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The History of Night Rains on Mount Ba
The electronic journal Night Rains on Mount Ba (《巴山夜雨》) was founded in 2010 by elderly former so-called Rightists and Rightists’ children in Chongqing. Their primary aim was to 追寻被遮掩的历史真相，抢救被岁月剥蚀的记忆 and, in the process, 为撰写回忆的朋友提供方便，也帮助后生晚辈了解前人走过的路. “If you like it,” they told readers in issue no. 1, “please share it with relatives and friends. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to make a big fuss!” Publication frequency has been irregular and somewhat erratic, but to date some 27 issues have appeared, their contents a complex collage of first-hand accounts, archival records, snippets from diaries and correspondence, poetry, faded memories of things once heard, and remarks once made and never forgotten.
Politically, Night Rains on Mount Ba (the journal takes its name from a famous line in a poem by Li Shangyin of the Tang dynasty) is on the “right” and some contributors are still unquestionably what in the heydays of Mao and Deng Xiaoping would have counted as dyed-in-the-wool 死不改悔的 anti-Communists. Students of PRC local history (e.g. Chongqing and Sichuan in the 1950s) will find much of interest on its pages, as will – obviously – students of the 1956–57 “Hundred Flowers” and ensuing “anti-Rightist Campaign.” Looked at from a different vantage point, there is enough rich raw text here to sustain a fascinating study of what Korean historian Jie-Hyun Lim has called “mass dictatorship and memory as ever present past.”
The PRC History Group will continue to add new issues to the archive below as they become available to us.