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Lu Xun's Last Days and After*

Abstract

Because Lu Xun as a man, not just as a writer, loomed so large in the consciousness of his age, his death was both an event of great public importance and a bitter loss to many. Of the hundreds of millions of deaths in China during the 38 years of the Republic none made a bigger impact, with the possible exception of that of Sun Yatsen, which though perhaps less deeply felt had a more immediate political effect. To this day, educated Chinese who were old enough in October 1936 to be aware of what was happening in the world remember how and where they heard the news, just as Europeans of the same generation remember learning of the outbreak of the Second World War.

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1. “Yin Taiyan xiansheng er xiangqide ersan shi,” QJT(3) in LSQJ 6: 449–53.

2. “Guanyu Taiyan xiansheng ersan shi,” QJT(3) in LXQJ 6: 442–45.

3. The account of Lu Xun's visit to Kaji draws on Kaji's description in JNJ 2/51–2 and Ikeda's in JNJ 2/53–8.

4. “Nü diao,” QJT(3) in LXQJ 6: 498504.

5. Okuda in JNJ 2/40–2.

6. The conversation was reported by Okuda. On Uchiyama and his bookshop see, inter alia, Yuzuru Koizumi, Rojin to Uchiyama Kanzö (Lu Xun and Uchiyama Kanzö), Tokyo, 1979; Suizhi Xue, “Lu Xun yu Neishan shudian de mantanhui” (Lu Xun and the discussions at the Uchiyama Bookshop), Lu Xun yanjiu, 1, 1980, 422–8 (this gives another version of the conversation with Okuda); Guowei Zhou, “Lu Xun yu Neishan shudian” (Lu Xun and the Uchiyama Bookshop), Lu Xun yanjiu ziliao, 7, 1980, 168–78.

7. The account of the last illness is drawn from Uchiyama in JNJ 2/1–4; Xu Guangping (Jing Song) in JNJ 4/57–61; Sudō in JNJ 2/25–6; Xuefeng Feng, Huiyi, 196–98; Haiying Zhou, “Chong hui Shanghai yi tongnian” (“Revisiting Shanghai and remembering my childhood”), Xin wenxue shiliao, No. 12 (1981), pp. 120; and Wataru Masuda, Rojin no insho (Impressions of Lu Xun), Tokyo, 1970, pp. 206–14 (Chinese translation as Lu Xun deyinxiang by Long Xiang, Hongkong, 1980, pp. 234243).

8. See the album Ly.Xun edited by the Lu Xun Museum in Peking, Peking, 1976.

9. Sudō, JNJ 2/20–26.

10. “Si,” QJT(3), LXQJ 6: 492–27.

11. “Zhe ye shi shenghuo,” QTO(3), LXQJ 6:494–85.

12. Xu Qinwen in JNJ 1/73.

13. Ibid.; Letters, p. 1012.

14. Ching-Iing Soong in Lu Xun huiyi lu (Shanghai, 1978), p. 2.

15. Letter to Dun Mao, Letters, p. 1017; Dun Mao in Lu Xun huiyi lu, pp. 36.

16. Feng, Huiyi, pp. 164–69.

17. Huang Yuan in JNJ 3/14.

18. See the commentary in my translation of Lu Xun, Selected Poems (Peking, forthcoming).

19. Sudō, JNJ 2/25.

20. QJT(3) in LXQJ 6: 471–74.

21. QJT(3) in LXQJ 6:428–41.

22. Feng, Huiyi, pp. 188–91. Feng was later to suffer for his close association with Lu Xun, as well as for his honesty.

23. Letters, p. 1003. See also Xu Guangping's note in QJT(3) in LXQJ 6: 519.

24. Feng, Huiyi, pp. 189–91. Lu Xun also spoke of his planned novel at his birthday party in August 1935 (see JNJ 2/67).

25. See the letter to Xu Maoyong (cited in note 21 above) and Feng, Huiyi, p. 157.

26. Feng, Huiyi, pp. 173–74.

27. “Ban xia xiao ji.” in QJT(3), LXOJ 6: 480–81.

28. Feng (Huiyi, p. 158) has Lu Xun telling him that he did it as “a commemoration, a protest, and a demonstration.”

29. Cao Bai in JNJ × 5/101.

30. This is reported by Wang Xiang in “Lu Xun xian de shegn yian” (“A suspicious circumstance concerning Lu Xun”) in Meizhou Huaqiao ribao, 18 09 1981, p. 6.

31. “Li ci cun zhao” (7), QJT(3), LXQJ 6: 516–18.

32. See the three essays published under her pen name Jing Song in JNJ 4: 57–68.

33. JNJ 4/71.

34. JNJ 3/14–15.

35. See the summary of the press coverage of Lu Xun's death in the early parts of JNJ.

36. Sun Fuyuan in JNJ 1/81–82.

37. Cao Jinghua in JNJ 4/52–56.

38. Huang Yuan in JNJ 4/74–76; Xinbo Huang, “Minzu ji – Lu Xun xiansheng sangyi zayi,” Zuopin 1978: 10, pp. 15210.

39. North–China Herald, 21 10 1931, p. 102.

40. The funeral committee as announced publicly was: Cai Yuanpei, Uchiyama Kanzo, Soong Ching-ling, Agnes Smedley, Shen Junru, Xiao San, Cao Jinghua, Xu Jifu, Mao Dun, Hu Yuzhi, Hu Feng, Zhou Zuoren and Zhou Jianren. (See the list in the preliminaries of JNJ.)

41. The Shanghai Nichinichi shimbun, 20 10 1936, quoted in JNJ 0/42. Feng's presence during the final illness and afterwards was kept secret as he was a wanted man. (Huiyi, 196–99; Ching-ling Soong in Lu Xun huiyi ji 1, Shanghai, 1978, p. 2.)

42. The full list was: Lu Yan, Ba Jin, Huang, Zhang Tianyi, Jin Yi, Chen Baichen, Jiang Muliang, Yao Ke, Xiao Qian, Li Liewen, Zhang Chunqiao, Zhao Jiabi, Fei Shenxiang, Meng Shihuan, Ouyang Shan, Zhou Wen, Nie Gannu, Fan Rong, Yi Qun, Bai Wei, Zhou Ying, Cao Ming, Yu Tian, Hua Sha, Zhi Gong, Qi Ming, Tian Jun, Ikeda Fusako, Kaji Wataru. (See the account of the funeral in the preliminaties of JNJ. See also Huang Xinbo's article cited in note 38 above.)

43. Ke Ling in JNJ 2/122; Yao Ke (who arranged it with Ouyang Yuqian) in JNJ 3/105.

44. Jin Ba JNJ 3117–18.

45. Selected from many printed in JNJ, section on mourning banners near end.

46. Yimei Feng, Wei wanchengde hua (An unfinished picture) Peking, 1978, pp. 71–2.

47. JNJ 0/5.

48. For accounts of the funeral see the official record of the Funeral Committee at the beginning of JNJ, the press accounts excerpted there, and many of the articles in the book, notably those by Yu Dafu (1/101); Uchiyama (2/14); Baichen (Chen Baichen) (3/73–77); Ba Jin (3/117–20); Jin Yi (3/121–23); Meng Shihuan (3/124–26); Zhang Tianyi (3/130–3), Zigang (3/143–7); Wei Hu (3/178–80); Zhou Wen (4/86–9). See also Huang Xinbo's account cited in note 38 above.

49. “Si”, QJT(3), LXQJ 6: 496; Feng, Huiyi, 193–5. Reproductions of the manuscript show that the insertions were not in Lu Xun's hand.

* This article was written as a paper for the conference on Lu Xun and his Legacy held at Monterey, California, in August 1981.

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The China Quarterly
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  • EISSN: 1468-2648
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