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Speaking to HistoryThe Story of King Goujian in Twentieth-Century China$
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Paul Cohen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255791

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255791.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2019

Political Allegory in the 1980s

Political Allegory in the 1980s

(p.177) FIVE Political Allegory in the 1980s
Speaking to History

Xiao Jun

Bai Hua

University of California Press

Although the Goujian story does not appear to have had a significant impact during China's Cultural Revolution decade, it never disappeared entirely. Mao Zedong died in September 1976, and the political leadership of China passed to Deng Xiaoping. Among the new policy directions that were adopted under Deng's leadership, beginning in the late 1970s, was a palpable (although frustratingly inconsistent) loosening of the political constraints on Chinese intellectual life. In these circumstances, criticism of the Mao years (and at least indirectly of Mao himself), although certainly not without its risks, became a live possibility. Two Chinese intellectuals who perhaps took advantage of this possibility were writers Xiao Jun, who had been intermittently at war with the Communist Party ever since the early 1940s in Yan'an, and Bai Hua, who joined the Red Army during the civil war and was known for his strong support for the short-lived democracy movement of 1979.

Keywords:   China, Goujian, intellectuals, writers, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Cultural Revolution, Xiao Jun, Bai Hua, Communist Party

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