Beyond the Iron House is a critical study of a crucial period of life and work of the modern Chinese writer Lu Xun. Through thorough research into historical materials and archives, the author demonstrates that Lu Xun was recognized in the literary field much later than has hitherto been argued. Neither the appearance of "Kuangren riji" (Diary of a madman) in 1918 nor the publication of Nahan (Outcry) in 1923 had catapulted the author into nationwide prominence; in comparison with his contemporaries, neither was his literary work as original and unique as many have claimed, nor were his thoughts and ideas as popular and influential as many have believed; like many other agents in the literary field, Lu Xun was actively involved in power struggles over what was at stake in the field; Lu Xun was later built into an iconic figure and the blind worship of him hindered a better and more authentic understanding of many other modern writers and intellectuals such as Gao Changhong and Zhou Zuoren, whose complex relationships with Lu Xun are fully explored and analysed in the book.
Table of Contents
Chapter One The State of the Field 1. The Literary Field 2. Fame and Fortune Lu Xun Publications Lu Xun’s Income Chapter Two Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren 1. The Zhou Brothers Kindred Spirits The Split “Regret for the Past” 2. Yusi Founding and Editorship Music and Solid Skin Madman’s Attack 3. Lu Xun the Thinker Chapter Three Two Journals and Two Supplements 1. The Women’s College Incident “The Sheep” and “the Beast” The Region and the Department 2. Casual Talk Copyright and Plagiarism Rumours and Money 3. Gentlemen and Hooligans Ad hominem Attacks Styles and Dispositions Chinese Books and the Youth Fair Play or Not Chapter Four Gao Changhong and Lu Xun 1. Collaboration and Friendship Affinities and Resemblances Mangyuan Weekly 2. The Territory and the Battlefield Authority in the Thinking World “To Mr. Lu Xun” Mapping Out the Situation Walking into the Publishing World “The Sun, the Moon and the Night” Chapter Five The Old and the Young 1. Liberal Criticism Eulogy and Attack Literary Rebels 2. Save the old Men South and North Persecution and Tolerance “One Nostril Two Mouths” 3. After the Tempest 4. Conclusion
Sun Saiyin is Professor at the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.