Chou Yang, The Path of Socialist Literature and Art in China

Report Delivered To the Third Congress of Chinese Literary and Art Workers On July 22, 1960 (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1960)

The author of this text is Zhou Yang (周扬 , 1908-1989, in this publication the transcription 'Chou Yang' is used), the Party's most influential official in the field of arts and literature after 1949. Before the Cultural Revolution, he held many high positions, such as vice-minister of culture, vice-director of the Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and vice-chairman of the All-China Federation of Literary and Art Circles. In 1955 he led the ruthless campaign against Hu Feng, the literary critic who opposed the supremacy of ideology over the arts as advocated by Mao Zedong. Later, Zhou became more liberal. He was the co-author of the so-called Ten Points on Literature and Art (1962) that allowed for more artistic freedom and warned against undue political interference. In 1966, he was among the first senior officials to fall. He was humiliated many times at mass meetings and ruthlessly persecuted (see To Trumpet Bourgeois Literature and Art Is to Restore Capitalism). After the Cultural Revolution, he was rehabilitated and regained his position.


The Third Congress of Chinese Literary and Art Workers has opened today.


Nearly seven years have passed since the Second Congress was held in September 1953. And it is eleven years since the First Congress, held in July 1949. Although ten years or so are no more than a brief moment in the whole course of the history of mankind, yet in this brief space drastic changes have taken place in our country and in the world.

Having successively won great victories in the democratic revolution and in the socialist revolution, our people today, guided and inspired by the Party's general line for building socialism, are scoring great successes in industrial and agricultural production and on all other fronts. In this vast land of ours a series of new phenomena have appeared. Socialist economic construction is leaping forward continuously at unprecedented speed; the rural and urban people's communes are like the morning sun rising in the east; millions of people are drawn into the movements for the technical revolution and cultural revolution which are being carried forward with tremendous fervour. An incomparably profound change has taken place in the spiritual outlook of the masses. Comrade Mao Tse-tung has most aptly used the phrase "so high in spirit, so strong in morale and so firm in determination" to describe the Chinese people during the big leap forward. The heroism displayed by our people in the revolutionary struggle and in productive labour, their

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lofty ideals and moral qualities, have won the praise of progressive mankind all over the world. China is step by step changing its state of poverty, weakness and backwardness and stands in the world in a magnificent revolutionary manner and in all the glory of youth.

The broad masses of people of the various countries in the socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union are successfully carrying out socialist construction, advancing with giant strides. The mighty strength of the socialist camp, and the political consciousness, unity and struggles of the peoples of the world constitute a powerful bulwark against imperialism and in defence of world peace. The imperialist camp headed by the United States is declining further. The policies of war and aggression pursued by U.S. imperialism are encountering opposition from more and more people throughout the world. A Cuban revolutionary poet has written:

People of Cuba!
Learn to shout
This sentence in English:
Yankees, get out!

These wrathful lines represent the voice of all the peoples trampled upon by U.S. imperialism. In Asia, Africa and Latin America the movements for national liberation and democratic revolution are surging ahead. The victory of the Cuban people's revolution, the courageous patriotic struggle of the Japanese people against U.S. imperialism, the Algerian people's war of resistance for national independence, the rising of the Congolese people against colonialism, the overthrow of traitorous dictators by the peoples of south Korea and Turkey - these have greatly

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stirred the hearts of the people throughout the world, freed many of their fear of imperialism and inspired the people of the world in the struggle against imperialism. In the imperialist countries, there has been a further development of the just struggle of the broad masses of the people against monopoly capital and against fascism, and to win and safeguard democratic freedoms, and for social progress. A new high tide has appeared in the struggle embracing the broadest sections of the people against the war forces of imperialism and in defence of world peace. The time has now come for the people of the oppressed nations of the world to shatter completely the chains of imperialism and colonialism. The day is not distant when imperialism will finally be wiped off the face of the earth. The superior system of socialism and the beautiful ideal of communism are attracting more and more people in the world.

Literature and art are a form of ideology belonging to the superstructure; they are a reflection of the economic basis and are the nerve centre of the class struggle. In the imperialist countries people observe a scene of fearful spiritual collapse and moral degeneration. This is also reflected in the works of literature and art of these countries. The films shown by the chief capitalist countries at the 13th International Film Festival held in Cannes, France, last May were, virtually without exception, an agglomeration of sex, obscenity and crime. Even bourgeois critics could not but admit with regret that this was "the most scandalously shameless film festival of all time." This was just a projection of the decay and decline of the capitalist world. The monopoly capitalists not only have turned the literature, films and art pro-

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duced under their control into drugs corrupting and poisoning the hearts of men, but through the writers in their employ, have created a considerable body of blood-thirsty writings which blatantly advocates aggressive war, colonial rule and racial discrimination, and directly serves the war forces of imperialism. In West Germany and Japan, following the revival of fascism and militarism, a considerable body of writing extolling Nazi war criminals and trumpeting the "soul of the Yamato race" has been let loose. Many bourgeois writers and artists in the so-called "free world" are irretrievably sunk in mental despair; some of them regard the end of capitalism as the end of the world and are thus full of fear and apprehension, unable to see any hope for the future of mankind; some vacillate between capitalism and socialism; some gradually manage to break through the barriers of a bourgeois world outlook and various kinds of prejudices to turn to the side of the people, the side of socialism.

Progressive, revolutionary writers and artists are subjected to all kinds of discrimination and persecution in the capitalist countries; yet they are stubbornly persisting in the struggle, and have produced many fine works reflecting the people's progressive aspirations: Many peace-loving writers and artists in various countries of the world have been taking an active part in the movement to defend world peace. In some places where the storm of the national and democratic revolutions has arisen, revolutionary writers and artists stand in the forefront of the struggle, sharing the destiny of their people, faithfully expressing the people's longing for liberation. Let us here express our greatest respect for all those writ-

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ers and artists who are fighting heart and soul for peace, democracy, national independence and human progress.

Our socialist literature and art are utterly opposed to that literature and art which serve imperialism and the reactionaries. In contrast to the moribund, decadent literature and art of capitalism, our literature and art are revolutionary and full of vitality, a literature and art which inspire the labouring people to rise up to transform the world, to wage a revolutionary struggle. Literature and art of this kind describe the wide world of the people, depict the great struggles of the labouring masses, reflect the rise and prosperity of the new socialist world, the birth and development of the new men and women of communism.

The modern revisionists represented by Tito's clique in Yugoslavia distort the correct principle of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social systems and loudly advocate so-called "active coexistence"; they deny the antagonism between the socialist camp and the imperialist camp and advocate the interweaving and merging of the socialist and bourgeois ideological systems. They attempt by various ways and means to disrupt the socialist camp ideologically and politically and liquidate the just struggle of the peoples of the world against imperialism. To this end, the revisionists, acting in coordination with the propaganda machine of the imperialists, are everywhere peddling the rotten capitalist culture and way of life, and doing their best to encourage all kinds of ideological trends hostile to Marxism, socialism and the people among the intellectuals, writers and artists of the socialist countries. On the front of litera-

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ture and art, the struggle between the socialist and the imperialist countries, between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, between the forces of progress and those of reaction is extremely sharp.

Revolutionary literature and art are subordinate to revolutionary politics, while reactionary literature and art are subordinate to reactionary politics. And once a revolutionary writer or artist departs from the people's revolutionary cause, no matter under what flag, he loses his bearings, strays on to the wrong track, and becomes degenerate or even reactionary.

Our people's present political task is to build our country at the quickest possible rate warranted by objective conditions, into a strong socialist state with a modern industry, modern agriculture, modern science and culture, and to prepare the conditions for the future advance to communism. At the same time, together with the peoples of the various socialist countries, together with all revolutionary and peace-loving peoples of the world, we must exert our utmost efforts to oppose imperialism and to win lasting world peace. On the ideological front, we must raise still higher the revolutionary banner of Marxism-Leninism and oppose the reactionary ideological trends of modern revisionism; we must, by means of a protracted and unremitting struggle, make a clean sweep of the political and ideological influences of the bourgeoisie among the masses, and greatly enhance the communist consciousness and moral qualities of our people. Our literature and art should become keen instruments for educating the people in the spirit of socialism and communism, in the spirit of proletarian internationalism.

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Revolutionary writers and artists should take their stand in the frontline of the people's revolutionary struggle, in the forefront of the times.

Since the First and Second Congress, and especially since the big leap forward, extremely great successes have been won in our literary and art work; a great wealth of experience has been gained. Under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and Comrade Mao Tse-tung, we have found the correct path for the development of socialist literature and art. At this Congress, we should make a good summing-up of our experience and elucidate how literature and art in our country have developed; we should expound what is the correct direction and path of advance which our literature and art should take, and which benefits the cause of socialism and communism as well as the development of socialist literature and art themselves; we should explain how sharp struggles have been waged in the literary and art circles of our country between the proletarian line and the bourgeois line, between the communist world outlook and the bourgeois world outlook. These are the questions which are to be discussed with special emphasis at this Congress.




Our literature and art serve the workers, peasants and soldiers, serve the cause of socialism. Since 1942 when Comrade Mao Tse-tung's celebrated Talks at the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature was published, that litera-

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ture and art must serve the workers, peasants and soldiers, has always been the firm and unswerving line that has been supported, followed and fought for by our revolutionary literary and art workers. Our achievements in literature and art are the victory of the line on literature and art laid down by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the victory of Marxist-Leninist principles in literature and art.

In our country, the labouring masses of workers and peasants have become the masters of the country; they have overthrown the oppressors and exploiters and done away with the system of private ownership of the means of production; members of the parasitic classes who formerly lived by exploitation are now being remoulded into working people who earn their living by their own labour. By taking the path of co-operation and people's communes, the former individual peasants and individual handicraftsmen have become collective peasants and collective craftsmen. Whom should literature and art serve if not the labouring masses of workers and peasants, and their intellectuals? Should we serve the landlord class and bourgeoisie instead? I would like to ask who, today, is more worthy of being depicted than the labouring people? The line that literature and art serve the workers, peasants and soldiers has opened up a new world for literature and art; it provides writers and artists with new themes, new subjects to depict and new audiences to serve. This is the direction for the development of the literature and art of mankind; this is a great revolution in literature and art.

Today, serving the workers, peasants and soldiers means serving the cause of socialist construction in which

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millions of people are so vigorously engaged, serving the Party's general line, serving the great communist tomorrow. It means serving the noble cause of opposing imperialism and winning lasting world peace. It means portraying the great deeds and achievements of our people in the revolution and in construction, portraying their spirit of arduous struggle and lofty communist qualities. It means working in co-ordination with the technical revolution and cultural revolution of the masses, thoroughly smashing the monopolizing of literature and art by a few, so that literature and art can be accepted and made use of by the broadest masses of workers and peasants.

That literature and art should serve the workers, peasants and soldiers is the proletarian line in literature and art. It is sharply opposed to the bourgeois line in literature and art. This is why it is looked upon with hostility and is hated by all reactionaries and revisionists both inside and outside the country. Hu Feng called this line "a dagger"; the Yugoslav revisionists revile it as a "persecution" of writers. This is not in the least surprising. For they hate the working class, they hate the revolution. And in the eyes of bourgeois men of letters, literature and art are the monopoly of a small number of the "upper class," their private property; from their point of view literature and art should praise none but the bourgeoisie and bourgeois intellectuals, should prettify the corrupt way of life of the bourgeoisie and propagate bourgeois individualist ideas and low tastes. How can they, these "literary aristocrats," be willing to portray or serve the masses of workers and peasants? Therefore, to develop socialist literature and art we cannot but wage an unremitting struggle against bourgeois ideas. This struggle started

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with the criticism of the film The Life of Wu Hsun in 1951, proceeded to the criticism of the Studies on the "Dream of the Red Chamber" and the repudiation of the ideas of Hu Shih and Hu Feng and the exposure of Hu Feng's counter-revolutionary clique, down to the struggle against Ting Ling and Chen Chi-hsia's anti-Party clique and other rightists in 1957, and following these, the repudiation of revisionist trends in literature and art. This series of struggles on the front of literature and art is a reflection in the realm of ideology of the class struggle in our country during the period of the socialist revolution and socialist construction. If we take the criticism of The Life of Wu Hsun as the first shot fired at bourgeois ideas in literature and art since the founding of our People's Republic, then the struggle against the rightists in this field was a decisive battle on the literary and art front between two roads, two kinds of world outlooks.

The bourgeois rightists and the revisionists are always trying to change our literature and art in accordance with their world outlook and aesthetic theory, and they are always trying to drag our literature and art on to the capitalist road. In order to clear the path for the advance of socialist literature and art, a protracted and repeated struggle against bourgeois thought is inevitable. This is the law of development of socialist literature and art. As a result of these struggles, our literature and art have not "withered," as some reactionary men of letters insist, but have grown stronger and healthier. Now, we can all see, the literature and art of our country are advancing by leaps and bounds along the socialist track.

In our country, literature and art are no longer monopolized by a few, but have become the common under-

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taking of the broad masses of people of the various nationalities in our land. Revolutionary literature, drama, films and other forms of art have taken a deep hold on our people's hearts. Many new works of literature run into editions of hundreds of thousands or even more than a million copies. Film audiences in 1959 reached a total of 4,100 million. The new repertoire of traditional operas, modern dramas, new operas, music, dancing, chuyi1 and acrobatics are attracting increasingly broad audiences. Works of fine art are enjoyed by the broad masses of people; every year tens of millions of picture-story books are printed. The labouring masses have found that literature and art are indeed serving them, truthfully reflecting their thoughts, feelings and wishes, and are "textbooks of life" which encourage them in their work and struggles; and enhance their moral qualities. Workers and peasants are taking a keen part themselves in literary and art creation; spare-time art activities and the movement for spare-time writing in factories, villages and the armed forces are unfolding on a scale that is unprecedented. The talented creations of many unknown worker and peasant authors shine brilliantly side by side with the best works of professional writers and artists. Never before have literature and art occupied such an important position in the people's life as today, never before have they played such an important role or received such serious attention from the people. The relationship between literature and art and the labouring people has changed and the character of literature and art

1 Traditional performances including different kinds of ballad singing, story-telling and comic dialogues. - Ed.

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has also changed. By degrees our literature and art are becoming the labouring people's own literature and art.

The most outstanding features of our literature and art are their vigorous and clear-cut revolutionary character and militancy. Literary and art workers, in their role as drummers of the times, are using every form of literature and art to give a sharp and prompt reflection of our people's struggle against imperialism, and in defence of our motherland and world peace, and the new people and new things which are constantly appearing on all the fronts of construction in our motherland, enthusiastically depicting the growth of the new in the midst of struggles, showing the positive role played by literature and art in close co-ordination with politics. There is a considerable body of good writing which gives a comprehensive picture and artistic generalization of the revolutionary history of our people and of the struggles they are now engaged in. Every stage in the history of the stirring people's revolutionary struggle in our country from the time of the Opium War to that of socialist revolution is presented in such novels and stories as Keep the Red Flag Flying, The Song of Youth, Three Families' Lane, Sacred Fountain Cavern, Sow-Thistle, Railway Guerrillas, Red Sun, Tracks in the Snowy Forest, Sanliwan Village, Great Changes in a Mountain Village, The Builders, Beacon on the Steppes, Dawn on the River, and The Joy of Battle; in such long narrative poems as The Story of Yang Kao, The Carter and Tumultuous Years; in such plays as The Long March, The Red Storm, Long Live Our Heroes!, Prelude to the Eastward March and Locust Tree Village; and in such films as The Battle of Sangkumryung, Commissioner Lin, The Storm, Nieh Erh,

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The Song of Youth, Tung Tsun-jui and Youth in the Flames of War. Pictures of the stirring life on every front in industrial and agricultural construction and the big leap forward are given in such novels and stories as Steeled and Tempered, In Time of Peace, Riding on the Wind, Dawn in Wind and Rain, A Stormy Night and My First Superior; in such plays as Taming the Dragon and the Tiger, A Happy Reunion and In Praise of Communism; and in the films New Story of an Old Soldier, The Yellow River Flows Up, Spring Warmth Among the People, Everywhere Is Spring and Five Golden Flowers.

Advanced figures among the masses of workers and peasants have become the major heroes and heroines in our literature and art. Heroic images of workers, peasants, soldiers, revolutionary cadres and revolutionary intellectuals have been created in many good novels, stories, films, plays, paintings and other art forms. Writers and artists have embodied their own ideals in the creation of these heroic figures, presenting a new world, new people and new ideas in their works of art. In the works of recent years one can perceive a clear trend that writers are giving a more vivid, more profound portrayal of the world-transforming revolutionary enthusiasm of the masses and their magnificent spirit, while their characterization is fuller and much finer than before. In Keep the Red Flag Flying we see the heroic history of the older generation of revolutionary peasants in attacking the forces of reaction during the long years of dark rule. Chu Chung personifies in full the age-old class hatred of generations of peasants against the landlords, and the demand for revolution of the peasants aroused and inspired by the Party. Sow-Thistle written against the background of all

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the complex and bitter struggles in the bases established behind the enemy lines during the War of Resistance to Japanese Aggression, depicts a kindly, brave revolutionary mother. Li Yu-kuo, the Red Army instructor in The Long March, devotes his whole life to the Party and the revolution; at the very point of death, he cries confidently: "Let the revolution gallop forward!" His profile makes an impression on our minds not easily forgotten. Red Sun depicts a high-ranking officer, Shen Chen-hsin, who shoulders a heavy responsibility in directing a decisive battle, but gives his commands calmly and with confidence. The soldier Yang Tzu-jung in Tracks in the Snowy Forest epitomizes the intelligence and the daring spirit of revolutionary scouts. The Builders gives a trenchant description of the fierce class struggle in the villages in the course of agricultural co-operation and the different characteristics of villagers of different classes and strata; Liang Sheng-pao is a true portrayal of a young revolutionary peasant determined to take the socialist road. Chin Teh-kuei in Steeled and Tempered, Teng Hsiu-mei in Great Changes in a Mountain Village and the heroines in New Friends and The Story of Li Shuangshuang are all lively and vivid pictures of young workers and peasants.

The creation of these characters has answered the question: Who are the heroes of our time? It shows that the working class and labouring people have been given the position in our works of literature and art which they deserve.

The masses of labouring people are always the creators of human civilization and society's wealth, but owing to the fact that for centuries they were oppressed and ex-

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ploited politically and economically they were often either ignored or distorted in the literature and art of the past. With its entry onto the stage of history, the working class demands that literature and art correctly portray the labouring people and that they become fighting weapons of the working class.

Back in the forties of the last century, Engels was loud in his praise of the descriptions of "the poor and the despised class" which he found in the works of Dickens, George Sand and Eugene Sue, considering this phenomenon as "a thoroughgoing revolution" in the field of novel writing in Europe. ("The Movement on the Continent.") Later, in the eighties, he formally laid down before revolutionary writers the task of describing the revolutionary struggle of the working class. Descriptions of this revolutionary struggle should, he said, "lay claim to a place in the domain of realism." ("Letter to Margaret Harkness.") By the time of Lenin, the centre of the proletarian revolutionary storm had shifted to Russia, and Lenin in his famous "Party Organization and Party Literature" further put forward the Party's slogan for literature, pointing out: "Literature must become part of the common cause of the proletariat," socialist literature should "serve the millions and tens of millions of working people." Lenin, indeed, was the first to formulate the fighting programme of proletarian literature and art.

The new revolutionary literature and art of our country came into being under the impact of the great October Revolution, and are a part of the socialist literature and art of the world proletariat. To meet the needs of the revolutionary struggle, the Chinese Communist Party, soon after its birth, put forward the idea of the creation

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of a revolutionary literature and art. To open up the road for proletarian literature and art, Lu Hsun, Chu Chiu-pai and many other revolutionary writers and artists pioneered the way and even shed their blood or laid down their lives. Comrade Mao Tse-tung, on the basis of the actual practice in the Chinese revolution, has creatively developed the principles of Party literature formulated by Lenin by pointing out clearly that literature and art should serve the workers, peasants and soldiers. As a result, our literature and art have undergone a fundamental, historic change.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung's great contribution to the Marxist theory of literature and art lies not only in the fact that he posed most clearly and penetratingly the question of whom literature and art should serve, but also in giving a fundamental solution to the question of how this should be done. Comrade Mao Tse-tung has explored from various aspects the way in which literature and art should serve the labouring people, has formulated the dialectical relationship between popularization and elevation in literature and art, and has laid the main emphasis in all problems on the fundamental question of how literary and art workers should link themselves with the worker and peasant masses and by so doing remould their own world outlook. Only by merging with the masses of workers and peasants can literary and art workers find the richest source for creative work, only so can they become familiar with the new life and the new people, only so can they produce works which will faithfully portray workers and peasants, be loved by the masses and be of benefit to the people. The new age has set new tasks for our literature and art; the writers

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and artists of this new age cannot but take a new path in their life and creative activity which is fundamentally different from that of writers and artists in the past - the path of integrating themselves with the masses of workers and peasants. This is the only way for writers and artists who are intellectuals not of proletarian origin to transform their former world outlook, establish a communist world outlook and become truly the spokesmen of the working class. Even the writers and artists from worker or peasant families or those of the younger generation brought up in the new society also need to remould themselves continuously and to maintain close and long-term contact with the workers and peasants. For as soon as they cut themselves off from the masses, from revolutionary struggle and productive labour, they will be unable to stand up to the attack of bourgeois ideas and will take the wrong road by mistake - some may even sink into the quagmire of opposition to socialism. Liu Shao-tang is a case in point. So the very key to the line that literature and art must serve workers, peasants and soldiers lies in literary and art workers becoming identified with the workers and peasants.

Since the rectification campaign and struggle against the rightists in 1957, a great many literary and art workers have gone to farms or factories to take part in labour or work at the grass-roots level; and this has played a decisive part in enabling them to merge more completely with the labouring people, in bringing about a change in their world outlook, way of life and views on literature and art. When they have taken an actual part in labour, literary and art workers have really come to grasp the profound significance of the maxim "Labour

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is glorious." They do not go in a special capacity as writers and artists to "experience life," but as ordinary labourers to live and work with the people and join in their labour. This closer contact with the labouring people has familiarized them with those they want to serve and depict, and they have come to speak a common language and share the feelings of the labouring people. Furthermore, influenced by the lofty qualities of the labouring people, their revolutionary consciousness is greatly enhanced. They begin to see the inner world of the labouring people and to find the way to portray them; they understand what the people need, and what works they should create for them. If a writer does not have a warm love for the masses of workers and peasants, is not familiar with the life, feelings and language of the people, how can he write moving works which faithfully reflect the masses of workers and peasants? It can be said that in the last few years many good works have been produced by writers and artists who have a rich experience of struggle and are familiar with the life of the masses. Following the remoulding of their world outlook and the raising of their political consciousness, many veteran writers and artists have joined the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, a large new literary and art force has emerged from among the workers, peasants and cadres. A strong force of revolutionary literature and art with writers and artists of the working class as its backbone has grown up.

"Those who teach others must themselves be educated." In order to educate the people in the spirit of communism through their creative practice, literary and art workers must first learn from the masses of people through their

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practice in life, learn the people's fine qualities, their labour enthusiasm and their fighting spirit and turn the abstract communism learned in books into a living communism of flesh and blood. The process of going deep among the workers and peasants and taking part in labour is the process of familiarizing themselves with the workers and peasants and, more important, that of transforming their own world outlook. For only by taking part in the revolutionary struggle and the production struggle can writers and artists make the communist world outlook their own soul. At the same time only by taking part in productive labour can our literary and art workers, especially the younger ones among them, gradually overcome the one-sidedness and narrowness caused by the division between mental and physical labour, can they make themselves new people of the communist type with an all-round development. The view that participation in physical labour is a waste of artistic talent is wrong. It merely shows that those who harbour such a view look down upon labour. As a matter of fact, it is in the ranks of the labouring people that countless talents are to be found; and taking part in labour is the necessary way to steel and cultivate the various kinds of talents of the working class.

That literature and art must serve the workers, peasants and soldiers is the most thoroughgoing, most resolute proletarian line in literature and art. It requires literature and art to serve and describe the broadest masses of workers and peasants, and what is most fundamental, it requires literary and art workers to become identified with the workers and peasants and thoroughly transform their world outlook.

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Following changes in the basis, the superstructure must change also. But changes in ideology which belongs to the superstructure take place much slower than changes in the basis. This is why, after a socialist society has been established, the political and ideological influence of the bourgeoisie remains for a long time; while even in communist society there will still be struggles between advanced and backward, between right and wrong. This determines that ideological struggle and ideological remoulding are long-term tasks. During the last decade, bourgeois ideas have been under constant criticism in our country, and revisionism has not been able to occupy a dominant position in literary and art circles in our country; but this does not mean that they do not exist - they take their cue from the climate. When there is the least trouble inside or outside the country, they would start creating disturbances again, rising like scum to the surface of the water to spread their poison once again. The international ideological trend of revisionism is bound to have a certain influence in our country. Hence to persist in the line that literature and art must serve the workers, peasants and soldiers and serve the cause of socialism, we must persist in the struggle against revisionism and various other kinds of bourgeois ideas hostile to this line.




That literature and art must serve the broad masses of labouring people and the great cause of socialism and communism, is the sole political line for the literature and

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art of our country; there should be no other line apart from this. Regarding style, form, genre and subject matter in art, however, we are for greater variety and encourage originality, while opposing monotony, rigidity and narrowness. Our principle is the integration of uniformity in political orientation and variety in artistic styles. On the basis of his scientific analysis of the contradictions among the people in the socialist society, Comrade Mao Tse-tung put forward the policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend. To carry out the policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom, a hundred schools of thought contend and developing the new from the old, under the guidance of the line of serving the workers, peasants and soldiers and the cause of socialism - this is the path of development for our socialist literature and art. Practice has proved that this is the most correct, the broadest and the most creative road for the development of the socialist literature and art of our country. This road leads all the talents and creativeness of writers and artists of different schools and styles to one great common goal, linking their individual wisdom with the collective wisdom of the masses.

Let a hundred flowers blossom and develop the new from the old - this is the slogan put forward by Comrade Mao Tse-tung soon after the founding of our People's Republic for the renovation and development of our traditional dramatic art. This slogan brought about an unprecedented flourishing of our traditional drama. In 1956, Comrade Mao Tse-tung put forward, side by side, letting a hundred flowers blossom and letting a hundred schools of thought contend as the line for the development

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of literature, art and science; and this policy was speedily further applied to various political and ideological fronts. Free and general airing of views, the use of Tatsepao1 and big debates have become excellent means of self-education and self-criticism for our people, an excellent means of implementing the mass line in the people's political life, of bringing into full play the people's initiative and creativeness; they have also become a powerful weapon for the people in their struggle against the enemy.

The policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend and developing the new from the old has promoted an all-round, multiform development in every branch 'of literature and art, and speeded up the reform of old traditions. Much effective work has been done to take over and develop our country's heritage of literature and art. We have revived several hundred kinds of local operas which before liberation were at their last gasp or had long disappeared from the stage; tens of thousands of librettos and folk ballads have come to light again; countless folk songs of the various nationalities, folk narrative poems and folk tales have been recorded, edited and published; a rich variety of folk music, folk dances and folk art has been extensively fostered and enabled to develop. We have opened up one treasure-house after another of the long forgotten folk art and art of the various nationalities, clearing away the dust which had covered them for years and in the light of Marxist thought cleaning out the dross to preserve what is good, so that they are transformed and

1 Opinions and criticisms written out in bold Chinese characters on large sheets of paper and posted freely for everybody to see. - Ed.

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take on a dazzling splendour. Many good traditional dramas, songs and dances, acrobatic items, puppet plays, shadow-plays and so forth, after being edited and revised, have won praise far and wide. Traditional dramas like Fifteen Strings of Cash, Drawing Lots for Life or Death, Mu Kuei-ying Takes Command, Women Generals of the Yang Family, The Runaway Maid, Story of Funu, Father and Son, Over the Wall and Away on Horseback and The Pursuit of the Fish Fairy, as well as many other fine dramas which are frequently staged, are the fruits of carrying out the policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and developing the new from the old in traditional drama. Notable innovations both in the script and the performance have been made in many of these traditional operas. With our new wisdom and techniques we have further enriched the fine achievements of our forefathers. This is not merely editing our old heritage, but creating something new. We have also had successful experience in using traditional dramatic forms to express modern themes and we have produced a number of operas like The Red Seed, A Chicken Feather Flies Up to Heaven and After Winter Comes Spring, which are welcomed by the people. On our stage, every type of traditional drama throughout the country has produced a number of talented young actors. Chuyi as the shock troops of literature and art, are making a useful contribution by the swiftness with which they reflect the contemporary revolutionary struggle. Our artists in traditional painting, employing traditional methods of expression, depict truthfully and with natural ease the life of the new age and the natural scenery of our motherland, endowing tradi-

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tional painting with a new lease of life. The industrial and architectural arts have won acclaim for retaining national style while presenting the features of the new age.

The policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and developing the new from the old has not only promoted the renovation of old traditions but has made our new literature and art more national in character. More and more, our novelists and story writers are manifesting a national style in their language, characterization and plots. Our poets, under the impact of the new folk song movement, are striving to develop modern poetry on the basis of classical poetry and folk songs; hence there is a new trend in the style of poetry too. All kinds of painting and sculpture, in the same way, are demonstrating much more vivid national characteristics. Our modern operas have not only presented a new revolutionary content but become more national in form too. Successful operas such as Hsiao Erh-hei's Marriage and The Red Guards of Lake Hunghu are good examples of this. In music, we have produced much instrumental and vocal music unmistakably Chinese in style, expressing the revolutionary enthusiasm of the people in this era of the big leap forward. The Magic Lotus Lantern, The Small Knives Society and Five Red Clouds are new attempts at creating a national ballet. Great efforts have also been exerted to make our modern plays and films more national in character.

The policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and developing the new from the old has enabled the literature and art of our various minority nationalities to make rapid progress. These minority nationalities have produced many talented writers, poets and artists. The literary

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and art heritage of the minority nationalities is also very rich. Such re-edited folk narrative poems as Gada Mirin, Ashma and Chaoshutun are gems of popular poetry. Some excellent folk songs and folk legends like Third Sister Liu and Chin Niang-mei have been successfully adapted for the stage. Many fraternal nationalities are beginning to create their own operas and modern plays.

Because we have carried out the policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and developing the new from the old, there is now a much greater variety in the form and style of our literature and art, and their themes cover a much wider range. Novels, short stories, sketches and reportage; full-length drama and one-act plays; symphonic music, choral singing, songs for the masses and folk songs; oil paintings, sculpture, traditional paintings, woodcuts, posters and cartoons; feature, documentary, newsreel, science, educational and art films, and works of photographic art - the special functions and original features of all these have been brought into full play. We attach importance to works of great length and size created with infinite care and attention as well as to short, terse works with the effect of a dagger or a javelin. Our literature and art not only put special emphasis on the portrayal of present-day struggles, creating images of contemporary heroes, but present outstanding characters in history from a new viewpoint. Kuan Han-ching, Tsai Wen-chi and Princess Wen Cheng are successful plays based on ancient history. Children's literature and plays for children which have the task of educating the rising generation in the spirit of communism have received special attention.

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Guided by the policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and developing the new from the old, we have taken over and renovated our excellent heritage of literature and art to make it a part of our advanced socialist culture, and at the same time we are investing our new literature and art of different forms and styles with more dazzling national characteristics. These two aspects are converging, interlacing and developing together to form a socialist, new national literature and art of infinite variety.

As early as twenty years ago Comrade Mao Tse-tung proposed that we should evolve a fresh, lively Chinese style and Chinese flavour which the common folk of China love to see and hear. Our literature and art have a tradition dating back thousands of years; they have accumulated a rich fund of creative experience and have formed our own national forms and styles popular with the people throughout the ages. If revolutionary literature and art possess no national features, if they cannot create new national forms suited to the new content on the basis of our own national traditions, they will not easily take root and blossom among the broad masses of the people. The national character and mass character of literature and art are interconnected and indivisible. Since the May 4 Movement our literature and art have widely absorbed the experience of foreign literature and art, adopting many foreign forms and methods of expression ; this was entirely necessary. Since the founding of our People's Republic, with the development of cultural exchange with foreign countries and thanks to the efforts of translators, we have come into contact with good literature, films and art from various countries

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of the world on a much greater scale, especially those of the Soviet Union and other fraternal countries, and have absorbed much that is of use to us; this has greatly benefited our readers, audiences and our literary and art circles. However, all art forms and techniques of foreign origin when transplanted to China must be remoulded and assimilated till they possess national features and become our own. Now our literature and art are more and more manifesting their national character and mass character. Distinctive national originality in literature and art is the concentrated expression of the creativeness of the masses, the sign of maturity in the literature and art of an age and of a class.

Letting a hundred flowers blossom has resulted in an unprecedented liberation of the masses' intellectual creativeness. In the wake of the big leap forward and the cultural revolution, there came a high tide of creative activity in literature and art among the masses. On work-sites and in villages, poems and paintings cover the walls, while songs echo far and wide. The new folk songs and new wall paintings are products of the big leap forward and in turn give fresh impetus to it. Their revolutionary romanticism and heroic, fresh style reflect the splendour of our age and the style of the masses. The movement for writing reminiscences of the revolution and recording the histories of factories and people's communes has spread far and wide with the co-operation of cadres and intellectuals with workers and peasants. Collective authorship has become one of the important forms in our literary and art creation, and an important method to carry out the mass line in literature and art. The workers, peasants and revolutionary cadres have

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made history; now they are taking up pens to write down their own history. Books like A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire, Red Star of the North, Red Anyuan and Green Trees Spread Their Shade are among the first precious fruits. Our literature and art are composed of these two elements, the works of professionals and those of the masses who create in their spare time. These two component parts together make up the splendid variety and wealth of our literature and art.

Letting a hundred schools of thought contend has promoted the lively activities of free debate and mass criticism in literary and art circles and throughout the world of thought. We have launched, through debates, the struggle between two paths in literature and art, and at the same time have held helpful discussions on many problems relating to literary and art creation and theory. Through these debates, the Marxist viewpoint has consolidated its position in literary and art theory and criticism. During the last two years, in the departments of literature in universities and the art colleges, criticism on bourgeois theory and ideas in the teaching of literature and art has been carried out; and on the basis of this criticism, the students and the teachers have collaborated to produce works of literary and art theory and histories of literature and art. This marks the rapid growth of the newborn forces of Marxism.

We can see from all these aspects mentioned above that the application of the policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend in literature and art has already achieved considerable results, and its correctness has been proved by practice. When this policy was first put forward, however, by no

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means everyone had confidence in it; indeed, quite a few people have distorted or opposed it.

The imperialists and their lackeys - the bourgeois rightists and revisionists - vainly hoped that letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend would be a bourgeois policy of "liberalization," one which would "tolerate" and "compromise with" all bourgeois ideas and anti-socialist poisonous weeds. Misled by their subjective calculations, they got their heads broken in the latter half of 1957, after which they changed their tune and insisted that we had given up the policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend, claiming that it had simply been a tactic or trick for a certain period. The class nature of these gentlemen blinds them completely. How can one make them understand correctly the Marxist policy of the proletariat?

We have always held that letting a hundred flowers blossom means blossoming within the domain of socialism. The flowers to blossom are socialist flowers. We mean, through free emulation, to develop the socialist literature and art, and to oppose literature and art which are hostile to socialism. Letting a hundred schools of thought contend means contending under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, means propagating and developing Marxist dialectical materialism and opposing bourgeois idealism and metaphysics through free debate. So the policy of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the most correct policy for the rapid development of our literature and art and science; it is beneficial not only in correctly dealing with contradictions among the people in the realm of ideology

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but in competing with and struggling against bourgeois literature and art and their pseudo-science. Just as Comrade Liu Shao-chi has said, letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is an extremely firm class policy of the proletariat.

Bourgeois rightists and revisionists have tried to utilize the slogan of letting a hundred flowers blossom to bring forth their poisonous weeds hostile to socialism. In their eyes, none of our flowers can be considered flowers. Like those with a perverted taste for the filthy and stinking, they only appreciate the declining, decadent art of capitalism, considering it a fragrant flower. When men's world outlooks differ, their conceptions of beauty differ too. What we regard as fragrant flowers they consider poisonous weeds, while what we consider poisonous weeds they regard as fragrant flowers. They want us to cherish poisonous weeds as if they were fragrant flowers, but of course this is out of the question. Herein lies the main point of divergence and contention on this problem between us and the revisionists and bourgeois men of letters.

On the question of letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend, we differ from the doctrinaires too. The doctrinaires are cut off from the masses, cut off from reality; they do not understand dialectics; they do not admit that multiplicity exists in the world. They want only uniformity in political orientation, not variety in artistic styles; they allow only a single flower to blossom, not a hundred flowers. This is extremely harmful.

Can there be just one kind of flower in the socialist garden? The peony has been called the king of flowers, but if we had nothing but peonies blossoming to the ex-

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clusion of all other flowers, no matter how beautiful peonies are, wouldn't people find it monotonous? Monotonous life and monotonous art alike are frowned upon by the people. Since the people's life is rich and varied, the literature and art reflecting their life should be rich and varied too. In our society, the material life of the labouring people is getting better day by day, their spiritual life is getting richer too, so naturally their demand for material and intellectual products will also increase daily. They ask not only for greater amounts of these products but for a greater variety and better quality. Since people's needs, interests and tastes differ, the greater the variety the better. Only art rich in variety can satisfy the masses' continuously increasing and varied intellectual needs, and can enable the varied individualities and talents of writers and artists to reach full development. Literature and art must serve politics, which is indeed a very broad field. The ways and forms for literature and art to serve politics are numerous and varied. We advocate works with a high revolutionary ideological content and good artistic form. We advocate literary and art works depicting present-day struggles, and we encourage and help writers and artists to do their best to get in touch and familiarize themselves with the people's new life and throw themselves into the heat of the people's struggle. At the same time, each writer and artist can, according to his sense of political responsibility, his personal experience of life, his interests and special talent decide what theme to choose and what forms of expression to adopt. The readers and audiences of the new age like stirring works portraying the life and struggles of their contemporaries, as well as fascinating stories from history

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and legend performed on the stage. They like stirring militant marching songs, they also like fine and healthy lyrical music and dances. The new age requires more and better paintings of revolutionary history, revolutionary genre paintings and figure paintings, but shouldn't the new-style landscape paintings and flower-and-bird paintings also have a place in our galleries? The people need inspiration and encouragement in their spiritual life, but they also need things that give pleasure and delight. Provided these do not run counter to the six political criteria specified by Comrade Mao Tse-tung in On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People, and, most important of all, do not run counter to the socialist path and the leadership of the Communist Party, works of art of various forms, themes and styles can all develop. We advocate using the methods of criticism and emulation to gradually eliminate works which are ideologically faulty or artistically inferior, in order to raise the ideological and artistic level of our works step by step. Socialist emulation in literature and art is the best way to encourage a multiplicity of artistic styles, develop various schools of art and expedite the raising of the quality of our works.

When we let a hundred flowers blossom, poisonous weeds may appear in the guise of fragrant flowers. Therefore letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend necessarily involve two opposite and interrelated aspects: letting a hundred flowers blossom and eradicating the poisonous weeds.

Letting a hundred flowers blossom is a problem within the ranks of the people. The contradictions among the people between what is progressive and what is back-

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ward, between right and wrong, will always exist. To solve contradictions of this kind, we can use only discussion, persuasion, comparison and emulation, not administrative orders or coercion. In the case of academic problems or questions of art, we are against arbitrary or coercive methods, against crude criticism, but we are for holding full discussions to distinguish right from wrong and to reach the correct conclusion step by step. In some cases a very long time may be required to differentiate between right and wrong in academic matters, or good and bad in art, before a definite conclusion and appraisal can be made. It is often difficult to judge right away whether a new phenomenon is a fragrant flower or a poisonous weed. Some fragrant flowers may also have some partial defects. Therefore one must have an eye for the fragrant flowers as well as for poisonous weeds. We need courage not only in pulling out the weeds but also in protecting the fragrant flowers. So to foster the growth of the new and prevent ideological stagnation and rigidity, we should promote lively, free debates, we should advocate the spirit of thinking, speaking and acting boldly, we should encourage the masses' initiative, encourage boldness in innovation and originality on the part of writers and critics in their creative and theoretical work.

The elimination of poisonous weeds is a problem between us and the enemy. The existence of poisonous weeds is an objective reality. Their growth is decided by definite historical conditions. It is not possible to prevent them from existing and appearing. The problem is what is the most effective way to eliminate the harm caused by poisonous weeds. The revisionists are against

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fighting poisonous weeds; they are the protectors of all kinds of poisonous weeds; the revisionist current of thought is itself a poisonous weed which does the greatest harm. They advocate the policy of liberalism and laissez-faire, "tolerance" and "compromise" on the cultural and ideological front, and their aim is to make socialist countries allow the capitalist reactionary culture to exist legally, to let it spread' freely, to poison the people and youth. This, of course, we resolutely oppose. On the other hand, we do not approve of the method used by the doctrinaires either. They would ban poisonous weeds as soon as they appear; though the simple method of issuing administrative orders may have a temporary effect, it causes endless future trouble. It actually means allowing poisonous weeds to remain underground for a while, or allowing them to emerge in disguise to cause damage. This is another form of laissez-faire, which will not deal a mortal blow to the enemy. Our policy is: When poisonous weeds start to come out, we let them meet the masses as antagonists, and urge the masses to discuss them freely, so as to enable more people to recognize their true features, to sharpen the people's sense of discernment and fighting ability. We have always believed in and relied on the strength of the masses. We are of the firm belief that truth will finally triumph over falsehood. Therefore we are not afraid of poisonous weeds and opposite views; we are not afraid of open debates, not afraid that correct views may at one time meet with attacks and misunderstanding. The experience in the struggle against the rightists proved that this way of doing things was completely correct. The result was that the masses, including young students, were not pulled over to the side

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of the rightists; it was through the people's debates and by relying on the masses' strength, that a thorough defeat was inflicted upon the rightists. At the same time practice proved that the debates and criticism carried out by the masses were also an effective, although bitter, medicine which proved helpful to the bourgeois intellectuals in their ideological remoulding.

Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend, following the line that literature and art must serve the workers, peasants and soldiers and the cause of socialism, opposes revisionism as well as doctrinairism. And while this ensures uniformity in the political orientation of our literature and art, it also ensures a variety of styles. It not only leads writers and artists to integrate themselves with the workers and peasants and establish a revolutionary world outlook, but also gives them full opportunity to develop their artistic originality. That is why we consider this the most correct path for the development of socialist literature and art in our country.




In order that literature and art may better reflect our age and more effectively serve the broad masses of labouring people and the great cause of socialism and communism, we advocate the artistic method of integrating revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism.

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The putting forward of this artistic method is another important contribution made by Comrade Mao Tse-tung to the Marxist theory of literature and art. Comrade Mao Tse-tung put forward this method on the basis of the Marxist idea of combining the theory of uninterrupted revolution with the theory of the development of revolution by stages, on the basis of the laws of development of literature and art themselves, and in view of the needs of the current revolutionary struggles. He applied to literature and art the principle of combining the revolutionary spirit with a realistic approach, and dialectically unified the two artistic methods of realism and romanticism in literature and art, the better to depict our present age, the better to absorb comprehensively all the fine traditions of the heritage of literature and art, the better to develop the different individualities and styles of writers and artists; in this way, a free and spacious world has been opened up for socialist literature and art. The integration of the revolutionary spirit and the realistic approach is applicable not only to literary and artistic creation but also to literary and artistic criticism.

Let us first discuss the question of revolutionary ideals in socialist literature and art. What we call revolutionary romanticism, the basic spirit of which is revolutionary idealism, is the expression of revolutionary idealism in artistic method.

The ideological basis of our literature and art is Marxism-Leninism. Marxist-Leninist philosophy is the most thoroughly revolutionary philosophy; it combines cool-headed scientific analysis with a fervent revolutionary spirit and the practice of the struggle of the

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masses. The Marxist is at the same time the most sober revolutionary realist and the revolutionary idealist who has the richest ideals. The fundamental difference between us Marxists and the mechanical materialists is that we, on the basis of a correct knowledge of objective reality, pay full attention to subjective activity, to progressive ideas and scientific foresight and to the great significance of revolutionary vision. Is it not precisely because he is inspired by noble ideals that a proletarian revolutionary fighter braves all dangers with resolute fortitude? To us there is no limit to the revolutionary task of transforming the world; today's ideal is tomorrow's reality, while tomorrow new and loftier ideals will inspire us to continue our advance. We struggle and labour in order to keep on turning advanced ideals into reality.

Our teachers in the proletarian revolution have always relied on scientific foresight and revolutionary ideals to discern clearly the course of historical progress. As we all know, Lenin in his book What Is To Be Done? urged "We should dream!" In his "Preface to the Russian Translation of the Letters of K. Marx to L. Kugelmann" written in 1907, he sharply condemned those opportunistic gentlemen in Russia at that time who as soon as they were confronted by a temporary ebb in the revolution hastened to discard "revolutionary illusions" and turn to "realistic" tinkering, those "... 'realist' wiseacres ... who are deriding revolutionary romanticism." Comrade Mao Tse-tung, during the years when the Chinese revolution suffered serious setbacks and was temporarily at a low ebb, foresaw that "a single spark can start a prairie fire." In poetic language he prophesied

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the coming of a greater, more magnificent upsurge in the revolution like "the morning sun, rising with radiant beams in the east." It is this kind of far-sighted revolutionary vision that has played an inestimable part in the development of human history.

Every class in every age has its own ideals, and, according to its social ideals and moral standards, has created a series of heroic characters in its literature and art. The history of literature shows that all the various nations of the world have poetry in praise of their heroes which has been handed down for centuries. The literary works of the past in our country have created many typical heroes of different times, and their uncommon characters and uncommon deeds are constantly on the lips of the people. Western bourgeois literature during the rise of capitalism also portrayed some positive characters embodying bourgeois revolutionary ideas. But after the middle of the 19th century, the ideals which the bourgeoisie had advocated were completely blighted and bourgeois writers could no longer produce outstanding characters of their own class. The works by modern reactionary bourgeois writers are full of sexual perverts, decadents, schizophrenics, misanthropes, as well as rogues, swindlers, gangsters and murderers, who are "heroes" in the eyes of the bourgeoisie now heading towards its end. In the age of proletarian revolution, new heroic characters can only be the advanced elements of the proletariat and the revolutionary people. Hence the creation of new heroic characters has, become the glorious task of socialist literature and art.

Our literature and art should create characters which can best embody the revolutionary ideals of the prole-

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tariat. These characters are not the products of the writers' fancy but new men and women emerging from the actual struggle. Their most admirable attribute is seen in the fact that they never are daunted by difficulties and shrink back, nor do they feel satisfied with the victories gained and so stop advancing. With their socialist ideals, they carried through the arduous democratic revolution; today, inspired by a still higher, communist ideal, they are carrying out the mighty task of socialist construction. Lofty ideals and arduous struggle have cultivated and steeled their noble qualities and resolute character. They are for ever advancing, for ever marching in the forefront of life. These are the new men and women of socialism and communism, the progressive force that impels the times forward.

Reactionary bourgeois writers and revisionists attack our literature and art simply because they hate the revolutionary ideals expressed in them and the new characters with these revolutionary ideals. They dislike socialist reality, and dislike even more the new men and women of socialism and communism; they do not believe that the great ideal of scientific communism and the great reality of the revolutionary struggle are able to produce such a countless number of the noblest and finest characters of our age. Those writers with bourgeois prejudices have always held that the advanced characters among the masses of the people whom we describe are untrue to life and that only colourless "petty individuals" or low, negative characters are "true." Their argument is that every man has some faults and defects, that there is a struggle between darkness and light in the depth of every heart; this is what they mean by the "complexity of the

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inner mind." We are against over-simplifying the inner mind of characters. The inner life of the people of the new age is of the richest and healthiest. They know what attitude to take with regard to labour, friendship, love and family life. Of course they must have worries, inner conflicts and shortcomings of one kind or another, or make this or that mistake; but they always endeavour to use communist ideas and morality as the highest criteria for all their actions. What has the so-called "complexity of the inner mind" which the bourgeois writers advocate to depict got in common with the rich inner life of the labouring people of this new age? The so-called "secrets of man's mind" which they want to reveal are nothing but an exposure of their own dark souls. Eager to depict weak-willed people and the petty affairs in which they are involved, they cannot see or are unwilling to describe the heroic characters and great struggles of today, or they foist the low, empty souls of the bourgeoisie into the new socialist or communist men. Their works are shrouded in gloom and they paint completely black the new life of a socialist society and the fighting life of the masses. The result of this can only be to make people feel disappointed with socialist reality, and foster a spiritual disintegration and collapse among the people of the socialist countries. This precisely accords with the wishes of the imperialists, as is very clear when we look at the arguments of the imperialist critics of literature and art. They either exult over the fact that in our socialist countries someone has brought "superfluous people" into socialist literature, or they urge writers of socialist countries to seek out "the tragic illusions of the world." The imperialists and revisionists are

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leaving no stone unturned in their attempts to infuse into socialist literature and art their own rotten bourgeois ideas and sense of despair. Should their attempts succeed, socialist literature and art would decline into a variant of reactionary, decadent bourgeois literature and art, ceasing to be revolutionary literature and art.

Every writer should have his own ideals. Of course, there are various kinds of ideals: there are lofty ideals and petty ideals, correct ideals and wrong ideals, revolutionary ideals and reactionary ideals. Only ideals that conform to the development of objective reality and accord with the interests of the majority of the people are correct ideals. Today, the highest revolutionary ideal of mankind is the realization of communism. The imperialists and all kinds of reactionaries have their "ideal" too, and that is to preserve and expand capitalism and counteract and eliminate socialism. Our writers and artists should observe and depict life from the pinnacle of the highest ideal of this age - communism, foster the people's communist moral qualities, and eliminate the remnants of various kinds of old ideas and habits left by past ages. When compared with the great aim of liberating mankind, all individual desires are petty and not worth mentioning. The ideal of communism should be the soul of our literature and art.

When we lay such emphasis on the revolutionary ideal in literature and art, will it impair the truthfulness in literature and art?

Our understanding of the question of "truthfulness" and "realism" is completely different from that of the revisionist. The revisionists often oppose tendentiousness in socialist literature and art under the pretext of

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"depicting truth" and "realism." They deliberately set truthfulness in opposition to tendentiousness, claiming that tendentiousness hampers truthfulness; actually what they oppose is only revolutionary tendentiousness in literature and art, and their aim is to replace it with the reactionary tendentiousness of the bourgeoisie. They want to sweep away progressive ideals in life. Their so-called realism is a "realism" divested of advanced ideals, which is actually not realism but vulgar naturalism or decadence. Their so-called "truthfulness" is in fact a distortion of reality. We have always maintained that literature and art must be truthful, we oppose false literature and art. We are not among those, however, who advocate "truthfulness for its own sake." In a class society, writers and artists always observe and depict reality with a certain class tendentiousness, but the most profound comprehension and reflection of the truth of the age are possible only from the standpoint of the progressive class and the masses of the people. When a people's writer chooses and describes a certain subject, he must first consider whether it is beneficial to the people. To us, there is a unity between truthfulness and revolutionary tendentiousness.

Speaking of realism, we must quote Engels' famous definition: "Realism implies, besides truth of detail, the truthful reproduction of typical characters under typical circumstances." ("Letter to Margaret Harkness.") Engels wrote these words to a woman writer. In his letter he criticized her for presenting London workers as too passive, considering that her working-class characters were not sufficiently typical of the London working class which had struggled for decades. What conclusion can

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we draw from this definition? First, realism must not simply pay attention to truthfulness of detail but truthfulness of detail must obey the principle of typicalness. Secondly, Engels asked the writer to present "typical characters under typical circumstances"; to revolutionary writers this means that they are asked to depict new characters and new ideas able to represent the progressive forces of the age, and to depict the heroic struggles of the proletariat and the masses. At a very early period Engels sharply criticized those works by so-called "true socialists" in Germany for always "praising all sorts of 'petty characters,' but not giving praise to strong, heroic, revolutionary proletarians." ("German Socialism in Poetry and Prose.") However, this classical Marxist writer's magnificent theory of realism has long been most viciously distorted by revisionists like Hu Feng and Lukacs. Engels raised the problem of realism from the standpoint of a communist world outlook and the interests of the proletariat; he called upon writers to look ahead, to create images of the progressive characters of the age. The revisionists, however, have from Engels' letter deduced the fallacious conclusion that in literature and art world outlook is not important, and even claim that the more reactionary the world outlook the better. They call upon revolutionary writers to look backwards, to model their world outlook on that of Balzac. The time has now come to make a clean sweep of such fallacious arguments.

More than twenty years ago the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Soviet literary and art circles headed by Gorky, on the basis of the experience of the development of Soviet literature, raised the slogan of

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socialist realism, which has been approved by revolutionary writers throughout the world. In recent years the revisionists have made desperate attacks on socialist realism; their purpose has been to slander the great achievements of socialist literature and attack the socialist system, in an attempt to drag socialist writers on to the bourgeois path. They use "depicting truth" as a pretext to oppose the noble task of literature and art - the education of the people in the spirit of socialism. Chin Chao-yang was an example of this in our country, while some other writers whose revolutionary fervour had flagged or who faltered in their revolutionary resolve have also been influenced by this ideological trend of revisionism. They look specially for the dark corners and the garbage of history in present-day socialist life, unable to see the radiant picture of socialist life as a whole and the still more radiant future of communism. We hold that literature and art should depict the reality in revolutionary development and the aspirations for an even better future, integrating revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism. This is a forceful answer to the attacks of the revisionists.

Our age abounds in heroic deeds and achievements of every kind. Never before have the masses of our people so fully displayed their firm revolutionary will and high creative spirit or shown such tremendous revolutionary heroism and revolutionary optimism on all the fronts of building and defending our motherland. How then are our literature and art to give a truthful reflection of this spiritual outlook of the masses, in other words, how to reflect the features of our age? Can we reflect it in melancholy tones, in pallid language and by

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petty, naturalistic methods? That is absolutely impossible. We must use heroic language, powerful tones and vivid colours to praise and describe our age. The revolutionary romanticism in literature and art is the crystallization of the revolutionary romanticism in our people's life. Adoption of the artistic method which integrates revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism can help our writers and artists to depict this heroic age and its heroes most truthfully and most profoundly.

Of course, life is full of contradictions. What is new in life always comes into being and grows up in a struggle against the old. The characteristic of our advanced people of today is precisely that they dare to combat all negative phenomena which run counter to the people's interests, they can overcome all manner of difficulties and obstacles and open up a path for the new life. We face squarely the contradictions which exist within the ranks of the people in the socialist society; this keeps us from falling into the error of the non-conflict theory from the very start. Our literature and art must not evade defects and difficulties, ignore passive phenomena and negative characters, or water down the contradictions and struggles in life; such cheap optimism can only over-simplify life, presenting real advanced people as lifeless men of straw. Works of this sort can neither arouse admiration for what is fine nor indignation against what is evil; they are still less able to induce men to think about life's problems, and once read they are immediately forgotten. We should praise the new people and new ideas with all our hearts; we should also scourge the old things and old ideas pitilessly. We should

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give penetrating expression to the sharp struggle between the new and the old; for it is in such struggles that resolute, lofty, heroic characters are formed and manifest themselves.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung in his Talks at the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature said: "An artistic or literary work is ideologically the product of the human brain reflecting the life of a given society. Revolutionary art and literature are the products of the brains of revolutionary artists and writers reflecting the life of the people." This explains that truth in art springs from truth in life, beauty in art springs from beauty in life. One who does not accept this is not a Marxist or a materialist,. but a bourgeois idealist. However, merely accepting this does not make one a complete Marxist or a complete materialist. Speaking of life and art, Comrade Mao Tse-tung further said: "Although both are beautiful, life as reflected in artistic and literary works can and ought to be on a higher level and of a greater power and better focused, more typical, nearer the ideal, and therefore more universal than actual everyday life." He also pointed out: "Revolutionary art and literature should create all kinds of characters on the basis of actual life and help the masses to push history forward." Here Comrade Mao Tse-tung has given a most penetrating explanation of the characteristics of literature and art. Life in reality is the fount of literature and art, but literature and art should be on a higher level than reality; through images they reflect life and create characters; their aim is not passively to reflect reality for its own sake, but actively to reflect and impel reality

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forward and transform it. This alone is the complete Marxist view.

At the very outset, human art had both realistic and idealist elements. Later, realism and romanticism developed into two different schools. The realists pay more attention to observation, and are good at presenting accurate pictures of the objective world; the romanticists pay more attention to imagination, and are good at expressing fervent visions of an ideal world. From different angles they both reflect reality and enrich the history of literature and art.

However, in the past there existed a one-sided view about realism and romanticism. When they spoke of traditions of literature and art, many people often only emphasized realism, as if all realism is good and all romanticism is bad, forgetting the fine romanticist tradition which has grown rich through continuous accumulation in the mighty current flowing throughout the history of literature and art. They consider romanticism to be incompatible with realism. Actually, in the history of literature there has been progressive realism imbued with ideals but also vulgar, short-sighted realism; there has been passive, reactionary romanticism but also positive, progressive romanticism. The difference is determined mainly by the attitude of the writer or artist towards the people, towards reality. Though many of the great, outstanding writers and artists in history lived in different ages and had their different individualities and styles, some had a greater share of the realist spirit while in others the romantic spirit predominated; some excelled in meticulous realistic descriptions, others excelled in soaring passion and bold imagination; yet

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usually their works show different degrees of integration of these two spirits, realism and romanticism, these two artistic methods. When exposing various iniquities in society, they always embodied their social ideals, their strong feelings of love and hate, their clear sense of approval and censure, in the characters described and in their relationships; at the same time, their great passion and lofty ideals were always stirred up by injustice in reality and had their roots in real life. The Li Sao of Chu Yuan shows the poet's concern for his country, his love for the people, his deep hatred for evil and his sublime, magnificent vision, which combined to make it an immortal work. Kuan Han-ching's Snow in Midsummer and some other fine Yuan Dynasty dramas truthfully depict a cruel reality and passionately express the deep indignation and hatred felt by those who are wrongly accused and persecuted and describe the final triumph of justice. Water Margin presents one hundred and eight heroes of the peasant revolution, each with his individual character; and through the fight put up by these men, who shared glory and dishonour, lived and died together, the author expressed his ideal of "the world as one community, and the brotherhood of man." Dante's Divine Comedy, many of Shakespeare's plays, Goethe's Faust, all show a wonderful combination of fantasy and reality; while Gorky's The Stormy Petrel and Song of the Falcon are clarion calls to arouse men to revolutionary struggle. Lu Hsun's works from Call to Arms to Old Tales Retold show his sober attitude towards reality and critical spirit as well as the fervent aspirations of a revolutionary idealist.

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The integration of revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism which we advocate today critically inherits and synthesizes the fine traditions of realism and romanticism in past literature and art, and under new historical conditions, on the basis of the Marxist world outlook, combines the two in the best manner, forming a completely new artistic method. We are living in the era of the victory of socialism and communism, when men are leaping from the "realm of necessity" to the "realm of freedom." Our people, now liberated, have begun to be the masters of their own fate; they have far-reaching ideals; they also have a rich experience of struggles in revolution and of production; their ability to recognize and transform reality is unbounded. Thus the most fertile ground in reality is provided for the integration of revolutionary realism and revolutionary romanticism.




Above I have described our line, path and method in literature and art; there is a sharp divergence between us and the revisionists on all these problems. In the final analysis, this is the divergence between two fundamentally different political lines, two different world outlooks.

Literature and art form a part of the whole political and ideological front, and revisionist ideas in the realm

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of literature and art are not isolated phenomena but the expression in literature and art of revisionist views on politics and philosophy. At present the revisionists are desperately pushing the bourgeois theory of human nature, the false humanism of the bourgeoisie, "the love of mankind," bourgeois pacifism and other fallacious notions of the sort, to reconcile class antagonisms, negate the class struggle and revolution, and spread illusions about imperialism, and thus to attain their ulterior aim of preserving the capitalist old world and disrupting the socialist new world.

The "theory of human nature" is an important ideological weapon of the revisionists. They use an abstract, common human nature to explain various historical and social phenomena, use human nature or "humanism" as the criterion of morality and art, and oppose literature and art serving the cause of liberation of the proletariat and the labouring people. People can see that these reactionary ideological trends have already had a most pernicious influence on the people and on the people's literature and art.

The revisionists use literature and art in particular to propagate the theory of human nature and their so-called "humanism." Thus Yugoslav revisionist writers and artists claim: "Art is humanism," art should express "the inherent feelings of man," describe "general human nature." Of course this theory is not new. The old revisionist theorist Lukacs claimed that the humanistic ideal and principle are the "absolute criteria" in artistic criticism, and this so-called humanistic ideal or principle is "common human nature." In China, Hu Feng, the earliest pedlar of these theories of Lukacs, said, "The

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socialist spirit is the humanistic spirit," in other words "philanthropy." Feng Hsueh-feng also claimed that men's basic demand is "the friendship of humanity as a whole." When the rightists were attacking us violently, Pa Jen once more brought out these old weapons to attack socialist literature and art, asserting that revolutionary literature and art lack "human interest" because they do not express "what men have in common" and "lack the humanism inherent in human nature." Thus revisionists, whether Chinese or foreign, all sing the same tune.

What should we understand by humanism? We consider that in class society there is no abstract principle of humanism which transcends the age and classes. In a class society, humanism as an ideology always possesses a class content of a definite age. We must differentiate between proletarian humanism and bourgeois humanism. No matter what the guise assumed by bourgeois humanism, its ultimate aim is to help to prolong the system of exploitation; proletarian humanism, on the other hand, aims to liberate mankind for good from all systems of exploitation. We are for proletarian humanism. At the same time, we make a correct and full appraisal of the progressive role of bourgeois humanism in past history.

Humanism as a trend of social thought first appeared during the Renaissance in Europe. The humanists of that time and supporters of the Enlightenment Movement in the 18th century advocated "humanism" as opposed to "divine power," "human rights" as opposed to "the rights of kings," "the emancipation of the individuality" as opposed to "the fetters of religion" of the Middle Ages and all medieval survivals. This trend of

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thought certainly did play a positive, progressive role in history and many brilliant works were created under its inspiration. However, the bourgeois Enlightenment Movement in Europe called for no more than the establishment of an "idealized bourgeois kingdom" and in that "kingdom" the so-called human rights meant simply bourgeois ownership, so-called individuality meant only that of bourgeois individualism. The revolutionary bourgeois thinkers of that time regarded the struggle against feudalism as a struggle to establish a social system suited to man's "nature," but that was merely an illusion of theirs. After the bourgeoisie had seized state power, its slogan of humanism, like its other slogan of "liberty, equality, fraternity," lost all its previous anti-feudal lustre and became a fraud to cover up capitalist exploitation in order to deceive the working class and act as an opiate to benumb the labouring people.

A section of the positive romanticist writers and critical realist writers of the 19th century brought stirring accusations against the seamy side of capitalism. Many of them also appealed for humanism. But because they were not able to shake off the limitations of their bourgeois and petty-bourgeois views, the humanism they called for was unable to go beyond the confines of private property and individualism. Their works often ended either in compromise with the bourgeois order or in pessimistic fatalism.

Tito's clique in Yugoslavia in its programme has spared no pains in advocating "humane relationships among people," "human sympathies and comradeship among people," the education of the people in the so-called "humanist spirit," the evaluation of all things

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from the "humanistic angle." They claim that socialism is no more than humanism. Let us see, then, what it is they call "humanism." In their programme they say, "Socialism cannot subordinate man's personal happiness to any kind of 'higher aims' because the highest aim of socialism is man's personal happiness." They set individual happiness and individual interest up in opposition to the lofty ideal of the happiness of mankind as a whole, placing the interests of the individual above all else. It is very obvious that what they mean by "humanism" is in fact bourgeois individualism. One Yugoslav writer in an article praising this programme expressed great admiration for Oscar Wilde's statement: "Socialism itself will be of value simply because it will lead to individualism." This remark is a voluntary confession of what is in fact the thing they call "humanism."

This Yugoslav writer boasted that they were "members of the big family of mankind," and that this big family "stretches to the East as well as to the West." In England a small group of renegades from communism unfurled the banner of so-called "socialist humanism" and advocated the "indivisibility" of mankind. Modern revisionists mendaciously claim that dividing the world into two camps, socialist and imperialist, is "the root of all trouble." This shows their purpose in advocating "humanism." It is clear that their aim is to deny the antagonism between the two camps, to deny the struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, to deny all revolutions.

The ideological basis of bourgeois humanism is the theory of human nature while the core of this theory is what they call the "love of mankind," and bourgeois men

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of letters and revisionists regard this "love" as "common human nature," the eternal theme of literature and art.

We know how pitilessly Marx and Engels laughed at bourgeois thinkers like Kriege more than a century ago for turning communism into rantings about love, and how sharply Engels later criticized Feuerbach's preaching about the love of mankind, considering that this kind of abstract "love" advocated by Feuerbach was designed to reconcile the class contradictions; the result is that "the last relic of its revolutionary character disappears from the philosophy, leaving only the old cant: love one another - fall into each other's arms regardless of distinctions of sex or estate - a universal orgy of reconciliation." (Engels: "Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy.") Now some people within the ranks of Marxists have confused communism with bourgeois humanism, claiming that communism is the "highest embodiment of humanism," the theory of socialism the "most humane" theory, as if there were some mysterious "humanism" which is an immutable absolute truth, as if communism were simply an expression of its final stage of accomplishment. In this way they cast aside the great Marxist theories of historical materialism and class struggle to go back to the reactionary bourgeois standpoint of historical idealism and the theory of human nature. They say little or nothing about class nature and the class struggle, but a great deal about "human nature," "lave of mankind" and "humanism." They abandon the language of Marxism and do their best to use old bourgeois concepts and terminology to flatter and suit the taste of the bourgeoisie, trying hard to turn communism into something which the bourgeoisie can accept. The

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result is that not only have they themselves fallen captive to bourgeois thought, but consciously or unconsciously they have played a part in helping the bourgeoisie to fool and benumb the people.

Of course, there are also some well-meaning people, who, deceived by these fine terms and unable to perceive the truth, have added their voices to the chorus and unconsciously cast Marxism to the winds.

No Marxist, no genuine revolutionary, will propagandize abstract "humanism" and the so-called "love of mankind." In a world where class antagonism exists, where there exist exploiters and exploited, oppressors and oppressed, there can be no "love of mankind" which transcends classes. The Marxist knows only the comradely love of the proletariat, the comradely love of the labouring people, the comradely love of the oppressed people. Because Marxists have a genuine love for the people, they naturally hate those who oppress and exploit the people. Instead of a one-sided advocacy of love, they advocate love for the people and at the same time advocate hatred for the oppressors and exploiters. They arouse the people's political consciousness and make them unite to struggle to overthrow the unjust social system and build a bright and happy new life. This is the content of proletarian humanism, the content which revolutionary literature and art should express.

Anyone with a knowledge of Marxism knows that in a class society, there can be no "human nature" transcending classes; there can be only the human nature of this or that class, and that is human nature invested with the class character. The founders of Marxism used "the science of real men and of their historical development"

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to replace "the cult of abstract man," (Engels: "Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy") and according to the Marxist interpretation "the human essence is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of the social relations" (Marx: "Theses on Feuerbach"). Actually in the view of the revisionists, what they call "human nature" is just bourgeois human nature or bourgeois class nature. In their view, what is in keeping with bourgeois ideas, mentality and way of life is human; anything else runs counter to human nature. If a work of literature describes the selfishness of certain characters, their schizophrenia or dual personality, then it accords with "human nature" and is "human." If a work describes men who are free from all thought of private ownership and possess communist moral qualities, if it describes the selfless nature of the proletariat, then it is "unnatural," lacking in "human interest," and contrary to "human nature." They have taken bourgeois human nature as the so-called "common human nature."

To use historical idealism to oppose historical materialism, to use class reconciliation to oppose the class struggle, to use the theory of human nature to oppose the class theory, to use the reactionary and corrupt bourgeois human nature to oppose the revolutionary and lofty proletarian human nature - this is the essence of the "theory of human nature" of the revisionists.

Modern revisionists observe all phenomena from the viewpoint of the "theory of human nature," and naturally they do the same with regard to the problem of peace and war. They make no distinction between just and unjust wars nor which class is waging the war and

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for what purpose, but regard all wars as being contrary to "human nature," as "inhuman."

The problem of peace and war is the concern of all people throughout the world. All the peoples of the world oppose the war threats of imperialism and long for peace. All revolutionary and progressive literature, films and art have played a great part in the struggle to defend world peace and oppose imperialism and colonialism. We Marxist-Leninists have always opposed the aggressive wars of imperialism. When the aggressors persist in forcing a war upon the people, the people have no recourse but to raise the banner of resistance to aggression, use a just war to stop an unjust war, and defend their motherland with their own lives and blood. Such just, courageous and heroic action on the part of the people deserves to be admired for ever. The history of Chinese literature has not a few moving poems condemning the evils of aggressive war, and always according the most fervent admiration and praise to those national heroes who resisted foreign aggressors. Many great poets were themselves heroes who resisted oppression and aggression. The Chinese people love peace; yet they are also fearless when it comes to resisting invaders and oppressors. The history of the Chinese people's dauntless and unflinching anti-imperialist struggle in the hundred years and more since the Opium War is a magnificent epic, capable of moving people to tears as well as to song. Though the French Marseillaise and our The March of the Volunteers were produced in different ages, in different countries and by different classes, they have nevertheless the same power to stir men's hearts. Iron Flood, The Nineteen, Chapayev, How the Steel Was Tem-

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pered, The Young Guards, The Story of a Real Man and many other fine books on similar themes by Soviet authors give true expression to the invincible revolutionary resolve of the Soviet people and their incomparable loyalty to their motherland and the cause of communism. These works have provided the people of our country and of the whole world with tremendous inspiration and enlightenment.

Writers of the people can only praise the just revolutionary wars waged by the people of various countries against aggression and oppression, they certainly cannot adopt any other attitude. Yet in recent years there has been a certain confusion over the question of how to depict war in literature and art. Some writers have even adopted a negative attitude towards just wars and wars against aggression in history, as if all wars, regardless of their nature, were wicked and dirty. And they give a "gloomy and tragic" picture to these just wars too. Such writers dwell in great detail on all the cruelty and horror of war, describing the so-called "truth of the trenches," and one-sidedly exaggerating the inevitable sacrifice and death in war. The characters in such works seem to go to the battlefield in a completely passive manner as if they were playthings of an irresistible fate, as if on the battlefield they were controlled solely by their simple instinct of self-preservation while in bewilderment they ask this question: "What meaning is there in life?" These authors take as their theme the irreconcilable contradiction between the cruelty of war and individual happiness, laying great emphasis on the psychology of despair and the tragic fate of the hero. The whole atmosphere of such works gives readers a strong

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feeling of sentimentalism and pessimism about war. Apparently the authors have completely forgotten that what they are describing is the people's just wars. In such wars, the people show resolute fortitude, an indomitable spirit and a heroic contempt for the enemy; it is precisely the just nature of the war and the people's noble qualities that conquer horror and death and overcome the enemy's reactionary arrogance. In such wars, although the people may suffer heavy losses and much blood may be shed, everyone with political consciousness can see that the sacrifice of the individual is for the freedom of the motherland and in order to win social and historical progress and happiness for the people as a whole. It is precisely this conviction that impels the people to go bravely to the battlefield and gives them invincible moral strength. This is an unshakable historical truth. To depict a people's just war in a very gloomy and pessimistic manner and invest it with a mood of despair is a serious distortion of the historical truth of such a war. Such works serve only to undermine the people's faith in their own strength and in the future of their motherland and destroy the people's fighting spirit in defending their motherland and peace and opposing imperialism; they in no way help in the great task of winning a lasting world peace.

At present, revisionism is the main danger in the international workers' movement. Revisionism in literature and art is also an international phenomenon, and to continue the struggle against revisionist ideas is still an important task that is now confronting the literary and art circles of our country. Of course, in the struggle against revisionism, we must differentiate carefully be-

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tween those whose whole outlook is systematically revisionist and those who have been temporarily led astray by the deception of revisionism. Revisionism must be completely exposed; while in the case of certain mistaken views, the rights and wrongs must be made clear through criticism, so that those comrades led astray can come to their senses and return to the correct stand to advance together with us.




The approach to past heritage of literature and art is another problem on which there is a sharp divergence between us and the revisionists and bourgeois men of letters.

Should we in our approach to the heritage adopt the critical Marxist attitude and revaluate it from a historical viewpoint, taking all aspects into consideration, or should we either acclaim or condemn everything in a one-sided manner? Should we take its fine essence and discard the dregs, or take its dregs and discard the fine essence? Should we develop the new from the old, or retain what is old and outworn? These are the main points of controversy.

The revisionists either spurn the fine classical heritage and hawk around the decadent art of the modern bourgeoisie in a big way, or manufacture a superstitious awe about the heritage of bourgeois literature and art. The

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aim of both tactics is the same: that is, to use bourgeois literature and art to oppose the revolutionary literature and art of the proletariat.

Hu Feng, Lukacs and others give extravagant praise to the bourgeois literature of 19th century Europe. They look upon the bourgeois humanistic ideas advocated in those works as representing the highest ideals of mankind; they consider that the artistic achievements of those works are peaks that are unapproachable, and describe critical realism as something transcending all ages and classes and completely untrammelled by the world outlook of the authors. They use bourgeois literary criteria to judge socialist literature, in an attempt to belittle the achievements of socialist literature, blaming socialist writers for not exposing the "darkness" of socialist society after the fashion of the critical realists and thus depriving literature of its "critical" functions. Their purpose in putting forward such arguments is solely to oppose the socialist system and socialist literature. These arguments have been refuted as they deserve.

However, there are still some literary and art critics today who call themselves "Marxists," but who also have a blind veneration for the literature and art of the past, especially the literature and art of the bourgeoisie of 19th century Europe. They cannot distinguish clearly the line between bourgeois and proletarian literature and art. They confuse the bourgeois humanism of those works with the socialist spirit of today, confuse the bourgeois revolutionary nature of those works with the proletarian revolutionary nature and confuse critical realism with socialist realism, thus causing great chaos in the field of theory. They have forgotten that the literature and art

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of the past were products of their age and reflections of it, that it is impossible for them not to have their historical limitations. They have forgotten that the literature and art of 19th century Europe are essentially the literature and art that belong to the bourgeois category and must inevitably have its class limitations. They stress in a one-sided manner the fact that socialist literature and art are by inheritance the continuation of the literature and art of the past, and do not dare to criticize or break through past traditions, nor dare to admit the qualitative change effected by socialist literature and art.

This blind worship of the legacy of literature and art has had a bad influence on our literary and art circles and young intellectuals. Some literary and art workers have so prostrated themselves before the idols of Western bourgeois art that they cannot stand up straight. Some young readers, because they lack judgment and critical ability, are unconsciously influenced by the negative features in works of bourgeois literature, and consequently become bewildered in their thinking. It has therefore become imperative that we find a correct solution to the problem of how to deal with the legacy of literature and art according to the views of Marxism-Leninism.

Marxists have always advocated a critical attitude towards the cultural heritage. Whenever Lenin spoke of accepting the cultural heritage, he always stressed the need to criticize and transform it. Comrade Mao Tse-tung, dealing with the problem of how to approach the cultural heritage of China and other lands, has consistently opposed making a break with history and rejecting everything of the past, but at the same time he is against bolting things raw and absorbing them uncritically. He proposed

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that, as regards past culture, we should take the fine essence and discard the dregs. He pointed out: "We must not refuse to take over the legacy from the ancients and the foreigners and learn from such examples, whether feudal or bourgeois. But succession to a legacy and learning from examples should never take the place of the creation of our own work, for nothing can take its place. In art and literature, the uncritical appropriation and imitation of the ancients and foreigners represent the most sterile and harmful artistic and literary doctrinairism." Comrade Mao Tse-tung has used the classical phrase "develop the new from the old" to explain the process of revolutionary development from the old literature and art to the new, from the old tradition to the new.

On the basis of the principle of developing the new from the old we have done a great deal of work in taking over and renovating our own heritage of literature and art, and have achieved rich results. I have already spoken about this aspect. Now I want to say something about the problem of dealing with the heritage of European literature and art. The fine heritage of the literature and art of other lands, like that of our country, is an important part of the treasure of human culture, and we must inherit and learn from it. But a critical appropriation is needed whether of our own heritage or that of other countries.

The literature and art of every age are products of the society and history of the age. So long as classes exist, in every age and every country there is an antagonism between the literature and art representing reaction, representing the oppressing class, and the literature and art representing progress, representing the

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oppressed class. Part of the Western bourgeois literature and art of the 18th and 19th centuries represents what is reactionary and can be studied as negative examples. What we want to take over critically and develop is the tradition of progressive literature and art. The literature and art of 18th and 19th century Europe and Russia made a great contribution to mankind, producing a number of great writers like Goethe, Balzac and Tolstoy. The good works of critical realism and positive romanticism expose the evils of feudalism and capitalism, and in varying degrees express the feelings and aspirations of the people of the time; from them we can understand the old society, absorb the wisdom and fighting experience of the people of the past, inherit their striving spirit and good qualities; at the same time there is much worth learning in the artistic techniques with which these works describe life. However, even in the case of these works, we should adopt an analytical, critical attitude, and we must also see their negative side. Although the progressive works of literature of the 19th century Europe criticized capitalist society, the great majority of them did so from the standpoint of bourgeois democracy, bourgeois humanism and reformism. Though the world outlook of these writers has its progressive side, its simple materialism and theory of evolution, they were restricted by their class limitations so that they could not make a thorough exposure of the source of social contradictions, much less point out the way to solve these contradictions. Many of the characters described in these works are individualist "heroes," like Julien in Le Rouge et le Noir, who because his personal ambition was frustrated carried out a vengeful, despairing revolt against society, or like Jean Christophe

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who relied on the strength of individual character and took the greatest pride in his loneliness. If young readers take these characters as their models, far from helping them to build up the new individuality with a collective spirit, this will serve only to destroy it, will simply strengthen old individualist ideas.

By the second half of the 19th century, after the proletariat as the grave-diggers of capitalist society had entered the political arena with the most progressive ideological weapons, the critical weapons of bourgeois democracy and bourgeois humanism appeared by comparison to be most old-fashioned and outmoded. In the socialist society of today if anyone tries to pick up the old spears and javelins of bourgeois humanism and individualism, as the revisionists advocate, to "criticize" the new society and expose the "darkness" of the proletariat and the people, that is an act utterly opposed to the people and to socialism.

In dealing with the heritage of literature and art, the reactionary bourgeois men of letters and the revisionists invariably choose the dregs and discard the essence, and particularly praise the dregs to the skies to poison the young; while we invariably choose the essence and get rid of the dregs. The revisionists always encourage people to look backwards, while we encourage them to look ahead. We make a scientific analysis of the heritage of literature and art according to the revolutionary world outlook of Marxism and historical materialism, pointing out, on the one hand, the significance and role of good works of the past under the historical conditions prevailing at that time, and assigning them a definite place in history; and on the other hand, we must also point out

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their significance for the people and the role they play under present conditions - we should pay even more attention to this side and on no account ignore it. Only by paying attention to both aspects at the same time can we avoid one-sidedness and attain an integral, revolutionary and historical view. In short, we must differentiate between and analyse our own and foreign works of the past, point out which works are still of great value to us and will still be enjoyed by readers today and in time to come because they contain penetrating descriptions of the social life of that period and reflect the historical truth with moving artistic skill, and which works lack a profound understanding of the social reality of their day or have even made obvious distortions of it and have no artistic merits either. We should also analyse the ideas in these works which once played a progressive part, pointing out which of them still retain a positive significance today, which are no longer suited to the present and which under the new historical conditions have become reactionary. We must be selective too when we learn from the technique of past masters, and not copy it mechanically. This is the Marxist historical viewpoint and critical attitude which we propose to adopt.

A study and critical revaluation of the major literary and art works of 18th and 19th century Europe is now being carried out in our literary and art circles and in the departments of literature and art in our colleges and universities. To inherit the cultural legacy, we must study and criticize it. In order to criticize it, we must study it too; while criticizing is for the purpose of inheriting it better. The process of critical revaluation is also a process of learning Marxism and studying the heritage.

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We study the heritage, then criticize it, then study it again, then criticize it again; only by such a repeated process can we critically inherit the legacy of the past in a proper way. With the accumulation of experience in socialist cultural construction and the raising of the communist ideological level of the people, such critical revaluation will become more and more exact and penetrating, and in the process of breaking through old traditions, new traditions will be gradually established. We learn while we criticize; in criticizing, we should pay attention to study; in study, we should pay attention to criticism. We must rid ourselves of superstitious awe in our critical revaluation of the heritage, and liberate our minds; but then this may lead us to adopt a harsh attitude and condemn everything; thus we should take care lest we become harsh. When we study the heritage, it may lead us to imitate it and copy it mechanically; thus we must lay stress on a critical attitude, emphasize renovation and oppose conservatism, oppose the blind worship of ancients or foreigners. We should learn from all good Chinese and foreign works of literature and art of the past, but we must not let the old literature and art fetter us and hamper our creativeness.

The new age demands a new literature and art. We want to paint the newest, most beautiful pictures, write the newest, most beautiful poems - this is the demand made on us by the age. Thus we must have our own new ideas, new techniques, new artistic methods and new path for creation. We should learn from our predecessors, but we must not think poorly of ourselves. History always advances incessantly. Those who are born later should be fully confident that they can surpass their pre-

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decessors. Because we have a new social environment, a new life and new thought, because the masses of people have now been given better conditions than their predecessors to develop their talents, a host of new geniuses will certainly appear among us as a result of persistent, unremitting, earnest and conscientious efforts. In their different aspects they will surpass the artistic achievements of past masters.

* * *

Since the founding of our People's Republic our achievements in literature and art have been very great. But a full affirmation of our achievements certainly does not mean that we have done well in every respect. Compared with the demands of the age and of the people, what we have achieved is far from adequate. We have not the least cause for self-satisfaction. Our socialist literature and art are in the process of rapid, all-round growth and maturing; they are full of exuberant vitality, but at the same time certain defects are inevitable in this process of growth. Many aspects of our people's rich experience in revolution and construction have not yet been given full artistic generalization and full reflection in art; the ideological and artistic standard of many works falls short of the masses' level of appreciation which is rising daily; some writings still have the shortcomings of formulism or writing according to abstract subjective ideas; modern revisionist views and various types of bourgeois ideas are still able to find a market among our intellectuals, writers and artists; our heritage of literature and art still needs further revaluation and editing; our experience in contemporary literature and art still needs to be further summarized, and our literary and art theory

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and criticism still need to be greatly strengthened. The Party and the people have the right to demand that literary and art workers make greater and more glorious contributions to the new age.

Comrades, our aim is to create a great socialist and communist literature and art. Our task is an arduous one.

We must make greater efforts to implement in a better way the line in literature and art laid down by the Party and Comrade Mao Tse-tung. In literature and art we must uphold the principle of putting politics in command, and further strengthen Party leadership. This is the fundamental guarantee that we shall achieve constant victories in our literature and art. We must continue to struggle against all trends hostile to the Party line in literature and art, continue to struggle against revisionist and all reactionary bourgeois views on literature and art. To dispense with or relax this struggle, to take an accommodating and conciliatory attitude towards bourgeois views is absolutely impermissible.

Our path is correct. The most central, most basic task at present confronting all literary and art workers is that of producing more and better works. Good works are strength. Writers and artists! Let us further temper and sharpen the weapons in our hands and use them with greater accuracy and skill, let us use all our energy and talent to create works of a high ideological and artistic level to arouse the revolutionary zeal and labour enthusiasm of the masses, to raise the people's socialist consciousness, to train new men with communist moral qualities. We must strive to raise our own ideological and artistic level, on the one hand making a conscientious study of Marxism-Leninism and the works of Comrade

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Mao Tse-tung, continuing to go deep among the masses of workers and peasants, taking part in labour, and continuing to remould ourselves and raise our ideological level unceasingly; at the same time, we should, on the other hand, increase our artistic practice and raise our artistic skill unceasingly. Writers should pay special attention to mastering the art of language. Artistic technique is a means with which the writer or the artist, based on his world outlook, his general culture and profound observation of life, gives an artistic representation of reality. It is a product of highly skilled and meticulous labour. Contempt for technique means contempt for human labour and wisdom, and is utterly wrong. Only by means of a highly developed technique can correct political ideas be integrated with fine artistic forms to the greatest perfection, can the moving power of art be produced. We must take active steps to develop the spare-time art activities among the worker and peasant masses, encourage the masses to create, and bring about close integration between professional writers and artists and the spare-time art activities of the broad masses. In this way our literature and art will have the broadest possible mass basis, and on this basis we shall foster outstanding talents in very field of literature and art. Professional literary and art workers should not cease to make higher and higher demands on themselves, to raise the ideological and artistic level of their works tenfold and a hundredfold, making the utmost efforts to produce works of literature and art which will stir the hearts of millions. Our literature and art should, on the one hand, cultivate communist moral qualities among the people and, on the other, enrich their spiritual life, to increase their wisdom

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and their appreciation of beauty. Our literature and art should make people become nobler, wiser and finer. Aesthetic education is an important aspect of communist education.

In order to raise the level of our literary and art creations, we must at the same time raise the level of literary and art theory and criticism. More effectively to promote the healthy development of creative activities, raise the level of the works produced, and help the people to improve their standard of artistic appreciation and judgment, it is imperative that we should have correct and effective literary and art criticism. Our literary and art criticism is based on the standpoint of Marxism and takes the political standard as its first criterion; but at the same time we must make an accurate artistic analysis of the work, and establish a scientific artistic standard of our new age on the basis of experiences summed up from our contemporary creative activities. Our literary and art criticism should carry on serious struggles against all hostile and wrong ideological tendencies, at the same time it should boldly and enthusiastically foster new works which have vitality, encourage originality in art and the different artistic styles. We are against a harsh attitude in literary criticism, at the same time we should overcome such pedantic tendencies as ignoring the general trend of a work but finding fault in an over-critical manner with certain details, or the vulgar fashion of acclaiming the work blindly. We must continue to edit and study all the fine heritage of literature and art, including the theoretical heritage. Many outstanding literary and art theorists and critics have appeared in our history. They have summed up rich experience in crea-

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tive writing of a certain age or in certain fields and have put forward many penetrating views on the creation of art. We should critically inherit this legacy, taking it as material which we must study and make use of to build up the Marxist literary and art theory of our country. We should develop criticism by the masses, to integrate the criticism of professionals with that of the masses; the professional critics should be adept at summarizing the masses' opinions, synthesizing them and raising them to a higher level so that they become truly the people's literary and art critics. We should pay attention to fostering new forces in literary and art theory and criticism, striving to build up a strong force of Marxist literary and art theorists.

Our ranks of writers and artists are united. We must unite still closer with all the writers and artists willing to take the socialist road in order to strive together. All the writers' and artists' unions and all literary and art organizations should become a powerful nucleus of this unity. We should closely unite with the socialist writers and artists of the Soviet Union and other fraternal countries, develop to a high degree the internationalist spirit of the proletariat and learn from their advanced experience. We should also closely unite with all the progressive, revolutionary writers and artists of the world, especially with those in Asia, Africa and Latin America, forming a broad united front of revolutionary literature and art against imperialism and its reactionary allies in the various countries, to strive hard in our common task of opposing imperialism and winning lasting world peace.

I am reaching the end of this report. We look towards the future with infinite confidence in our socialist litera-

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ture and art. At the time of the founding of our People's Republic, Comrade Mao Tse-tung told us: China will appear in the world as a country with a high level of culture. Our people have three red banners shining on them: the general line, the big leap forward and the people's communes; we have rich experience of revolutionary struggle accumulated over, a long period and a splendid cultural tradition; we have the guidance of the thought of Mao Tse-tung which integrates the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Chinese revolution. We have all the prerequisites for the creation of a magnificent culture. We have already resolutely taken the correct path for the development of socialist literature and art; we already have a powerful revolutionary literary and art force with a nucleus of working-class writers and artists. We have beloved and respected comrades like Kuo Mo-jo, Mao Tun and many other outstanding veteran revolutionary writers and artists, as well as large numbers of talented and promising young literary and art workers who are emerging constantly from the masses. Our ranks are powerful. Provided we are united and remain loyal for ever to the Party and the cause of the people, always retain our youthful revolutionary fervour, remain close to the masses of workers and peasants, and make a constant effort to study and to raise our level, we shall certainly accomplish the task given us by history and create works worthy of our age.

Comrades! We are living in the age of the victory of socialism and communism; we are living in a country with an ancient cultural tradition. The nation that has produced Chu Yuan, Ssuma Chien, Tu Fu, Kuan Han-

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ching, Tsao Hsueh-chin and Lu Hsun, will certainly continue to produce thousands of brilliant writers and artists of genius. If our ancestors created great heights of literature and art in different periods thanks to their genius and determined efforts, today under the leadership of the Party and Comrade Mao Tse-tung, provided we combine our individual wisdom with the collective wisdom of the masses, provided we make great efforts to work hard and persevere unremittingly in our struggle, we shall certainly storm still greater new heights of literature and art surpassing all earlier ages. Let us unite closely and strive to attain our great goal!

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