(Question from East and West) Park Jae-woo, a Korean sinologist: Why did Brother Xun and Runtu make me feel close?

  China News Agency, Seoul, March 26th: Why did Brother Xun and Runtu make me feel close?

  ——An exclusive interview with Park Jae-woo, a Korean sinologist and president of the International Lu Xun Research Association

  China News Agency reporter Liu Xu

  In the 1920s, Lu Xun's works were introduced to South Korea. For more than 100 years, with the development of Korean society, the research on Lu Xun in Korean academic circles has never been interrupted, and it has a profound Korean history and political imprint.

Some people believe that South Korea is becoming one of the countries with the most and most in-depth research on Lu Xun.

Why is Lu Xun so influential in South Korea?

Why does his work resonate with Koreans?

  Park Jae-woo, a Korean Sinologist, President of the International Lu Xun Research Association, and Chair Professor of China Changjiang Scholars, recently accepted an exclusive interview with China News Agency "East and West Questions" to introduce the historical context and practical significance of the Korean Lu Xun study, and put forward some suggestions on the current Korean-Chinese cultural exchanges. suggestion.

The excerpts from the interview are as follows:

China News Agency reporter: Why did you choose to study Lu Xun's works at that time?

Which is your favorite Lu Xun work?

Park Jae-woo:

In the early 1970s, I entered the Department of Chinese at Seoul National University.

At that time, Korean society still extended the military dictatorship in the name of the "Renewal System". From the perspective of the time, the problems of socio-economic monopoly and corruption were very serious.

Under such circumstances, I came into contact with Lu Xun's literature.

I was asked by the school newspaper to write an article about Lu Xun's literary thoughts. The image of Lu Xun as a "spiritual warrior" touched me, and I deeply resonated with it, which also became a turning point that changed my destiny.

  Later, when writing my undergraduate dissertation, I chose Lu Xun's works to study.

After that, I went to study in Taiwan, China, and studied the classic literature that Lu Xun admired - Sima Qian's "Records of the Grand Historian".

After graduating from Ph.D., I continued to do related research on Lu Xun's literature, Chinese modern and contemporary literature, and comparison of Korean and Chinese literature.

In 2011, I established the International Lu Xun Research Association in Shaoxing, the hometown of Lu Xun, together with many of my colleagues in the world who study Lu Xun.

Influenced by Lu Xun, I began to study Chinese classical literature, and through this, I laid a foundation for classical Chinese. Now I have returned to the field of Lu Xun's literature research. I think that I have achieved heart-to-heart communication with Mr. Lu Xun, which is very gratifying.

  Among Lu Xun's works, the one that resonates most with me is "Hometown".

The countryside can be seen in "Hometown".

The countryside described by Lu Xun is very similar to that of my hometown "Jinshan".

Like the "Xun Ge'er" in the text, I grew up in the countryside and then went to school in Seoul.

I also have the same playmates as Run Tu, some of whom are still in the countryside.

The scene of catching birds in the winter snow in "Hometown" is also my childhood experience.

He also described his mother's mentality or expression when she sold her big house to go to Beijing. I also saw it in my mother's expression, which was very kind.

I also agree with many of the social contradictions in rural areas he mentioned, or the negative effects of traditional feudal concepts.

In 2007, the 4th Lu Xun Literature Award was held in the hometown of Lu Xun, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province.

Zhang Gui, the grandson of Zhang Yunshui, the prototype of Runtu written by Lu Xun, met Zhou Haiying, the son of Lu Xun, at the award ceremony.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Yuan Yun

China News Service: How influential is Lu Xun and his works in South Korea?

What is the development history of the dissemination of his works in Korea?

Park Jae-woo:

One hundred years have passed since the name of Lu Xun was first introduced to Korea in early 1921.

The history of South Korea's acceptance of Lu Xun in the past 100 years can be roughly divided into six stages:

  The first phase was from 1921 to 1945.

At that time, both Korea and China were in a period of aggression or control by Japanese imperialism. There were very few people in Korea who translated Lu Xun's works, but some intellectuals who studied in Beijing or Shanghai commented and introduced Lu Xun.

For example, Li Lushi, a national poet who was engaged in the anti-Japanese independence movement, wrote a condolence article when Lu Xun died, expressing his support and approval in this way.

  The second stage was liberation in 1945 to 1950, which was a temporary appearance period.

At this time, South Korea went through the U.S. military period and President Syngman Rhee's administration, and international progressive ideas were constantly introduced to the people, and everyone was exploring new ways for South Korea.

During this process, the Korean version of Mr. Lu Xun's short story collection was published for the first time, and the Faculty of Letters of Seoul National University also held a speech on the 11th anniversary of Lu Xun's death.

It is not easy to hold a speech for Lu Xun's death in a country other than China.

In addition, the drama art research society of Korea University will perform the screenwriting performance of "The True Story of Ah Q", which is also commendable.

  The third stage is from the war in 1950 to 1979, which is a latent period and a long-term development period.

By 1963, Lu Xun's works in "The Scream" and "Wandering" were translated and published in Korea.

After 1974, such translation works gradually increased, and researches on Lu Xun gradually appeared in Korean academic circles.

In 2011, at the Lu Xun Memorial Hall in Shanghai, the audience watched the huge relief sculptures "The Scream" and "Wandering".

Photo by Zhou Dongchao issued by China News Agency

  The fourth stage is the 1980s, a period of active growth.

China began to reform and open up, South Korea's society has also changed a lot, and its economy has become active.

Around 1987, Lu Xun's essays were translated into Korea.

In addition, more important is Lu Xun's influence on the Korean social democratization movement.

Mr. Lee Young-hee of South Korea was a representative of advanced intellectuals and social activists at that time, and was later called "South Korea's Lu Xun".

He used Lu Xun's essays to deeply expose and criticize the various contradictions between Korean politics and society at that time.

Through the huge influence of Li Yongxi, Lu Xun was truly accepted by the vast number of intellectuals and students in South Korea, and his influence continued to expand.

  The fifth stage is the 1990s, a period of growth and expansion.

An important point at this stage is that doctoral dissertations about Lu Xun appeared one after another, and Lu Xun's essays gradually began to spread.

  Therefore, at different stages of Korean social development, Lu Xun has different meanings of the times, bringing "hope" to the people and intellectuals.

The introduction of Chinese scholars made many Korean intellectuals and people agree with Lu Xun's words, and many young people were inspired and inspired by Lu Xun's articles.

These young people in those years also grew into leaders of the Korean democratization movement and were active in various fields in Korea.

  Entering the 21st century, we have reached the sixth stage, a period of flat expansion and deepening.

At this stage, we have passed our enthusiastic identification with Lu Xun and began to calm down and sit at the desk to do research.

The most important achievement in the past 20 years is the complete publication of the 20-volume Korean translation of the Complete Works of Lu Xun.

This is the second overseas edition of "The Complete Works of Lu Xun", which has a good influence on the popularization and dissemination of Lu Xun in Korea.

In addition, the 10-volume Korean version of "Selected Collections of Famous Chinese Lu Xun Studies" has been published, which has become a reference system for the Korean Lu Xun academic circle.

"Selected Collections of Chinese Lu Xun Research Masters" Korean edition.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Liu Xu

China News Service reporter: How do young Koreans know Lu Xun now?

What do you think is the practical significance of Lu Xun's spirit at present?

Park Jae-woo:

South Korea's college entrance examination course has a discussion test, and candidates of world famous works and literary classics need to understand it.

Lu Xun must be an important part of modern Chinese literature.

Lu Xun's "The True Story of Ah Q" and "Hometown" were once included in Korean textbooks, and must be understood when preparing for the discussion exam.

Therefore, Korean students in the 21st century must have heard of Lu Xun as long as they are in high school.

They also know the image of Ah Q, and often use expressions such as the "spiritual victory method" in their daily life.

The media also often quote the phrase "There is no road on the ground, but when more people walk, it becomes a road."

  As I said before, the current research on Lu Xun in South Korea is different from the period of Japanese imperialism and the period of the military regime. Although it is somewhat diluted, Lu Xun's critical spirit still has practical significance.

Lu Xun's criticism not only reflects on society and others, but also on self and nation, which is very important.

  Some Korean humanities scholars do not regard Lu Xun as a foreign writer, and feel that he has something to do with our lives.

We will introduce fragments and pictures from Lu Xun's works as a mirror of life; we will also introduce Lu Xun's literature to think about how to solve some problems in Korean reality, that is, to deal with some contradictions in Korean social life and ideas , reinterpreting Lu Xun's work.

For example, we will re-interpret Ah Q and the Spiritual Victory Law from the perspective of local Koreans.

Although Ah Q is a typical image of Chinese peasants during the Revolution of 1911, his spiritual victory method is also a manifestation of the universality of mankind.

Similarly, there was Ah Q among the Koreans of the same generation, and there was a discussion about how to change from Ah Q to the master of his own destiny.

However, in the complex and diverse society of the 21st century, the interpretation of the "Spiritual Victory Law" also includes both positive and negative aspects. Some people think that this is a survival tactic for the weak to deceive themselves, and it is also the "B" in the "A" relationship in society. Mental Health Law.

Manuscript of Lu Xun's The True Story of Ah Q.

Photo by Sun Xinming issued by China News Agency

China News Service: This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea. How do you view the role of cultural exchanges in the development of bilateral relations?

What efforts should the two sides make in promoting cultural exchanges between China and South Korea?

Park Jae-woo:

Korea and China had exchanges long before the founding of the nation. We were looking forward to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and China, and we could have formal exchanges. Now it is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

In the past 30 years, the cultural exchanges between South Korea and China have developed rapidly and extensively, and the exchanges between the two peoples have also been very active, so I don't think there is a big obstacle between the psychology of the people of the two countries.

At present, some young netizens in Korea and China are controversial on certain topics, but these small conflicts should not become mainstream.

We should play a positive role, seek common ground while reserving differences, reach the state where you are in me and you are in me, continue to adhere to people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and promote friendly exchanges at the political level between the two countries through people-to-people bonds.

In 2021, two young Koreans will learn to cook Shaoxing dishes written by Lu Xun in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, the hometown of Lu Xun.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Wang Gang

  As for my own plan, I have been participating in the "Inter-Translation Project of Asian Classics" since the beginning of last year, which was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations.

I am the chairman of the Korean side of the Korea-China Expert Committee, and we cooperate with relevant Chinese units to promote the mutual translation of humanistic classics.

At present, we have held several online meetings with the Chinese side, and we have roughly decided to translate five books from each of the two countries this year, covering culture, literature, aesthetics and other fields. It is hoped that such exchange activities can promote cultural exchanges between Korea and China.


Interviewee Profile:

  Park Jae-woo, a Korean sinologist and president of the International Lu Xun Research Association.

China News Agency reporter Liu Xushe Pu Zaiyu is the first Korean liberal arts professor to be appointed as a "Changjiang Scholar" chair professor, and also the president of the International Lu Xun Research Association. He is the editor-in-chief of the Korean side of the journal "Contemporary Korea".

His main works include "Comparative Studies of Historical Records and Han Books", "A Collection of Research Papers on Lu Xun in Korea", "A Survey of the Synchronicity of Novels in China and Koreans in the 20th Century", "A Survey of Contemporary Chinese Literature", etc., allowing more Koreans to understand modern and contemporary China. Literature, understand the founder of modern Chinese literature - Lu Xun.