From the very beginning of Socialist construction the battle was waged to make literature and art relevant for the mass of the Chinese population. In the old China education was for the few and culture in the widest sense was denied workers and peasants. This meant that in the developing of a new Socialist consciousness it was important for those writers and artists born before the victory of the revolution to change their way of thinking and to produce works of art for a new audience. This was a struggle of ideas that was to reach its pinnacle during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of 1966-76.
But the revolution also bred its own cultural heroes and even during the wars of liberation of the 1930 and 40s revolutionary artists were producing works for the people, These early works, novels, short stories, poems, operas, plays and figurative works of Socialist Realist art were also published in issues of Chinese Literature.
On the ideological remoulding of writers and artists
Remould our thoughts to serve the masses
Sun over the Sangkan River (Stalin Prize for Literature winner 1951) – complete novel
‘The White Haired Girl’ – Chinese Opera – which was to become one of the ‘model plays’ of the Cultural revolution
Chu Yuan: Great Patriotic Poet – a poet from the Warring States period of Chinese history, in the 4th century BCE