  had been the communists' natural constituency  before  and  who  reverting  were  in danger of being bankrupted  servitude.  For  and  tenancy  or  this latter side,  a  towards  collectivisation was essential, and should be  1949,  swift  to  move  achieved  through mass mobilisation. 19  Thus,  within months of the communist victory, "two  on developmental  strategy were evident within the  Party leadership,  in  varying i n t e n s i t y  a  conflict  until  the  that  has  present  lines"  Communist  continued  day.  with  The  first,  c e n t r a l i s t , organised and pragmatic, and associated with Liu Shaoqi, has been described second,  as  "the  populist, i n s p i r a t i o n a l  i d e n t i f i e d with Mao  Soviet and  as the "Yan'an Way."  Model;"  the  has  been  Utopian,  Mao  was  responsible for forcing the pace of c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n 143  the  one  i n the  1950's,  from the early  cooperatives, through the higher-level  collectives to the people's communes in the  Great Leap Forward;  while Liu and his followers are seen as having precipitancy of Mao's initiatives  and,  opposed the  after Mao's death, moved  towards the d e c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n of agriculture.  The  breach  between these two conflicting strategies became public with the attacks on L i u Shaoqi i n the mid-1960's,  and the  which  minimise  had previously  been  careful  to  Party media, differences  and present the image of a united leadership, was  suddenly  required to  counter-  revise the h i s t o r i c a l record to show a  revolutionary Liu  Shaoqi  Mao's brilliant and prior to  the  repeatedly attempting to undermine  popular p o l i c i e s .  Since novels produced  Cultural Revolution had,  in line with other Party  writing, portrayed s o l i d a r i t y rather than within  the  Party  on  the  "line  issue  struggle"  of collectivisation,  now new fiction was now required to f i l l the gap. Agricultural number  of  Among  them  Changes Qing's  had been the  subject  novels written in the late 1950's and were  in  Zhao Shuli's  Sanliwan,  a_ Mountain Village (Shanxiang  History  Builders). ^  early  Zhou  14  a  1960's.  Libo's Great  jubian), ^  of Setting Up (Chuangye shi,  of  and  Liu  translated as  The  1  (These three novels are among those analysed in Joe  1  C. Huang's  collectivisation  study  of  the  Collectivisation novels, nevertheless  pre-Cultural Revolution though set in a particular  novel.^) area,  used a single village as a microcosm for the  have whole  Chinese countryside, showing the means whereby typical objections  to  c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n are overcome and Party p o l i c i e s can win  popular support.  In Sanliwan (1958), o p p o s i t i o n  to the  c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n of recently allocated plots i s shown as a natural conservatism,  which can be broken  down by explaining  the superiority of the collective way, and by providing a vision of a better,  s o c i a l i s t , future.  Great Changes i n a Mountain  Village (1958) deals at length with middle peasant opposition to, and  obstruction of,  admits  collectivisation;  the author  the policy's unpopularity with those  success  of i n d i v i d u a l  opposition  farming.  i s understandable,  To  but  able  Zhou  deluded,  candidly to make a  Libo,  such  though  their  conversion to socialist thinking, at least as he describes i t , i s less convincing than their resistance to i t . Setting  Up (1959) that  collectivisation  the c o n f l i c t  and c o n s e r v a t i v e  intimately portrayed,  with the  focus  on a father and his adopted son. Third, i s overjoyed reform,  and  that  eluded h i s family i s f i n a l l y Shengbao,  as a Party  member,  between  within a single family,  land  the prosperity within reach.  Gaffer Liang the in  the  His son with  building family  Though he could certainly prosper as a private farmer, chooses  the path of c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n  father f i r s t to frustrated rage,  land  that has always  i s more concerned  less capable neighbors than with  socialist  i n d i v i d u a l i s m i s most  The father,  at being assigned  believes  It i s in History of  Liang their  fortunes. Shengbao  instead, arousing  his  then to grudging tolerance and  finally to loving acceptance. 145  The  conflict  collectivisation essentially  in  three as  socialism,  advocating  novels  one  conservatism;  progress towards  i s seen  the  perceived  against peasant  viewpoint.  between the forces  of  and  mentioned  opposing above  progressive  the  is  thinking  authors take the side  of  but are sympathetic to the other  It i s not an analysis based on class struggle,  which  as having been l e f t behind when the landlords and r i c h  peasants were denounced and stripped of their land i n the land reform.  Rather the  "among the  people"  contradictions  are  non-antagonistic,  (renmin neibu), even within a single family  or individual. The  Cultural  presenting  the  understandable wickedness. and  Revolution perspective i s a  same opposition conservatism  to  different  collectivisation  or delusion,  personifying  good and  evil.  not  as  but as stupidity  The conflict has been externalised,  villains  one,  with  There  or  heroes  are  class  enemies at work in History of Battles at Hongnan, and within the Party The  there i s a struggle between the policies of Cultural  Leisheng, concerned merits  Revolution  unlike with  his  predecessor  Liang  cadre,  and Liu.  here  Shengbao,  prosecuting class struggle than  of collectivisation.  the two heroes,  collectivist  Mao  i s more  explaining  The key to the difference  Hong  the  between  and the two "histories" in which they appear, i s  the adherence of the later work to the opera model.  146  III. Application of the Opera Model i) Characterisation The novel's characters, like those of the Model Operas, f i t into  a "three prominences" system.  the  central hero Hong Leisheng,  heroes, prone  and leads the "masses", to doubt and backsliding.  inside more  The action revolves  who i s supported by  around  secondary  who are generally approving but Opposing forces include  and outside the Communist Party.  Naturally,  those  there are  characters i n a long novel than i n operas a tenth of i t s  length;  the categories whose numbers are  increased are the  masses and the negative characters. a. A_ New Hero of Collectivisation Hong  Leisheng,  scion of an impoverished hired hand  and the leader of the poor peasants of Hongnan, of  family  i s the organiser  the f i r s t collective farming enterprise in the novel and the  defender  of Mao's line  opposition.  In a  against the various  assaults  prologue set before 1949, he  of the  appears as  an underground activist for the Party and a Red Army soldier who i s demobilised to his home v i l l a g e ;  by the start of the novel  proper he i s head of the l o c a l branch of the Communist Youth League. One difference between Leisheng and his opera counterparts i s in his youthfulness.  Intuitively correct though his judgments  may be, he lacks experience, and we are constantly reminded by  147  the narrator of the limitations of his knowledge.  Dependence i s  not so much on his fellow v i l l a g e r s as on Mao: at every step he is  guided  by  quotations from  considerable length crisis,  and  (which  i n heavy type).  directives come deus  only follow  Mao  ex machina,  appear at  At moments of  which Leisheng need  to be assured of victory. Leisheng believes totally  in Mao's omniscience: "Chairman Mao i s truly b r i l l i a n t !  Chairman  Mao i s i n Beijing, how i s i t that Chairman Mao knows everything happens here,  that  eyes."  just as i f he had seen i t with h i s own  18  Leisheng shares with the boy soldier heroes of the 1960's the desire to be no more than an instrument of the Chairman's w i l l , a passivity that makes him a weaker figure than, say, Jiang Shuiying of Ode to Dragon River; but he shares her suspicion of class  enemies,  Leisheng's the reading  and triumphs  i n his conflicts  willing subservience  them.  i s expressed as he listens to  of the text by Mao  collectivisation  with  praising  the progress of  at Hongnan:  Leisheng raised h i s head to gaze at the p o r t r a i t of Chairman Mao i n the centre of the podium at the meeting h a l l , and the great leader was s m i l i n g at him. A hot surge rose i n Leisheng's heart as he s i l e n t l y repeated his vow to Chairman Mao: "Chairman Mao, Chairman Mao, I, Hong Leisheng, son of a hired hand, w i l l always obey you, and hurry towards socialism and communism. No force however strong can destroy my faith and r e s o l u t i o n to go forward." 19 Within the terms of the novel, this  utter reliance i s enough to  bring Leisheng victory at every turn.  148  But the narrator i s at  pains to point out, the l i t e r a r y hero,  i n a lengthy d i s q u i s i t i o n on the nature of that Leisheng i s no  of Zhuge Liang of Three Kingdoms,  genius, i n the manner  who can forsee the future and  uses people as pawns i n a game of chess.  Rather, the narrator  i n s i s t s (though there i s l i t t l e evidence i n the text to support the assertion),  Leisheng's  reliance on the masses.  strength i s derived from  his  There i s genius at work in the novel,  though i t i s not, to be sure, the hero who possesses i t ; rather i t i s Leisheng of  himself  who  i s the pawn in the mighty  hand  the Chairman, moving forward step by step as Mao directs. Hong Leisheng i s a supremely " s o c i a l " hero, lacking i n any  individual characteristics. his character was based  on  If,  as one of the  authors  a  r e a l - l i f e village  cadre,  the portrait has been "typified" out of a l l recognition, point where i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s extinguished. paler figure than Liang Shengbao  of  Leisheng,  is  primarily  collectivisation policies,  concerned  then  to  the  This makes him a  History of  even despite the "three prominences."  said,  Setting  Up,  Though Shengbao,  like  with  carrying  out  Party  he also has a softer side, seen both  in his relations with his step-father and mother, and in a failed romance  with  a  strong-willed  girl  whom he  exasperates  and  alienates with his constant postponement of courtship. Leisheng, by  comparison,  has neither the time not the inclination  anything but struggle and organise.  149  to  do  b. Secondary Heroes Support as  was  from  from secondary heroes i n the higher echelons  enjoyed by the opera heroes Yang Zirong and  Yan  (such Weicai  their commanding officers) i s a l l the more important in the  case of a hero as youthful as Hong Leisheng, especially when  he  has the temerity to challenge the L i u i s t p o l i c i e s of the l o c a l Party authorities. Leisheng's mentor who  Here i t i s the in  Party o f f i c a l An Kerning,  the prologue and throughout the novel,  supplies him p e r i o d i c a l l y with  lectures him on  the  importance  (though he i s constrained by the r i f t within the Party  the  works  of Mao  and  of vigilance for class struggle  Party solidarity until  from explaining  the youngster has himself  joined). Another supporter directly drawn from an opera stereotype i s Leisheng's mother.  Mama Hong i s a woman of the same type as  the militant  grannies of the Model Works,  the violence  inflicted  on  them.  though she i s spared  Like them,  she  is  loving  and s o l i c i t o u s towards the hero, and arouses his determination with a s t i r r i n g resistance.  recitation  Her virtues  past  oppression  and  include frugality (she lights her house  at night only to entertain Mao's  of  guests or to allow her son to study  writings), and patriotism, sewing to help the war effort  in Korea. Dynamic  young activists —  an  example in the Model Operas —  in  Cultural  Revolution fiction.  Alian of Ode to Dragon River i s are common secondary Here we have 150  Zhang  heroines Baozhen,  whose  militance  supporters  i s revealed to best effect  decide  when  Liu Shaoqi  to establish a collective in deference to  Mao's orders, but admit only middle peasants with  a view to  ensuring economic success. Baozhen, in Leisheng's absence, leads the  poor peasant protest.  c. The Masses The masses in the novel comprise those peasants who are not leading advocates  of either the Maoist or Liuist lines.  are  both poor  the  l a t t e r doubters,  ordained defines of  chapter  middle peasants, and  each  their characterisation i n Chinese  which of  the former sufferers and  behaves  class characteristics.  Classes  fenxi),  and  There  The  according to h i s  class  i s Mao's  analysis  that  1926 essay "Analysis  Society" (Zhongguo shehui ge j i e j i  the narrator  updates  the novel proper.  to 1949 i n the f i r s t  Mao's essay posits that, the  poorer the peasant, the more inclined he  i s to the cause of the  Communist Party; i n the updated version, this means not joining the  revolution, but collectivising. Hardship and indecision may  s t a l l the poor peasant from making the decision to support c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n , but he i s destined to do so. the  middle peasants  By  contrast,  seek only their own economic gain,  and  though this may take them into the c o l l e c t i v e , they remain a disruptive force  there.  The authors are constrained by the  Party's land reform policy peasants  from  portraying  of a l l i a n c e them  with  as v i l l a i n s ,  the  middle  but the  contempt i n which the narrator and the novel hold them leaves l i t t l e  doubt  the  belief  alliance  policy.  Mao's  poor peasants of  the  people  thinking  of Hongnan at  the  their distaste  for  in  transformation has been a l l but abandoned; of  of  the  man's potential for as the narrator says  novel's  end:  in each case bears the mark of their class and  "their status,  99  with no exceptions. Typical family the  of  the poor peasant sufferers i s Xu  Tugen, whose  shared with the Hongs the doubtful distinction  worst  off in the village before  the  land  of  being  reform.  Even  afterwards financial difficulties, including his wife's sickness, mean that Xu i s unable to manage on his own.  He seems doomed to  sell  helps  his  Leisheng's provide  land and hire himself out i f noone willingness  other  to  support  admit Xu into  him.  Hong  his cooperative and  are designed to show  the  hero's  close  a f f i l i a t i o n with the most disadvantaged members of society. By  contrast,  Niu  Husheng represents the middle  Niu joins the cooperative early on, his  brother,  who  stays  and thereby earns more  out.  collectivisation i s strictly limited. value  of  peasants.  But  his  than  commitment  to  He bickers about the cash  his investment when joining and tries  to  force  the  cooperative to s e l l i t s produce on the private market rather than to  the state (which i s seen as dishonourable  the narrator).  by  Niu's grasping nature i s clearly incorrigible, as  i t stems naturally from his class. argument  money-grubbing  between  Leisheng  and Niu  The narrator concludes of an Husheng: 152  " a l l men  have  feelings,  but  feelings." Such  people  of different  classes  rigid  only  permits  different  23  class  analysis  deprives the novel  potential for character development. the  have  device available  any degree  character."  There  from  The the  of any  authors also shun Model  of ambiguity or flexiblity,  Operas that the "turnabout  are none i n this novel.  d. Enemies Within and Without The Model Operas invariably and humiliation  conclude  of the hero's enemies.  with  the unmasking  In History of  at Hongnan,  some  for further  volumes that were to continue the story.  of the conflicts are left unresolved,  clearest in the case Party, peasant  saved  This i s  of Leisheng's two adversaries within the  the county Party cadre  Battles  secretary  Pu  Chunhua and the middle  Gao Quwen, both of whom represent the Liu Shaoqi  line on agricultural development. Pu Chunhua i s one of a new kind of v i l l a i n , d i s t i n c t from those in the operas, brought into Cultural Revolution literature to personify the Liuist road —  the senior Party o f f i c i a l opposed  to the hero and the Chairman. In later manifestations, this type becomes the "capitalist-roader" v i l l a i n . (from the author's point of view) are  urban,  has  no  prosperous  knowledge  of  His class background i s  highly  and intellectual.  suspect. Being  His family urban,  the countryside; being prosperous,  he he  cannot t e l l rich from poor in the villages where living standards 153  are generally low;  and as an intellectual  he  i s (in the new  conventions of the Cultural Revolution) myopic, g u l l i b l e and arrogant.  As the Party o f f i c i a l responsible for  he outranks An Kerning) he i s keen for to show to  his  superiors,  involving middle peasants,  and  with only middle  insisting  Party  "meddlesome his  policies. is  When  Leisheng  peasants, He  regards  carrying out  of  of  official  he counters  by  Leisheng  a  brat" (maoshou maojiao de xiao haizi) the  ventures  and other poor  Hongnan's f i r s t  solidarity.  interference in  results  invariably supports  forming  cooperative on  good production  seeing them as more capable  delivering the desired results. peasants object to Pu's  Hongnan (where  Party  as  and  resents  (or  Liuist)  Judgment i s suspended in this volume as to whether he  merely  deluded  or  a  "right  that had the saga ground i t s way  opportunist;" we may assume  to the anti-rightist campaign,  Pu would have had his come-uppance. Pu's member,  ally the  at  the local level  i s Hongnan's  wealthy middle peasant Gao Quwen.  first  Party  The selfishness  that the authors regard as innate to his class ( c f . Chang Fu of Ode  to Dragon River) runs counter to the altruism expected of a  peasant cadre. cooperative, (whereas  Thus when he assigns tasks to he i n s i s t s that his own  model  would have  cadres  their  land  like  land  Leisheng  t i l l e d last).  be worked or  9  first  Jiang Shuiying  This, explains the  narrator, derives from "the exploiter mentality middle peasant."  members of his  of  the wealthy  S  Because Gao i s  a Party member rather than 154  an o r d i n a r y m i d d l e p e a s a n t , h i s c o n f l i c t w i t h L e i s h e n g l i n e s t r u g g l e and i n n e r - P a r t y  conflict.  J u s t a s Mao, r a t h e r than L e i s h e n g ,  i s t h e r e a l hero o f t h e  n o v e l , so i s L i u S h a o q i t h e r e a l v i l l a i n . by  surrogates,  of attempting  cognitive three of  Mao's  I t i s L i u Shaoqi who i s  suppressing  p u b l i c a t i o n o f volume  S e l e c t e d Works; and when Gao Quwen's mercenary  bring him i n t o c o n f l i c t  Chunhua c o m f o r t e d  Gao  of p u b l i c and p r i v a t e traitor  L i u Shaoqi."  reform,  Liu's  with  (gong-si At  supposedly  ronghua  these e a r l y  treacherous  role  though  arouse  the peasants.  suspicion  among  c o n f u s e d by t h e h a l f - h e a r t e d n e s s a Party  official)  Hong L e i s h e n g :  "Pu  Quwen w i t h t h e t h e o r y o f t h e d i s s o l u t i o n  the i n h a b i t a n t s o f Hongnan,  as  that  t o a r r e s t Leisheng's p o l i t i c a l and  d e v e l o p m e n t by  tendencies  The b a t t l e s a r e f o u g h t  but t h e n a r r a t o r c o n s t a n t l y reminds us  L i u ' s hand i s a t work behind t h e scenes. accused  i s both  towards  l u n ) of the great stages  i s concealed  the actions  o f Pu  of the land from  of h i s agents  When Mama Hong i s  Chunhua (whom she r e v e r e s  h e r son's M a o i s t  views, the  n a r r a t o r excuses h e r p e r p l e x i t y t h u s : Of c o u r s e Mama Hong can't be expected t o know a s yet that there i s a counter-revolutionary r e v i s i o n i s t l i n e i n t h e P a r t y r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e t r a i t o r L i u S h a o q i , and t h a t t h e r e a r e a m i n o r i t y o f P a r t y members r e c e p t i v e t o r e v i s i o n i s m by r e a s o n o f a c l a s s s t a n d p o i n t and w o r l d v i e w arising f r o m t h e i r c l a s s s t a t u s and experience ... 27 Outside significant,  the  Communist  villains  Party,  the other,  of the piece are the r i c h  155  and  less  peasant L a i  Fucai,  who  tries to profit from Xu Tugen's bankruptcy by buying  his  land,  the  collective;  deceased  and then spreads rumours with a view to and  Jiang Yexian,  landlord.  Such  obligatory but very weak,  discrediting  trouble-making niece  villains  outside  the  of  Party  a are  having l i t t l e power, few brains and no  popular support. i i ) Plot The  purpose of the plots of the Model Operas, as Qian  Haoliang's remarks on L i Yuhe and The Red Lantern quoted in the last chapter illustrate, i s largely to demonstrate the character of the hero.  Since History of Battles at Hongnan i s more about  history than character, i t i s to be expected that plot plays a greater role in the novel. The story i s of c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n as the unfolding of the theories of Mao.  Since Mao and Liu are the  e f f e c t i v e hero and v i l l a i n , the c o n f l i c t s in the novel are the embodiment of the "line struggles" of the early 1950's, with Hong Leisheng and his rivals enacting that struggle at village level. The l i f e l e s s n e s s of the characters arises i n part  from their  surrogate nature, in part from their creation by four different pens,  none daring  to imbue c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that might  be  contradicted elsewhere. The  disparity of authorial input between the four  sections of  the novel i s clearer in the case of the plot, which i s riddled with  inconsistencies.  section  Two  examples:  Pu Chunhua i s  I frustrating Leisheng's attempts to join the  156  seen  in  Communist  Party,  yet in section III Leisheng i s suddenly a Party  member,  without any of the fanfare a hero's admission to the Party  might  be expected to involve. Also, i n the novel's f i n a l section, a younger s i s t e r preceding  the hero emerges,  unmentioned i n the  498 pages.  Like series  to  the operas,  History of Battles at Hongnan  traces a  of contradictions involving the hero, r i s i n g to a  climax of sorts at story's end. The  action  begins  of two cooperatives,  in 1951  The f i r s t consists of Hong  Leisheng and seven poor peasant girls  including  Zhang Baozhen.  set up to r i v a l i t , i s grouped around the middle  peasant and Party member Gao Quwen. cooperative  the establishment  each representing one side of the policy  conflict that dominates the novel.  The second,  with  Gao's middle-peasant  has the approval of Pu Chunhua,  the county  Party  secretary, while Hong's i s set up on the advice of An Kerning, Pu's  deputy.  because are  Gao  of Xu's poverty,  drawn between  Leisheng and An more  refuses to admit Xu Tugen to his group but Leisheng accepts him.  The lines  the Maoist poor-peasant collectivisation of  Kerning  prosperous farmers  on the one hand and the reliance on associated with Liu Shaoqi and here  represented by Pu Chunhua and Gao Quwen. To  help  them survive their f i r s t winter,  Leisheng and  his friends earn money by dismantling landlord graves located on their newly  acquired land and s e l l i n g the bricks.  This i s  achieved despite a show of grief put on by Jiang Yexian, the  157  daughter of a former l o c a l tyrant whose grave the dismantle.  A group of rich peasants form a  take advantage of government aid, Tugen refuse to give up any of  but  from  well i n Gao  cooperative,  Quwen's  third cooperative to  Zhang  a shipment  f e r t i l i s i n g the land)  Baozhen and Xu  of effluent (for  Shanghai. Meanwhile as  peasants  the  a l l i s not  middle-peasant  selfishness of i t s members  (including i t s leader) interferes  constantly with cooperation.  The problems accompanying  first  c o o p e r a t i v e ventures  cause  Leisheng  simultaneously with Mao and as a result of of  "Get Organised" (Zuzhi q i l a i )  z o  to  these  realise,  studying the  that a more  text  advanced  stage  of collectivisation i s necessary. A part  larger collective unit i s duly established in the of  the novel.  the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y rather than  second  The organisation of the c o l l e c t i v e of Pu Chunhua,  Leisheng,  is  and he selects Gao Quwen,  to lead i t .  So keen i s Pu that the  c o l l e c t i v e should be an economic success and r e f l e c t credit on himself join at leads The  that he  i s reluctant to allow the poor peasants to  a l l ; in Leisheng's  the  absence  poor peasants in demanding,  problems of c o l l e c t i v i s i n g  personified  by  to  the value of the  falsify  collective  i t i s Zhang Baozhen  to  harvest comes.  Niu Husheng,  maximise  who  the  and gaining,  are  tries (among other tricks)  goods  he  puts  his investment-related  policy  admission.  middle-peasants  On An Keming's advice,  himself to the unpalatable  who  in  to  the  dividend when  Leisheng  resigns  of uniting with the middle  158  peasants. As collective head, Gao Quwen discriminates against the poor peasants, assigning them work which w i l l give them a lower share than  middle peasants of future income.  The reason he gives for  this  i s that middle peasants are more capable than  Leisheng disproves this by outworking Niu Husheng. arise  between Leisheng and the middle peasants:  insists on selling a l l produce to the state —  poor  ones;  Two disputes  first  Leisheng  the correct  path  by Cultural Revolution standards — rather than on the lucrative private market; then he suggests building an irrigation system to combat  drought,  but the middle  peasants  will  not commit  themselves to capital projects and do not want trenches dug on their own land.  Despite these  disputes, which are designed to  show the intermediate level of cooperation as unsatisfactory, the second section ends on a high note, with a good harvest attesting to the efficacy of collectivisation. The Chunhua attempts  ideological continues  conflict  between  Hong  Leisheng  in the third part of the novel.  to prevent  a neighbouring  village  First  from  a c o l l e c t i v e because they have no Party member.  and Pu Pu  forming  Then Zhang  Baozhen and Xu Tugen clash with Niu Husheng over Niu's attempts to market collective  produce  through middlemen. Pu resents the  constant interference of Leisheng and in what he sees  as administrative  his poor peasant friends matters,  but Leisheng's  i n t u i t i v e judgments find support i n an extensive exegesis of Mao's works by An Kerning.  The section ends with a plan underway  159  to set up a  higher-level c o l l e c t i v e  investment,  i n response  Transformation wenti).  Mao's  "On  the  on  Cooperative  of A g r i c u l t u r e " (Guanyu nongye hezuohua  Hong  29  to  with no dividends  Leisheng,  now  a  Party  member,  secretary of the newly formed Hongnan Party branch.  becomes  Thus a small  triumph concludes section III, with the completion of a further step i n still  the  path  dictated by Mao,  though Pu Chunhua  is  in control and s t i l l opposed to Leisheng. The fourth and f i n a l section begins with Leisheng's struggle  for  swift  collectivisation vindicated when an article  praising  the setting-up of cooperative farming programmes at Hongnan wins the praise of Mao.  At this point in the novel,  i s incorporated into historical fiction: editorial Upsurge  comment,  appears  historical fact  the article, with Mao's  in the 1955  compilation Socialist  in China's Countryside (Zhongguo nongcun de  gaochao).  The  bureaucratic"  article  desire  condemns as "conservative,  those  Chunhua), have  o f f i c i a l s who  suppressed  the  for c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n .  this a r t i c l e that raises dedication  quoted  above.  At this  Pu  peasants'  laudable  to the rapturous  self-  Chunhua i s unbowed by the a  derisively  low  crucial moment, the authors bring in past biterness."  who, at the request of  recounts a saga of grinding  and  ( l i k e the novel's Pu  new collective  the opera device of " r e c a l l i n g speaker i s Mama Hong,  timid  It i s the public reading of  Leisheng  criticism and gives Leisheng's o f f i c i a l rating.  shehuizhuyi  Zhang  Here the Baozhen,  poverty and oppression before 1949.  160  Her  t a l k i s a v i l l a g e e q u i v a l e n t o f Granny L i ' s r e c o l l e c t i o n s i n  The Red L a n t e r n , and h a s t h e same e f f e c t slogans  —  tears,  and  then  i n c l u d i n g c a l l s f o r revenge on p a s t e x p l o i t e r s :  "Don't  f o r g e t c l a s s o p p r e s s i o n , bear i n mind e n m i t y f o r g e d i n b l o o d and tears!" final  Leisheng  3 1  and h i s f o l l o w e r s a r e t h u s p r e p a r e d  c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e i r enemies o u t s i d e  comes a s a d v e r s e w e a t h e r  the  Party.  t o p l e a d p o v e r t y and  r e l i e f funds i n an a t t e m p t t o bankrupt t h e c o l l e c t i v e .  to  them  invest their  withdrawals. caught  It  claim  The  l i n i n g up a t t h e c o l l e c t i v e ' s  poor  office  s a v i n g s a s t h e r i c h p e a s a n t s l i n e up t o make  Shamed, t h e r i c h p e a s a n t s w i t h d r a w . J i a n g Y e x i a n i s  trying  intentions  by  a  c o n d i t i o n s lead the wealthy peasants,  at the i n s t i g a t i o n of L a i F u c a i ,  peasants outface  for  of  to  sabotage the i r r i g a t i o n  system,  the  evil  L a i F u c a i a r e exposed, and t h e r e i s t r i u m p h among  t h e poor p e a s a n t s . The t r i u m p h i s by no means as d e c i s i v e as t h o s e w h i c h c l i m a x the  Model  Operas.  resolution, masses  on  The c o n f l i c t w i t h i n t h e P a r t y a w a i t s  though  i t i s c l e a r t h a t L e i s h e n g has Mao  h i s side,  future conflicts.  so t h e r e a d e r i s t o assume  With  the  a n t a g o n i s t s shelved, the i l l - d e f i n e d enemies point  where  the  h i s triumph i n  c o n f l i c t between the  principal  f i n a l c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e t o k e n and  o u t s i d e t h e P a r t y i s an a n t i - c l i m a x a t a  a grand  u n f u l f i l l e d promise of  and  final  finale  was  sorely  needed.  The  a second volume can s c a r c e l y have e x c i t e d  i t s r e a d e r s , even a f t e r a s i x - y e a r d e a r t h o f n o v e l s .  161  IV. Non-operatic Elements Even for such rigorously orthodox writers as the History Battles  at  resolve  a l l the formal aspects of writing prose  this  Hongnan writing team,  end,  the  tradition  authors  borrowed  the opera  from  novel  the  could  not  narrative.  "national  of  To  forms"  that had already shaped the communist novel,  and from  the rhetorical style of the political discourse of the  Cultural  Revolution. narrator  In are  the  preface  (yinzi) and in the  role  of  the  seen the elements which relate least to  the  opera model. The operas do not have prologues; with  historical context being supplied by the recalling of  bitterness. a  they start In medias res,  xiezi  Yuan  Earlier in the Chinese operatic tradition, however,  or "wedge" began a drama (for example the za.ju  dynasty) introducing  situations. chapters hundred  past  In  main  characters  some of the classic Chinese  function and  the  as a mystical genesis,  eight  and  novels,  or creation  malign spirits released  by  of  an  the their  prefatory myth: a incautious  imperial envoy become the heroes of The Water Margin, and a magic stone rejected when the goddess Nugua repaired the heavens i s identified with both narrator and central figure in The Dream of the Red Chamber. retained ,  but  genesis, whereby start  of  the  In the communist novel, shorn  the preface i s often  of i t s mystical aspect,  as a  cognitive  the ideological growth of the hero prior to the novel  proper i s explained.  c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n novel History of Setting Up, 162  In Liu Qing's as well as in  History of Battles at Hongnan (and also Hao Ran's The Golden Road,  the subject of  the next  hero's l i f e before 1949 otherwise In  set  in the  makes only  are recounted  to  incidents  from the  introduce  a  Liang Shengbao f i r s t appears  to be ruined by usury,  Hongnan,  his stepfather,  His b i t t e r experience  rationale for his conversion to communism.  the "A  title  of the preface to History of  Fledgling Eagle" (Chuying),  brave  An  enemy lines near his home.  i s not e m p i r i c a l but  at  that  the  Though immature,  Leisheng i s s t i l l a Kerning through  young  Battles  i t i s plain  young Leisheng i s already of heroic stuff.  learning  a  taxes and the cost of buying  himself out of the n a t i o n a l i s t army.  From  as  through his own industry and ingenuity, he  a success of cultivating land rented by  provides the  novel  years following the communist victory.  L i u Qing's novel,  timid refugee child;  chapter),  revolutionary as he  metaphysical,  guides  Leisheng's with  his  introduction to the picture of Mao. The scene i n which t h i s occurs sets the tone for the entire novel: [An Kerning] unbuttened his jacket and drew out from his breast a bundle of mimeographed pages, which he reverently opened. The glorious image of the great leader Chairman Mao shone forth before the eyes of young Leisheng. No need for An Kerning to explain [who i t was], young Leisheng realised straight away. Both of them exclaimed with spontaneous unity: "Chairman Mao." Oh Chairman Mao, Chairman Mao, how blessed now i s Hong Leisheng, son of a hired hand! How many h e a r t f e l t words young Leisheng, t h i r s t i n g for fanshen and longing for l i b e r a t i o n , has to say to you! Oh Chairman Mao, how many l i t t l e 163  Leishengs there are who want to grow up l i t by your sun and nourished by your dew. 32 Such the  rhetorical  Model  excess i s unusual even by the  Operas;  standards of  i t establishes the mere image of Mao as the  force that inspires the young Leisheng to go off and join the Red Army, at a time when the boy had never seen or heard the words of Mao (a void that An Kerning f i l l s ) . The passage quoted above i s typical of the novel as a in who  that i t i s the narrator, provides  is  a feature of the Chinese  As  working  the  literary  simulated context of  a  a street-corner audience.  story-teller,  the  narrator  Hongnan relies on tried and tested pages of  The  his function being both to t e l l the story and draw  moral lessons from i t within storyteller  characters,  the bulk of the adulatory rhetoric.  homiletic narrator tradition,  rather than any of the  whole  of History of  techniques.  Battles  at  In the opening  the preface, as the figures of Leisheng and An Kerning  emerge from the shadows to penetrate enemy lines, the reader i s drawn in to the action: Hey! Two people are coming, creeping out of the wheatfield over there to the east of the river! ... Who are they? What can they be doing, braving the wind, tramping through the mud, r i s k i n g their l i v e s by approaching the [enemy] cordon at dead of night? 33 Later i n the same passage,  cliches f a m i l i a r to readers of  traditional fiction set us in the thick of i s " (zhi j i a n ) ,  things: " a l l you see  "from the look of i t " ( k a n l a i ) ,  " i n the  twinkling of an eye" (zhuanyan zhi jian), " i t takes a time to t e l l  164  but i t happened i n a f l a s h " (shuo shi c h i , nei shi kuai). the  political  rhetoric  begins,  however,  narrative ends, and i t i s seldom proper.  Others  of  the fast-paced  recovered  the t r a d i t i o n a l  i n the novel  cliches  occasionally, the sporadic nature of their  When  do occur  use probably being  due to the unfamiliarity of the younger members of the team with the techniques of fiction writing. The  narrator's didactic function far outweighs his role as  entertainer; less  that  narrator's  the simulated context that dominates the novel i s of the street corner than  role  of the classroom.  i s that of the political  instructor  laoshi) of Chinese high-schools and universities, and watchdog. society  (zhengzhi  both pedagogue  His perspective i s the o f f i c i a l view of history,  and human  constantly  The  nature  at the time  of writing,  reminds his readers that twenty years have  and he elapsed,  and  the Cultural Revolution has begun, since the days i n which  the  novel  community Since (and  i s set. Like the political of belief with his audience,  instructor,  he assumes  but not of knowledge.  the younger members of his audience would have  no memory  the older ones perhaps a different memory) of the events  described,  his mandate  i s to inform them of the new  normative  history of collectivisation i n terms of class and line struggles. To  this  end, h i s t o r i c a l  context i s customarily established  before the action of a  chapter i s allowed to begin.  example:  chapter  the  second  interpreting the early  problems  begins  with a l e c t u r e  of collectivisation  165  For  according  to Mao's writings.  It i s  explained  that  the  manifestation of l i n e struggle in  the Party after  between Mao's pursuit of socialist  goals  Party attempting  earliest 1949 was  and others within the  to arrest the progress towards socialism by  clinging to the now outdated "new democracy" of the liberated areas.  The lecture concludes:  This, then, i s the historical background to certain events that take place at the time of the chapter. Hongnan v i l l a g e i s no isolated island ... the two-line struggle within the Party i s even now unfolding i n ways that accord with the l o c a l conditions! 34 Even  with the background so thoroughly explained,  does not trust the reader to infer the desired  the narrator  conclusion  from  the  words and actions of the novel's protagonists,  but intrudes  to  explain how class background and political line  shape men's  personalities.  As  Gao Quwen sets members of his cooperative  to work on his own land f i r s t , this outburst ensues: Ai! Gao Quwen cannot avoid the spontaneous c a p i t a l i s t thinking that binds the wealthy middle peasants; he s t i l l hasn't understood that the key to the problem i s not a l i t t l e b i t of money, but what Leisheng described as "the exploiter mentality of the middle peasant." If he r e a l l y had resolved this problem in his thinking, why would he send the cooperative members to work on his own land first? 35 Most  of the narrator's  instructing nature.  the reader  energies  are thus  on history, class struggle  devoted  to  and human  Periodically he also offers admonition and consolation  to the characters  i n the novel.  Chunhua's derogatory  Leisheng,  shocked at Pu  assessment of Hongnan's new  166  collective,  is  offered words of comfort: Youthful leader of Hongnan c o l l e c t i v e ! Young Party member Hong Leisheng, fully dedicated to the cause of collectivisation! In your heart you blame y o u r s e l f f o r lack of foresight; but we know you couldn't have anticipated this. You are not yet a mature commander who has fought a hundred battles and i s rich in fighting experience, you're just a young leader determined to carry out collectivisation for the masses and propelled by them into the p o l i t i c a l arena. Though you may feel yourself responsible, how could you really be expected to anticipate every possible v a r i a t i o n of class and line struggle? 36 At  of  moments of triumph,  the narrator addresses Mao in terms  reverential awe, praising him for his  assuring  wise  policies and  him of the devotion of the hero and the audience.  (One example  of this has been quoted above.)  The narrator's purpose i s to control completely the reader's perception  of the events described.  The effect i s rather to  alienate the reader from his opinions; pedantic,  dogmatic,  the narratorial voice i s  hectoring and dull,  lacking any glimmer of  humour or ironic detachment to sweeten the didactic p i l l .  It i s  f i c t i o n writing i n the style of the p o l i t i c a l rhetoric of Yao Wenyuan. V. Conclusion History Revolution  of Battles at Hongnan i s f i c t i o n as the C u l t u r a l leadership would have i t written:  composed by  inexperienced writers under close Party supervision i n a "threein-one" composition  team, following the opera model and i t s  "three prominences" characterisation. The taboos cited by Jiang 167  Qing in her 1966 "Summary" are scrupulously avoided.  It i s a  highly polemical novel in which the demands of the " s e l f " are completely subjugated to those of "society." It i s also inept, pedantic and d u l l , proof enough that a system and a formula do not necessarily create a good novel. The "three-in-one" method used i n the writing of The Song of Ouyang  Hai  has  a stultifying  been  shown by Joe C.  Huang  to  have been  process aimed ostensibly at verifying facts  but  in practice better suited to preventing the expression by J i n Jingmai  (the  man  who  put pen to paper) of  anything  but  the  •57  preordained  line.  of History  of Battles at Hongnan,  supplied with supposed to  This  is  a l l the more true in  where the writers were  create.  The inexperience of the writers (three of  written anything  longer than a news report)  ensured that no l i b e r t i e s of i n d i v i d u a l expression with  the  the  could  be  guidelines provided. Those guidelines were  more exacting than any previously imposed rule:  case  plot summaries of the sections of novel they were  whom had never  taken  the  subject  matter,  and  under  communist  the h i s t o r i c a l  and class  analysis expressed were a l l supplied by the authorities  in a  control of the creative process reminiscent  less  mechanised  than) the  Nineteen Eighty-four.  39  Fiction  Department  of  of ( i f  George Orwell's  Under the unrelenting scrutiny of  the  Party authorites, i t would hardly have been possible for an experienced and capable author to breathe any l i f e into the skeleton plot provided to the writers of the composition team. 168  The end result has been described (in an assessment purportedly current i n the mid-1970's) as  "not l i k e a novel, not  like  reportage, not l i k e a c r i t i c a l essay or a p h i l o s o p h i c a l treatise,  yet having elements of a l l four in uncomfortable  coexistence.  The r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for this mess rests squarely  with the Party authorities who,  careless of any criteria but the  p o l i t i c a l , demanded from their hacks a novel that read l i k e a tract.  The  greatest  test  that  the  "three  prominences"  formula imposes  on the author i s that of creating a hero  adheres  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of his predecessors i n the  to the  operas but  who  s t i l l excites the imagination. Of the nine opera  hero(ine)s, only one, Yang Zirong, was regularly cited as the model for r e a l - l i f e heroism; and certainly Hong Leisheng i s not a hero for the reader to emulate.  He i s merely a marionette,  dancing woodenly on strings pulled by a distant and omniscient puppeteer in Beijing. In addition to their failure to produce an engaging hero,  the authors also ignored the single possibility  that the "three prominences" characterisation formula allows  the  author  and  f o r the p r e s e n t a t i o n of doubts,  psychological  complexity:  the  concerns  "turnabout character."  guess at two likely reasons for this omission:  We  may  f i r s t , the Party  representative and the literary professional had neither the wit nor  the imagination  secondly, fear of  to concieve a problematic character;  and  being accused of creating a "middle character"  kept them away from "turnabout characters." The unconvincing nature of the novel robs the h i s t o r i c a l 169  revision of any cogency.  The analysis of the early 1950's  ignores factors like the problems of combatting t r a d i t i o n a l or feudal  t h i n k i n g (the theme  collectivisation) process.  of the e a r l i e r  and local variations i n the  novels on  collectivisation  Here we cite only two questions which should have been  considered f o r the novel to carry some l o c a l credibility.  flavour and  First, the f e r t i l e lands and ready access to urban  markets offered a good l i v i n g to the majority of the fanshen peasants of suburban Shanghai, collectivisation  than in poorer areas (like the Hebei villages of  Hao Ran's fiction); was  leading to greater resistance to  secondly, opposition to the Communist Party  at i t s height i n this  former  "white" area as peasants  resisted pressure to volunteer for service in Korea. History Greeted  of Battles at Hongnan was an ill-starred  initially  i t s "three-in-one" and  praised  project.  as a "new experiment" in fiction writing for team and i t s "three prominences" structure,  occasionally  oblivion thereafter.  until  1975, i t f e l l into  No second volume was ever  41  deserved  published, and  even the village cadre on whom the character of Hong Leisheng was loosely based sexual  was reportedly exposed and jailed after repeated  assaults on young women assigned to his care.  The  novel  worst aspects period for have  has been considered here to i l l u s t r a t e the  of fiction writing in what was generally a lean  literature  been produced  function  and  i n China.  that  was  In few cases can a novel  so occupied with i t s " s o c i a l "  so unconcerned with the i n d i v i d u a l , 170  so  tendentious, reader.  alienating and insulting to the intelligence of the  The same criticisms can, with variations i n degree, be  made of much of the f i c t i o n produced (especially collectively produced) i n the following four and a half author was prepared to test attempt  thereby  to  responsibility versus  the limits  reconcile individual  years.  Only one  of the opera model and  the dilemma expression.  the peasant novelist Hao Ran, and his f i r s t  That  of s o c i a l author  Cultural Revolution  novel The Golden Road w i l l be examined i n the next chapter.  171  was  CHAPTER 5 EXPLORING THE LIMITS: THE GOLDEN ROAD  The will 1974,  two volumes of Hao Ran's novel The Golden  be considered in this chapter, and  represent  were released in 1972  half of a novel which was  has never been published in f u l l . *  Road, which and  completed,  but  The novel shares historical  background and perspective with History of Battles at Hongnan: i t describes the private  struggle between advocates of collective and  farming in the early 1950s,  microcosm of a  single v i l l a g e .  The  fought out within the forces of Maoist "good"  likewise comprise a young cadre and a l l i e s within the Party and the poor peasantry;  Liuist  " e v i l " has,  predictably, a  representative at v i l l a g e l e v e l backed by a c o a l i t i o n of the misguided and counter-revolutionary. Despite these considerable similarities,  The Golden Road i s  e s s e n t i a l l y different from, and far superior to, History of Battles at Hongnan. The physical  first  difference between the two novels  setting:  a  much poorer  frequent irrigation with  droughts  their  the action of The Golden Road takes place in  the fictional Hebei village of Sweet Meadow is  i s in  farming area of  than  North China  a virtual necessity.  (Fangcaodi).  suburban  make  Shanghai;  concerted  Historically,  less opposition, and brought more rewards,  Hebei  effort  the on  land reform met in Hebei  than  around poor  Shanghai;  peasants  "golden  i t i s no h i s t o r i c a l d i s t o r t i o n to show  of Sweet Meadow awakening to the  road"  the  merits  of  the  of collectivism along which they are led  by  the  novel's hero Gao Daquan. A more important difference concerns the organisation of the creative  process.  The  arbitrarily-assembled team,  but  several  volumes  of  i s not  village l i f e ,  fiction and  peasant stock,  sufficiently  of  an  one  already  published  monumental novel. Hao  with personal experience of  to be spared  An individual constant  Party  he was able to explore such f l e x i b i l i t y as existed  within the opera model a way that  work  ill-matched "three-in-one" writing  land reform and collectivisation.  trusted  supervision,  short  the  far from being "sent down" to the countryside,  was himself of  author,  and  Road  of a single gifted author who had  Furthermore, Ran  Golden  and  the "three prominences" structure in  had been beyond the c a p a b i l i t i e s of the History of  Battles at Hongnan writing team. Some of the problems facing Hao Ran as he sought to adhere to the opera model were: how could l i t e r a r y didacticism avoid pedagogical Hongnan? within  dogmatism l i k e that of History of Battles how  the  could  psychological  "three prominences" format?  whose early celebrity  was  incorporate these talents whose only sum,  how  complexity  romanticism  was  as into of  a  shown  how could someone  writer  a model  be  of love stories  drawn  from  operas  the revolutionary kind?  could the author produce  at  In  art with an approved social 173  function and yet present the he knew them? conflicting  countryside and  In Hao Ran's s t r i v i n g s demands  of  romanticism and realism,  "society"  the  peasantry as  to balance and  the  "self,"  of  of accessibility and refinement, l i e  the reasons why The Golden Road, alone among Cultural Revolution novels, comes near to greatness. I. Creative Adherence to the Opera Model As  the  foremost (though not the only)  from the "seventeen years" 1949-66, new  demands placed  cultural  on  novelist  surviving  Hao Ran's submission to the  authors was  highly  desirable  to  authorities. The author spoke often in favour of the  opera model and the "three prominences" during his years at on  The Golden Road.  in  1972,  he  distortion "emperors workers, high  Addressing a gathering of amateur  credited  the  Model  Works  with  and  generals,  scholars and  work  writers  reversing  previously observed by Mao and Jiang Qing,  the  whereby  beauties" rather  than  peasants and soldiers, had been the heroes; and he made  claims for the Model Works.  claimed, "there as  the  the Model  "In a l l history,"  he  have  never been works of art as generally known  Works,  as loved by a l l members of the worker and  peasant masses, and thus exercising such a vast spiritual force. We a l l have  an  Works.  recommended the "three prominences" to his audience  as  He  ardent desire to study the revolutionary Model  "the p r i n c i p l e  we  must  proletarian l i t e r a t u r e . "  4  honour i n composing  works  of  Though the fervour of Hao Ran's  advocacy of  the Model Works and the "three prominences" may have  been heightened  by Party  their influence can The terms,  novel in  differs its  full  i s orthodox,  in Cultural  Revolution  literary  i t s adherence to the "three prominences;" where i t  characterisation not only of the central number  particularly this  of  lesser  characters,  but of  among the "masses" and the  respect  previous other  be clearly seen in The Golden Road.  from the operas and most opera-influenced fiction i s in  limited  In  loyalty and p o l i t i c a l expediency,  "negative"  i t more closely resembles  novel,  Bright  Sunny  a  the  hero  and  wide  range,  characters.  same  author's  Skies (Yanyang tian),  Cultural Revolution fiction. In  a  The Golden Road, Hao  than Ran  also takes f u l l advantage of the opera's "turnabout characters," producing, i n the person of the hero's brother Gao E r l i n , most  the  successful character of this kind in modern Chinese  fiction. As  is  the  case  with  much Cultural Revolution text introduced  at  some  fiction,  of  the Model Operas  there  a c r i t i c a l moment.  is a  seminal  and Mao  Here i t i s "Get  Organised," a text dating from Yan'an brought to the fore ( l i k e the  "Talks") i n the  Cultural  Revolution.  "Get  Organised"  celebrates the collective farming practised by the Red Army and local residents to sustain the military effort in the liberated areas in the early 1940's.  Its theme i s the importance of  "organising the strength of the masses."-  5  read as a dramatic  realisation  Hao Ran's novel can be  of Mao's t e x t with  175  the  collectivisation of the early 1950's derived from the s p i r i t of Yan'an.  M e r c i f u l l y , however, quotations from this and other  articles by Mao, obligatory i n Cultural Revolution writing, are kept to a minimum, averaging fewer  than one every two hundred  pages.^ The plot i s composed, series of  struggles  following the  opera  model,  or contradictions bearing  of  on  of a the  central  issue  collectivisation  versus individual  farming.  Both sides have their leaders:  the young cadre Gao  Daquan represents the Maoist/poor  peasant/collectivist l i n e ,  while the v i l l a g e head Zhang J i n f a i s the front-man for the Liuist/wealthy peasant/individualist faction, whose main force i s the  middle-peasant  Feng  Shaohuai.  Both  sides have  developmental strategies encapsulated in a single slogan:  their Mao's  "Get Organised" versus the current Party policy (implicitly  that  of Liu Shaoqi, though his name i s never mentioned i n the novel) "Build Family Fortunes" the  battle  the souls series  i s fought  (fajia  i s the v i l l a g e ,  of the v i l l a g e r s .  subplots  The ground on which the aim being to win  The novel  of interwoven stories,  struggle i s played out at an These  zhifu).  i s made up of a  i n each of which the central  intimate  and  individual level.  t y p i c a l l y emerge, submerge and resurface over  the course of several hundred pages before they are either brought to a climax or left  hanging for a later volume.  focus on a single person or  symbolic object,  involve  the hero only at  their  and frequently  f i n a l stages.  176  They  Of the  s u b p l o t s f o c u s s i n g on an i n d i v i d u a l , b a t t l e between Gao  Daquan and  Gao's b r o t h e r E r l i n , Symbolic of  which  the  most i m p o r t a n t  Feng Shaohuai w i l l be examined  o b j e c t s around w h i c h s t r u g g l e s  bricks  that  Zhang build  f o r the  Jinfa  buys  himself  loyalty  in detail  of  below.  unfold include a w a l l  from  the  village's  to  dismantles  t h e w a l l , he i s s y m b o l i c a l l y removing the b a r r i e r t h a t  the  landlord.  story  to  house;  develop dramatic  than a c t i o n .  The  enable  them i n a p h y s i c a l  sense.  No  u n f o l d i n g of the  attempt  t h a n what happens t o  will  be made here  a narrative  few  t h e components w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n g r e a t e r  some  of  author  characters'  present  Characters  summary  the  from  tension i n a novel which i s  a t t i t u d e s t o the two l i n e s i s more i m p o r t a n t  the  he  as a peasant and P a r t y member, and  as the s t r u g g l e u n f o l d s  and  more d i a l o g u e  of  as  C o n s t a n t s h i f t s i n the f o c u s of a t t e n t i o n  story  to m a i n t a i n  luxurious  former  landlord  s h o u l d e x i s t between h i m s e l f ,  a  i s the  the whole n o v e l ;  f r o m The Golden Road a r e examined  " t h r e e prominences" o u t l i n e t o see how c a s e s s t r e t c h t o unprecedented l i m i t s ,  rather,  to a  detail.  below  they c o n f o r m ,  within and  the r e l e v a n t  in  opera  models. i ) " L o f t y , Large and Complete"; the C e n t r a l Hero Gao  Daquan  characters complete." created  that 7  He  from the  is  the  compose  novel's his  hero;  name  mean  i s h i s author's i d e a l perspective  the  of  sounds  "lofty, the  of  the  large  and  peasant  cadre,  of the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n  177  and  placed in the early 1950s. The o r i g i n a l model for the hero had Q  been the quasi-legendary peasant model Wang Guofu,  and the  obsessive sacrifice associated with Wang i s a feature of Daquan's character; however the author claimed, in line with the literary policy of the time, to have the  Wang  model  moved  away from the "realism" of  in favour of a more "typified" figure in later  drafts of the novel.  9  From his f i r s t appearance in the novel's prologue, Daquan i s an  instinctive, i f unschooled, revolutionary.  recounts initial  the  hero's progress to  resistance to  The  manhood,  prologue  showing h i s  the exploitation of the peasants of  Sweet Meadow by both the landlord Crooked Mouth (Waizuizi) and the r i c h peasant Feng Shaohuai,  his early  contacts  with  Communist g u e r i l l a s and his joining of the communist  Eighth  Route Army.  he i s  By 1950,  when the  novel  proper begins,  back in Sweet Meadow, a Party member and also with a small son,  having f u l f i l l e d  peasant  to locate and care for his  protector  a married man  the dying wish of h i s daughter  Lu  Ruifen. Daquan i s a leader by virtue of his political acumen and his sacrificing nature. actually  be wrong,  As a hero in the opera mould, he can never but there are limitations in experience and  understanding which give scope for a process of maturation as the novel progresses. the  focus  (The cognitive development of Gao Daquan i s  of Wong Kam-ming's study of the novel. )  gains experience  10  He  in a series of conflicts with Zhang Jinfa and  178  Feng Shaohuai  which  Feng Shaohuai's  begin  as  the novel  testing of the new  buying a mule.  proper  opens  family enrichment  with  policy by  As well as his experiences i n the v i l l a g e ,  Daquan gains in understanding by meeting outside exemplars;  the  f i r s t of these are Beijing railway workers with whom Daquan and other  v i l l a g e r s load  Korean  front.  contrasted rests.  trains  with  The proletarians'  with  the peasants'  Two senior  supplies bound for unstinting  efforts  the are  habit of slow work and long  Party o f f i c a l s add to Daquan's education.  One i s Tian Yu, whose f i r s t appearance in the novel i s an act of d i s c i p l i n e d heroism,  as  he s k i l l f u l l y  restrains a runaway  horse that Daquan had bravely but unsuccessfully tried to stop. Tian's strategic approach collectivisation as  in  shows him  that  halting horses.  a plan i s needed, in (Hao Ran had used the  runaway horse motif i n an e a r l i e r story, chivalric The  heroism  rather  but  than as a p o l i t i c a l  other Party cadre i s Liang  Haishan,  authorial voice in sharing both his surname (the K a i l u a n coal-mines) introduces  the  seminal  as  with Hao Mao  text,  an  act  of  metaphor.**)  i d e n t i f i e d as an and place of origin  Ran. and  He  i t is  whose  who  approval  vindicates Daquan's intuitive judgments. Daquan villagers,  i s himself the patient educator and advisor to especially the younger ones.  the  He i s able to patch up  disagreements between his supporters, including an early squabble between male and female members of the village's youth club a  short  play  composed  by the  village  179  bookworm  Qin  over  Wenqing  propagating the family enrichment policy. young women who refuse to perform in i t , activists current being  that Party  family  explaining to the male  enrichment i s wrong even  policy.  a saint,  Daquan sides with the  though  it  Flashes of temperment save Daquan  as when he becomes furious at the  poor  is  from  peasant  Deng Jiukuan for sowing seed on ill-prepared land rather than ask 19  for help with ploughing. right  However Daquan's propensity for being  places a strain both on reader  structure,  sympathy  and narrative  since he must be removed from the village for long  periods to allow tensions to develop that he would otherwise have soothed.  The author has admitted that the constraints of the  opera model presented him from developing the weaknesses, as well 1 o  as the strengths, of his hero as much as he would have liked. Separating  Gao Daquan  from  peasant  and from  novels  about the  countryside,  i s his conscious rejection of "peasant  mentality"  with  yishi),  of previous  other  characters,  (nongmin  heroes  the novel's  which the novel identifies as incommensurable  the collectivist spirit.  "Peasant mentality" i s portrayed  as a narrow concern for one's own family and land at the  expense  of others. It i s noteworthy that the people on whom Daquan seeks to model himself are not peasants, but the industrial proletariat of  Beijing  (the most advanced class in  Marxist  terms). The  author i s lending his support to the Party's attempt,  mentioned  above, to proletarianise the peasantry.  scholar  Wang  Yongsheng  suggests  that  Hao  The Chinese  Ran's denigration of  peasant mentality results in a composite hero 180  who i s more urban  proletarian than peasant, to the detriment of his own and the novel's c r e d i b i l i t y . Daquan's  1 4  sacrificing  of himself and his family,  a  virtue  shared with heroes of antiquity and revolution, i s symptomatic of his  rejection of the traditional peasant way.  the  sage  In the style of  emperor Dayu, Daquan stays away from  several  hours  after  his home for  returning to Sweet Meadow  from  months in Beijing, to the great distress of his son. away  from the village when his second  born.  Like  child,  his two  He i s again  a daughter, i s  Wang Guofu, who chose to l i v e i n a "hired hand's  hut" (changgongwu), he insists on taking for himself, imposing on his family,  and thus  the worst housing i n the village. The  one who i s most hurt by Daquan's s a c r i f i c e s i s h i s brother Erlin. that  So busy  i s Daquan with his duties as peasant  he neglects the fields for which he and Erlin  responsible,  activist  are jointly  and i s d e r e l i c t i n his responsiblity, as family  head, to find Erlin a wife.  When Erlin finally marries, Daquan  i s away buying an ox on behalf of another family and does not attend.  For the author,  Daquan's s a c r i f i c e i s exemplary, a  triumph over peasant selfishness;  but to this  reader at least,  i t appears harsh and uncaring. The  influence  portrayal cadre hero,  of the opera model  of Daquan,  can be seen  in the  as opposed to Hao Ran's earlier  peasant  Xiao Changchun of Bright Sunny Skies.  given to wanton s a c r i f i c e —  Xiao i s less  indeed the most powerful act of  self-sacrifice in the earlier novel,  the voluntary eating of a  181  thin soup  of bitter herbs to conserve grain supplies,  i s made  not by Xiao but by the stockman Old Ma the Fourth.^ Changchun i s presented family  man,  aspects  as  a suitor as well as a cadre and  his courtship  of the  being one of the most appealing  novel he d o m i n a t e s . ^  Xiao's  romantic  sensibilities would s i t uneasily on the sterner Daquan. romanticism  in  the  Xiao  portrayal  of Daquan  The  i s of the  "revolutionary romantic" kind, and the element of idealism i s especially strong i n that the reality from which i t derived (the Wang Guofu story) was already several stages removed from the quotidien.  With this reservation,  Gao Daquan i s s t i l l the most  human, and the most successful,heroic character produced i n f i c t i o n derived from the opera model. likely,  He i s certainly a more  and more likeable, figure than Hong Leisheng, the hero of  History of Battles at Hongnan. i i ) Stock Characters and Individuals: The Secondary Heroes Like  Hong Leisheng,  and inside his village. are  conventional  young hero, little  the  stereotypes  found i n a l l novels with  a  more. (This i s the role of An Kerning i n the novel Within  the Zhou family,  daughter  The upper level cadres who support him  dispensers of enlightenment at crucial times, and  discussed above.) of  Daquan i s backed by supporters outside  the v i l l a g e ,  the secondary  heroes  the older peasant Zhou Zhong and h i s  Liping, similarly  experienced stalwart  fall  easily  into the set roles of  and the dynamic  182  young  female  activist.  Another  predictable  secondary  heroine i s the  m i l i t a n t Third Granny Deng, an elderly admirer of the hero, though a much warmer and  more humorous character than the  opera  grannies. Two  of  the  predecessors,  secondary heroes for whom there are  but  observation,  are  no  opera  who are drawn directly from the author's the  young  peasant activist  Zhu  own  Tiehan  and  Daquan's wife Lii Ruifen. Zhu  Tiehan  "impetuous  Zhang F e i ; "  character from courage  i s derisively described by Zhang 1 7  and  rashness and unpreparedness.  policies  that  i s characterised by  but  for  example,  Qin  by black  to prevent Erlin from indiscreet  eavesdropping on the conversation of his friends  and then interrupting them, peasant  Tiehan  he works himself to feverish  breaking with his brother; and by a boisterous and sense of fun,  own  for the tasks he  exhaustion helping out the poor peasant L i u Xiang; depression when he f a i l s ,  his  the novel progresses.  impatient enthusiasm  to the extent that  His Party  he can be induced  are non-Maoist,  analytical capacities increase as  undertakes,  an  Three Kingdoms the q u a l i t i e s of loyalty and  flawed by  follow  as  he certainly shares with that  loyalties mean that, in Gao Daquan's absence, to  Jinfa  Fu  spying g l e e f u l l y on  as he i n turn sneaks a  the middle-  glance  at  Feng  Shaohuai's new mule, or blundering jovially in on one of the few tender moments shared by the hero and his wife. The  character of Lii Ruifen had already been rehearsed in an  183  short story,  "Caixia,  0  a sketch of a sharp-tongued but loving  wife of a v i l l a g e cadre.  In the second chapter of the novel,  the resemblance to Caixia i s unmistakable as Ruifen banters with Tiehan about the whereabouts of her husband:  "If he's not eating  or sleeping, what would he be doing at home? ... He's got wheels under h i s shoes, who knows where he's r o l l e d o f f to now?" Ruifen i s b a s i c a l l y Daquan's defence essentially  undemonstrative,  when  Erlin  but springs hotly  maligns  a supportive role,  him.  into  vivacious  obedient wife  to  Hers  is  a generalisation that can be  applied to a l l but one of the married women in this n o v e l Hao Ran's  19  and strong-willed  village  girls  20  —  settle  and motherhood roles a f t e r marriage and  childbearing. iii)  _A Parallel Structure: The  the Villains  conventions of the operatic model require that good be  seen to triumph over e v i l , post-1949 period, and  and i n the two operas set i n the  the representatives  of that evil are feeble  token additions to existing works.  History  of Battles  at Hongnan likewise  reader that i t i s estimable.  f a i l s to convince the  In The Golden  stretches the conventions to the l i m i t negative characters and  The opposition i n  villains.  Given  i n his  Road,  Hao Ran  creation  the historical  of fact  of a g r i c u l t u r a l c o l l e c t i v i s a t i o n and the d i s c r e d i t i n g of the "family enrichment" policy (for the f i r s t People's  Republic),  the v i l l a i n s ,  thirty  years  of the  i n the persons of Zhang  184  Jinfa  and  Feng Shaohuai,  adversaries.  are  Zhang J i n f a ,  uneasy coalition perceptions of  bound  their  Zhang Jinfa,  by  their  dislike of Daquan and their  own interests.  though a prominent figure as village head, has combined with the strength of his  makes him subject to the manipulation of the more wily  Feng Shaohuai. where,  Zhang's motivation i s suspect from the  prologue  as the landlord's foreman and an underground supporter of  the communists, communists  he i s on both sides in the c i v i l war.  attack  the  landlord's house,  Zhang)  warns him and allows him to escape;  victory  i s assured,  becoming  both  throughout prestige  someone  When the (presumably  but when communist  he leads the condemnation of the  a Party member and village  head.  His  landlord, concerns  the novel are to maintain his position and match his with  prosperity, concerns which inevitably bring  into conflict with Daquan. as  and resourceful  Gao Daquan's antithesis, heads an  a weakness of character which, ambition,  determined  ambition  desperately  to  succeed  him  He misinterprets Daquan's criticisms him  as  village  to suppress his younger  rival.  head,  and  Initially,  fights Party  policy i s on the side of individual enrichment, and he i s able to unite  his  personal  villagers! living! don't!""'" 2  him  From  interests now  on,  with  Party  towards Feng  Deng "they're so  "Fellow  making revolution i s making a  Glory to those who get r i c h , A common  loyalty:  and shame on those  who  love of wealth and loathing of Daquan drives Shaohuai until,  close  in the v/ords of Third Granny  they'd think there was too much room in  185  one  pair  of trousers."  between the two men: Feng to feed his flour),  Not that there i s any love l o s t  Zhang  i s envious of the wealth that allows  son mantou  (steamed  rolls made with refined  and dreams he i s locked in combat  with him.  Zhang i s  a complex character, an able farmer whose anxiety to authority  leads him into  decisions  that  harm  please  his harvest,  acutely conscious of face yet humiliated by the ease with which others manipulate him.  His failure to halt collectivisation i s a  matter  of  historical  inevitability by the end  volume  of  the  novel,  of  the  and he finds himself abandoned  second by  his  a l l i e s in the upper Party echelons. Zhang's supporters parallel those of Daquan: upper-level They —  cadres  and a number of a l l i e s within  the  village.  are distinguished from Dao's supporters along class lines  Daquan's  i s among  friends the  are poor peasants and Zhang's constituency  wealthier peasants with a vested interest  private farming. unsympathetic  Zhang's  caricatures  scholar-official, resentful  of  Sympathisers Mouth  and  both  upper-level  supporters  in are  of a busy bureaucrat and a refined  out  of  touch  with  reality  and  Daquan's interference with their policy decisions. in  the  village  include  his former boss Crooked  a shadowy ex-landlord with a new identity (his name,  Fan Kerning,  i s a pun on his nature, fangeming,  revolutionary"), neither of two  there are two  volumes.  The  opponents of Daquan  whom are much developed in the f i r s t  r e a l power lies  "counter-  in  the v i l l a g e among the  with Feng Shaohuai,  186  whose progress to  considerable wealth was victory and who  seeks  continue his enrichment. a vendetta  to d i s c r e d i t Antipathy  against Daquan,  as middle-peasant rich peasant),  and  even i n death  by  the  communist  socialism and  thereby  to socialism combines  with  who had challenged his designation  at land-reform (wanting him condemned as  own enrichment.  a  whom he sees as the stumbling-block to his He vows that " i f I don't destroy Gao Daquan,  I won't close my eyes."  force behind a l l acting  rudely arrested  the  challenges  to  Feng i s the motive Daquan,  typically  through intermediaries and hiding behind Zhang Jinfa's  prestige —  he i t i s who masterminds the defection of Erlin, the  bankrupting of the peasant Liu Xiang and a complaint laid against Gao Daquan by fail. a (in  the middle peasant Qin Fu,  a l l of which narrowly  Though nervous of the volatile Tiehan,  Feng i s more than  match s t r a t e g i c a l l y for Daquan's supporters;  only the hero  the manner of his operatic counterparts) can stop him.  iv) The Sibling Split: Representatives of the Masses As has been noted above, the masses in the Model Operas, and in most Cultural Revolution fiction as well,  are so "typical" as  to be merely stereotypes of sufferers or tacit supporters without influence over their fate. Such limited characterisation would be disastrous in The Golden Road, where the author seeks to portray the  process  of  collectivisation.  developing The  mass consciousness  in favour  representatives of the masses  must  of be  allowed to make their own choices between the two paths available 187  to them so that the merits of the collectivist alternative can be demonstrated, as  and paradigmatic class attitudes must be evaluated  the choice of sides affects them. To this end the author has  devised pairs  what we may describe as a sibling of  brothers,  representing poor  youthful and mature, each divide, to  split, and  whereby four  middle  peasants,  with one of the pair adhering  the collective path and the other to the individualist  Though  i t i s inevitable  collective path,  that  the  author  will  road.  favour  these parallel and antithetical cases allow him  to explore more fully the implications for the individual of two paths.  the  While one of the sibling pairs involves the hero and  his "turnabout" younger brother, parameters of the Liu Wan  the  and  masses.  Liu Xiang,  and  the other three f a l l within the  They  are the older poor peasants  two pairs of brothers within the  middle peasant  Qin family, Qin  two sons Wenji  and Wenqing.  Fu  and Qin Kai,  and Qin Fu's  Here we w i l l consider two of these  pairs, the Lius and the elder Qins. Liu Xiang's i s a story of tragedy averted by his membership of Gao Daquan's cooperative, Liu Wan's of success subverted by an ill-advised Xiang,  alliance  with Zhang Jinfa and Feng  with no capital,  Shaohuai.  a sick wife and dependant children,  Liu is  incapable of surviving as a smallholder. (Xu Tugen i s his equivalent i n History of Battles at Hongnan, though a less convincing character). path,  He tends naturally to the c o l l e c t i v e  but i s ashamed of his dependence on  to conceal his problems.  his friends and tries  He thus lays himself open  188  to attacks  by F e n g S h a o h u a i ,  who s e e k s t o b a n k r u p t L i u a n d f o r c e h i m i n t o  s e l l i n g h i s newly-acquired reform  l a n d and t h u s undermine t h e  land  and Daquan's l e a d e r s h i p . W h i l e Gao Daquan i s a t L i u ' s  house, L i u h i t s h i s i n j u r y f r o m Daquan starving.  foot with until  he  a  hoe,  b u t he c o n c e a l s h i s  i s i n c a p a c i t a t e d and h i s f a m i l y  Daquan, h i s w i f e and s o n t a k e o v e r t h e i r  family's  reserves  o f food ( d e s p i t e t h e p r o t e s t s o f t h e food's co-owner  Erlin),  o t h e r p e a s a n t s w o r k L i u ' s l a n d a n d t h e women o f t h e  c o o p e r a t i v e c a r e f o r h i s w i f e and c h i l d r e n . L i u  i s temporarily  saved,  earlier  but s t i l l  o w e s on a d e b t  medicine for h i s wife. the source  negotiated  When he d i s c o v e r s , t o h i s h o r r o r ,  o f t h e l o a n i s Feng S h a o h u a i ,  and  g i f t o f Gao f a m i l y g r a i n , too proud t o ask f o r h e l p . buy L i u ' s l a n d ,  L i u i s trapped  half of the  by h i s debt  A t Feng's s u g g e s t i o n ,  and L i u c o n s e n t s .  that  when E r l i n ( a t  Feng's p r o m p t i n g ) demands t h e r e p a y m e n t o f h i s  to  t o buy  and a g a i n  Q i n Fu o f f e r s  Daquan h e a r s o f t h e d e a l  and r u s h e s t o s a v e t h e v i c t i m f r o m t h e b r i n k by d i s r u p t i n g t h e sale.  L i u becomes s o l v e n t f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e a f t e r t h e f i r s t  c o l l e c t i v e harvest. By brother; ox.  contrast,  L i u Wan i s s l i g h t l y more p r o s p e r o u s than h i s  h i s w i f e i s h e a l t h i e r and he i s t h e proud owner o f an  I t i s this  slight  collectivisation;  though  Daquan's c o o p e r a t i v e , that Liu  instead  prejudices  him  against  L i u Wan's w i f e u r g e s h i m t o  Zhang  the cooperative's Wan agrees  wealth that  poor to  Jinfa  manages  to  persuade  peasants would overwork  join him  h i s ox.  j o i n a n o m i n a l c o o p e r a t i v e s e t up  189  by  Zhang Jinfa and some middle peasants in superficial adherence  to  Party policy, but when Liu needs help weeding and planting  after spring rains, wife gets up too caught  in  none of his new associates w i l l oblige. His  soon  after  childbirth to work with him,  is  a hailstorm and dies. Her death i s a direct result  of his f a i l u r e to join the  cooperative,  while his brother's  wife survives through  the s o l i c i t u d e of fellow cooperative  members.  joins the  When Liu Wan  collective set up at the end  of volume II, he t e a r f u l l y entrusts his ox, the symbol prosperity and his loss,  to  his  brother,  of  his  the collective's  stockman. Hao  Ran had included a number of middle peasant  in the e a r l i e r Bright Sunny Skies, appears i n  The  claimed  superfluity  Hao Ran decried the  of middle peasants,  but he later  that he had actually reduced their numbers in The Golden  Road for fear of  being  characters"  who  retain  rather  being dramatically  than  characters" habitually mistrust  but only one such family  Golden Road. In 1975,  earlier novel for  characters  of  an  of concentrating on "middle  ambivalent  in Cultural  to  Party and the poor  peasantry.  like the "turnabout  Middle  24  Revolution  derision, grudgingly  had declared them  attitude to socialism  converted  the Model Operas.  treated and  accused  peasants  literature  are with  tolerated only because Mao  be potential  a l l i e s of the Communist  Hao Ran explores the capacity of  the middle peasants to reject or accept the c o l l e c t i v e path through the brothers Qin Fu and Qin Kai.  190  Qin  Fu  is  corresponding  to  the  text-book  fortunes,  bourgeoisie.  peasant,  Mao's 1926 characterisation  peasants" (zigeng nong) who, great  middle  still  They  of  exactly  the  "owner-  "though they may not hope to  aspire  to  the  status  of  the  invariably drool when they see how  the lesser wealthy are.  amass middle  respected  These people have l i t t l e courage,  fear  o f f i c i a l s and are also nervous of revolution." "* As his nickname 2  "little pursuing his  abacus" (xiao suanpan) implies, any opportunity for profit,  he i s mean  and  however small.  petty,  Qin shows  meanness when he anticipates that the impoverished Liu Xiang  w i l l need to hire the Qins to plough his land — his  family the  Qin Fu starves  night before so that they w i l l eat more at Liu's  expense the next day. Qin Fu envies the greater prosperity of Feng Shaohuai (the "lesser wealthy" of Mao's analysis),  but timidity prevents  from taking the steps necessary to  achieve  i t . His  allows him to be used by Feng in the entrapment  him  avarice  of Liu Xiang as  the buyer for Liu's land; when the deal i s broken up by  Daquan  and  higher  Feng makes him  authorities,  lodge a complaint with  the  Qin Fu, a bullying tyrant at home, kneels in abject  terror at a county official's feet.  At the 1952 harvest, Qin Fu  sees  peasants  the  benefits  that  the poor  have  gained  from  cooperative irrigation projects, but i s s t i l l unwilling to commit himself in  to  collectivisation.  Qin's  abiding  irresolution  the received text closely resembles that of the "middle  characters" who  appear so often  i n the  191  rural f i c t i o n of the  early 1960s,  seeing the merits of  but unable to relinquish the  the new  collective farming  t r a d i t i o n a l ideal of independent  prosperity. If Hao Ran persisted with the opera model in the two unpublished volumes, we may presume that Qin w i l l either turn to the cause of the hero or i d e n t i f y himself c l e a r l y with Feng Shaohuai. While Qin Fu timidly follows Feng Shaohuai, Kai  tentatively  sides  with  Daquan,  his brother Qin  representing  the  peasant potential to coalesce with the poor peasants. status i n i t i a l l y a l l i e s him with Zhang and Feng, when  middle  His class  but he i s upset  Zhang exploits the desperation of his neighbour Zhu Zhankui  for personal profit. Admiration for Daquan leads him towards collective  side,  but  he i s  fully  reliable  ally, backing out of a commitment to help Liu Xiang.  However,  as Zhou Zhong  at least  observes,  by no means a  the  Qin Kai,  unlike his brother,  has the conscience to be ashamed of his actions. These  pairs of "split siblings" are not of course the  "masses" of the novel,  though their characterisation i s  most s t y l i s t i c a l l y innovative within the group. large number them  of  poor  painstakingly  attention villagers down" to  to d e t a i l and write  only  peasant presented. in  Hao  characters There  the  In fact, a  appear,  many  i s a breadth  Ran's description of  of and  simple  their l i v e s which sets him above writers "sent about the c o u n t r y s i d e .  The  most  fully  characterised of the "masses" i s the one who i s also a "turnabout character,"  Gao Erlin.  Erlin i s the most sensitively portrayed  192  character i n The Golden Road, a sympathetic p o r t r a i t of a believable peasant torn between old and new, his responsibilities to self and society. v) T r a n s f o r m a t i o n  of a_ Peasant Archetype: _a "Turnabout  Character." Erlin,  as the sibling  characteristics from  them  trifling  Daquan,  of  has  If Daquan i s the model of a  Erlin i s the archetypal peasant,  tasks  has a l l the  of "peasant mentality" that Daquan  his own character.  cadre,  split from  who  village  "adores the  tending a plot and the physical  labour i n the open fields.  purged  strain  of  While Daquan neglects his own land  to pursue political goals, Erlin longs, by hard and honest t o i l , to  gain  the best harvest from  the Gao's  own  land. While  Daquan s a c r i f i c e s his own interests and those of his family, Erlin worries, f i r s t that he w i l l not find a wife and then, when he i s in love,  that he w i l l lose his chance for future happiness  i f Daquan, as family head, does not act s w i f t l y on h i s behalf. The preoccupations of both the brothers are revealed in a scene in which they are at  work  on their own land.  with Daquan to approach the family of Caifeng,  E r l i n pleads  h i s g i r l f r i e n d Qian  i n s i s t i n g that "the sooner it's done, the sooner I ' l l 97  stop worrying" (zao banle zao sheng xin).  Daquan, distracted,  virtually ignores his brother's entreaties; he i s more concerned that the poor peasants, access  especially  L i u Xiang, should  have  to draught animals for ploughing. When the brothers get 193  home, Daquan with  rushes  off to ask Qin Kai to help Liu Xiang out,  the same words that Erlin had used of his marriage: "the  sooner it's done, the sooner I ' l l stop worrying." When Erlin heard this sentence from his brother, i t f e l t l i k e a blow to the heart, and he thought dejectedly, "when i t comes to people outside the family (shuangxing pangrenjia) having animals to use you worry your guts out over i t , but something affecting your own brother's whole l i f e , you won't even listen to i t , you sure are some activist." 28 Erlin  i s haunted  by  dreams (he i s one of the very few  characters i n Cultural Revolution f i c t i o n  whose innermost  thoughts are so revealed), of the lonely death  of an old  bachelor seen in his childhood, and of a horde of poor with  peasants  hands outstretched, begging the Gaos to give them grain and  work their land. Erlin's fears, rising naturally from his "peasant mentality" make him easy prey for Feng Shaohuai. niece Qian Caifeng for  from  Caifeng, a young divorcee, longs  a reliable man after an unhappy marriage,  are soon in love. Erlin  at Erlin.  Feng propels his wife's  and she and Erlin  The author gives a premonition of the  danger  i s in the f i r s t time he walks Caifeng back to Feng's house the youth club:  "Erlin hastily turned  out the lights,  locked the door, took a flashlight, escorted Qian Caifeng quickly down the long stairway, and turned away towards the darkness."  29  E r l i n i s turning away from his brother's "golden road" into the "darkness" brother,  of Feng's  influence.  When Erlin breaks  at the insistence of Caifeng's family  prompting),  he  builds  a wall  with his (at Feng's  in the Gao courtyard that 194  symbolically peasants.  separates  Erlin  him from the  protection  goes to work for Feng,  of the poor  thus moving physically  and symbolically from one side to the other. His  transformation from d i s i l l u s i o n to concurrence with  his brother  takes  Feng household.  place as a result of his experiences i n the  First he sees Feng's ruthlessness at f i r s t hand  in the plot to entrap Liu Xiang,  and i s himself unwittingly  used against Liu. Then, though they had reasoned that Feng would treat them  well (since Caifeng i s a relative of the Fengs), he  and Caifeng realise they are being exploited and  that they have l o s t more  emotional  by  and practical support  as cheap labour,  denying themselves  the  of the poor peasants  than  they gained from Feng's empty promises  of future payment. When  Erlin f a l l s sick with exhaustion after a soaking during carting duties away from home,  Feng simply abandons  first  dreams as he l i e s  of two cathartic  him. In the  feverish i n an  innkeeper's stable, a shivering Erlin recalls his brother braving freezing rain to fetch him medicine, remembers comfort.  and then,  in a hot  flush,  h i s sister-in-law heating the kang bed for h i s In the second dream,  he sees himself fighting with  Feng Shaohuai over a bag of grain i n the latter's granary. his dream from Feng:  he shouts  In  to Caifeng as she t r i e s to separate him  "Get away!  Get away!  He's a treacherous wolf on  who harms Erlin's Daquan  everyone, today  I ' l l fight  ideological transformation and Tiehan, alerted,  him to the death."  i s thus  complete  before  rush to his aid, and i t i s proved 195  as E r l i n  furiously rejects the money with which Feng t r i e s to  placate him. The for  test case of Erlin i s by far the most cogent  collectivisation  worldly  and  in The Golden Road in that  sensible  peasant,  first  rejects  argument  Erlin,  to  rather  than through  emotions  the  and profitable i n d i v i d u a l i s t  political  and ambitions  sympathise both with his to  and then  the f o l d through b i t t e r experience of  apparently more pragmatic  rhetoric.  of  belongs.  Hao  Ran  has  the way,  Erlin's  the reader can  Daquan and his return  c o l l e c t i v i s t mainstream i n which,  he rightfully  Because  are so natural, resentment  a  the utopianism  implicit in the archetypal symbol of the golden road, returns  as  as a poor peasant,  realised the potential of  the "turnabout character" i n a way that noone else was able to do. What  Hao Ran has achieved by his f u l l exploitation  possibilities the  of  the  "turnabout character" and  by  of  his use of  " s i b l i n g s p l i t , " i s to stretch the l i m i t s imposed by  "three prominences" of the opera model,  and  to  the  the  produce among  the "masses" characters as well-developed and affecting as any in modern Chinese l i t e r a t u r e . detrimental  Where the l i m i t a t i o n s can have a  effect on the novel i s at the top of  prominences" pyramid,  the "three  in the character of the hero.  Despite the  author's considerable efforts to mitigate the hero's  perfection,  Gao  Daquan  sacrificing  remains of  too  "lofty,  himself and  large  his family, 196  and  complete,"  too  too  righteous and  unctuous,  for  the  health of the novel.  himself from his hero,  Hao  Ran cannot detach  and thus cannot offer an independent or  ironic view of him except  through characters whose judgements  are known to be suspect. II.  Narrative Technique The  "three  question  of  prominences"  the preferred narrative  style  to  carry  characterisation and other aspects of  the  opera model was approached by Hao Ran very differently from the History  of Battles at Hongnan writing group.  dominant Ran  narrator using the novel as a dramatic  structures  opera,  Instead of  with  narratorial  The  Golden Road in the form  monologue, of  Hao  traditional  the  emphasis  on dialogue. Instead of  a  point  of view,  he  narrative  constantly  perspective among the novel's characters. authority figures situations  their  switches  single  Further, he uses  within the novel to provide analysis of  and characters rather than relying on a homiletic  narrator for i t . i)  Operatic Structure The  indicate  most  cursory  glance at The Golden Road i s enough to  that i t i s primarily a novel of dialogue.  The  author  made a conscious decision when planning the novel to pattern i t on the  traditonal  cultural fare; the scenes,  Chinese operas which had been his e a r l i e s t chapters are self-contained but inter-related  each with a l i m i t e d number of characters, 197  a limited  frame of time and space,  only one or two topics of conversation,  and a single character  at centre stage.  (yinzi) this  like  the "wedge" of  design,  following  the operas,  over  introducing most of the novel  proper.  taking  the course  the  of  Gao  Daquan,  him from Shandong to seventeen years,  major characters  Hao  prologue  stands apart from  a single character,  throughout i t s nine sections, Hebei and back  Only the  that  will  and  appear in  Ran's adaptation of such an operatic  model was an innovation in modern Chinese  fiction,  but was not  without historical precedent: The Dream of the Red Chamber, the novel  most admired  by Hao  Ran,  has  a prologue  h i s t o r i c a l , physical and cosmic context, action takes place settings.  that sets  while most of the  through small gatherings  in intimate  Much of Cao Xueqin's novel i s concerned  with  conversations between the novel's children and their attendants in the dwellings of the Grand View Garden, in contrast to the open spaces, larger groupings and robust action that characterise most episodic novels  (The  Water Margin being  the  obvious  example); in Hao Ran's novel, the intimate scenes take place i n peasant homes, in the f i e l d s and at the steps of the former landlord's residence at the centre of the village;  crowd scenes  and large meetings are strictly limited. In  The  Golden Road,  this operatic influence i s much  stronger than the simulated s t o r y - t e l l e r context f a m i l i a r to readers of communist novels, and few of the hallowed story-teller c l i c h e s appear. References to other popular dramatic forms do 198  occur p e r i o d i c a l l y , peasantry forms," of  but as p r o o f o f t h e i r d u r a b i l i t y among t h e  r a t h e r than  i n conscious  imitation  of  "national  a s had been t h e c a s e a t Yan'an and i n t h e e a r l y  the People's R e p u b l i c .  For  example, two  popular  years  vaudeville  ( q u y i ) f o r m s s e r v e as m e t a p h o r s f o r F e n g S h a o h u a i ' s p r o p e n s i t y for  covert action:  his manipulation  a u t h o r i t y i s "donkey-skin  of  Qin  Fu's  appeal  to  with  the  shadow t h e a t r e " ( l u p i y i n g ) , 3 1  l i t i g a n t Q i n t h e p u p p e t m o v i n g a t Feng's w i l l ; and F e n g and h i s w i f e a r e seen as which  performing  the front-man  t h e c o m i c r o u t i n e shuanghuang  (or i n t h i s  case,  -woman) m u s t  a c t i o n s t o t h e s i n g i n g o f the p a r t n e r c o n c e a l e d behind.  in  J  perform For  Hao  d e r i v e d from t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e  and  p o p u l a r f o r m s , w h i l e p r e v a l e n t , a r e not n e c e s s a r i l y r e l i a b l e .  It  Ran,  p a t t e r n s o f thought  i s t h e u n t r u s t w o r t h y Zhang J i n s h o u who  supports h i s argument  w i t h : " I ' v e h e a r d b a l l a d s ( p i n g s h u ) o f T h r e e K i n g d o m s and s e e n o p e r a s o f T h r e e K i n g d o m s and t h e y s a y t h a t ... , " conclude  t h a t Hao  Ran's e s p o u s a l o f  33  I've  We  " n a t i o n a l f o r m s " was  may a  g r e a t d e a l l e s s l i t e r a l and more s o p h i s t i c a t e d than t h a t o f most of  h i s predecessors.  i i ) Shifting Perspective Rather attitudes, author  than a l l o w i n g an o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r t o e x p l a i n actions  and m o t i v a t i o n s of a l l t h e  s w i t c h e s h i s f o c u s from c h a p t e r  to  characters,  through  character  h i s o r her p e r s p e c t i v e .  199  the  c h a p t e r , by a l l o w i n g  the n a r r a t o r to a t t a c h h i m s e l f to a d i f f e r e n t present s i t u a t i o n s  the  and  Typically,  we join one character at the beginning of a its does  chapter, viewing  events and hearing i t s dialogue through him or  her. This  not mean that the reader i s entirely dependent  chapter's  central character for an interpretation of  on  what  a  goes  on; the author has already indicated in the prologue who i s to be trusted.  So  unreliable,  we  know  that  Zhang  Jinfa  i s ambitious  Feng Shaohuai grasping and unscrupulous,  dynamic and altruistic,  and  and Daquan  before we are privy to their thoughts in  the novel proper. The shifting of narrative perspective allows the reader see  conflicts  building  through the different  actors  to  i n each  drama. For example, the denouement to the Liu Xiang land-sale i s seen  from  chapters  three perspectives i n three chapters 17-19).  First  (chapter  encirclement, as Liu Wan suggests to possibility  of s e l l i n g his  17),  the  (vol. II, victim  his unfortunate brother the  land; when Liu  Xiang i s then  confronted by E r l i n who comes to pressure  him into  half of the Gao family grain he borrowed,  we  that drives Liu into agreeing to s e l l his land to keep the deal secret from Daquan. chapter 18) to purchase  of  the Qin household Liu's land.  daughter-in-law Zhao Yu'e,  repaying  see the  shame  while attempting  The scene s h i f t s (in  as they prepare  for the  Here the focus i s on Qin  a covert  of  supporter  of Daquan,  Fu's who  prepares the celebratory meal harbouring grief for Liu Xiang, then manages to slip out of in her f i r s t act of  the Qin  compound to warn Lii Ruifen  disobedience to 200  her husband's family.  F i n a l l y (chapter 19), the action focusses on Daquan as he hears of the impending sale and rushes back to the  village to disrupt  the transaction and draw the moral from the story. In a subsequent chapter, the village and i t s inhabitants are described  through the eyes of a complete outsider.  This i s the  young cadre Xu Meng, sent from the county seat to adjudicate on the charge the land  made sale.  bullying tyrant, problem  the  she  i s naive  young  land-reform  34  follow  unfamiliar  is  i n those  West.- ) We are prepared for we  and  urban i n t e l l e c t u a l s  service i n the countryside  as  a  but determines to investigate thoroughly; the  (That her g u l l i b i l i t y  autobiographical  of  Xu Meng expects to find that Daquan i s  i s that  countryside. of  by Qin Fu arising from Daquan's disruption  her  not  with  the  unrepresentative  drafted  into cadre  years i s borne out by  an  novel recently published i n the Xu  Meng's  failures of judgement  f i r s t i d y l l i c s t r o l l through Sweet Meadow:  As she walked, she looked along this unfamiliar road on the plain, with its scattered courtyard dwellings, trees thick and thin of types unknown to her, p i l e s of stuff which might have been earth or manure; a l l sorts of plants grew on fences and t r e l l i s e s , twining l i k e the morning glories in a schoolyard, bursting with blossoms l i k e b u t t e r f l i e s . A sweet unfamiliar fragrance wafted through the a i r ... pondering which door to enter f i r s t , she remembered a new novel she had recently read about v i l l a g e l i f e , which d e s c r i b e d cadres sent down to the countryside "putting down roots" by paying their first visits to the poorest folks, enabling them to grasp the true situation and stand firm. 35 Her  obvious  plants,  the  ignorance difference  of things rural — between  names of  s o i l and manure — 201  trees  and  extends  to  judgement  of  people;  her f i r s t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  t u r n s out t o be the f o r m e r l a n d l o r d Crooked Mouth.  "poor  peasant"  The  deception  of Xu Meng and her subsequent e n l i g h t e n m e n t a r e more e f f e c t i v e as seen f r o m her own  perspective  by an o m n i s c i e n t n a r r a t o r . (We  than they c o u l d  have been as  told  can o n l y i m a g i n e the heavy weather  t h a t t h e p e d a g o g u e - n a r r a t o r o f H i s t o r y o f B a t t l e s a t Hongnan m i g h t have made of the i n c i d e n t . ) The  practice  of  following a single  character  c h a p t e r i s e f f e c t i v e o n l y when t h e c h a r a c t e r command  attention  and a r o u s e i n t e r e s t .  i s one  from  activist  Sweet Meadow. Zhou  Zhong i s seen p u r s u i n g  army shoes t o r e s c u e one Liping  C h a p t e r s i n w h i c h the  character old  soles  for  l e a d s a p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the managers because of a f a c t o r y  their implausibility central characters.  as  a b s t r a c t and  plots  t o o f f e r the  their  unconvincing dealing  whose d i s c u s s i o n s of the v i l l a g e a r e  unrealistic.  i i i ) Enlightenment through A u t h o r i t y Without  and  f a i l both because of  P a r t i c u l a r l y weak a r e the c h a p t e r s  w i t h the u p p e r - l e v e l c a d r e s ,  Ran  short  d e f e c t i v e p a i r , or i n w h i c h h i s daughter  making up t h e s e same shoes i n a shoddy way,  Hao  can  "typical"  a shipment of  a  works  i t falls  t h o s e s e c t i o n s where the f o c u s i s on a s t e r e o t y p e d  away  that  W h i l e the n o v e l  w e l l w i t h i n the v i l l a g e and among the v i l l a g e r s , in  through  a homiletic narrator,  Figures but  still  f e e l i n g the  r e a d e r r e l i a b l e a n a l y s i s of e v e n t s and  makes use  need  characters,  of f i g u r e s of a u t h o r i t y w i t h i n the n o v e l 202  to  address the reader on the author's behalf. cadres and  the  older  These are the senior  v i l l a g e r s as well as the hero  Daquan.  Within the village, the main voice of authority, by virtue of his seniority, i s Zhou Zhong. His assessments of Qin Wenqing, Zhu Tiehan and Zhang J i n f a , offered in his f i r s t appearance in the novel, shape the reader's perception of them as the struggle unfolds.  When  a p o l i t i c a l d i s q u i s i t i o n i s required, i t i s  given by Liang Haishan.  Liang  delivers  political lecture at the end of the of the road  ahead;  later  prologue,  definitive  summary  on  first  the hardships  he introduces and expounds Mao's "Get  Organised" to Daquan and, late in a  the novel's  the  second  volume,  offers  (in conversation with his wife) of  Daquan's activities. That the Daquan  also  reliable characters frequently express praise for raises  the status of  the  hero;  when  Liang  Haishan's wife, after hearing her husband's retelling of the saga of Sweet Meadow, exclaims "Aiya,  he [Daquan] i s a real hero,  she speaks for the reader. In  the few cases where the narrator does intervene,  i t is  more for dramatic or rhetorical effect than to inform the  reader  directly what his opinion should be. the prologue, respond  on  the the  narrator  appeals to Daquan to  question of how he  destiny of striving for socialism; decision narrator  to  delay  laments,  before "Oh  In the final paragraph of  joining Liu Wan,  will  meet his  decide  and  historical  as Liu Wan makes his fateful Daquan's cooperative, Liu Wan, 203  the  i f only you'd  walked straight ahead when you l e f t your house, how good that on  would have been'. °  The  perceptions through  the physical and anecdotal descriptions  that  character;  introduce each  opinions to puffy-eyed"  narrator  also  one  like  does the narrator  the v i l l a g e address the  reader  need not expect reliable  come from someone "short, 39  influences  scrawny,  sallow and  i d l e r Zhang Jinshou.  reader directly;  to heighten our admiration for the hero:  Rarely  one occasion i s  "See how  well he  studies and goes into things, see how loving he i s towards his comrades ... ,"  40  whom we know can  More be  often, the author relies  able to deliver a p o l i t i c a l than can  spokesmen  trusted, and though these are generally  the novel's less appealing characters, they  succinctly  on  the  message  narrator  are nevertheless  more appositely  and  of History of Battles at  Hongnan. Hao Ran's adoption of the traditional opera structure, his constant  shifts  in  narrative focus and his  avoidance  of  the  homiletic narrator represent a departure from the narrative style of most Chinese communist l i t e r a t u r e , and the maturation of a highly individual method of writing fiction.  The sophistication  of Hao Ran's style avoids the dogmatism inherent in the use of a dominant narrator concentrating on an exemplary hero. standpoints  of the opponents of socialism, the  The  "negative  characters," can be much more clearly shown, and the views of the "masses," as  well as those of the heroes and villains,  represented through sections concentrating on them. 204  can  be  Hao Ran has  done  everything possible to avoid the limitations placed on him  by the opera model. III.  Romantic Love and Revolutionary Romanticism One  of the greatest differences between  Cultural Golden  Revolution work and the opera model he followed in The Road concerned the portrayal of love:  there  i s no marital relationship,  defined  only in class,  model 1966  Hao Ran's pre-  in a l l the operas  no courtship,  not personal terms.  and love i s  How could  not constrict a writer who had established himself as the most romantic of his generation,  stories  such a before  both in his short  and in the romance between the hero Xiao  Changchun and  Jiao Shuhong in Bright Sunny Skies? The  novel's  disappointed author: response (aiqing and  lack  at least  and happy  one young reader,  love  who demanded  story of the  "Why didn't you dare to write a love story?" Hao Ran's was that  "whether or not you write  about  shenghuo) i s decided by the needs of the  the central hero."  about  of a simple  Besides,  41  he argued,  the relations of three couples,  Daquan  love-life  central theme he had written  and Ruifen, Qin  Wenji and Zhao Yu'e, and Erlin and Caifeng. Hao  Ran's self-justification indicates a change of purpose  in writing about love. the new  equality  of partners  His early love stories had celebrated  of young men and women and the free  under communist  comradeship i s  a common  rule.  Love a r i s i n g  theme i n these s t o r i e s , 205  choice out of  and i t i s  community  of purpose that strengthens the bond between Xiao  Changchun and Jiao Shuhong 1970's the  author may  sufficiently  in Bright Sunny Skies.  have f e l t that his young readers were  f a m i l i a r with the concept of free choice, and  should instead be reminded of the primacy interest  as  The of  a  basis  for  of  shared  political  a satisfactory relationship.  marriage of Gao Daquan and Lu Ruifen does not arise out  free choice;  wish  By the early  rather i t i s a f i l i a l obligation to  the  dying  of R