Revolution and Its Narratives : China's Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949-1966
Cai Xiang is Professor of Chinese Literature and Director of the Research Institute for Contemporary Literature at Shanghai University.Rebecca E. Karl is Associate Professor of History at New York University and the author of
Narratives of Labor or Labor Utopias
This chapter takes up the narrativization of labor, as a form of the reorganization and transformation of rural society. How does labor—in its many rural forms—become the standard against which all social and village activity is measured? The collectization of labor under rural cooperatives posed particular narrative problems for socialist literary production. The topics engaged in this chapter include the relation of socialist literature to romanticism, the ways in which the communal forms of labor in the Chinese countryside were narrated differently from the Soviet communization process, the ways in which narrative dealt with the attempted subversions of cooperatization, and the forms of reconciliation and conflict the rural class struggle took in literary production.