By Howard Goldblatt
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Additional info for Chairman Mao Would Not Be Amused: Fiction from Today's China
The bombing grew louder, as if the shells were about to drop on their heads. It was a gray, wintry day, and evening had set in imperceptibly, the low clouds illuminated only by the explosions. Out on the field, voices called out, soft and feeble. It seemed almost that several hundred thousand soldiers had all perished, leaving behind only these three civilians. "There's no fucking way out tonight," said Jiming. Sonny lay on his back, inert, lifting his head from time to time to watch the bursts of light.
The writers responded to the new realities by staking out territory independent of societal and political pressures; they were now more interested in mocking the government and socialist society than in trying to reform them, more concerned with the reception of their work by the international community than with their status in China. If Mao were still around and running the show, I'll bet that few, if any, of the stories in the present collection would have pleased him. " At worst… well, we mustn't get carried away.
What, after all, is Marxism? But then China 's new leaders turned their guns on their own students and workers, and the ensuing loss of faith, coupled with the supremely individualistic desire to get rich quick, changed almost everything in China, including its literature. I suspect that even the chairman's confidence would have been shaken by reactions to events of June 1989. The writers responded to the new realities by staking out territory independent of societal and political pressures; they were now more interested in mocking the government and socialist society than in trying to reform them, more concerned with the reception of their work by the international community than with their status in China.