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Reading Lu Xun Through Carl Jung By Carolyn Brown

Chapter :  Introduction
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Reading Lu Xun Through Carl Jung


Encounters with the Text

Lu Xun’s name is well-known in China. His life and work are memorialized in several museums. The Lu Xun Park in Shanghai houses his tomb. Into the early twenty-first century, his writings were included in the high school curriculum. His works have inspired creative works of all kinds, including prints, drawings, plays, operas, and films. The scholarship and critical commentary on his writings would fill a small library. He was famous in his own time for his profound moral commitment to truth-telling and his trenchant, ironic social critiques. His stories broke new ground in their content and form, and his essays addressed contemporary concerns with penetrating insight. At his death large crowds followed his coffin, which was draped with the words “the soul of China.” Chairman Mao Zedong 毛泽东 (1893–1976) appropriated his reputation by praising him in 1940 as “the chief commander of China’s cultural revolution, … the bravest and most correct, the firmest, the most loyal and the most ardent national hero.”1 In the post-Mao years Lu Xun’s reputation has been commandeered again, this time for commercial purposes—there is a Lu Xun theme park in Beijing. This deification has simplified and distorted the historical reality.