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Literary RemainsDeath, Trauma, and Lu Xun's Refusal to Mourn$
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Eileen J. Cheng

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835958

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835958.001.0001

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History, or What Remains in the Present

(p.3) Introduction
Literary Remains

Eileen J. Cheng

University of Hawai'i Press

This introductory chapter describes how Lu Xun's literary encounter with the modern world involved a sustained engagement with the past. His creative writings—fragmented and sometimes bizarrely incoherent in nature—reject the framework of a totalizing narrative and resist linear plotlines. Filled with images of death and decay, Lu Xun's writings are records of a culture in the midst of disintegration, represented through a transformative engagement with the forms, styles, and conventions of traditional literature by means of allusion, imitation, adaptation, and parody. In analyzing the dialogical interplay between the past and the present in Lu Xun's writings, the book attempts to overcome the artificial divide between the “modern” and “premodern” that has long defined Chinese studies.

Keywords:   Lu Xun, modern world, creative writings, totalizing narrative, linear plotlines, traditional literature, Chinese studies

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