Mao Dun

Topics: Suicide, Chinese literature, Shanghai Pages: 29 (9646 words) Published: April 14, 2013
Mao Tun and the Wild Roses: A Study of the Psychology of Revolutionary Commitment Author(s): Yu-shih Chen Reviewed work(s): Source: The China Quarterly, No. 78 (Jun., 1979), pp. 296-323 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the School of Oriental and African Studies Stable URL: . Accessed: 21/02/2012 09:59 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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Mao Tun and The Wild Roses: A Study of the Psychology of Revolutionary Commitment Yu-shih Chen After completinghis trilogy The Eclipse in the springof 1928, a physically and mentally exhausted Mao Tun went to Japan, where he stayed from the summerof 1928 to the springof 1930. The series of catastrophes that had befallen his party in 1927-28 continued to tormenthim,l and party politics followed him even to Tokyo. Attacks from severalgroupson the left in Shanghaidirectedat the three novels that made up The Eclipse provokedMao Tun to an angereddefence, " From Kulingto Tokyo " (16 July 1928).A stormof polemicsensued.2 l. Mao Tun arrived in Japan nearly a year after the Wuhan retreat and the Canton Commune of 1927. There is a summary account of the shattering emotional impact on Mao Tun of these setbacks to the Chinese Communist movement in Yu-shih Chen, " Mao Tun and the use of political allegory," in Merle Goldman (ed.), Modern Chinese Literature in the May FourtSl Era (Cambridge, Mass.: HarvardUniversityPress, 1977), pp. 265-71. The situation of the CCP worsened in early 1928 when a member of the upper echelons of the Party informed on her comrades, which led in one instance to the arrest of the CCP Shanghai Branch Secretary, Lo Chueh. One need not establish a documentedargumentto suggest that the motif of internal betrayal among " schoolmates " in Ho Jo-hua's unexplained change of heart in " Haze " may very well be based on a brutal political reality which Mao Tun in his mental and spiritual agony preferred not to remember clearly. The informer's name in Lo Chueh's case was Ho Chih-hua. See Chang Kuo-t'ao, Wo ti hui-i (Memoirs) (Hongkong, 1971), Vol. II, pp. 759-64. 2. Many of the essays attacking The Ectipse and " From Ku-ling to Tokyo " were collected by Fu Chih-ying in a volume called A8ao Tun p'ing chuan (crifica and BiographicalEssays on Mao Tun) (Preface dated Shanghai, 20 October 1931; reissued Hongkong: Nan-tao ch'u-pan-she, 1968). The most detailed literary criticism of The Eclipse, The Wild Roses and Rainbow in that volume was in an essay by Ho Yu-po, " Mao Tun ch'uang-tsoti k'ao-ch'a " (" A critical investigation of Mao Tun's creative works"), pp. 7-51, and the most controversialwas an essay by Ch'ien Hsing-ts'un, " Mao Tun yu hsien-shih" (" Mao Tun and reality "), pp. 195-216. K'o Hsing's " P'ing Mao Tun ti ' Ts'ung Ku-ling tao Tung-ching' " (" On Mao Tun's ' From Ku-ling to Tokyo ' "), pp. 21743, and Ch'ien Hsingts'un's " Ts'ung Tung-ching hui tao Wu-han" (" Returning from Tokyo to Wuhan"), pp. 255-314, typified the kind of literary polemics propounded by writersand critics on the radical left. The direct and immediate bearing of communist politics on leftist literature and criticism of the period is attested in a statement written by Mao Tun during an interview with Yu^shihChen in September 1977, when the latter asked him about the relationship of his fiction in the late 1920s...
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