Michael S. Duke
Chinese literature has been the slave of politics at least since 1948 and especially during the Cultural Revolution. So repressed and convoluted is most Chinese literature that the West cannot read it as literature at all but rather as sociological and political texts. Professor Duke believes this has changed enough since 1977 to permit genuine literary analysis. This book surveys and analyzes the most important literary events in the PRC from 1977 to 1982. Chapter I covers the significant changes in the Chinese Party line on literature and art during this period and thus provides the backdrop for literary and artistic endeavor. Subsequent chapters deal with the critique of Chinese literature by China's own writers, the neo-realistic fiction of 1979-80, the nonfiction works of a courageous investigative reporter for "The People's Daily", and the theme of humanism and its treatment in the works of Bai Hua and Dai Houying. The final chapter discusses the post-Mao generation of young writers, who are trying to create works that go beyond narrowly ideological boundaries of the past and reach toward a true modern Chinese literature.