Towards a Partisan Aesthetics: Zhou Yang, Chernyshevsky, and ‘Life’

This essay seeks to excavate a Maoist politics of ‘life’ as the grounds for a new, proletarian aesthetics and as a counterpoint to the biologisation of life under authoritarian state formations. It does so through a reading of Mao Zedong’s 1942 Yan’an Talks and their demands that intellectuals immerse themselves in the life of the masses via the theoretical role of Zhou Yang. In doing so, it seeks to suggest answers to the question: how might we conceive of a non-fascist life under late capitalism?

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