Please wait a minute...

Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Front. Lit. Stud. China    2014, Vol. 8 Issue (2) : 331-346     DOI: 10.3868/s010-003-014-0016-4
research-article |
The Missing Link: Japan as an Intermediary in the Transculturation of the Diary of A Madman
Xiaolu Ma()
Department of Comparative Literature, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Download: PDF(291 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks
Abstract

The Diary of A Madman (Kuangren riji), Lu Xun’s first well-known short story and the alleged first modern short story in vernacular Chinese, is famous for its first-person narrative by an intellectual that is suffering from a persecution complex. As acknowledged by Lu Xun himself and argued by most scholars, this short story was influenced by Gogol’s homonymic short story, but has developed more profound melancholy and indignation. However, as my paper demonstrates, this perspective neglects the role of Japan as an intermediary in the transculturation of madness. First, Lu Xun’s initial encounter with Gogol’s Diary of A Madman was through his reading of Futabatei Shimei’s translation in the Japanese magazine Kyōmi. Second, the framed narrative and contrasting styles of Lu Xun’s short story, which are not features of Gogol’s, might also be due to the inspiration from the Japanese genbun itchi movement in the Meiji period. Third, and most importantly, cannibalism, a major theme in Lu Xun’s Diary of A Madman, was arguably shaped by the heated discussion in Japan on national character and cannibalism. My paper will trace the double origin of the depiction of madness and cannibalism in Lu Xun’s work and illustrate the importance of the role of Japan in the transculturation of the story of a madman.

Keywords Diary of A Madman      Lu Xun      transculturation      madness      cannibalism     
Issue Date: 04 July 2014
 Cite this article:   
Xiaolu Ma. The Missing Link: Japan as an Intermediary in the Transculturation of the Diary of A Madman[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(2): 331-346.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/flsc/EN/10.3868/s010-003-014-0016-4
http://journal.hep.com.cn/flsc/EN/Y2014/V8/I2/331
Service
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
RSS
Articles by authors
Xiaolu Ma
Related articles from Frontiers Journals
[1] Qin WANG. How Not to Have Nostalgia for the Future: A Reading of Lu Xun’s “Hometown”[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2016, 10(3): 461-473.
[2] Clint Capehart. The Animal Kingdom in the Legacy of Modern Chinese Literature: Lu Xun’s Writings on Animals and Bio-Politics in the Republican Era[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2016, 10(3): 430-460.
[3] Chiu-yee Cheung. Who Invited Lu Xun to Hong Kong?: An Examination of Two Accounts and Some New Materials[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2016, 10(3): 392-407.
[4] WU Jun. A Study on the Basic Theory of Lu Xun’s Literary Translation: “Everything Is an Intermediate Object”[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2016, 10(3): 408-429.
[5] Jon Eugene von Kowallis. Collisions of the Past with the Present: Translation, Texts, and History[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2015, 9(4): 581-615.
[6] Shakhar Rahav. Blade of Remembrance: Memory, Objects, and Redemption in Lu Xun[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2015, 9(3): 453-477.
[7] Marián GáLIK. Archer Hou Yi According to Julius Zeyer (1841–1901) and Lu Xun (1881–1936): Changing Perceptions of Ancient Myths in Modern Literature[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(3): 359-373.
[8] Xudong ZHANG. “The Becoming Self-Conscious of Zawen”: Literary Modernity and Politics of Language in Lu Xun’s Essay Production during His Transitional Period[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(3): 374-409.
[9] Yu ZHU. The Vision of New China Suggested by the Politics of Language: Liu Shipei’s Interpretation of the “Rectification of Names” and Its Utopian Moment[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(3): 468-491.
[10] Ping Zhu. The Masquerade of Male Masochists: Two Tales of Translation of the Zhou Brothers (Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren) in the 1910s[J]. Front. Lit. Stud. China, 2014, 8(1): 31-51.
[11] Olga Medvedeva. Lu Xun in the Rhetoric of the Sino-Soviet Split: A View from Contemporary Russia[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 483-493.
[12] Ping Wang. The Inner Workings of Lu Xun’s Mind: Behind the Author’s Pen-Names[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 459-482.
[13] Ari Larissa Heinrich. Zoology, Celibacy, and the Heterosexual Imperative: Notes on Teaching Lu Xun’s “Loner” as a Queer Text[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 441-458.
[14] Jon Eugene von Kowallis. Translating Lu Xun’s Māra: Determining the “Source” Text, the “Spirit” versus “Letter” Dilemma and Other Philosophical Conundrums[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 422-440.
[15] Eileen J. Cheng. Records of a Minor Historian: Lu Xun on Zhang Taiyan[J]. Front Liter Stud Chin, 2013, 7(3): 367-395.
Viewed
Full text


Abstract

Cited

  Shared   
  Discussed