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The Theory of Chinese Socialist Realism Evolved in "Wenyiba" 1957

By 直樹 阪口


Socialist realism theory which was advocated in the Soviet Union in 1932 did not become a leading matter of concern to the literary world in China until 'post-emancipation'. It is because this slogan had been understood there before then as the special circumstances of Soviet and it had a character of emphasis on speciality of Literature. Before the emancipation, when every ideological part had to be connected directly with political revolution, only literature could not be out of the influence. The establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 included the collapse of "wartime communist organization". Socialist realism was thoroughly introduced into China after then. This slogan was not brought there as it had been; it was apprehended so differently for the special state of Chinese literature. For years from the movement of "Baihuaqifang" proposed by Lu Dingyi in 1956 to "the conflict of anti-right" the next year, the political-principled and the literary-liberalized held the hardest controversy with each other. They tried to pull "socialist realism" toward their respective grounds. For example He Zhi and ZhouBo insisted on altering "socialist realism" to "realism of socialist age". I intend to consider a trend of socialist realism theory in "Wenyibao" 1957. "Wenyibao" is the only nationwide magazine in literary theories. Accordingly if the tendency can be seized precisely, we can make out a condition of Chinese literary world in those times. Now what traits are seen in "Wenyibao 1957"? They are itemized as follows: 1) The first is that there happens a variation on the standard of literary criticism as a result of political quake. For personnel current, Cheng Yong and Wang Ruowang who criticized HeZhi and ZhouBo were criticized in their turn. More in the literary view of point, there is a long distance among Cheng Yong, Wang Ruowang and Yao Wenyuan. 2) The second item is that an investigation of socialist realism goes toward one of "Chinese realism". It is not unrelated with the floating of realism on modern literature that Li Changzhi aimed to seek a formation of Chinese realism around an appraisal of "Jin ping mei" classical literary work. The issue connects with the fact that Mao Dun wanted to grasp the history of Chinese literature from the viewpoint of "realism and anti-realism" which was stated in "Yeduouji" 1958. 3) The third is that a theme of artistic reality and ideology was largely treated. When we take a look at the issue of 'the world view and writing method' that is a main pillar of socialist realism theory, we find very few of disputes as to Balzac theory by Engels and writing method of dialectic materialism by RAPP. The fact that 'view of world and writing method' was substituted for 'artistic reality and ideology' may mean that 'socialist realism' was adopted in Chinese style. 4) The last item is that "formality; stereotype" got a center of interest concerning "modelling". In this issue..... (1) confrontation and explosure of neglective actuality (2) "undisciplined in thought" → "remodelled" → "idealistic" (3) complete heroism, --- these three views of literature existed side by side. Perhaps this may be connected with "double construction in economy and culture of China. In the field of economy, "great improvement" was exchanged for "adjustment" and "modernization" exchanged for "political-principled" --- these features were overlapped on the substitution of "realism" for "romanticism". As for a motto of 1958, "combination of revolutional realism and revolutional romanticism", why were the two mentioned at the same time? Besides why was "Wenyijianghua" by Mao Zedong 1957 almost ignored? It is not too much to say that the reasons come from the above-mentioned "Double construction" of Chinese culture

Publisher: 大阪教育大学
Year: 1979
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