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Poets of the Chinese Revolution
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Poets of the Chinese Revolution (Hardback)

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Synopsis

How poetry and revolution meshed in Red China This is a book of poems by four veteran Chinese revolutionaries. Chen Duxiu led China's early cultural awakening before founding the Communist Party in 1921. Mao led the Party to power in 1949. Zheng Chaolin, Chen Duxiu's disciple and, like him, a convert to Trotskyism, spent 34 years in jail, first under the Nationalists and then under Mao. The guerrilla Chen Yi wrote poems in mountain bivouacs or the heat of battle. All wrote in the classical style, which Mao Zedong officially proscribed, though he and other leaders kept using it. Poetry, especially classical poetry, plays a different role in China, and in Chinese revolution, from in the West - it is collective and collaborative. The four poets were entangled with one another in various ways. Chen Duxiu inspired Mao, though Mao later denounced him. Mao and Zheng joined the leadership under Chen Duxiu in the 1920s, though Mao later gaoled Zheng. The maverick Chen Yi was Zheng's associate in France and Mao's comrade-in-arms in China, but he clashed with the Maoists in the Cultural Revolution. Together, the four poets illustrate the complex relationship between Communist revolution and Chinese cultural tradition.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: poetry & poetsHistory & PoliticsHistory General & TheoryGeneral & world historyHistory & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsRevolutions, uprisings, rebellions Publisher: Verso Books Publication Date: 25/06/2019 ISBN-13: 9781788734684  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Gregor Benton is emeritus professor of Chinese history at Cardiff University. He has published many books on China and other subjects. His principal research areas are modern Chinese history, dissent under communism, and Chinese diaspora. His Mountain Fires: The Red Army's Three-Year War in South China, 1934-1938 (1992) won several awards, including the Association of Asian Studies' prize for the Best Book on Modern China. His translation of Mei Zhi's Hu Feng's Prison Years won the English Pen Award. Feng Chongyi is Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and adjunct Professor of History at China's Nankai University. His research focuses on intellectual and political development in modern and contemporary China, including the growth of rights consciousness and democratic forces. He has been named as one of China's top hundred public intellectuals by several Chinese websites.

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