Ah Q Archaeology: Lu Xun, Ah Q, Ah Q Progeny and the National Character Discourse in Twentieth Century China

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Lexington Books, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 401 pages
Although Lu Xun was a leading intellectual and writer in twentieth century China, and his representative character Ah Q, hero of "The True Story of Ah Q," is considered an iconic repository of progressive Chinese thinking about the national character, few works examine the major discourses in his thought and writing relative to broader historical and intellectual currents outside the context of his politicization. Ah Q Archaeology, however, concretely situates Lu Xun's critique of national character vis-a-vis metanarratives of nationalism and modernity through a close examination of his works in their historical context. Paul B. Foster uses a discursive approach to tie together Lu Xun's major theme of national character critique and its fate in China's tumultuous twentieth century. This book is an important and unique contribution to modern Chinese intellectual history and modern Chinese literature.
 

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Contents

1 General Discursive Trajectories of Lu Xun Ah Q and National Character in China
1
Ironic Nationalism
19
The Foundations of his Engagement with the National Character Discourse
67
4 The Trajectory of National Character in Lu Xuns Writings 19181936
91
Lu Xuns Attack on National Essence and Chinese Spiritual Culture
119
6 Lu Xun and the Construction of the Ah Q Discourse 19221949
171
Lu Xuns International Reputation Romain Rollands Critique of The True Story of Ah Q and the Nobel Prize
249
Figures
251
8 Ah Q ProgenySon of Ah Q Modern Ah Q Miss Ah Q Sequels to Ah QPost1949 Creative Intersections with the Ah Q Discourse
273
9 Conclusion
339
Glossary
349
Bibliography
355
Index
391
About the Author
401
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About the author (2006)

Paul B. Foster is associate professor of Chinese in the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech.

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