Asia Past and Present Books

Memory, Violence, Queues: Lu Xun Interprets China (Eva Shan Chou)

ISBN: 978-0-924304-68-2. 346 pages. Paperback.

Memory, Violence Queues: Lu Xun Interprets China takes a new look at the writer whose name is synonymous with the radical newness of modern Chinese literature. It identifies key moments in Lu Xun’s creative development and places them in the context of the turbulent era in which China became a republic. The result is a fresh and nuanced interpretation of a range of works, from fiction and essays to classical poems. The analyses highlight the writer’s engagement with epochal political events—the discarding of the queue style of hair, the failed monarchical restoration of Zhang Xun, the Five Martyrs incident of the leftist literary movement, and the parallel movement in art. A distinctive feature is the extensive use of visual materials and contemporary photographs. Through her original approach, Eva Shan Chou restores historical complexity to the literary conscience of modern China. 

“More has been published on Lu Xun in Chinese, Japanese, and Western languages than a person could reasonably be expected to read, and yet the great writer remains not completely fathomable. Memory, Violence, Queues is a golden needle in the haystack. Its telling detail, sharply observed, illuminates some old questions—modernity, identity, human empathy—with fresh insight and a new profundity.”
Perry Link, University of California, Riverside

“In this fascinating, meticulously detailed account, Eva Shan Chou skilfully marshalls literary, biographical and historical analysis to make a compelling case for the centrality of Lu Xun to Chinese cultural modernity.”
Julia Lovell, University of London

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