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Madmen and Other Survivors

Reading Lu Xun's Fiction

Jeremy Tambling

Publication Year: 2007

The book makes use of critical and cultural theory to consider these short stories in the context of not only Chinese fiction, but in terms of the art of the short story, and in relation to literary modernism. It attempts to put Lu Xun into as wide a perspective as possible for contemporary reading. To make his work widely accessible, he is treated here in English translation.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Title Page, Copyright

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1. Introduction: Lu Xun in Translation

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pp. 1-11

This book is not a complete study of Lu Xun, but only of his short stories, those which were written between 1918 and the end of 1925, which appeared first in magazines in Beijing and Shanghai. Reprinted in two books, translated...

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2. Lu Xun: The True Story

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pp. 13-24

Lu Xun was born as Zhou Zhangshou, in Shaoxing, in Zhejiang province, in the eastern part of China, just below Shanghai, in 1881.1 It was thirty years before the fall of the Qing dynasty, China's last. His grandfather, Zhou Fuqing, was an imperial scholar, though his career had not prospered, and his father...

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3. On A Madman's Diary

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pp. 25-36

This chapter is given over to a reading of A Madman's Diary, the first, and one of the most influential of Lu Xun's short stories.1 It seems that two possible sources for A Madman's Diary (Kuangren Riji) were personal: Leo Lee suggests that the 'feverish intensity' of the mental state of the madman 'recalls Lu Xun's...

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4. A Call to Arms: On Memory

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pp. 37-56

The title of the second of Lu Xun's stories, written in March 1919, and first published in New Youth in May 1919, is given to a person, a shadow of a Falstaff, so an older man, whose speech is frequently said to be full of archaisms, and whose death is imminent, and who contrasts both with the madman in...

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5. Ah Q and Other Survivors

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pp. 57-76

The True Story of Ah Q (Ah Q zhengzhuan), unlike the other short stories in A Call to Arms, was written for serial publication, and not as a single unity. Its nine chapters appeared under another pen name, Ba Ren ('crude fellow') in the literary supplement to the Beijing Morning Post. The first installment...

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6. Wandering: Women and Survival

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pp. 77-96

Unlike A Call to Arms, there is no preface to Wandering (1926): these short stories are much more orphaned than the ones in the previous collection. Marston Anderson says that the heroes of many of this second group are 'more contemporary and more urban ... more about intellectuals than village folk...

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7. 'Living Longer': Concluding Wandering

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pp. 97-112

The Loner, as Lyell translates the title (Gudu zhe), was finished on 17 October 1925, but it was not published before it appeared as part of Wandering. The title implies solitude and loneliness, and so something autobiographical, and it applies to at least two characters, the narrator, and, more obviously, Wei Lianshu, whose story is being told in five chapters. Both men are to be assumed...


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pp. 113-124

Index of Names

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pp. 125-126

E-ISBN-13: 9789888052530
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622098244

Page Count: 136
Publication Year: 2007