Former Residence of Máo Dùn 茅盾故居

Part of A Better Guide to Běijīng’s coverage of North and East of the Imperial City

Another small but homely museum for collectors of courtyard houses (sìhéyuàn), this one is less luxurious than that of Méi Lánfāng the opera star, as befits a good communist. Indeed, part of the intended effect of what’s on show is to give the impression of a wholesome frugality, with very ordinary and unimpressive possessions.

Máo Dùn, 1896–1981, is best known for the 1932 novel Midnight (子夜, Zǐyè), which depicted the corruption and exploitation of the Shànghǎi of the time.

It followed the prevailing Stalinist line that art should clearly portray the different classes, the struggle between them, and the clear and inevitable direction of socialism.

Máo (no relation, 矛 not 毛) returned from exile in Hong Kong in 1949 to become Minister of Culture in Máo Zédōng’s government, and to make sure everyone else’s thinking was ‘correct’ too.


▶ The assorted entertainments, cafés, and restaurants of Nán Luógǔ Xiàng are immediately west, and the Back Lakes area a few minutes’ walk further west again.

Next in North and East of the Imperial City: China Agriculture Museum
Previously: CCTV Headquarters
Main Index of A Better Guide to Beijing.

For discussion of China travel, see The Oriental-List.