The study of Lu Xun in English-speaking countries is getting hotter
A window with endless potential for understanding Chinese culture (Literature Focus)
·In terms of methodology, Lu Xun’s research monographs and biographies in the English-speaking world since the new century have their own focuses, but they can all be included in the theories and paradigms of cultural studies
Lu Xun is not only a world-class writer, but also a cultural phenomenon. Studying this phenomenon and exploring the connotation of "Lu Xun Spirit" and "National Soul" not only have academic and disciplinary significance, but also a window of unlimited potential for understanding Chinese culture.
As early as 1927, American scholar Bartlett published an article "The Ideological Leaders of the Chinese Revolution" in the "Contemporary History" of the United States, and positively evaluated Lu Xun's "The True Story of Ah Q", "The Storm" and "The Diary of a Madman" "" and other short stories, creating a precedent for the study of Lu Xun in the West. In the following decades, although Lu Xun's research has not stopped, it has always been flat and the overall research results are not rich. As of the beginning of this century, there are only monographs published by James Reeve Pusey and Jon Eugene von Kowallis and doctoral dissertations by several other scholars. The main research force is almost exclusively Chinese scholars.
Since the new century, Lu Xun’s research has shown breakthrough progress in English-speaking countries. In addition to publishing a large number of Lu Xun research papers, since 2002, many famous university presses in English-speaking countries have published 8 monographs on Lu Xun’s research and 2 biographies, as China Lu Xun, a literary master, has continuously increased his influence in overseas academic circles.
The West taps the connotation of "Lu Xun Spirit" and "National Soul"
For a long time, the research scope of Lu Xun in the West is very narrow, mainly focusing on his early works, especially short stories, rarely involving prose and essays, avoiding Lu Xun and his works in the left-wing period. Now the situation has greatly changed. The internationally renowned Australian Lu Xun scholar Gloria Davies published "Lu Xun's Revolution: Writing in the Turmoil Age" in 2013, focusing on the prose and essays of Lu Xun's later period (1927-1936) from the perspectives of literature, language and thought. The work, deeply digs into the people's character in it. Harvard Philosophy Professor Wilt Idema studied and compared the adaptations of "Zhuangzi·Zhu Le" by the authors of previous dynasties, and believed that Lu Xun's "Rise and Death" had the same meaning as other stories included in "New Stories", and they were both magical. Classic works. In the form and plot of a drama, "Rise to Death" satirizes the unrealistic empty talk of intellectuals at that time.
Professor Bonnie S. McDougall of the University of Edinburgh published "Love Letters and Modern China’s Privacy Culture: The Emotional Life of Lu Xun and Xu Guangping", which not only analyzes the genre, form, style and content of "Book of Two Places" from a literary perspective, but also compares them. The privacy culture of China and the five English-speaking countries restores the spirit of Lu Xun with the "national soul" as the core and the image of a humanitarian from a comparative cultural perspective. Canadian scholar Paul Foster published a 400-page "Archaeology of Ah Q Genealogy" in 2007, which focuses on literary analysis, combined with discourse analysis and other cultural research methods, and revolves around the image of Ah Q over the past century The evolution of Chinese literature travels through modern and contemporary Chinese literature and history.
British scholars David E. Pollard, Jeremy Tambling, Canadian scholars Wendy Larson and Joshua J. Fogel, American scholars Eileen J. Cheng), Carolyn Brown (Carolyn Brown) and other people's research monographs, also from different angles extensively and deeply excavated Lu Xun's humanistic ideological value and artistic achievements. Except for Zheng Ailing, these scholars are all native English speakers and come from many countries. Among them are African American scholars like Rowling Brown. This shows that Lu Xun's research is no longer confined to one country and one domain, but has received wider attention in English-speaking countries.
The value of Lu Xun was rediscovered by the West
With the expansion of Lu Xun's research objects and the growth of the research team, related research methods have also achieved breakthroughs, and Lu Xun's value has been increasingly rediscovered by Western academic circles.
Jeremy Tambolin used linguistics, discourse analysis, and Bakhtin’s dialogue and polyphony theories to study Lu Xun’s novels. He believed that Lu Xun’s writing in vernacular has the same significance as Dante’s abandoning Latin and switching to Italian to create The Divine Comedy. There are similarities and similarities, and I believe that each short story in "The Scream" creates a special "voice" and each has a "polyphony" effect, which has played an irreplaceable role in the development of Chinese short stories. . In other words, in Jeremy Tambolin’s view, Lu Xun’s creations provide a structure and form of discourse for the development of modern Chinese literature, and are of pioneering significance. In terms of its role and effect, Lu Xun is comparable. Ding.
Caroline Brown read "The Scream" and "Wandering" carefully, using Jung's personality theory, especially the theory of "true self", "self", "prototype", "shadow" and "personality mask", and combined with Lu Xun's life and the time In the historical and cultural context, Lu Xun’s “deep deconstruction of thought” was carried out to construct Lu Xun’s psychological, personality and spiritual structure, and then to reveal the cultural psychology and spiritual structure of modern Chinese writers. As soon as this monograph was published, it received rave reviews. The literary and psychological circles agreed that Brown not only realized the feasibility of interdisciplinary research in literature, but also achieved breakthroughs and innovations in methodology, pushing Lu Xun's research to a new height.
In terms of methodology, Lu Xun’s research monographs and biographies in the English-speaking world since the new century have their own focuses, but they can all be included in the theories and paradigms of cultural studies. Cultural research overcomes the limitations of literary ontology and purely aesthetic research. Scholars combine sociology, political science, anthropology, psychology, and cultural sciences and other disciplines, using cultural keywords in each discipline as the context, and world literature , Culture, ideological history and history as vision, reassessed Lu Xun's role in the development history of modern Chinese literature and the process of Chinese modernization, re-understood Lu Xun, discovered Lu Xun, and evaluated Lu Xun, and made a series of new discoveries. Huang Leyan believes: "In terms of fame, power, and lasting (reader) admiration, the international influence of Lu Xun's literature is comparable to that of Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Goethe, and Tolstoy." Other scholars also included Lu Xun and Dickens. , Orwell, Kafka and other world writers are on par. Such evaluation is not only objective but also in line with facts.
In this century, scholars in English-speaking countries have used comparative literature, comparative culture and cultural research theories and methods to shift the study of Lu Xun from aesthetics to cultural studies, believing that Lu Xun is not only a world-class writer, but also a cultural phenomenon. By studying this phenomenon, we can dig out the connotation of "Lu Xun spirit" and "national soul", and then understand and understand the inner spirit of the Chinese. The research enthusiasm for Lu Xun is unabated. The study of Lu Xun is not only of academic and disciplinary significance, but also a window of unlimited potential for understanding Chinese culture.
(Li Guicang is a professor at Zhejiang Yuexiu University of Foreign Languages)