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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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The Illegitimate Preface

The Illegitimate Preface

(p.37) 2 The Illegitimate Preface
Literary Remains

Eileen J. Cheng

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter illustrates how Lu Xun's ambivalent relationship to the literati tradition was fraught with anxiety: an “anxiety of influence,” a sense of his inability to live up to a daunting lineage; and an “anxiety of obsolescence,” a recognition that the literati values, practices, and beliefs that continued to sustain him as a writer and critic were on the verge of becoming irrelevant. Despite the sense of anxiety and loss conveyed in his prefaces and autobiographical essays, the mission of Lu Xun's literary predecessors—to transmit truth and record history for posterity—remained a driving force motivating his writings. His critically introspective writings aspired to the moral imperatives of writing set by his literary predecessors, even if they failed to attain them.

Keywords:   Lu Xun, literati tradition, literati values, autobiographical essays, introspective writings

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