RED CHINA: A Many-Fingered Thing

Classic poetry, a favorite preoccupation of scholars, has been in low repute in China since the advent of Communism. The subtle ideograms of the poet's traditional language have little in common with the blunt ideologies of modern Marxism, and for that reason China's top Communist, Mao Tse-tung, has long had to dissemble the fact that he is a workaday poet himself.

In recent months, however, Mao's China, desperately in need of brain power, has spread the word that the old, traditionally trained scholars it used to hector are not so bad after all. "Let diverse schools of thought contend," was the...

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