In their article “Maoist Aesthetics in Western Left-wing Thought,” Jun Zeng and Siying Duan discuss a terrain of knowledge called “Maoist aesthetics,” which is the creative misreading of Mao’s “On Contradiction,” the theory and practice of “Cultural Revolution” and other revolutionary literature and arts of Mao’s time by Western Left intellectuals. Scholars and academic communities inspired by Maoism include Bertolt Brecht, Herbert Marcuse, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Louis Pierre Althusser, the Chinese period of Tel Quel, Fredric Jameson, Arif Dirlik, and Contemporary Radical Left intellectuals such as Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek. Comparative study of the mutual influence of (Western) Maoist Aesthetics and (Chinese) Mao’s thinking on literature, as well as the research of (Western) Maoism’s return to China, can contribute to the rediscovery of the multi-dimensional voices and complexity of the theoretical thinking around Mao Zedong, and thus reveal unique but neglected voices.
and Duan, Siying.
"Maoist Aesthetics in Western Left-wing Thought."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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