Mao's Little Red Book
by Steve Payne
says: what if the central figures of the "Cold War" had used their
talents to pursue careers in art and literature? Please note that the
opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the
April 3rd 1964,
this day would mark the beginning of the Cultural Revolution with the
celebrated Chinese poet Mao Zedong (pictured, left) publishing his
" of verse.
A new installment from the "Happy
Hitler Artist" Thread
Born into a peasant family in 1893, Mao
was denied the classic education which other middle class Englightenment
figures would enjoy. And yet despite the crushing setback of poverty, he
was nurtured with an abiding love of the classics of Chinese literature.
was particularly fond of the great Chinese poets Tang and Song who
fine-tuned the use of imagery as a literary device. The application of
this model is revealed in one of his most famous poem "The Gods" which
ends with the powerful image "Tears fly down from a great upturned
bowl of rice
". By alluding to the beheading of his wife and sister by
the Chinest Nationalists during the 1930s, Mao exposes both his
vulnerability and the immensity of the loss.
"A poet's life isn't a dinner party... or power
comes from the barrel of pen... " - reader's comment
And yet the
catalist for Mao's career in verse was a chance meeting with an obscure
Vietnamese Poet. Because during his imprisonment in 1942, Nguyen Ai Qoc
redefined the device of imagery, famously
telling Mao that "When the prison doors are open, the real dragon will
Many years later, Andy Warhol would transform Mao into a global icon. And
Frederic Tuten wrote the brilliant Dadaesque novel, "The Adventures of Mao
on the Long March" which was published in 1971.
says please note that the original ideas were proposed by John P.
Google Groups. Nguyen Ai Qoc is the birthname of Ho Chi Minh.to view
guest historian's comments on this post please visit the
Today in Alternate History web site.
Steve Payne, Editor of
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
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