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date: 11 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Borrowing from literature scholar Chen Sihe’s concept of “drawer literature,” referring to literature written during the Maoist period but which could not be published until years later (if at all), this chapter proposes a related concept of “dossier literature.” Rather than looking at literary works that have been stuffed away into figurative drawers because they could not be openly published, this chapter instead looks at the writings that may be found in the dossiers maintained by the state on individual writers and intellectuals. The analysis focuses in particular on writings in the dossier of the writer Nie Gannu in order to help undo the dichotomy between “good literature” and “bad politics” and to paint an ambivalent picture of intellectual survival under dictatorship.

Keywords: Nie Gannu, drawer literature, socialism, censorship

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