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Lu Xun on Our Minds: The Post-Socialist Reappraisal; Chou, Memory, Violence, Queues: Lu Xun Interprets China; Davies, Lu Xun's Revolution: Writing in a Time of Violence; Cheng, Literary Remains: Death, Trauma, and Lu Xun's Refusal to Mourn

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2014

Jon Eugene von Kowallis*
The University of New South Wales, Sydney
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That American academic publishers within a short time have put out three monographs this substantial on Lu Xun (1881–1936), often referred to as the founder of modern Chinese literature, is indicative of a new enthusiasm for Lu Xun in the United States and elsewhere in the West. In Japan, South Korea, and of course the People's Republic of China, the study of Lu Xun has been an academic enterprise of considerable standing for some time already. Not that American scholars have failed to make substantial contributions to Lu Xun studies in the past, but such contributions have been relatively far between. Fortunately, there is little overlap between these three exciting new studies.

Trends: China
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2014 

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1 Notable recent monographs in Chinese are: Yuandong, Gao, Xiandai ruhe “nalai”: Lu Xun de sixiang yu wenxue lunji [How he “brought over” modernity: Essays on Lu Xun's thought and literature] (Shanghai: Fudan daxue chubanshe, 2009)Google Scholar; Yuanbao, Gao, Lu Xun liu jiang [Six lectures on Lu Xun] (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 2007)Google Scholar; Qiaosheng, Huang, Lu Xun xiang zhuan [Lu Xun: An illustrated biography] (Nanning: Guizhou renmin chubanshe, 2013)Google Scholar; Yu, Sun, Lu Xun yousi [Lu Xun's contemplations] (Beijing: Renmin daxue chubanshe, 2012)Google Scholar; Dehou, Wang, Lu Xun yu Kongzi [Lu Xun and Confucius] (Beijing: Renmin wenxue chubanshe, 2010)Google Scholar; Hui, Wang, A Q shengming zhong de liu ge shunjian [Six moments in Ah Q's life] (Shanghai: Donghua shifan daxue chubanshe, 2014)Google Scholar; Jieyu, Zhang, Duxingzhe yu ta de deng: Lu Xun “Yecao” xidu yu yanjiu [The lone awakened one and his lamp: A close reading and study of Lu Xun's “Wild Grass”] (Beijing: Beijing daxue chubanshe, 2013)Google Scholar. In Japanese: Masako, Kitaoka, Rojin Kyuuboo no yume no yukue: “Akumaha Shijinron” kara “Kyoojin Nikki” made [Surrounding Lu Xun's dream of [national] salvation: From “On the Power of Satanic Verse” to “The Diary of a Madman”] (Suita-shi: Kansai Daigaku Shuppanbu, 2006)Google Scholar; Yuuzoo, Nagahori, Rojin to Torotsukii – Chugoku ni okeru Bungaku to Kakumei [Lu Xun and Trotsky – Literature and Revolution in China] (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2011)Google Scholar. In addition, the Beijing Lu Xun Museum, which houses an extensive archive of his papers and personal library, publishes a scholarly journal, Lu Xun yanjiu yuekan [Lu Xun research monthly], which is highly ranked domestically, and the unprecedented publication in China by an independent organization of an international journal, Lu Xun Studies, in English has just been announced.

2 See Kowallis, , The Lyrical Lu Xun: A Study of His Classical-Style Verse (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1996), 142–67Google Scholar.

3 See ibid., 151.

4 See ibid., 142.

5 See Pollard, David, “Lu Xun's Zawen,” in Lu Xun and His Legacy, ed. Leo Ou-fan Lee (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), 5489 Google Scholar.

6 See my chapter Lu Xun and Terrorism: A Reading of Revenge and Violence in Mara and Beyond,” in Creating Chinese Modernity: Knowledge and Everyday Life, 1900-1940, ed. Zarrow, Peter (New York: Peter Lang, 2006), 8397 Google Scholar, where I examine, among other things, Lu Xun's support for internationalist intervention in wars of national liberation and his sympathy with the cries for vengeance in the poetry of Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Slowacki.

7 One new monograph on Wild Grass is Nicholas A. Kaldis, The Chinese Prose Poem: A Study of Lu Xun's Wild Grass (Yecao) (Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2014). There is also a special issue of the Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese 11.2 (Spring 2014) edited by Nick Admussen under the title "Layers of the Real: Lu Xun's Wild Grass.

8 The poem is perhaps better remembered today for its next (and concluding) line: Yu wu sheng chu ting jing lei (And in this place without a trace of sound, [I] hear tremorous thunder raging ‘round), which is often taken to refer to the nascent revolution that lurks beneath the calm surface of a repressive society. See Kowallis, op. cit. note 2, pp. 311–15.