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Hai Jui dismissed from office : its role in the great poletarian cultural revolution Ansley, Clive Malcolm

Abstract

In November of 1965, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was launched in China when a Shanghai newspaper editor, Yao Wen-yuan, published an attack on the play which is translated here, Hai Jui Dismissed from Office. The fact that this event constituted the beginning of what later became a political struggle of vast proportions was recognized only belatedly by most Western analysts. When the Cultural Revolution moved into high gear with the launching of the Red Guard movement in the spring of 1966, vague references were made in some Western commentaries to the fact that the explosion seemed to have been ignited, by the public exposure of a drama which had purportedly satirized the Communist Party and Mao Tse-tung. No one appeared to have any certainty about exactly what the play had said and in what way it satirized Mao and the Party. As far as I am aware, this is the first translation of the entire text of the play, or any part of it, into English. Aside from simply translating the text of the play, the purpose of this thesis is to analyze the events of late 1965 and early 1966 and place them both in chronological order and in political perspective. In this way, it is clearly shown how the attack on Wu Han led to attacks on other "bourgeois" writers and intellectuals. Eventually, this latter group was linked to high officials in the Peking Municipal Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. Finally, the "cultural" aspect of the Cultural Revolution gave way to a full-fledged political battle within the Party itself.

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