Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

WSJ Profile of Yu Hua

Mr. Yu is concerned that his critics are no more independent thinkers than their counterparts in the Cultural Revolution, which ran from 1966 to 1976 -- while Mr. Yu was growing up. In those days, China turned into a totalitarian madhouse focused on the personality cult of leader Mao Zedong. Now, over the past three decades, China has embraced capitalism with the same level of fervor. "China has these huge bubbles," he says. "The Cultural Revolution was the world's biggest revolutionary bubble and now we have the world's biggest capitalist bubble."

The problem with writing about today's China, he says, is that change is so rapid it's almost impossible to do it justice. "China's changes are like hundreds of years of European history compressed together," he says "The Cultural Revolution was like our dark ages. Now we're in the 21st century, just like the West. From one era to the other, it's almost too fast."

attached to: Yu Hua


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