This paper explores Mao Zedong’s conceptualization of “national form” during the 1930s-1940s as a reinvention of imagining China. Mao takes premodern and indigenous China as the Other in translating the theory of “class-nation” of the twentieth century international communist movement into a discursive practice for creating a new nation. Sinicization (中国化) or “making Chinese,” therefore, is not merely the representation of national language and culture of China, but the performative discourse that reinvents the “Chinese nation” via affective (aesthetic) politics. Such aesthetic, emotive, and affective “form” reconstructs time and space, and symbolically produces the subject of revolution. This reconstructed China thorough Mao’s “national form” is an integral part of the world in a rhizome-like relationship with the West.
"Reinventing China: Mao’s Ideas on National Form."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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