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Research Field of Literature


Anti-Imperialist & Anti-Feudalist Songs in Late Qing
Research Database - Research Field of Literature


The presented books here are all collections of anti-imperialist and anti-feudalist lyrics in the late- Qing period. They were published in the early 1960s, covering songs by a wide and interesting authorship — e.g. Heaven & Earth Society(天地會), Kingdom of Heavenly Peace (太平天國), Nian Army(捻軍), White-Lotus Clan(白蓮教), and Boxers (義和團) — mostly secret societies and rebel forces during that turbulent age. A common and impressive feature of their content would be the fervent anti-Western theme, expressed in a vernacular and emotion-laden style of language. From example, one of the pieces, which especially bears the mark of grievance, reads:

通商開門引洋人,

洋人比那虎狼狠,

吃人肉來吸人血,

骨瘦如柴老百姓。

——《洋人比那虎狼狠》(Cheng 1962, p.422)

 

Also, the transformation of such grievance to anti-foreign extremism or even the dehumanization of westerners is not unusual, just like this song to hail the Boxer Rebellion:

義和團,

猛如虎。

看見洋鬼子,

就像貓見鼠。

——《一刀一個如宰豬》(Cheng 1962, p.453)

 

Those windows of popular nationalist psyche in China, however, are more than just unpleasant reading experiences for outsiders. To understand the attempt to collect and re-popularize them in New China, one has to take account of a broader context — the making of official historical memory as part of the nation-building campaign under the Communist rule. The description of foreigners as devils and invaders, as opposed to a heroic people of grievance and resistance, always serves the justification for the legitimacy of the CCP leadership, which has been more or less implied as the ‘end of history;’ the end of the greatest mission of anti-imperialism, and anti-feudalism. It is not surprising that under such a context an extreme form of populism, backed with a jingoist mindset, has for a long time dominated China’s grand narratives of its national history.  But, reviewing the popular-oriented collections will certainly tell one more than what an official history textbook could.

 

Primary Sources:

阜陽專區文學藝術工作者聯合會(編)Fuyang Zhuanqu Wenxueyishu Gongzuozhe Lianhehui(1960),捻軍歌謠 Nianjun Geyao,合肥:安徽人民出版社,212頁 Hefei: Anhui Renmin Chubanshe

竇昌榮(選注)Dou Changrong (1962),天地會詩歌選 Tiandihui Shigexuan,北京:中華書局,171頁 Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju

程英(編)Cheng Ying(1962),中國近代反帝反封建歷史歌謠選 Zhongguo Jindai Fandi Fanfengjian Lishi Geyaoxuan,北京:中華書局,586頁 Beijing: Zhonghua Shuju

 
Übersetzungen amerikanischer Literatur in den 1950er Jahren
In den 1950er Jahren erfolgte – bis zum Zeitpunkt des Großen Sprungs nach Vorn (1958-61) – eine intensive Übersetzung von ausländischer Literatur nicht nur aus dem Russischen, sondern auch aus dem englischen Sprachraum. Eine Vielzahl dieser Werke setzt sich mit Themen der Ausbeutung und Unterdrückung auseinander.

So behandelt Michael Golds Werk Juden ohne Geld (O 1930, Ü 1954) die ökonomische Verelendung im jüdischen Getto New Yorks zu Beginn der Depression nach dem Börsenkrach von 1929. Gold bringt hier seine Kritik am Kapitalismus zum Ausdruck und mutmaßte in einer Ausgabe von 1935, daß Hitler als Handlager des Kapitals seinen Antisemitismus nur propagiere, um vom wahren Feind der Arbeiter abzulenken. Der Roman wurde in mehr als 15 Sprachen übersetzt und erlebte in neun Monaten elf Auflagen.

In der Tradition der muckraker stehen Frank Norris, Upton Sinclair, Lincoln Steffens und Ida Tarbell, die sich als Reporter (und Vorläufer des späteren investigativen Journalismus) um die literarische Verarbeitung sozialer, ökonomischer und politischer Mißstände in der Zeit des Fortschritts (Progressive Era) von den 1890er bis 1930er Jahren bemühten. Themen der muckraker (ein Begriff von Theodore Roosevelt) waren das Monopol der Standard Oil, Kinderarbeit, Hungerlöhne und miserable Arbeitsbedingungen in Industrie und Landwirtschaft. Mit der Publikation ihrer kritischen Schriften wurde die Regierung häufig genötigt, gegen die Mißstände vorzugehen und es kam zu sozialen Verbesserungen. Der 1901 von Frank Norris (1870-1902) publizierte Roman The Epic of the Wheat: The Octopus, A Story of California (1901) behandelt den Konflikt zwischen Landwirten in Kalifornien und der Southern Pacific Railroad. Norris beschreibt, wie die Eisenbahngesellschaft hohe Transportkosten auf Kosten der Farmer durchsetzen und schließlich auch den Landbesitz kontrollieren.

Als ein drittes, stellvertretendes Werk ist zu nennen Der letzte Mohikaner (1826) von James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), welches neben Harriet Beecher-Stowes (1811-1896) Onkel Toms Hütte (Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1851, erste Übersetzung durch Lin Shu 1901) eines der wohl bekanntesten amerikanischen Romanen in China ist. Die erste chinesische Übersetzung von Cooper erfolgte 1959 durch Jin Fu [金福]. Die Handlung des Romans in der Lederstrumpfserie um den Trapper Natty Bumppo thematisiert den Untergang der nordamerikanischen Indianerstämme durch die vorrückenden europäischen Siedler.

 

Primärliteratur in der Sammlung (Auswahl):

James Fenimore Cooper (Original 1826, Übersetzung 1959): Der Letzte Mohikaner (最后一个莫希干人).

John Reed (O 1927, Ü 1952): Daughter of the Revolution (革命的女儿)

Frank Norris (O 1901, Ü 1957): The Epic of the Wheat – The Octopus (鱆魚).

Michael Gold (O 1930, Ü 1954): Jews without Money (没有钱的犹太人).

Howard Fast (O 1944, Ü 1953): Conceived in Liberty (孕育在自由中).

Howard Fast (O 1951, Ü 1953): Spartacus (斯巴达克斯).

Howard Fast (O 1946, Ü 1954): Citizen Tome Paine (公民汤姆潘恩).

Howard Fast (O 1953, Ü 1955): My Glorious Brothers (我的光荣的兄弟).

William Foster (O 1939, Ü 1955): Pages form a Worker’s Life (工人生活片段).

 

Sekundärliteratur

Compton, Robert William (1971): A Study of the Translations of Lin Shu: 1852-1924. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International.

Gálik, Marián (1986): Milestones in Sino-Western literary confrontation (1898-1979). Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

Kubin, Wolfgang (2005): Die chinesische Literatur im 20. Jahrhundert. München: Saur.

Wang Jiankai [王建开] (2003): The translation of British and American literary works in Chinese, 1919-1949 [Wusi yilai wo guo Ying Mei wenxue zuopin yijieshi 1919-1949, 五四以来我国英美文学作品译介史, 1919-1949]. Shanghai: Shanghai waiyu jiaoyu chubanshe.

Yao Jun-wei: The Translation and Introduction of American Literary in Early Modern China, in: Translation Studies (Summer 2000): 51-62.

Zhang Aiping (2001): James Fenimore Cooper: A Rediscovered American Writer in China, in: James Fenimore Cooper Society Miscellaneous Papers, No. 14, S. 10-16.

 

 
Pekingopern nach 1949
Research Field of Literature


Die Pekingoper als eine traditionelle Form des Theaters entwickelte sich in den 1950er und -60er Jahren – besonders aber in der Phase der Kulturrevolution (1966-76) – zur Modelloper (样板戏), die sich durch ihren explizit politischen Charakter auszeichnete. Sie war eine parteiische Literatur, die einfachen ästhetischen Anforderungen genügte. Ihr besonderes Stilmittel war das Prinzip der drei Hervorhebungen (三突出). Unter allen Charakteren eines Stückes sollen die positiven Figuren hervorgehoben werden, unter den positiven Figuren die Helden und unter den Helden der Hauptheld. Die Modelloper kannte mehrere Charaktertypen, darunter den Haupthelden, das proletarische Vorbild; den wechselhaften Charakter, der zwar Fehler macht, vom Haupthelden aber auf den rechten Weg gebracht wird; die positiven Charaktere (die breiten Massen), sowie die negativen Charaktere.

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1959 veröffentlichte der Historiker und Schrifsteller Wu Han (1909-69) einen Beitrag über den Beamten Hai Rui, der später zur Pekingoper Hai Rui legt sein Amt nieder (Hai Rui baguan) umgearbeitet wurde. Die scharfe Kritik dieses Stücks durch Yao Wenyuan im November 1965 löste eine folgenreiche Debatte über die Funktion von Literatur aus, die letztlich in die Kulturrevolution mündete.

Mit dem politischen Aufstieg von Jiang Qing (1913-1991), der Frau Mao Zedongs, erfuhr die traditionelle Oper den tiefgreifendsten Wandel. 1962 wurden zunächst Stücke mit übernatürlichen Komponenten und kurz darauf Stücke mit historischem Inhalt von den Bühnen verbannt. Ein Jahr später wurde das Repertoire soweit reguliert, daß nur noch acht Modellopern übrig blieben, darunter fünf Pekingopern und zwei Ballettstücke.

Pekingopern

  • Die Rote Laterne (红灯记)
  • Shajiabang (沙家浜)
  • Mit Geschick den Tigerberg erobern (智取危虎山)
  • Attacke auf das Regiment vom Weißen Tiger (奇袭白虎团)
  • Am Hafen (海港)

Ballettstücke

  • Das Weißhaarige Mädchen (白毛女)
  • Das Rote Frauenbataillon (红色娘子軍)

Die Modellopern entwickelten sich zur einzig geduldeten Kunstform im kulturrevolutionären China und fanden landesweite Verbreitung durch Schauspieltruppen und Sendungen im Radio. Ab 1970 wurden dann einige der Opern für Kino und Fernsehen verfilmt.

In der Shanghaier Sammlung finden sich Libretti zahlreicher Pekingopern (jingju) und Sprechtheater (huaju), Text und Noten von revolutionären Arien, sowie Drehbücher mit Regieanweisungen. Ein eindrucksvolles Beispiel ist das Stück "Die Tätowierung des Yue Fei durch seine Mutter" aus dem Jahr 1963. Die folgende Bibliographie stellte eine Auswahl dar, die in Erlangen eingesehen werden kann.

 

 

Pekingopern und Sprechtheater (Teilbibliographie) 

白刃 Bai Ren/  絡汀  Luo Ding/  李树楷  Li, Shukai (1963):  兵臨城下  Bing lin cheng xia,  四幕七場话剧  Si mu qi chang hua-ju,  北京 ,  中国戏剧出版社 , 127  Signatur:V244.1/B152-1 

白文     Bai Wen et al. (1951) :  抗美援朝獨幕劇選集  Kang-mei-yuan-chao du-mu ju xuan ji,  第一集  Di yi ji, 北京, 五十年代出版社, 216 Signatur:V244.1/B152

陳伯元 Chen, Boyuan (1950): 大禹治水 Da yu zhi shui, 京劇劇本 Jing-ju ju-ben, 東北戲曲新報社, 61 頁。Signatur: V242/C414

范石人 Fan Shiren (1963): 借东风 Jie dong-feng, 曲譜 Jing-ju qu-pu, 上海, 上海文艺出版社, 20 Signatur: V242/M139

胡可 Hu Ke (1956): 战綫南移 Zhan xian nan yi, 北京, 人民文學出版社, 147 Signatur: V244.2/H472

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Stage Play (Huaju) PDF 
Research Field of Literature
Written by Dr. Marc Matten   

The stage play (huaju) is a literary form which emerged at the time of the May Fourth movement. It was considered as a "transmission belt" for the dissemination of knowledge from the West, the mobilization of the youth and their education. The huaju was developed by intellectuals who wanted to replace the traditional Chinese forms with Western-style drama. The first full-length play of this kind was an adaptation of Lin Shu’s Heinu yutianlu (1901), itself a version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin; it was produced by a group of Chinese students in Japan in 1907. By replacing the sung poetic dialogue of the traditional Chinese dramatic forms with a realistic spoken dialogue, this new form of theater was able to reach the lower social classes and thus exert a significant political role.

The magazine "New Youth" condemned the traditional theater in 1917 and 1918 as "barbarian kind of play" and called for the emulation of a theater in the tradition of Henrik Ibsen. In the following years, pieces dealing with social problems (shehui wenti ju) gained wide-spread popularity. The huaju then experienced a further boom in the 1930s and -40s with the increasing Japanese aggression on the Chinese mainland. The writer Bai Dongsheng argues in his Handbook for Social Service by young people in Times of War (Zhanshi Qingnian shehui fuwu zhidao) that in addition to lectures and speeches, distribution of books and setting up schools and libraries, the performance of plays was an essential part in the movement to mobilize the people for the fight against Japan. In order to achieve this, heroic epic stories of the past were to be put on stage. Famous plays - sometimes in the style of Peking Opera - are here those which dealt with heroes such as Yue Fei and Wen Tianxiang, as composed by Wu Zuguang (1917-2003), Sun Yuxiu, Kong Fanlin, Wang Bosheng, Guan Xuezhai, Gu Yiqiao, Jiang Shangqing and Tian Han (1898-1968).

In the 1950s then, pieces addressing the establishment of socialism were promoted. To give an example, the Peasant Theater Company from the province Hebei composed in 1965 a volume with one-act dramas [独幕话剧] that address the defense and the development of the country, especially the development of socialist agriculture, class struggle and the necessity revolutionary spirit. The collection in Erlangen now contains a great number of various huaju libretti that help to understand not only the political character of literature in post-liberation China, but can provide an insight into how pieces were composed, what the stage arrangements looked like and what kind of music was performed on stage.

 

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Bibliography of works on the Peking Opera and Theater

白刃 Bai Ren/ 絡汀 Luo Ding/ 李树楷 Li, Shukai (1963): 兵臨城下 Bing lin cheng xia, 四幕七場话剧 Si mu qi chang hua-ju, 北京, 中国戏剧出版社, 127页 Signature: V244.1/B152-1

白文  等 Bai Wen et al. (1951) : 抗美援朝獨幕劇選集 Kang-mei-yuan-chao du-mu ju xuan ji, 第一集 Di yi ji, 北京, 五十年代出版社, 216 頁Signature: V244.1/B152

陳伯元 Chen, Boyuan (1950): 大禹治水 Da yu zhi shui, 京劇劇本 Jing-ju ju-ben, 東北戲曲新報社, 61 頁。Signature: V242/C414

范石人 Fan Shiren (1963): 借东风 Jie dong-feng, 京剧曲譜 Jing-ju qu-pu, 上海, 上海文艺出版社, 20 頁Signature: V242/M139

胡可 Hu Ke (1956): 战綫南移 Zhan xian nan yi, 北京, 人民文學出版社, 147 頁Signature: V244.2/H472

华北区话剧歌剧观摩演出会剧目Hua bei qu hua ju ge ju guan mo yan chu hui ju mu, 独幕话剧 Du mu hua ju, 第二集 Di er ji,哥仨红,新社员,双立志,让房 Ge sa hong, xin she yuan, shuang li zhi, rang fang 天津, 百花文艺出版社, 78页Signatur:V244.1/B163

华北区话剧歌剧观摩演出会剧目Hua bei qu hua ju ge ju guan mo yan chu hui ju mu, 独幕话剧 Du mu hua ju, 第三集Di san ji, 关不住的小老虎,向高峰前进,五十大关,一段弯路 Guan bu zhu de xiao laohu, xiang gao feng qian jin, wu shi da guan, yi duan wanlu, 天津, 百花文艺出版社, 84页 Signature:V244.1/B163

賈克 Jia Ke (1951): 保衛合作社 Bao-wei he-zuo she, 北京, 三聯書店, 86 頁Signature: V244.2/J242

兰光 Lan Guang (1964): 最后一幕 Zui hou yi mu, 三幕話剧 San mu hua-ju, 北京, 中国戏剧出版社, 114页。Signature: V244.2/L172

李家 Li, Jia/  許錦 Xu, Jin (1962): 白帝城 Bai di cheng, 上海 ,上海 文艺出版社 21页。Signature: V242/L397B

李盛泉 Li, Chengquan/ 范石人 Fan, Shiren (1963): 岳母刺字 Yue mu ci zi, 京剧曲谱 Jing ju qu pu, 上海, 上海文艺出版社,41页。Signature: V242/L417y

令言 Ling, Yan: 陳柴 Chen, Chai (1951): 一台機車 Yi tai ji che. 上海. 新華書店華東總分店發行, 72頁. Signature:V224.2/L653

刘厚明 Liu, Houming (1965): 箭杆河边 Jian gan he-bian, 四幕話剧 Si mu hua ju, 北京, 中国戏剧出版社, 70页。Signature: V244.2/4677

秋潮 Qiu Chao/ 欒少山 Luan Shaoshan/ 姚翼 Yao Yi (1951): 雙蝴蝶 Shuang hu-die, 濟南, 山東人民出版社, 128 頁 Signature: V242/G(?)527

宋之的 Song, Zhide, 東川 Dong, Chuan, 金人, Jin, Ren 鐵夫 Tie, Fu (1949): 九件衣 Jiu jian yi, 上海, 武漢人民藝術出版社, 80頁. Signature: V242/S677

王若望 Wang, Ruowang/ 江愚天 Jiang, Yutian/ 王震伯 Wang, Zhenbo (1951): 紙老虎 Zhi lao-hu, 上海, 勞動出版社, 55 頁。Signature: V242/W228

翁偶虹 Weng, Ouhong (1951): 投筆從戎 Tou bi zong rong, 京劇 Jing ju, 上海, 上海雜誌公司, 71 頁。Signature: V242/W412T

雪立 等/ Xue Li et al. (1951) : 抗美援朝獨幕劇選集 Kang-mei-yuan-chao du-mu ju xuan ji, 第二集 Di er ji, 北京, 五十年代出版社, 172 頁 Signature:V244.1/B152

楊畹 Yang Wan/ 張志仁 Zhang, Zhiren (1959): 霸王別姬 Ba-wang bie ji, 京剧曲譜Jing-ju qu-pu, 上海, 上海文艺出版社, 46 頁Signature: V242/M287

中國戲剧協會編 Zhong guo xi ju xie hui bian (1955): 獨幕剧选 Du mu ju xuan 一集 yi ji, 北京, 人民文學出版社, 206页。Signature: V244/Z643-1 J, C

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Paper Tiger

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Mao Zedong coined in his conversation with the American Correspondent Anna Louise Strong in August 1946, the famous saying  that "Imperialism and reactionaries are all paper tigers."(一切反动派都是纸老虎).

The book presented here is a Peking opera, which takes up this statement and expresses the conviction that communism is superior to capitalism in the battle of ideologies . In this opera , the main protagonists are Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), President of the United States, John Foster Dulles (former adviser at the Foreign Ministry and responsible for the peace negotiations with Japan, 1950-52) and the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson (1893-1971). 
The stage in the first act - a scene in the White House in June 1950 - is characteristic of the message of the opera, the background shows a bourgeois-looking woman and a bearded man who resembles a rich Jew. On display is an oversized U.S. dollar bill, and two swastikas on the right and the left edge of the stage.
Truman describes in this opera the bomb as means to control the world. Having the current overproduction in the domestic economy in mind, he proposes war for a further expansion of the USA. Observing the failure of the Marshall Plan, the demonstrations in Japan against the installation of an American minister of education in Japan and the outbreak of the Korean War are for him surely a sign of increasing pressure on the U.S. One way to resolve the international situation was to use the atomic bomb. Towards the end of the piece, his foreign minister tells him that the forces that have peace in mind do not fear the bomb. It has therefore lost its usefulness, and their only hope rests on the Christian God to send the black plague to the Bolsheviks and to prepare an end to communism.
In the interview, Mao responded initially to the question of the journalist Anne Louise Strong, what would happen if the U.S. further sets the atomic bomb from its bases in Iceland, Okinawa and in China from the Soviet Union:

"Mao: The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the U.S. reactionaries use to scare people. It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't. Of course, the atom bomb is a weapon of mass slaughter, but the outcome of a war is decided by the people, not by one or two new types of weapon.

All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful. In Russia, before the February Revolution in 1917, which side was really strong? On the surface the tsar was strong but he was swept away by a single gust of wind in the February Revolution. In the final analysis, the strength in Russia was on the side of the Soviets of Workers, Peasants and Soldiers. The tsar was just a paper tiger. Wasn't Hitler once considered very strong? But history proved that he was a paper tiger. So was Mussolini, so was Japanese imperialism. On the contrary, the strength of the Soviet Union and of the people in all countries who loved democracy and freedom proved much greater than had been foreseen.

Chiang Kai-shek and his supporters, the U.S. reactionaries, are all paper tigers too. Speaking of U.S. imperialism, people seem to feel that it is terrifically strong. Chinese reactionaries are using the "strength" of the United States to frighten the Chinese people. But it will be proved that the U.S. reactionaries, like all the reactionaries in history, do not have much strength. In the United States there are others who are really strong -- the American people.

Take the case of China. We have only millet plus rifles to rely on, but history will finally prove that our millet plus rifles is more powerful than Chiang Kai-shek's aeroplanes plus tanks. Although the Chinese people still face many difficulties and will long suffer hardships from the joint attacks of U.S. imperialism and the Chinese reactionaries, the day will come when these reactionaries are defeated and we are victorious. The reason is simply this: the reactionaries represent reaction, we represent progress."

 

Here quoted from Mao Tse-tung, Selected Works Volume IV, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing 1969, p. 97-102.