Lu Xun and His Legacy by Leo Ou-Fan Lee

By Leo Ou-Fan Lee

Dialogue of the author Lu Xun's effect at the improvement of chinese language tradition and literature.

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Not only did the ‘vague directives’ of the PRC’s cultural bureaucrats compel artists to exercise self-discipline in relation to their activities, for fear of the possibility of official disapprobation—a situation exacerbated by previous reversals of ideological direction in the PRC, such as that associated with Mao’s One Hundred Flowers Bloom Campaign (Baihua yundong ⱒ㢅䖤ࡼ)19 of the 1950s, where those who had taken up Mao’s invitation to criticize the CCP were denounced and in numerous cases violently punished—they also left considerable scope for the CCP to retighten ideological limits, particularly if the outcomes of Deng’s reforms were perceived to threaten social stability or the political authority of the party in any way (Köppel-Yang 2003: 45–47).

The One Hundred Flowers Bloom Campaign was a CCP campaign, during 1956 and 1957, which encouraged Chinese citizens to express their views on matters of national government policy openly. ’ The campaign was eventually brought to an end after soliciting comments highly critical of CCP policy. Many of those who had voiced criticism of the party were severely punished. Some commentators have interpreted the One Hundred Flowers Bloom Campaign as a calculated attempt by Mao Zedong to flush out and crush dissent within the PRC, although this is by no means certain.

The group staged a significant public exhibition of its work in the PRC in 1979. Dazibao (big character posters—literally, ‘big character reports’) are handwritten, wallmounted posters with large-scale Chinese characters that were used historically in China as a form of popular communication and protest. In modern times, dazibao have been supplemented by fragments of text taken from newspapers as well as printed reports and photographic images. During the Cultural Revolution, dazibao were produced as a means of communicating political directives and of denouncing individuals and groups perceived to be in opposition to established Maoist thinking.

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