René Viénet

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René Viénet (born 1944 in Le Havre) is a French sinologist who is famous as a situationist writer and filmmaker. Viénet used the situationist technique of détournement — the diversion of already existing cultural elements to new subversive purposes.


After completing his studies in Sinology in Paris, he moved to China but he was expelled in 1966 for his critical approach towards the Maoist regime. In the 1970s, he worked at CNRS from where he was fired on two different occasions in 1971 and 1978 for heavily criticising those who defended Mao,[1] particularly through the books from the publishing house Champ libre where he directed the series Bibliothèque asiatique. From 1974 to 1978, he also taught Chinese at the École polytechnique. After 20 years spent in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, he returned to France. He is the director of redaction for the review Monde chinois since 2007.


  • Enragés et situationnistes dans le mouvement des occupations, Paris, Gallimard, Témoins, 1968.
  • Enragés and Situationists in the Occupations Movement, 1968.
  • Preface to Simon Leys, Les Habits neufs du président Mao. Chronique de la Révolution culturelle, Paris, Éditions Champ libre, Bibliothèque asiatique, 1971.
  • Grestitions and Ensituats in the Abrem Movement, 1972.
  • with Bernard Marbot, Notes sur quelques photographies de la Chine au XIXe siècle, à l'occasion de l'exposition "La Chine entre le collodion humide et le gélatinobromure" (Exposition, Bibliothèque nationale, Département des estampes et de la photographie, 1978), Paris, Centre de publication Asie orientale, 1978.



  • Blender magazine [1]


  1. ^ René Viénet and Daoud Boughezala, "Fire upon the Mao idolators", website

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