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Revolution and Its Narratives


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Table of Contents

A Note on Translation vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction to the English Translation / Rebecca E. Karl and Xueping Zhong xi

Introduction. Literature and Revolutionary China 1

1. The National/The Local: Conflict, Negotiation, and Capitulation in the Revolutionary Imagination 27

2. The Mobilization Structure: The Masses, Cadres, and Intellectuals 85

3. Youth, Love, "Natural Rights," and Sex 145

4. Renarrating the History of the Revolution: From Hero to Legend 189

5. Narratives of Labor or Labor Utopias 251

6. Technological Revolution and Narratives of Working-Class Subjectivity 307

7. Cultural Politics, or Political Cultural Conflicts, in the 1960s 357

8. Conclusion. The Crisis of Socialism and Efforts to Overcome It 403

Bibliography 433

Index 447

About the Author

Cai Xiang is Professor of Chinese Literature and Director of the Research Institute for Contemporary Literature at Shanghai University. Rebecca E. Karl is Associate Professor of History at New York University. She is the author of The Magic of Concepts: History and the Economic in Twentieth-Century China. Xueping Zhong is Professor of Chinese Literature and Culture at Tufts University and the author of Masculinity Besieged?: Issues of Modernity and Male Subjectivity in Chinese Literature of the Late Twentieth Century, also published by Duke University Press.


"Cai Xiang's study of socialist literary and cultural imaginaries, originally published in 2010, is one of the most provocative books on post-1949 Chinese literature and culture appearing in Chinese since the beginning of the new century. Its English version, Revolution and Its Narratives, brilliantly edited and meticulously translated by Rebecca E. Karl and Xueping Zhong, makes a significant and timely contribution to ongoing debates about the cultural-political legacies of revolutionary China." -- Pu Wang * The China Quarterly *
"Revolution and Its Narratives contains numerous original insights, based on a wealth of readings of both classics of the 1950s and 1960s and many lesser-known works. It covers a wide range of topics and will be essential reading for scholars and graduate students working on Chinese socialist literature." -- Nicolai Volland * Modern Chinese Literature and Culture *
"Revolution & Its Narratives is beyond any doubt a major achievement and a substantial contribution to the field of Chinese cultural production of the 1950s and 1960s. Cai's superb sensibility to theory, erudition, and ethical commitment to the subaltern classes make his book a compelling work of mind and passion." -- Yiju Huang * China Review International *

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