YENAN TALKS 39
Speaking in this workshop Zhou Yang made the point that the Yenan talks were (and presumably are still being) quoted only for propagandistic use. There has been no attempt so far to place the Yenan talks in a historical perspective and certainly no critical appraisal of the talks has been done.
The 'Maoists' may well cite this as an attempt to revise Mao. We do not know. But it is no doubt true that while the Yenan talks have been oft quoted, there has scarcely been any serious writing on the Yenan talks. After all, they were delivered during the time when the Chinese Communists, to cite Mao's quotation from Lu Xun in the Yenan talks themselves, "fierce-browed...coolly defied a thousand pointing figures". Yenan talks were a part of their equipment. It was time somebody looked at them at the level of theory and placed them in the right historical perspective.
If this is what Zhou Yang had in mind, he could not have uttered more appropriate words on the fortieth anniversary of the Yenan talks on art and literature.
G P DESHPANDE*
1 On-YangShan, in Reel Flag, 1982-Nolo.
2 Mao Zedong, "Yenan Talks", in Selected Works, Vol 111, p 84.
^Associate Professor, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.