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  • Ugly Intellectuals Everywhere

    Eddy U

    Chapter from the book: U, E. 2019. Creating the Intellectual: Chinese Communism and the Rise of a Classification.


    This chapter uses theater and cinema to illustrate the intensifying official denunciation of the intellectual from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. It uses Third Sister Liu, the famous musical drama produced during the Great Leap Forward, to show how the party mobilized state and society to attack those regarded as intellectuals. The attack deepened schisms and disaffection within the educated population. The chapter then turns to the notable film Early Spring in February to highlight the struggle to redefine the intellectual after the failure of the Great Leap Forward. Sponsored by some party leaders, the movie portrayed the intellectual positively, but it became a nationwide target of attack. Although cadres and others had difficulties understanding the official condemnations, layers of virulent ideas, idioms, and imageries about the intellectual saturated the nation shortly before it was engulfed by the Cultural Revolution.

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    U, E. 2019. Ugly Intellectuals Everywhere. In: U, E, Creating the Intellectual. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.68.g

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on April 30, 2019