During his tenure in the Lu Xun Academy in Yan'an, the center of the Chinese Revolution, the novelist Zhou Libo ran a seminar on world literature. While teaching masterpieces of European novelists, Zhou developed a theory of the novel that inherited themes of liberal humanism and appropriated them for a burgeoning revolutionary culture. In his teaching notes, Zhou upholds the people as the transformative engine for social progress: they are authors of their own culture, the political subjects of popular democracy, and in solidarity with the working classes of the world. This essay considers Zhou's fiction theory as a part of the transition from the old democratic revolution led by the Chinese bourgeoisie to the new democratic cultural initiative carried out by the enlightened intelligentsia and progressive working people.
Ban Wang; The People in the Modern Chinese Novel: Popular Democracy and World Literature. Novel 1 May 2014; 47 (1): 43–56. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-2414057
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