Speech for Drama, Opera and Children’s Theatre Writers in Beijing

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17 February 1962

Zhou Enlai

Today, I’ll talk a little about politics, and in passing, I’ll talk a little about literature and art. Today, it is impossible for everyone to speak, half among you must go to Guangdong for a meeting, and matters may be discussed at that meeting.

In March 1959, I made a speech in the Purple Light Pavilion, in which I talked about ten issues for literature and art work to walk on two legs. In today’s speech, the situation has somewhat changed since that time. At that time, I have also been made to wear a “hat”. Some Party Committees did not allow the transmission of my speech. Today, I have read the speech from last time, and the content is basically correct.

Today, the situation is improving, where something is said wrongly, it can be criticized, where something is said correctly, it can be agreed with. Today is February 1962, the circumstances have seen great developments. Since the Liberation, literature and art activities have taken place for 12 years, this year is the 13th year. Literature and art activities’ achievements are of the first rank, flaws are of the second rank. Literature and art activities have seen great development, and have spiralled upwards. Now, I’ll talk about some issues.

I, Getting rid of superstition, liberating thoughts

Since Liberation, literature and art activities can be divided into two stages. The first stage was from the Liberation until the Great Leap Forward. After the Liberation, we accepted the literature and art policies of Chairman Mao, but we did not understand many issues clearly, and our opinions were not consistent. Of the old things, which should be preserved, and which should be criticized, was not clear. Until after the anti-rightism of 1957, under the guidance of the “Two Hundreds” policy, a new situation emerged. Since the Three Red Banners, the atmosphere is not the same. Starting from ideological circles, it has been advocated to dare to think, dare to speak and dare to do, a creative spirit has been advocated, stressing the past and slighting the present has been criticized, and stressing the present and slighting the past has been advocated. This has influenced literature and art circles, literature and art circles are full of youthful vigour, and not a few works have emerged. In 1958, 1959 and 1960, drama, opera, children’s theatre and film has seen many works, creation has flourished, and a new situation opened up. The characteristics of this period are daring to stress the present and slight the past, daring to face the future, which strengthened the people’s self-confidence, they dare to criticize foreign, old and bad things. (The previous stage also fostered some forces for the next stage.) One is facing today and thinking about the future; one is facing China and thinking about the future. Ensure that China becomes stronger and greater and ensure the flourishing of literature and art. This is the main stream, it is good. It has been put forward to walk on two legs in literature and art.

In my speech of May 1959, I talked about politics, but mainly talked about literature and art, and talked about the issue of walking on two legs. Walking on two legs is a relative relationship, and is the unification of oppositions, which are all developed from Mao Zedong Thought, such as popularization and improvement, politics and art, democracy and centralization, etc. The second stage, is after the Great Leap Forward, where the masses have gotten moving, and writers, directors, actors and the masses have integrated. This is a new atmosphere. We must not underrate achievements because of the fact that there were flaws in these two years. This creative forum may first think from this aspect. Writers have written good works, this is the mainstream and principal aspect. The Party has led literature and art work, and branches have been established, many literators and artists have participated in Party teams, this is a great advance. New forces have joined the Party, a new atmosphere and a new situation have emerged.

In 1959, and especially after 1960, deviations emerged in the concrete work of implementing the general line, which could not but influence all areas, which also includes the area of literature and art. Art reflects life most rapidly, and certainly cannot but be influenced. Deviations in politics and deviations in work, for example some great projects and undertakings, cannot but influence theatre and film. Of the flaws and mistakes in literature and art work, the absolute majority have been derived from mistakes in the concrete work of implementing the general line, but there have also been factors in literature and art work itself and subjective causes. The flaws and mistakes in literature and art work have been reflected in: old superstitions have been destroyed, but new superstitions have emerged. Old superstitions should be destroyed, for example  stressing the past to slight the present, blindly worshipping foreign countries, etc., But new superstitions have emerged, such as : everything of the present is good, everything of the past is bad. This goes against Mao Zedong Thought. Where do new things come from? All things Chinese are good, all things foreign are bad, everything is cursed about, this also violates another bias, and returns to the time of the Boxers. The Boxers were anti-foreign, this had historical roots, because at that time China suffered oppression. There being such thoughts today, may change into great-nation chauvinism. The world abroad has good things, the past also has good things. Shakespeare’s plays are goods, Dumas Junior’s “Dame aux camélias” is also good, how can the measure of the present be used in demands on works of those times? Any era has its own limitations. “Those of the future looking at the present, will be as those of the present looking at the past”. We also have limitations today. By the 21st century, we may also be regarded as ridiculous by those coming after us. Only the present is good, and only one’s on things are good, can be compared to that poem: “There are three streams in the writings under heaven, and in those three streams of literature is my humble village. In the writings of my humble village, there is my younger brother, my younger brother is learning how to write from me”. In these past years, we have established many new idols and new superstitions, there are many frames. For example, writing about a Party Committee Secretary, can only be done in this manner, and cannot be done in that manner, he must represent all Party Committee Secretaries. In this way, there will be a thousand writings, all the same, and there will be conceptualization. In this way, in one phase, there can only be one model, other models cannot emerge, and there is also only one model for negative characters. This will make it very easy for critics, and too easy for Party Committees to lead literature and art, as long as some articles are drawn up, that will do. Beijing opera is stylized, and there are also not a few forms, among the painted faces, Zhang Fei is different fro m Li Kui, among the warrior roles, Wu Song is different from Shiyi Lang. On today’s stage, these characters are different from those in the past, because they have undergone new circumstances. New superstitions fetter our thinking, and consequently, writers no longer dare to write, there are many hats, and little is written, they only seek to do no wrong, and do not seek success. Comrade Cao Yu is a courageous writer, he is a self-confident writer, everyone respects him very much. But when he wrote “Gall and Sword”, he was also very worried. He has joined the party, and should be even more bold, but he has become more timid. Modesty is a good thing, but boldness becoming timidity is nod good. Entering the Party should be beneficial to him, requirements would be a bit stricter, but it is almost as if he has been fettered instead. Using a concrete writer as an example to explain this has benefits. Therefore, Comrade Cao Yu is taken as an example, because he is a Party Member, and also because he is our old classmate and old friend, requirements of him should be a bit stricter, if I put it too strongly, he should not blame me. In the past, when I talked about problems with Comrade Cao Yu in Chongqing, he was restrained less, now it seems as if he is more restrained. He fears this is wrong and that is wrong, does not know his on mind, and is not confident of success. In this way, it is impossible to write good things. Prejudices are not good, opinions must start from reality, otherwise they are absurd, this is subjectivism. But one must know one’s own mind, now, own judgments are fewer. “The Clear Sky” still seems somewhat vivacious. Some people say it is not deep, but this was written not long after Liberation, it was written in 1953. This play exposed  the negative things of imperialists running hospitals, I have seen it a few times, every time, I was moved. “Gall and Sword” has its good parts, the main part is successful, but I don’t feel as moved. It is as if writers have been somewhat fettered, and this has been caused by new superstitions.

Now, we must enter the third phase, to come at a negation of the negation, which still is an upwards spiral. We must confirm the good things of the second phase, and affirm achievements, but we must delete new superstitions, and liberate thoughts again. This Forum must first liberate thoughts, and must second come to a negation of the negation. Lift the Three Red Banners, liberate thoughts, dare to think, dare to speak, dare to do, and enter a new phase. Return again to Mao Zedong Thought, Mao Zedong Thought is Marxist. As long as dialectical materialism and historical materialism are studied even better, there will be possibilities for progress. Which are new superstitions and which aren’t; which thoughts have been liberated and which still have not been liberated, must be made clear. Printed materials are done quite well. These problems must be answered and explained at the forum.

What I have talked about is the first issue, now I will talk about the second issue.

II, How the Party leads drama and film work

How do Party Committees represent the Party in leadership? During this period, the leadership of the Party has been established, the Party’s leadership has gone more deeply into all departments during the second phase than during the first phase, including in the areas of drama and film. But, this period again shows the phenomenon of running the whole show, administrative work and artistic work are all decided by Party Committees. During the last two years, there were difficulties, for example supply difficulties, non-staple foods were in short supply, there were life issues, grain quota issues, these issues must be handled by Party Committees. But some problems must not be handled by Party Committees. Party Committees should lead everything, and command everything, but must not run the whole show. What are expert matters and what are administrative matters must be divided clearly, and Party Committees must not run the whole show. Chairman Mao has a leadership method of 32 characters. At this rotational training of cadres, we shall produce a set of even more concrete methods and provisions. That the Party is able to lead everything is a good thing, this is the result of the masses respecting the Party and the cadres loving the Party. Chairman Mao and the Party Centre have led the Party in a manner that strengthened it, and built up the prestige of Party Committees, As for concrete Party Committees and exceptional Party Committees, exceptional localities, departments and work units, it may be that results are not the main thing, flaws and achievements are not divided 30-70, it is not an issue of one finger and nine fingers. In some regions, departments and work units, it isn’t achievements that are the main thing, it isn’t a 30-70 division, it is the opposite of 30-70. Does this situation not exist in the literature and art area? That Party Committees can lead everything, and obtain achievements, is first and foremost due to the achievements of the entire Party.

I would like to rectify a designation. When filling in forms, Party members and non-Party members are written down as Party members and masses. This opposes Party members and the masses. If non-Party members are named masses, are Party members then not masses? This is being a degree too self-proud! This is extremely mistaken. I am also one of the masses. Party members and masses are not a concept of the same category. What should be said is Party members and non-Party members. Saying leaders and masses is permitted; this is the relationship of leaders and led. But is every Party member a leader? I have always had objections against this, but have not officially put this forward to the Organization Department. If a locality only has one Party member, must he be obeyed in all matters? The son of a past security secretary of mine, after graduating from the institute of geology, was allocated to go and edit a geological journal, just because he was a Party member, and the journal’s editorial department did not have Party members, he was made to go there. Afterwards, he went to the troops in Fujian, his younger sister reported this and said, my older brother has gone bad. He has taken the cigarettes of his father (head of a logistics department in some military regions) and given them to his political instructor, this is bribery! Four generals’ sons have all been evaluated as “five good fighters” among the troops. Only he was not evaluated as such. I think, this may be related to his having been an editor for two years. In the editorial department, he was the only Party member, and considered himself as able to lead everything, and had everyone obey him.

Party members should hear the opinions of the masses, and cannot consider themselves too highly, when they occupy a leading position. Why have there been some Party members whose work style changed for the worse in the past few years? Because they consider themselves too highly and have not had supervision. Some branches only listen to Party members and do not listen to words from outside the Party. How will people doing leading work be able to do it well? First and foremost, march the mass line, carry forward democracy and implement democratic centralism. Only by centralization on a democratic basis can there be correct centralization. Concentrate to a high degree on a broad democratic basis, and carry democracy forward under the leadership of a high degree of centralization. This is the system of the Party and the State, any group of individual must abide by this system. Party Committees must be careful and cautious, and listen to the opinion of the people. Politicians can centralize the opinions of the masses and formulate policies. Wisdom comes from within the masses. Politicians speak on behalf of the masses by centralizing the wisdom of the masses. Writers must also listen to the opinions of the masses, and centralize the opinions of the masses. But politics and art are still different, writers must also give rein to their creative personality. Politicians drawing up policies are required to be more complete. Party Committees that are removed from the masses are certainly unqualified; Party members who are removed from the masses, do not meet standards to be a Party member.

I say, at the creative forum, first give vent to your anger, and when you have vented your anger, it will be possible to breathe freely.

Xiang Yu was someone who did not listen to people, Liu Bang was able to listen to people. Xiang Yu considered himself too highly, and cold not be tolerant of others, in the end, there was nothing for him but to say “farewell, my concubine”. If there are some Party Committee leaders that want to be like Xiang Yu, they will inevitably have to bid “farewell to their concubines”.

At this meeting, first, understand the terrain, second, talk a little about Party leadership. This is not to doubt the leadership of Party Committees, but to consolidate it even more. The Party has prestige, the Party’s prestige does not match the prestige of some individual. Non-Party writers and artists, if they have something to say but don’t, they still are not a good friend of the Party. If Party Committees do not carry forward democracy, they are not good Party Committees. If Party Committees do not have the basis of the masses, how can they consolidate the leadership of the Party Committee? They must listen and receive criticism, and must not fear criticism. Criticism cannot harm prestige. If there has been criticism, in the course of time, one’s mistakes will be revealed. If criticism was correct, and you receive it, you may gain even more prestige.

Those frames and new superstitions that I just talked about, have come from the criticism of Party Committees. This cannot be written, that cannot be written, and still, people must be given “hats” to wear: right-leaning, conservative. In this way, many works have become formulaic, conceptualized and vulgarized things. If writers only seek to do no wrong and do not seek success, naturally their will not draft good works. This is related to Party Committee leadership. What you don’t understand, you may go and ask experts. Writers must also go among the masses to listen to opinions, and revise works on the basis of the opinions of the masses. The wisdom of the masses will always help you. A script, a poem, they may all be revised. The poems of Lu Xun where revised even after they were published, this indicates that he accepted the opinion of friends. In short, Party Committees must handle affairs in consultation with experts, insiders and the masses, and where they don’t understand something, admit that they don’t understand it, and seek to learn from the masses.

As a Party member, revolutionary cadre, and communist warrior, two matters must be acknowledged: first, individual knowledge is always limited, and knowledge is infinite. Even if you study until you’re old, you will never finish learning, even when your heart stops beating, you will not have finished learning; second, society is always in transition, we have transitioned from the old society into the new society, we have transitioned from an exploiting society into a society without exploitation, because of this, people must also eternally change. You have come from the old society, therefore, the influence of the old society, such as the force of habit, will make a sneak attack on you like bacteria. Because of this, we are eternally changing, and even if you change until you’re old, you will never finish changing. Having acknowledged these two matters, people can move ahead, and many matters will not be done wrong. It is impossible that Party Committees can understand everything. Do you understand everything? The life someone else wrote about in a script, do you understand all of it? You can only talk from one side, it is impossible for you to understand everything. The film “Spring Forever”, I praise unreservedly, but in the film, a person is compelled to donate a sewing machine, this is utterly not good, it is a problem, if this bit is taken out, it may become a film to be preserved. That role Zhang Ruifang plays, in which a family member brings the child into the nursery to go to work herself, also has a little that is not suitable. With the energy in society at that time, the film naturally could only be like that. Looking at it now, there are some biases in matters of policy, and some excesses. But this is a good film. Good films are still like this, how the more is this true for these works of slogans and catchphrases.

For policy deviations, the Centre bears the first responsibility, and provinces and cities bear the second responsibility. One work unit’s Party Committee cannot be blamed. But for some problems, Party Committees must be responsible. Some Party Committees are actually crude, and they cannot but be required to change. There are deviations in campaigns, and I apologise for this to everyone on behalf of the Party. But problems in concrete methods must be investigated by all branches. For example, the result of the investigation of Hai Mo has proven that the “hat” he was made to wear was wrong. This must be the responsibility of work units, those who make trouble should end it, branches must apologise to them. Yes, the Centre must bear the first responsibility, and provinces and cities bear the second responsibility, the roots still come from above.

Old Ouyang’s “Pan Jinlian” cannot be considered as a model of women’s’ liberation. At that time, I just put forward some opinions. This is not his representative work. I believe that this play does not conform to the present times. When I said this, there were still some troubles, and was afraid Old Ouyang is nervous, I didn’t know whether his illness was related to this, and later understood that his illness was not caused by this. I have talked about Xu Beihong once in a report, and just after that, Xu Beihong became ill, I was very worried that this was related to my speech. You say there is no relation, but it was exactly at that time. I felt very troubled. Comrade Cao Yu, today, I talked about you, your health is also not good, do not be worried. I only talk a little about opinions concerning Ouyang Lao’s “Pan Jinlian” in this small circle, I say we must not publish critical articles. If Old Ouyang himself is willing to write one, and has time to do so, he may also write one, but if he doesn’t, that is fine as well.

The Centre has taken up its responsibility, all levels must also do some research. A political picture that is both centralized and democratic, that has both discipline and freedom, that has both unified ideals and individual peace of mind, and that is vivid and vivacious shall emerge. In 1959, I said: we must both exert all efforts, and must have peace of mind. If writers are telephoned every day and being urged to write, how can the minds of writers be at peace?

New circumstances have arrived. Through the negation of negation, we will certainly be able to bring about a new picture. Good works will certainly emerge, at which time they emerge is uncertain. At this forum, times must not be fixed, and there must be no time limits to hand over drafts. That is not necessary. Matters must not be done that nervously, it is then better to write a little less.

III, The spirit of the times

The briefs you have submitted refer to “the spirit of the times”, this is a good reference. When performing modern drama, the spirit of the time may be reflected, when performing historical dramas, the spirit of modern times may also be reflected. It cannot be that because we today both have a collective ownership system and also have an ownership system of all the people, that there will be complete ownership of all the people in the future, that would negate the dramas that are written now. Comrade Cao Yu’s “Thunderstorm” was written after the Mukden Incident, at that time, it was the period of Guomindang Rule, the Republican Era. Writings about the historical background of May 4th, also have no shortcomings. Writings about feudal comprador household, these works reflect a life in conformity with those times, these works are maintained. Dramas such as these can stand up in the present, and can stand up in the future. Some people ask: why did Lu Dahai not lead the workers’ revolution? Why, in “Sunrise” are workers only at the back tamping earth, why do they not rescue Little Thing? Let them talk, these opinions are ridiculous, because workers at that time only had such a degree of consciousness, writers only had such a level of understanding. This is in conform with the level of understanding of advanced writers during those times. At that time, there were also more revolutionary works by left-wing writers, but these had a propaganda flavour, and few of them became artworks. When I talked to Cao Yu in Chongqing, I appreciated yours, because your drama were in conform with your level of thinking. Old Guo’s “Celebrating Brothers’ Reunion” can still be performed.

When Lenin criticized Tolstoy, on the one hand, he pointed out Tolstoy’s insufficiencies, and on the other hand affirmed Tolstoy. He pointed out that there is humanitarianism in Tolstoy, and that this was because there was humanitarianism at that time, Tolstoy is still a mirror of his times. After the Mukden Incident, a number of writers hazily sought progress, such as Cao Yu, their works may be maintained. Lu Xun had thoughts about the theory of evolution in his early period, but “The Complete Works of Lu Xun” can still be maintained to the present.

If what literary words reflect isn’t the times, then as long as there is a resolution, matters are fine. Chairman Mao said, if plays are all like holding meetings, for what are plays still necessary? Chairman Mao does not like to watch drama, because drama resembles life too much, and because language is not good enough. Chairman Mao doesn’t watch plays like we do, when he watches plays, it is mainly for relaxation. It is not sufficient for dramas just to move life to the stage, drama and real life are different from each other. One work cannot be required to completely reflect the whole content of the times.

Plays can only reflect one aspect of the times, and cannot reflect a whole period. The stage is only that big, a film can only have so many reels, it cannot have one hundred reels, it is impossible to completely reflect the times. What is called the spirit of the times is not equal to moving Party resolutions onto the stage. We cannot completely interpret the spirit of the times as Party policies and Party resolutions. The spirit of the times can also only be reflected through one aspect of the times. As long as this happens according to historical materialism, and conforms to those times, it is all right. If you write about Cao Cao or Qin Shihuang, if you only pay attention to the spirit of the times and do not pay attention to historical facts, people will say your work doesn’t conform to the times of Cao Cao or Qin Shihuang. The spirit of the times – on is writing about the times, one is writing about history, one is writing about ideals. Ideals must have a scientific basis, not be Utopian, they must have a scientific basis, and also be artistic. We cannot be constrained by the spirit of the times, and must have a broad understanding of the spirit of the times. Otherwise, you will be unable to write historical plays, mythological plays or children’s plays. If you only put real life onto the stage, what is there worth seeing?

The spirit of the times must be broadly understood, the problem lies in whether works can stand or cannot stand. Comrade Cao Yu’s trilogy has displayed aspects of life at that time, and has displayed the ideals of writers at that time. Two pieces can stand up, but “Grasslands” is relatively bad. I deeply love one of his works, and recommend one of his works. I just touch upon this issue, you must talk about it more broadly.

IV, Model characters

Now, model characters will be raised. Where do so many heroic characters come from? Literary works always refer to model characters, model characters include everything, and include heroic characters. There is more than one model. One era has one representative character, the representative character of this era of ours is Chairman Mao. Chairman Mao represents China, now that China has become stronger, and its power of discourse is larger, his representativeness is greater. The “Lenin Era” or “Stalin Era” indicate that they all have their representative character. But if this is to be written into novels, plays or films, this becomes very difficult. There has been an unofficial decision in the Central Committee that the images of leaders must not appear in plays or films, because this would be hard to do well. Chairman Mao appears in Li Bozhao’s opera “Long March”, and Chairman Mao appears in Lazikou in the drama “Ten Thousand Rivers and A Thousand Mountains”, but these have not been done successfully. I am written into the drama “The August 1 Tempest”; some people say “it is both alike and non alike”. Therefore, I do not see it. At that time, my leadership was defeated, you have not criticized me, therefore, I do not see it. Wanting to write about the highest representative characters is very difficult, this is the experience of China. Put model characters into dramas and films instead. It is nit certain that every play must contain heroic characters. Where are there so many heroic characters? But there must be model characters. All sorts of characters may be written, positive and negative, great and small, there may be all sorts of models. There must be central characters, there must be characters serving as a foil or antagonists. You must imagine it thus: there are subjects, there are characters and there are models, all in many forms; there must be a protagonist, an opposite, and there must be contradiction and struggle. There must be descriptions of many sides, this must not be limited. Some people put forward heroic characters of “high standards”, how can there be heroic characters like that? Dispositions are different in every person, if everyone would say the same thing, what would there still be worth listening to? Leader Chen has his manner of speaking, I have my own manner when I speak, how can there be one fixed standard? When writing dispositions, there can be different characters, the real, living life cannot be written into lifeless stagnancy. In production, a great variety and high quality are advocated. Party Committee secretaries, commanders, opportunists, cannot all be of the same mould. Huang Jiguang has Huang Jiguang’s disposition, Dong Cunrui has Dong Cunrui’s disposition. There are also various kinds of operatic roles.

Heroes must be integrated with the masses. But now, in not a few plays, heroes are often not integrated with the masses well. Heroes are written in a manner that belittles the role of the masses, masses are written in a manner that leadership is not clear. Or it is written clearly, but there still are indiscrete remarks. The wisdom of the masses must be centralized by leadership, before rein can be given to its strength, and these two shall be integrated very well. Leaders and masses being integrated, is very good politics, and expressing this in works is good art. But, our scripts are always biased to one side. This refers to writing about our ties, it is different for writing history. But historical characters, also have characters around them, otherwise, they would be isolated loners, such as Xiang Yu saying farewell to his concubine. When Gou Jian, the King of Yue heard Fan Li speaking, he was successful in the end. Fan Li said he might share adversity, but could not share peace and joy. Comrade Cao Yu’s “Gall and Sword” has grasped this point. Xiang Yu did not listened to what other people had to say, and had no choice but to say farewell to his concubine. Li Shimin is good at listening to opposite opinions, when he sees Wei Zheng coming, he is on pins and needles, but when he has listened to his opinion, it is as if he has taken a dose of medicine. We must not be deaf to negative opinions. Scripts must be written with an antithesis, any persona’s limitations, and aren’t that perfect. There is no absolutely correct person. We must not fail to dare to go and exposé this, otherwise, there will not be any drama to play. Contradictions, there are contradictions between the enemy and ourselves, and contradictions among the people, without contradictions, there is not play. When little children see a play, they always ask: is this a good person or a bad person? Not having good or bad won’t do. A person always has good points and bad points. Things themselves always have good points and bad points. Saying someone is completely good, there are no people like that in the world. Not recognizing that heroes have flaws does not conform to Mao Zedong Thought and does not conform to the law of dialectics. Saying that someone is completely correct, is arrogant, and they will fall from the stage. If matters have no contradiction, they cannot advance. If humanity has no contradictions, humanity will perish. If the world does not have contradictions, the world will perish. We must use the most essential things in the most vivid way, and vividly express them, we must not talk about great truths. Party Committee secretaries don’t have flaws? Party Committees don’t have flaws? Impossible. Comrade Chen Qitong’s “Among Comrades” contains a bit where a political commissar has flaws, some people say this is good, some people say this is not good, take it out and look at it! Who says political commissioners do not make mistakes? Saying political commissioners do not make mistakes is a strange thing. This is where wordings themselves are mistaken, this is superstition. Heroic characters must not make mistakes, this is a new dogma. It isn’t that flaws can be written about, the problem is how to write about them, do we write more about the flaws or do we write more about the correct things. Concerning the issue of emotions and wisdom, saying that heroes cannot cry, is also a new dogma. For whether or not they can cry, it must be considered at what time, during arduous times, where comrades have made sacrifices, they must control emotions, it isn’t a matter of sacrificing one and letting one cry. It is as Chairman Mao said: “They get up off the ground, wipe clean the bloodstains on their bodies, bury the corpses of good comrades, and continue to struggle”. But at the time where victory is near, and comrades are sacrificed, emotions are very difficult to control. When the news that Comrade Wang Ruofei and others had been sacrificed reached Yan’an, the entire Party cried greatly. At that time, we held the old consultative conference with the Guomindang in Chongqing, in the face of the enemy, we did not bat an eyelid, but as soon as we arrived at Hongyan, we were choking back sobs. Revolutionaries do not cry in the face of the enemy. Zhuge Liang flicked a tear when he had Ma Su beheaded, this has become a famous play. This is because he employed people badly, he also had a responsibility. But for the sake of military discipline, he could not but kill Ma. Communist Party members have emotions, but emotions are governed by reason. The problem is that we must look at what time, what occasion and what counterpart. When facing deadly peril, it seems as if we can only say “Long live the Communist Party”, otherwise it would be vacillating, this sort of saying is strange. There is a play that was criticized for writing that a hero wavered when a soldier said to her husband before being sacrificed that “It would be so much better if we had a child”, this is a strange thing. I’d like to tell everyone a story: during the revolutionary period, Zong Wenyong, commander of the Red Guards in the Guangzhou Uprising, met a female comrade called Chen Tiejun, both of them fell in love, because of being busy with revolutionary work, they could not be joined in wedlock rapidly. After the defeat of the Guangzhou uprising, they did not manage to withdraw, were both arrested, and condemned to death in a Guomindang court. The both of them  felt love in the courtroom at last, and Zhou Wenyong took his scarf from his own neck, and tied it around the neck of Chen Tiejun, kissed her, and they both went to the execution ground, where they died together for their country. Writing this scene into a play is very moving. Are acts like this wavering They are not. Comrade Tian Han’s “Guan Hanqing” is written about Guan Hanqing’s hope to “not be in the same bed while alive but to be in the same grave when dead” with Zhu Lianxiu, why can this not be written like this today? Possibly, there is a new dogma! If you face death unflinchingly, can you still talk about live? It is because he faces death unflinchingly, that his love becomes the purest and noblest sentiment of love. Revolutionaries have human emotions, they are the emotions of the revolution. Why don’t we want such outstanding qualities? At that time, when I heard that news in Shanghai, I was very moved, and wanted to write it into a script, but have never done so.

V, Concerning writing about contradictions among the people

It is hard to write about contradictions among the people, this is a fact. Because there are some frames here. Contradictions between enemies and ourselves, and struggle with reactionary forces must be written about. Now, we are faced with a formidable foe, and should write about contradictions between enemies and ourselves. But, in daily life, there are many more contradictions among the people. Avoid them, and many more scripts cannot be written. If we write modern dramas, most of them are written about contradictions among the people, these cannot be avoided. Because they are contradictions among the people, saying that must not be too intensified, and saying they are small contradictions, or that there is only a spear and not a shield, that there is a contradiction but not a conflict, how can these conditions be established? If there is a spear but not a shield, what sort of drama can  there be? It is just shooting at random, firing blanks. This is fettering oneself. We must dare to write about contradictions among the people, affirm positive things and criticize mistaken things. We must write about magnificent achievements, but mistaken things must also be criticized.

The “People’s Daily” has recently also begun to report on some flaws in our work. In 1958, we also reported on some situations where mistakes had been made, such as the matter of the Meilin food factory. Now, it is as if faults are concealed for fear of criticism, and for fear of triggering bad consequences. Naturally, reports must also have a sense of propriety. Now, the market is nervous, and excessive reporting is also not good. Where we can redress flaws, what we can get done, must be reported, this has benefits, it can push work forward. Matters that cannot be done for the time being, do not have to be reported, in order to avoid overly high requirements. Since they may be reported in newspapers, they may also be written about in scripts. Writing about flaws also has benefits on one side. A few satirical plays, comedies and tragedies may be written. First and foremost are satirical plays. Tragedies may change sorrow into joy, such as “A New Lease on Life” which is tragic in the beginning and joyful at its conclusion. Satire may be used in comical dialogues. “Buying Monkeys” satirizes bureaucratism, it may be performed. Why not perform it? There may be a bit of satire. Comedies naturally must inspire the people, be joyful, and guide the people to advance. Flaws and mistakes certainly may be corrected. Today is not the old society, in the old society, there was no way out, and certainly, the outcome was tragedy; today is different, the new society naturally cannot be like this. It must also not be so that their e is satire everywhere, satire must not become the main aspect of film or drama material. The side of flaws must not cover the side of achievement. Achievement is the main matter. Writers may use different themes and genres to write scripts. But performance programmes must have a complete arrangement.

VI, Life truth, historical truth and artistic truth

Leader Chen has also talked about this issue. It is impossible for writers to be versed in all areas of history and all areas of the life of the times. A writer surely has limitations. Good writers may go and ask others for advice, everyone may help them, it is impossible for a writer to know everything about history and life, he must go and understand. Some matters are the problems of writers, some are everyone’s affair. If a writer brings high quota and the common practice of exaggeration into works, he cannot be blamed. Higher levels have requirements, newspapers have printed them. There are some matters that I did not believe at that time, but pictures were taken. Writers have written about this, how can they be blamed? The Ministry of Culture must bear this issue readily, and settle matters once and for all. In the future, we must let writers understand the real situation, and must give them opportunities, let them interview comprehensively, and let them reflect the truth. On the other hand, writers must also establish the viewpoints of dialectical materialism and historical materialism, and straighten out their worldview. Workers also have flaws, but these are created by the social system, Gorki has also written about workers’ flaws, but has pointed out that these are created by the system. The labouring people’s good side is the main thing. Our system of today is able to overcome these flaws, and this requires of writers that they raise their own levels. The level of writers of the present has been raised in comparison to the level of writers before Liberation, their powers of observation have also risen. They are thus able to write good works.

A good many writers are interested in historical themes. Matters after the Opium War, the Sino-French war and other historical themes, are a bit far away; to write about matters after the Sino-Japanese war, the 1898 Hundred Days reform or the Xinhai Revolution, one may still find some old people and interview them. However, they also will not certainly be completely correct, possibly they have subjective biases, they may have prejudices or be partial. Old people from the 1898 Hundred Days period, old people from the period of the Xinhai Revolution, old people from the research institute of culture and history, have very good anecdotes, but they may also have their own one-sided views. For the historical phase after the founding of the Party, comrades from inside the Party must be sought for a talk. But even among these revolutionary elderly, it is not so that any person’s viewpoint is consistent, and there may also be one-sidedness. First, they may only know about a little bit, and don’t know about other things; second, the things they know about may also not necessarily be completely correct. At that time, that revolutionary group in Tianjin was only an initiation organization under a patriotic movement, and was even more inferior than the Hunan New People’s Society. Some people say that this is Communism, this is utterly incorrect. Therefore, the interviewer himself must also have a level. Writers must have their own level, writers must grasp this well, they must be able to grasp the characteristics of the times, succeed in grasping historical truth, and succeed in grasping artistic truth. Therefore, even though all windows are open, and we have done away with superstition twice, writers themselves must still have self-cultivation – ideological self-cultivation and artistic self-cultivation. Only having self-cultivation in the ideological area is insufficient, there must be artistic self-cultivation. Old writers’ self-cultivation certainly is relatively high. There must be help from old writers. New writers move “People’s Daily” editorials into scripts, old writers don’t repeat one line of text. Drama must be written in artistic language. This is neither the language of “People’s Daily” editorials or strict political language, nor is it the language from daily life, but there must be a language  that is refined and becomes true stage language, or language for the silver screen. The language of Comrade Cao Yu’s scripts contains some good lines, we can recite these from memory. Lu Ma says a sentence to Zhou Ping: “I am you – the mother of the person you hit”. This is a famous line, and has been deleted by new directors. Comrade Deng Yingchao discovered that and it was only reinstated after she raised it with the director. Good lines are worth a hundred readings. Other writers also have good lines.

A new situation has arrived, now, the economic situation has already begun to improve, but there still will be a period of difficulty, perhaps there will still be some inconvenient places in the material treatment of writers, but looking from political conditions, a vivid and vigorous situation will emerge. A new situation has emerged politically, literature and art will also certainly see a new situation. This creative forum will bring gains. Today’s speeches of the two of us, are only banal remarks to spark abler thoughts, we hope you will go to Guangzhou and let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, and hold the forum well.

对在京的话剧、歌剧、儿童剧作家的讲话
(一九六二年二月十七日)
今天讲点政治吧,顺带讲一点文艺。今天不可能每个人都发言,你们之中半数要到广东去开会,在会上还可以议论。
一九五九年五月三日,我在紫光阁讲了一次话,谈了文艺工作两条腿走路的十个问题〔1〕。今天讲话,情况与那次有点变化了。那次我也是被戴了“帽子”的。有些党委就不准传达我的讲话。今天我看了上次讲话,内容基本上是正确的。
今天情况有好转,讲错了可以批评,讲对了可以同意。今天是一九六二年二月,形势有很大发展。自解放以来,文艺运动已经有十二年了,今年是第十三年。文艺运动的成绩是第一位的,缺点是第二位的。文艺运动有很大发展,是螺旋式的上升。现在我讲几个问题。
一破除迷信,解放思想
解放以来,文艺运动可以分两个阶段。第一阶段,从解放到大跃进。解放以后,我们把毛主席的文艺方针接受下来了,但对许多问题认识得不清楚,见解不一致。旧的东西,哪些应保留,哪些应批判,不清楚。直到一九五七年反右以后,在“双百”方针指导下,出现了新的局面。三面红旗一来,气象不同了。从思想界开始,提倡敢想、敢说、敢做,提倡首创精神,批判厚古薄今,提倡厚今薄古。这影响了文艺界,文艺界朝气勃勃,出现了不少作品。一九五八、一九五九、一九六○年,话剧、歌剧、儿童剧、电影方面,产品很多,创作繁荣,打开了一个新的局面。这时候的特点是敢于厚今薄古,敢于面向前途,增强了民族自信心,敢于批判外国的、旧的、不好的东西。(前一阶段也为后一阶段培养了一些力量。)一个是面对今天,想象未来;一个是面对中国,想象未来。使中国更强大,使文艺更繁荣。这是主流,是好的。文艺上两条腿走路提出来了。
一九五九年五月我那次讲话,是讲政治,但主要是讲文艺,讲了两条腿走路的问题。两条腿走路是相对的关系,是对立的统一,都是从毛泽东思想发展出来的,如普及与提高、政治与艺术、民主与集中等。第二阶段,是大跃进以后,群众动起来了,作家、导演、演员、观众结合起来了。这是新的气象。不要因为这两年有缺点,把成绩低估了。这次创作座谈会,可以先从这方面想想。作家们写出了好的作品,这是主流、主要的方面。党把文艺工作领导起来了,支部建立起来了,许多文学家、艺术家参加了党的队伍,这是很大的进步。新的力量参加了党,出现了新的气象、新的形势。
一九五九年,尤其是一九六○年以后,由于执行总路线在具体工作上发生偏差,这不能不影响到各个方面,其中也包括文艺方面。艺术是最快地反映生活的,更不能不受到影响。政治上的偏差、工作上的偏差,比如几个大办大搞,不能不影响到戏剧、电影。文艺工作上的缺点错误,大多数是由执行总路线的具体工作上的错误派生出来的,但也有文艺工作本身的原因、主观上的原因。文艺上的缺点错误表现在:打破了旧的迷信,但又产生了新的迷信。旧的迷信应该打破,如厚古薄今,迷信外国等等。但又产生了新的迷信,如:今的一切都好,古的一切都坏。这违背了毛泽东思想。新的东西哪里来的?中国一切好,外国一切坏,骂倒一切,这又犯另外一个片面性,又回到义和团时代了。义和团排外,有他们的历史根源,因为那时中国受压迫。今天有这种思想,会变成大国沙文主义。外国有好的东西,古代有好的东西。莎士比亚〔2〕的剧本是好的,小仲马〔3〕的《茶花女》也是好的。怎么能以今天的尺度去要求那个时代的作品呢?任何时代都有它的局限性,“后之视今,亦犹今之视昔”〔4〕。我们今天也有局限性。到了二十一世纪,我们被后人看来也会是很可笑的。只有现在是好的,只有自己是好的,那就好比有首诗:“天下文章数三江,三江文章数敝乡。敝乡文章数舍弟,舍弟向我学文章。”这几年树立了许多新的偶像、新的迷信,框框很多。比如写一个党委书记,只能这样写,不能那样写,要他代表所有的党委书记。这样就千篇一律,概念化。这样就一个阶级只能有一个典型,别的典型不能出现,反面人物也只能有一个典型。这样当批评家就很容易了,党委领导文艺也太容易了,只要订出几十条就行了。京戏是程式化的,还有不少“型”,黑头中的张飞就不同于李逵,武生中的武松就不同于十一郎。今天舞台上的这些人物和过去又有不同,因为是经过革新的形象。新的迷信把我们的思想束缚起来了,于是作家们不敢写了,帽子很多,写得很少,但求无过,不求有功。曹禺〔5〕同志是有勇气的作家,是有自信心的作家,大家很尊重他。但他写《胆剑篇》也很苦恼。他入了党,应该更大胆,但反而更胆小了。谦虚是好事,但胆子变小了不好。入了党应该对他有好处,要求严格一些,但写作上好像反而有了束缚。把一个具体作家作为例子来讲一下有好处。所以举曹禺同志为例,因为他是党员,又因为他是我的老同学、老朋友,对他要求严格一些,说重了他不会怪我。过去和曹禺同志在重庆谈问题的时候,他拘束少,现在好像拘束多了。生怕这个错、那个错,没有主见,没有把握。这样就写不出好东西来。成见是不好的,意见要从实际出发,否则是谬见,是主观主义。但要有主见,现在主见少了。《明朗的天》好像还活泼些。有人说它不深刻,但这是解放后不久写的,写在一九五三年。这个戏把帝国主义办医学院的反面的东西揭露出来了,我看过几次,每次都受感动。《胆剑篇》有它的好处,主要方面是成功的,但我没有那样受感动。作者好像受了某种束缚,是新的迷信所造成的。
现在要进入第三阶段,来个否定之否定,还是螺旋式的上升。要肯定第二阶段中的好东西,肯定成绩,但要破除新的迷信,再一次解放思想。这次座谈会第一要解放思想,第二要来个否定之否定。举起三面红旗,解放思想,敢想、敢说、敢做,进入新的阶段。再回到毛泽东思想,毛泽东思想是马列主义的。只要把辩证唯物主义、历史唯物主义学得更好,是能够进一步的。哪些是新的迷信,哪些不是;哪些思想解放了,哪些还没有解放,要弄清楚。打印的材料搞得不错。这些问题在座谈会上要解答。
以上讲的是第一个问题,现在讲第二个问题。
二党如何领导戏剧电影工作
党委如何代表党来领导?这个时期党的领导建立了,党的领导在第二阶段比第一阶段更深入到各部门去了,包括戏剧、电影方面。但是,这时期又有包办一切的现象,行政工作、艺术工作都由党委决定。近两年来有困难,如供应困难,副食品紧张,生活问题,粮食定量问题,这些问题党委是要管的。但有些问题党委不要管。党委应领导一切,统帅一切,但不要包办一切。什么是专家的事,什么是行政的事,要分清楚,党委不要包办。毛主席有三十二个字的领导方法〔6〕。这次轮训干部,应当搞出一套更具体的办法和规定来。党能够领导一切是好事,这是群众尊重党、干部爱护党的结果。毛主席和党中央把国家领导得强大起来了,使党委的威信建立了起来。至于具体的党委、个别的党委,个别的地区、部门、单位,也可能成绩不是主要的,缺点和成绩不是三七开,不是一个指头和九个指头的问题。有的地区、部门、单位,不是成绩是主要的,不是三七开,是倒三七。文艺方面有没有这种情况呢?党委能领导一切,取得成绩,首先是由于全党的成绩。
我想纠正一个名称。填表的时候,党员和非党员写成党员和群众。把党员和群众对立起来。非党员叫群众,党员不是群众?这是自高一等!这是非常错误的。我们也是群众。党员和群众不是同一范畴的概念。应该说党员和非党员。说领导与群众,可以;这是领导与被领导的关系。但每个党员都是领导者吗?我对此一直有意见,但没有正式向组织部提出过。如果一个地方只有一个党员,是否一切都得听他的?我过去的一位警卫秘书的儿子,在地质学院毕业后,被分配去编地质杂志,就因为他是党员,杂志编辑部没有党员,要他去。后来,他到福建部队中去了,他妹妹来反映说,哥哥变坏了。他把他爸爸(某军区后勤部部长)的烟去送给连指导员,这就是贿赂嘛!四个将军的儿子,在部队都评上五好战士了,只有他没评上。我想,这大概同他当了两年编辑有关。他在编辑部是唯一的党员,自以为能领导一切,人家都得听他的。
党员应该听取群众的意见,不能自视过高,居于领导地位。这几年为什么有些党员作风变得不好了?因为自视过高,没有监督。有些支部只听党员的话,不听党外的话。做领导工作的人怎么才能把工作做好?首先走群众路线,发扬民主,贯彻民主集中制。只有在民主的基础上的集中才是正确的集中。在广泛民主的基础上高度集中,在高度集中的指导下发扬民主。这是党和国家的制度,任何团体和个人都要遵守这个制度。党委必须小心翼翼,听取群众的意见。政治家就是能把群众的意见集中起来,制定政策。智慧是从群众中来的。政治家是集中群众的智慧来代表群众讲话。作家也要听群众的意见,把群众的意见集中起来。但政治与艺术还不同,作家还要发挥创作个性。政治家订出的政策更要求全面。脱离群众的党委,一定不称职;脱离群众的党员,不够党员标准。
我说,你们在创作座谈会上先出出气,出了气就能通气了。
项羽就是不听人家的话,刘邦就是能听人家的话。项羽自视过高,不能容人,最后只好“别姬”。如果有哪个党委领导要想当霸王,必然要“别姬”的。
这次会上,第一认识形势,第二谈谈党的领导。这不是动摇党委的领导,而是更加巩固它。党是有威信的,党的威信不等于哪一个个人的威信。非党的作家、艺术家,如果有意见不提,那你还不是党的好朋友。党委如果不发扬民主,就不是好党委。党委没有群众的基础,怎能巩固党委的领导?要听得进批评,不要怕批评。批评不会损害威信。如果批错了,日久会显出他的错误。批对了,你接受下来,就会更有威信。
刚才说的那些框框、新迷信,就是从党委的批评来的。这个不能写,那个不能写,还要给人家戴“帽子”:右倾,保守。这样很多作品就成了公式化、概念化、庸俗化的东西了。作家但求无过,不求有功,当然搞不出好作品来。这与党委领导有关。你不懂可以问问专家。作家也要到群众中去听取意见,根据群众意见修改作品。群众的智慧总是会帮助你的。一个剧本、一首诗,都可以修改。鲁迅的诗发表之后还修改,这说明他是接受了朋友的意见的。总之,党委要与专家、内行、群众商量着办事,不懂就承认不懂,向群众请教。
作为一个党员、革命干部、共产主义战士,要承认两条:一、个人的知识总是有限的,而知识是无穷的。学到老,学不完,直到心脏跳动停止,你还学不完;二、社会总是在过渡中,我们把旧社会过渡到新社会,把剥削社会过渡到无剥削社会,因此,人也永远要处在改造中。你是旧社会来的,那旧社会的影响,如习惯势力,就会像细菌似地来侵袭你。因此,我们永远在改造之中,改造到老也是改造不完的。承认了这两条,人就会前进,许多事就不会做错。党委不可能什么都懂。你什么都懂?他剧本中所写的生活你都了解?你只能就一方面发言,你不可能什么都懂。电影《万紫千红总是春》,我满口称赞,但片子里逼着一个人献出缝纫机,总不好,是一个毛病,把这一点去了可以作为保留影片。张瑞芳演的那个角色,她那一家人把孩子送进托儿所,自己去参加工作,也总有那么点不顺。当时社会是那股劲,片子当然也只能是那个样子了。现在看,政策上有些偏了,有些过了。但这是好片子。好片子尚且如此,何况那些标语口号式的作品。
政策上的偏差,中央负第一位的责任,省市负第二位的责任。不能够怪一个单位的党委。但有的问题,党委要负责。有的党委确是粗暴的,那要他非改不可。运动中有偏差,我们代表党向大家道歉。但具体作法上的问题,要由各支部检查。如对海默〔7〕,审查的结果,证明“帽子”戴错了。这就要单位负责,解铃还须系铃人,支部要向他道歉。是的,中央要负第一位的责任,省市负第二位的责任,根还是从上面来的。
欧阳老〔8〕的《潘金莲》,不能作为妇女解放的典型。那次我只是提提意见。这不是他的代表作。我认为这戏与今天的时代不合。我说了还有些不安,就怕欧阳老紧张,不知他的病是否与此有关,后来了解了,他的病不是由于这个原因。我有一次报告里讲到徐悲鸿〔9〕,恰恰这之后徐悲鸿病了,我很担心这与我的讲话有关。你说没有关系,可是恰恰在这个时候。我很不安。曹禺同志,今天我讲了你,你身体也不好,不要紧张。欧阳老的《潘金莲》,我只是在小范围内谈点意见,我说不要登批评文章。如果欧阳老自己愿意写,有时间写,也可以写一篇,不写也可以。
中央把责任担负起来,各级也要研究一下。应当出现既有集中又有民主,既有纪律又有自由,既有统一意志又有个人心情舒畅的生动活泼的政治局面。一九五九年我谈过:既要鼓足干劲,又要心情舒畅。每天打电话催作家写,作家的心情怎么能舒畅呢?
新的形势到来了。经过否定之否定,一定可以出现新的局面。好作品一定会出现,什么时候出现,不一定。这次会上不要定时间,不要限时限刻交稿。那是不必要的。不要搞得那么紧张,宁可少搞一点。
三时代精神
你们送来的简报上提到“时代精神”,提得好。演现代剧可以表现时代精神,演历史剧也可以表现时代精神。不会因为我们今天又是集体所有制又是全民所有制,到将来全部是全民所有制了,就把现在写的剧本否定了。曹禺同志的《雷雨》写于“九一八”之后,那个时代是国民党统治时期、民国时代。写的是“五四”前后的历史背景,已经没有辫子了。写的是封建买办的家庭,作品反映的生活合乎那个时代,这作品保留下来了。这样的戏,现在站得住,将来也站得住。有人问:为什么鲁大海不领导工人革命?《日出》中为什么工人只在后面打夯,为什么不把小东西救出去?让他去说吧,这意见是很可笑的,因为当时工人只有那样的觉悟程度,作家只有那样的认识水平。这是合乎那个时代进步作家的认识水平的。那时还有左翼作家的更革命的作品,但带有宣传味道,成为艺术品的很少。我在重庆时对曹禺说过,我欣赏你的,就是你的剧本是合乎你的思想水平的。郭老的《棠棣之花》还可以演一演。
列宁评托尔斯泰〔10〕,一方面指出托尔斯泰的不足之处,一方面肯定托尔斯泰。指出托尔斯泰有人道主义,那是当时就是有人道主义,托尔斯泰还是时代的镜子。“九一八”之后有一部分朦胧追求进步的作家,像曹禺,作品可以保留。鲁迅初期有进化论思想,但是《鲁迅全集》到现在还可以保留下来。
如果文学作品反映的不是时代,那就只要有了决议就好了。毛主席说,戏剧都像开会那样,那还要戏干什么?毛主席不爱看话剧,因为话剧太像生活,又因为语言不够好。毛主席看戏不像我们,他看戏主要是为了休息。戏剧不是把生活搬到舞台上去就行了的,戏剧与实际生活是有区别的。不能要求一个作品把时代的全部内容都反映了。
戏剧只能反映时代的一个侧面,不能反映各个侧面。舞台就那么大,电影就只能是几本,不能一百本,不可能那么全面地反映时代。所谓时代精神,不等于把党的决议搬上舞台。不能把时代精神完全解释为党的政策、党的决议。时代精神也只能通过时代的一个侧面表现出来。只要按照历史唯物主义,合乎那个时代的就行。你写曹操、秦始皇,如果只注意时代精神,不注意历史真实,那么人们就会说你的作品不符合曹操、秦始皇的时代。时代精神——一个写时代,一个写历史,一个写理想。理想要有科学根据,不是乌托邦,既要有科学根据,又要艺术化。不能被时代精神拘束了,对时代精神要作广义的了解。否则,你就不能写历史剧、神话剧、童话剧了。如果只是把现实生活搬上舞台,那有什么看头?
时代精神要广义地来理解,问题在于作品站得住站不住。曹禺同志的三部曲〔11〕,表现了那个时代的生活侧面,表现了作家当时的思想。两部站得住,但《原野》就比较差。我是热爱他作品的一个,推荐他作品的一个。这个问题我只是提个头,你们要广泛讲一讲。
四典型人物
现在一提就是英雄人物。哪来那么多英雄人物?文学作品总是提典型人物,典型人物包罗一切,包括英雄人物。典型不止是一个。一个时代有一个代表人物,我们这个时代的代表人物就是毛主席。毛主席代表中国,现在中国更强大了,发言权更大,代表性更大。“列宁时代”,“斯大林时代”,说明都有它的代表人物。但这要写成小说、戏剧、电影,那是很困难的。中央有过非正式决定,戏剧电影中不要出现领袖形象,因为这很难搞好。李伯钊〔12〕的歌剧《长征》中毛主席出现了,话剧《万水千山》中毛主席出现在腊子口,但没有搞成功。话剧《八一风暴》中写我;有人说“似像似不像”。我就是不看。我那次领导失败了,你又不批评我,我就是不看。要写最高的代表人物,很困难,这是中国的经验。戏剧、电影中还是搞典型人物。不一定每个戏都搞英雄人物。哪有那么多英雄人物?但要有典型人物。各种人物都可以写,正面的反面的,大的小的,可以有各种典型。要有中心人物,还要有陪衬人物、对立人物。要这样设想:有主题,有人物,有典型,多类型的;要有主人公,对立面,要有矛盾斗争。要有多方面的描写,不要局限。有人提“高标准”的英雄人物,怎么会有那样的英雄人物?性格是各人不同的,如果人人都说一样的话,还有什么听头?陈老总〔13〕说话有他的方式,我说话有我的方式,怎么能有一个固定的标准呢?写出性格来就会有不同的人物,不能把活生生的生活写成死气沉沉的。生产上也是提倡多品种高质量的。党委书记、团长、机会主义者,都不能是一个类型的。黄继光有黄继光的性格,董存瑞有董存瑞的性格。花脸也有各种型的。
英雄要和群众结合在一起。但现在不少戏中英雄与群众常常结合得不好。写英雄就贬低了群众的作用,写群众就显不出领导来。或者显了出来,却又是指手划脚的。群众的智慧必须经过领导的集中,才能发挥力量,应当把这两者很好地结合起来。领导和群众结合起来,这是很好的政治,把这表现在作品中,就是很好的艺术。可是,我们的剧本总是偏在一边。这是指写我们时代,写历史剧又不同了。但历史人物,他的周围也是有人物的,否则就是孤家寡人,霸王别姬。勾践听了范蠡的话,最后成功了。范蠡说他可以共患难,不能共安乐。曹禺同志的《胆剑篇》这一点抓到了。项羽不听人家的话,只好别姬。李世民善于听反面意见,他看到魏征一来,就如坐针毡,但听了他的意见,好像吃了一剂药。不要不听反面意见。剧本要写对立面,任何人都有局限性,都不那么完全。没有绝对正确的人。不要不敢去揭露,否则就没有戏可演。矛盾有敌我矛盾和人民内部矛盾,没有矛盾就没有戏。小孩看戏总是问:这是好人还是坏人?没有好坏是不行的。一个人总有长处和短处。事物本身总有长处和短处。说是一切都好,世界上没有这种人。不承认英雄有缺点,这是不合乎毛泽东思想的,不合乎辩证法的。说是一切都正确,那就要骄傲,就会垮台。事物没有矛盾,就不能前进。人类没有矛盾,人类就消灭了。世界没有矛盾,世界就毁灭了。要把最本质的东西用最生动的形式,生动地表现出来,不要讲大道理。党委书记没有缺点?政委没有缺点?不可能。陈其通〔14〕同志的《同志间》写了一个政委有缺点,有人说好,有人说不好,可以拿出来看看嘛!谁说政委不犯错误?说政委不犯错误是怪事。这提法本身是错误的,是迷信。英雄人物不许犯错误,是新的教条。不是不能写缺点,问题是怎么写,是写缺点多,还是写正确的东西多。关于感情和理智的问题,说是英雄不能哭,也是新的教条。能不能哭,要看是什么时候,在艰苦的时候,同志牺牲了,要控制情感,不是牺牲一个哭一个。正如毛主席说的:“他们从地下爬起来,揩干净身上的血迹,掩埋好同伴的尸首,他们又继续战斗了。”〔15〕但在接近胜利的时候,同志牺牲了,情感就很难控制。王若飞等同志〔16〕牺牲的消息传到延安,全党大哭。我们当时在重庆跟国民党开旧政协〔17〕,在敌人面前我们面不改色,但一回到红岩,便泣不成声了。革命者在敌人面前是不哭的。诸葛亮挥泪斩马谡,成了名剧。这是他自己用错了人,他也有责任。但为了军纪,不得不杀他。共产党人是有感情的,但感情是受理智支配的。问题是要看在什么时间、什么场合、什么对象。临危的时候似乎只能说“共产党万岁”,否则就是动摇,这种说法是奇怪的。有一个戏因为写了一位烈士在牺牲前对她的爱人说:“我们要是有一个孩子该多好呵!”就被批评为写了英雄的动摇,这是怪事。我想跟大家讲一个故事:大革命时期,广州起义中的赤卫队总司令周文雍,认识了一个女同志陈铁军,两人有了爱情,因为革命工作忙,不能很快结合。广州起义失败后,来不及撤退,两人被捕了,在国民党法庭上被判死刑。两人在堂上觉得总算恋爱了一场,周文雍把围巾从自己脖子上解下来,围到陈铁军的脖子上,亲了她一下,就双双走向刑场,同赴死难。把这个场面写成一场戏是很动人的。这样的举动是不是动摇呢?不是的。田汉〔18〕同志的《关汉卿》中写了关汉卿希望与朱帘秀“生不同床死同穴”,为什么现在就不能这样写?可能有新的教条!视死如归了,还谈恋爱吗?正是因为他视死如归,所以他的爱情才是最纯真最高尚的爱情。革命者是有人情的,是革命的人情。为什么不要这样优秀的品质呢?我当时在上海听到这消息,很感动,就想把它写成一个剧本,但一直没有写成。
五关于写人民内部矛盾
人民内部矛盾难写,这是事实。因为这里面有些框框。敌我矛盾,跟反动派的斗争,必须写。现在是大敌当前,应当写敌我矛盾。但是,日常生活中更多的是人民内部矛盾。避开它,就不能写出更多的剧本。如果写现代剧,更多的还是写人民内部矛盾,不能避开它。因为是人民内部矛盾,就说是不要太尖锐化,就说是小矛小盾,有矛无盾,有矛盾无冲突,这些条条怎么能成立?有矛无盾,还有什么戏?那就是无的放矢,放空炮。这就把自己束缚了。要敢于写人民内部矛盾,肯定正面的东西,批评错误的东西。要写伟大的成绩,但错误的东西也要批判。
《人民日报》在最近也开始报道我们工作中的一些缺点了。一九五八年我们也报道了一些犯错误的情况,如梅林食品厂的事。现在好像讳疾忌医,怕引起不好的后果。当然,报道也要有分寸。现在市场紧张,报道过多,也不好。能改正缺点的,能办得到的,可以报道一下,有好处,能推动工作。如一时办不到的,可以不报道,以免过高要求。既然报纸上可以报道,剧本也可以写一些。写缺点一面也有好处。可以写一点讽刺剧、喜剧、悲剧。首先是讽刺剧。悲剧可以转悲为喜,如《枯木逢春》开始时是悲的,结局是喜的。讽刺,在相声中可以运用。《买猴》讽刺官僚主义,可以演。为什么不演了?可以有一点讽刺。喜剧当然是要鼓舞人的、欢乐的、引导人前进的。缺点错误一定会得到改正的。今天不是旧社会,旧社会没有出路,必然是悲剧的结局;今天不同,新社会当然不可能是这样的。也不要弄得到处是讽刺,讽刺不要成为电影、戏剧题材的主要方面。缺点方面不要盖过成绩方面。成绩是主要的。作家可以用不同的题材、体裁来写剧本。但上演剧目要有全面的安排。
六生活真实、历史真实与艺术真实
陈老总已把这个问题讲过了。作家不可能熟悉历史的各个方面、时代生活的各个方面。他一定有局限性。好的作家可以去请教别人,大家可以帮助他,一个作家不可能知道历史的、生活的一切,他必须去了解。有些是作家的问题,有的是大家的问题。如果他把高指标、浮夸风写进了作品,这不能怪作家。上面有要求,报纸都登了。有些事当时我们不相信,可是都照了像了。作家写了,怎能怪他。文化部要把这个问题一口承担下来,一笔勾销。今后要使作家去了解如实的情况,要给他机会,让他访问全面,要他如实反映。另一方面,作家也要把辩证唯物主义和历史唯物主义的观点建立起来,把世界观搞好。工人的缺点也是有的,但这是社会制度造成的,高尔基也写过工人的缺点,但指出是制度造成的。劳动人民好的方面是主要的。我们今天的制度能够把这些缺点克服,这就要求作家提高自己的水平。现在的作家的水平比解放前作家的水平提高了,观察能力也提高了。这就能写出好的作品来。
很多作家对历史的题材感兴趣。鸦片战争以来,中法战争等历史题材,这远一点;写甲午战争以来、戊戌政变以来或辛亥革命以来的题材,就可以找一些老人去访问。不过他们也不一定完全正确,可能有主观片面性,会有偏见,有偏爱。戊戌政变时期的老人、辛亥革命时期的老人、文史馆的老人,有很好的掌故,但也会有他们自己片面的看法。党成立以后的一段历史,要找党内的同志去谈谈。但就是这些革命老人,也不是任何人的看法都一致的,也可能有片面性。第一,他们可能只知道这一点,不知道那一点;第二,他们知道的这一点也不一定完全正确。当时天津的那个革命团体〔19〕,只是爱国运动之下的启蒙的组织,比湖南新民学会〔20〕还要差。有人说那是共产主义的,根本不对。所以访问者自己也要有水平。作家要有自己的水平,作家要很好地掌握,要能把时代的特点抓到,把历史的真实抓到,把艺术的真实抓到。所以,尽管一切窗子都打开了,两次破除了迷信,但作家本人还是要有修养——思想修养,艺术修养。光有思想方面的修养还不够,要有艺术修养。老作家的修养的确比较高。要有老作家的帮助。新作家把《人民日报》社论搬进剧本,老作家就不重复一句台词。话剧要写出艺术的语言。既不是《人民日报》的社论的语言、严谨的政治语言,又不是日常生活的语言,而是要提炼成真正的舞台的语言、银幕的语言。曹禺同志剧本中的语言,有些好的台词,我们能背出来。鲁妈对周萍说的一句话:“我就是你——你打的那个人的妈。”这是名句,被新的导演删去的。邓颖超〔21〕同志发现的,向导演提出以后,才又恢复。好台词是百读不厌的。其他作家也有好语言。
新的局面来了,现在经济形势已开始好转,但是还会有一个时期的困难,可能对作家在物质上的照顾还会有些不便的地方,但从政治条件上看,会出现一个生动活泼的局面。政治上出现了新局面,文艺上也一定会出现新局面。这次创作座谈会是会有收获的。我们两人今天的讲话,只是抛砖引玉,希望你们到广州去百花齐放、百家争鸣一下,把座谈会开好。
【注释】
〔1〕文艺工作两条腿走路的十个问题
文艺工作两条腿走路的十个问题是:一、既要鼓足干劲,又要心情舒畅;二、既要力争完成,又要留有余地;三、既要有思想性,又要有艺术性;四、既要浪漫主义,又要现实主义;五、既要学习马列主义,又要和实际相结合;既要学习政治,又要和生活实践相结合;六、既要有基本训练,又要有文艺修养;七、既要政治挂帅,又要讲物质福利;八、既要重视劳动锻炼,又要保护身体健康;九、既要敢想、敢说、敢做,又要有科学的分析和根据;十、既要有独特的风格,又要兼容并包(或叫丰富多彩)。
〔2〕莎士比亚
莎士比亚,英国诗人,戏剧家。其代表作品有:《约翰王》、《罗密欧与朱丽叶》、《威尼斯商人》、《十四行诗》等。
〔3〕小仲马
小仲马即亚历山大·小仲马,法国作家、戏剧家。代表作有《茶花女》等。
〔4〕“后之视今,亦犹今之视昔”
见《汉书·京房传》。
〔5〕曹禺
曹禺,剧作家。
〔6〕毛主席有三十二个字的领导方法
毛主席有三十二个字的领导方法是:“大权独揽,小权分散。党委决定,各方去办。办也有决,不离原则。工作检查,党委有责。”
〔7〕海默
海默,原名张泽藩,剧作家。当时任北京电影制片厂编剧。曾因写作电影剧本《洞箫横吹》,一度被认为有右倾思想,未作组织处理。
〔8〕欧阳老
欧阳老指欧阳予倩,戏剧艺术家。
〔9〕徐悲鸿
徐悲鸿,画家。中华人民共和国成立后,任中央美术学院院长、中华全国美术工作者协会主席。
〔10〕列宁评托尔斯泰
托尔斯泰即列夫·尼克拉耶维奇·托尔斯泰,俄国作家。一九○八年九月列宁为纪念托尔斯泰八十寿辰写了《列夫·托尔斯泰是俄国革命的镜子》一文。(见《列宁全集》第17卷,人民出版社1988年版,第181—188页)。
〔11〕曹禺同志的三部曲
指曹禺一九三三年至一九三五年和一九三六年分别创作的《雷雨》、《日出》和《原野》三部话剧。
〔12〕李伯钊
李伯钊,戏剧教育家、作家。当时任中央戏剧学院副院长。
〔13〕陈老总
陈老总指陈毅。当时任中共中央政治局委员、国务院副总理兼外交部部长。
〔14〕陈其通
陈其通,剧作家。当时任中国人民解放军总政治部文化部部长。
〔15〕毛主席说的:“他们从地下爬起来……他们又继续战斗了”
见毛泽东《论联合政府》(《毛泽东选集》第3卷,人民出版社1991年版,第1036页)。
〔16〕王若飞等同志
王若飞,曾任中共中央委员、中央秘书长和中央党务研究室主任等职。一九四五年八月陪同毛泽东、周恩来赴重庆同国民党进行和平谈判。一九四六年是中共出席政治协商会议的代表。同年四月八日由重庆飞返延安时因飞机失事在山西兴县黑茶山遇难。同时遇难的还有中共中央委员、新华通讯社社长、《解放日报》社社长、中共出席政治协商会议的代表秦邦宪,新四军军长叶挺,解放区职工联合会筹备会主任邓发,爱国民主人士黄齐生等。
〔17〕旧政协
旧政协指一九四六年一月十日至三十一日在重庆举行的政治协商会议,国民党、共产党、其他党派和无党派人士的代表参加了这次会议。会议通过了关于政府组织问题、和平建国纲领、关于国民大会问题、关于宪法草案问题、关于军事问题等五项协议,合称“政协决议”。这些协议,在不同程度上有利于人民而不利于蒋介石的反动统治。蒋介石一方面表示承认这些协议,企图利用这些协议来进行和平欺骗,另一方面则积极备战,准备发动全国规模的内战。这些协议,不久都被蒋介石一一撕毁。
〔18〕田汉
田汉,戏剧家。当时任文化部艺术事业管理局局长。
〔19〕天津的那个革命团体
指觉悟性。
〔20〕新民学会
新民学会是由毛泽东和蔡和森、萧子昇等发起,于一九一八年四月在湖南长沙成立的革命团体。毛泽东是实际负责人。学会最初的宗旨是“革新学术,砥砺品行,改良人心风俗”,后以“改造中国与世界”为方针。一九二○年有一些会员加入了社会主义青年团,参加了在湖南建立共产党的活动。
〔21〕邓颖超
邓颖超,当时任中共中央委员、全国人大常委会委员、全国妇联副主席。

One thought on “Speech for Drama, Opera and Children’s Theatre Writers in Beijing

    Latest updates | China Copyright and Media said:
    January 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

    […] Speech for Drama, Opera and Children’s Theatre Writers in Beijing (1962) […]

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