Bitter Love: Chinese Intellectuals and the State

  • Judith Shapiro


Chinese intellectuals are born to a bitter love. They feel a deep responsibility to ‘make a contribution’ to their long-troubled and beloved motherland, knowing clearly that they may well end up devoured or broken, having sacrificed their lives to a futility. This is an ancient tradition: Chinese intellectuals have been throwing themselves into metaphorical rivers ever since Qu Yuan, China’s first poet, drowned himself in the Xiang out of patriotic devotion. The reformers of today are the direct heirs of those who died trying to reform China during the Hundred Days’ Reform of 1898 and the May Fourth movement of 1919.


Lution Defend Lost Reformer 


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Copyright information

© Foreign Policy Research Institute 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Shapiro

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