An intriguing study of cultural life during a turbulent and formative decade in contemporary China, this book seeks to explode several myths about the Cultural Revolution (officially 1966-76). Through national and local examination of the full range of cultural forms (film, operas, dance, other stage arts, music, fine arts, literature, and even architecture), Clark argues against characterizing this decade as one of chaos and destruction. Rather, he finds that innovation and creativity, promotion of participation in cultural production, and a vigorous promotion of the modern were all typical of the Cultural Revolution. Using a range of previously little-used materials, Clark forces us to fundamentally reassess our understanding of the Cultural Revolution, a period which he sees as the product of innovation in conflict with the effort by political leaders to enforce a top-down modernity.
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(228mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Paul J. A. Clark
Paul Clark (born 1949) is Professor of Chinese at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He pioneered the study of Chinese films with his Chinese Cinema: Culture and Politics since 1949 (Cambridge University Press, 1987) and most recently updated this work with Reinventing China: A Generation and Its Films (2005), on Chinese cinema's New Wave since the 1980s. He received his PhD from Harvard University and was a researcher at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai'i. This present book draws on his experience as an exchange student in Beijing from 1974 to 1976, the last two years of the Cultural Revolution.