Mao Zedong’s vision in the late 1940s was to replicate Soviet communism, whatever the cost for his people. The espousal of values of freedom and equality offered hope to war-weary citizens, but the new regime ran an intensely invasive and catastrophic tyranny from the start.
A beautifully written memoir tells the life story of an Irish woman who knew most of the major figures of the bohemian Dublin of the mid-twentieth century, as well as many of the politicians, and who went on to carve out a successful career for herself in the travel business.
Two recent works of literary theory sketch a robust structural account of the literary world system centred on London and Paris. But one might ask if this system can be better historicised and whether there are ways to conceive of its operational logics less rigidly.