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Consuming Fragments of Mao Zedong : The Chairman's Final Two Decades at the Helm

Schoenhals, Michael LU (2010) In A Critical Introduction to Mao p.110-128
Abstract
In a radical departure from conventional historical accounts of China’s recent history, this paper (the original working title of which was “The Great Leap Forward and All that Shit”) adopts an absurdist approach to what the conference organizers in their call for papers call “images and fragments of the past… produced and distributed by the dictatorial actors and then consumed by the mass.” Instead of attempting to probe the metaphors employed in contemporary political discourse in search for a presumed reality hidden behind them, the paper arrests the analysis at the level of the metaphors and with their help strings together an extraordinary narration of events from Mao Zedong’s launch of the so-called Great Leap Forward in 1958 to the... (More)
In a radical departure from conventional historical accounts of China’s recent history, this paper (the original working title of which was “The Great Leap Forward and All that Shit”) adopts an absurdist approach to what the conference organizers in their call for papers call “images and fragments of the past… produced and distributed by the dictatorial actors and then consumed by the mass.” Instead of attempting to probe the metaphors employed in contemporary political discourse in search for a presumed reality hidden behind them, the paper arrests the analysis at the level of the metaphors and with their help strings together an extraordinary narration of events from Mao Zedong’s launch of the so-called Great Leap Forward in 1958 to the high point of his “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” (1966–1976). The author’s subjective intention, in all of this, is to provoke forth a different—complementary, it needs to be stressed, rather than alternative—appreciation of a tragic chapter in China’s past that allows not only for intellectual binary conceptualization of dictatorship in terms of victims/perpetrators, but also for infinitely more basic human responses like alienation, disgust, and laughter. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cultural Revolution, China, Mao Zedong, politics, food, Great Leap Forward, metaphor
in
A Critical Introduction to Mao
editor
Cheek, Timothy and
pages
110 - 128
publisher
Cambridge University Press
ISBN
9780521711548
project
Nittonhundratalets massdiktaturer
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
31a1a5db-279e-4abe-8d83-6a574fc2acf1 (old id 1615606)
date added to LUP
2010-06-30 16:32:20
date last changed
2016-09-22 13:50:40
@inbook{31a1a5db-279e-4abe-8d83-6a574fc2acf1,
  abstract     = {In a radical departure from conventional historical accounts of China’s recent history, this paper (the original working title of which was “The Great Leap Forward and All that Shit”) adopts an absurdist approach to what the conference organizers in their call for papers call “images and fragments of the past… produced and distributed by the dictatorial actors and then consumed by the mass.” Instead of attempting to probe the metaphors employed in contemporary political discourse in search for a presumed reality hidden behind them, the paper arrests the analysis at the level of the metaphors and with their help strings together an extraordinary narration of events from Mao Zedong’s launch of the so-called Great Leap Forward in 1958 to the high point of his “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” (1966–1976). The author’s subjective intention, in all of this, is to provoke forth a different—complementary, it needs to be stressed, rather than alternative—appreciation of a tragic chapter in China’s past that allows not only for intellectual binary conceptualization of dictatorship in terms of victims/perpetrators, but also for infinitely more basic human responses like alienation, disgust, and laughter.},
  author       = {Schoenhals, Michael},
  editor       = {Cheek, Timothy},
  isbn         = {9780521711548},
  keyword      = {Cultural Revolution,China,Mao Zedong,politics,food,Great Leap Forward,metaphor},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {110--128},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {A Critical Introduction to Mao},
  title        = {Consuming Fragments of Mao Zedong : The Chairman's Final Two Decades at the Helm},
  year         = {2010},
}