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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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Death by Applause

Death by Applause

Eulogizing Women

(p.81) 4 Death by Applause
Literary Remains

Eileen J. Cheng

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses Lu Xun's criticism of the “Nora phenomenon” and the images of “new women” circulating in popular culture. In his view, such images, like the traditional ideals of femininity, merely reflected the desires of the men who promoted them. In an increasingly commercialized cultural field still bound by traditional norms, Lu Xun saw how images of the modern woman and the rhetoric of emancipation could accomplish little other than to offer false promises to women while subjecting them to new and old forms of exploitation. However, the chapter suggests that fear of the power of narratives and images in bringing representations to life may have led Lu Xun to pay particular attention to how women are rendered visible in cultural forms.

Keywords:   Lu Xun, Nora phenomenon, new women, traditional femininity, emancipation, narratives

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