The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast

Episode 1 Transcript

June 14, 2020

Hey guys! I put this together by polishing the auto-generated captions from the Youtube upload of Episode 1, on Lu Xun's Diary of a Madman. It took me a pretty long time, and this is one of the shortest, simplest episodes. So, I unless I get a massive influx of time, money, or volunteers, I won't be making more of these. If you need captioning to help you enjoy the podcasts, check out the Youtube uploads.



Hi and welcome to the first ever episode of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast! I'm Angus Stewart but that begs two questions: what is this podcast and who am I? So let's start with the first question - it's definitely the more important one.

So on this show, myself and possibly in the future my friends are going to be looking episode by episode at different pieces of fiction from China. Probably mostly mainland China, perhaps some of the other extensions of the Sinosphere. So we're going to be looking at stories from this part of the world that have been translated from Mandarin (or at least from Chinese) into English and we're just going to go through them share our thoughts, and maybe see what other people have had to say about these pieces of writing. We're going to have a particular focus on the translation, maybe look at different editions add different translations and so on. I'm particularly motivated to look at books from this angle because I'm studying publishing. I'm doing a Master's in Publishing at Napier and there is a particular room for improvement in the world of publishing when it comes to translation and rights so I'm hoping that this podcast will kind of mesh up with my studies, but, you guys, really, you know that's for my benefit not for the listeners’ benefit!

So my where does my interest in China come from? I lived there for three years and now I'm back in Scotland but I want to kind of continue my interests and my studies. That's basically that, so without further ado, this week we're looking at a text called the Diary of a Madman, by Lu Xun. So its original name is Kuanren Ziji, so literally that's ‘madman diary’. Its English name gets rendered as either The Diary of a Madman or A Madman's Diary. So anyway, my addition was published by the Foreign Languages Press of Beijing (or Peking as it was known in the Western world at that time) in 1960 and then again in 1972. So formally in the Communist era, and definitely, Foreign Languages Press would be an arm of the government, so that has affected some people's view of this translation. I've seen some people on our people being quoted online saying the annotations have been added to this version of the text our ideological. I haven't read the annotations. I think the translation itself is fine. The translator’s names have been rendered in the Wade Giles spellings of Chinese which I'm actually not familiar with. I also know they're not really very accurate to how the words should sound so I may be saying these names wrong.

Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang, so an English name for that lady. I believe they were husband and wife so that's that. I first I've read this story twice. The first time, I also read this version. It's online. It's actually on this really strange website called ‘Cold Bacon’, which appears to have been made in 2005 by an American guy. I forget his name who had been left by his wife and made this like really strange kind of web 1.0 just hobbyist web site which happens for whatever reason to have really good Lu Xun resources. There's quite a lot of Lu Xun's writings and thoughts on his writings on here from both the maker of the website and quotations he's lifted from other people, so anyway that's a good place to get this story online. Of course it's it's out of copyright so it's perfectly legal that it's up on here.

A couple of years by I bought my dad a bilingual version of this story - a printed printed version. He only speaks English. I certainly couldn't read a book in Chinese and if I can neither can my dad, but anyway he owns quite a snappy looking bilingual version of this book which is available as an e-book or a paperback or hardback on Amazon and I can see that it was translated by…ha! I had the names…you can't see them just now but anyway it's a self-published thing. It was made on Createspace. If you haven't heard of Createspace - and this is not an advertisement - it's a self-publishing to print rather than just eBook business that Amazon created which basically lets you it lets you put your book on Amazon and then people can whenever they buy it. I believe it's a digitally printed copy which will be sent to the buyer on demand. So if you know about publishing you'll know Amazon are a bit evil. You'll also know they're geniuses, and yeah then probably the way this version of Madman was put out through Createspace would be an example of the genius. It's pretty cool. Anyway I'm not reading that version - I'm reading the older communist family version…let's say it's not especially communist but produced by people working for the Chinese government and, well, later in the podcast we'll get in more to Lu Xun the writers relationship, em, with the party. It's an interesting one.

To introduce you to Lu Xun I'd like to read you this little excerpt from his preface to a collection of his writings called A Call to Arms. So here he is - picture the scene: he's leaning against a tree just outside his cheap hostel in Japan where he was studying and his Chinese pal has come to try and rouse him to action - to politics - and Lu Xun fires back. He says:

Imagine an iron house without windows - absolutely indestructible - with many people fast asleep who will soon die of suffocation. But you know, since they will die in their sleep, they will not feel the pain of death. Now if you cry aloud to wake a few of the lighter sleepers, making those few unfortunate few suffer the agony of irrevocable death, do you think you're doing them a good turn?

 and then his friend says back:

But if a few awake you can't say there's no hope of destroying the iron house

So what's this iron house metaphor? Well basically it's China in its present state. The situation it's found itself in is a bad one and Lu Xun's friend is trying to get him to return to political writing because he'd been demoralized. So who what where? What's New Youth? What were these guys trying to fight for? Well let me give you some historical context. You may wish to skip ahead if you already know this stuff.

So we are somewhere near the end of China's so-called ‘100 years of humiliation’. The last imperial dynasty - the Qing - has basically become corrupt. It ceased to advance the country meanwhile the Western world and Japan had colonized a lot of China. China's far behind and even with the revolution that eventually comes to China and the establishment of the Republic of China, the country is still quite backward. Confucianism is still the governing social and cultural ideology. But what's Confucianism? Well for our purposes here it's not a religious system. It's not it's quite material but it's very social, and the way Confucianism say society should be is effectively very conservative, very top-down, patriarchal, and it's centered around probably the bureaucracy and the gentleman and the scholar. In Confucianism peasants are there to do the peasant work, women are there to do…whatever they do.

I've read the Analects by Confucius. It never mentions women’s lives which I think is the most one of the most telling things about it. So Confucianism still reigns, but then comes the May 4th Movement. What's the May 4th Movement? Well at the end of World War One there was a thing drawn up called the Treaty of Versailles that you may have heard of. It treated Germany quite unfairly - I think that's the general agreement - but it had an effect in the East too. So there had been a German colony in China called Qingdao and the Japanese - in World War one's rather minimal Eastern theatre - seized it from the Germans and the Treaty of Versailles did not hand Qingdao back to the Chinese. It kept it in the hands of Japan, which went against the kind of spirit of the times, of national self-determination, and it upset a lot of young Chinese people. They protested. I forget if it was the Qing or the Republic of China government, but they protested them outside the gates of Tiananmen and along with the May 4th Movement came the New Culture Movement which was the young artists and literati who wanted to kind of rejuvenate the nation and get rid of the old traditions and corrupt leadership that were kind of holding them back.

So I have some of the New Culture Movement’s guiding principles here. Promoting vernacular literature: now this is important because Chinese literature up until this point had mostly been written in a classical style. This is maybe not a great example, but imagine if we were still writing English in a Shakespearean style, or basically a style hundreds of years out-of-date. So they wanted something that was closer to the spoken language of the people in the literature. Let's say or to something less suffocatingly formal. They wanted an end to the patriarchal family, individual freedom, and women’s liberation. Read enough Wikipedia, by the way, and you'll see that quite a few of these things match up with the Communist Party's guiding ideas. The next one is the view that China is a nation among nations, not a uniquely Confucian culture. This one's really interesting in today's context because the current President Xi Jinping is basically trying to bring Confucianism back - probably that will crop up in future episodes - I won't get bogged down in that. The re-examination of Confucian texts and ancient classics using modern textual and critical methods known as the Doubting Antiquity School. So criticism, basically a critical approach to literature, life, the world, and perhaps in line with Western literary criticism. Perhaps. I don't want to put my foot in it there and say something wrong. Democratic and egalitarian values. This was definitely an attempt to modernize as the West had an orientation to the future rather than the past. Yes, or a big focus on science, progress, reason - and less of a focus on traditions, repeating the past, the Empire. So there's the New Culture Movement and this is the thing that Lu Xun initially involved himself in, became demoralized, and then was spurred back into action. So if you go looking online or reading about Lu Xun there's a couple inciting incidents from his childhood that kind of point to what drove him to progressive literature, let's say, and politics. And so I'll just quickly tell you one of them. So, he was from a family that had previously kind of been in the scholarly bureaucratic middle class, let's say, world but the family was on the decline. His father, in his later years, became ill. The medicine Lu Xun’s  family sought for his father was traditional Chinese medicine and some of it - so remember Lu Xun was watching all this - some of it was definitely ‘superstition medicine’, let's say, rather than effective medicine. So one of the things I remember from my research is that twin crickets were prescribed to his dad to deal with his tuberculosis. And guess what, none of this medicine worked, and Lu Xun had to watch his father and decline. And after his father died and it was time for Lu Xun to get out there in the world he went off to Japan to study medicine.

The reason he'd picked Japan was it was a nearby centre of scientific, Western, let's say, learning and modernization so that's what took him to Japan and whilst he was there he was prompted to turn away from medicine to writing. Rather than tell you myself how that happened I'll read you a couple of passages from Call to Arms, the collection of his writing. By the way, it's Chinese name is Na Han, which can be translated a few ways. It could mean ‘shout’, ‘outcry’, or ‘rallying cry’. I saw some people online saying that the English name - A Call to Arms - is not a good translation. That seems unlikely to me, but I don't have a dog in the race. I just think it's interesting seeing these same questions and debates.

Okay so here's the first passage from Call to Arms this is about Lu Xun's decision to go study medicine. I've swapped out a couple of the place names are blanked out in the way that old writing in English sometimes does. With names and places I've swapped that for the names of the places spelled out as they should be in pinyin but just be aware they probably wouldn't have been spelled out in pinyin at the time they would have been Wade Giles. Jiangsu and Nanjing would have been Kiangsu and Nanking. I've rendered them Jiangsu and Nanjing because that's what Mandarin actually sounds like. Wade Giles is awful. Anyway here we go.

I believe that those who sink from prosperity to poverty will probably come in the process to understand what the world is really like. I wanted to go to the Jiangsu School in Nanjing perhaps because I was in search of a change of scene and faces there was nothing for my mother to do but raise eight dollars for my traveling expenses and say I might do as I pleased. That she cried was only natural for that time the proper thing was to study the classics and take the official examinations. Anyone who studied foreign subjects was looked down upon as a fellow good-for-nothing who out of debt as the out of desperation was forced to sell his soul to foreign devils.

So Jiangsu in Nanjing. That's not Japan. I suppose this is prior to heading off to Japan for medical study but definitely on the run-up to that. Here's the second passage. It's two paragraphs. About half of it is what you will always find if you go reading or watching videos about the early years of Lu Xun. So I'm gonna give you that plus a little bit extra on the end that usually gets chopped out. Here we go.

I do not know what advanced methods are now used to reach microbiology but at that time lantern slides were used to show the microbes and if the lecture ended early the instructor might show slides of natural scenery or news to fill up the time. This was during the rush of Japanese war so there were many war films and I had to join in the clapping and cheering in the lecture hall along with all the others along with the other students it was a long time since I had seen any compatriots but one day I saw a film showing some showing some Chinese one of whom was bound while many others stood around him they were all strong fellows but appeared completely apathetic according to the commentary. The one with his hands bound was a spy working for the Russians who was to have his head cut off by the Japanese military as a warning to others while the Chinese beside him had come to enjoy the spectacle. Before the term was over I had left for Tokyo because after this film I felt that medical science was not so important. After all, the people of a weak and backward country - however strong and healthy -  can only serve to be made examples of, or to witness such futile spectacles, and it doesn't really matter how many of them died of illness. The most important thing therefore was to change their spirit and since at that time I felt that literature was the best means to this end. I determined to promote a literary movement. There were many Chinese students in Tokyo studying law, political science, physics, and chemistry, even police work and engineering, but not one studying literature or art. However, even in this uncongenial atmosphere, I was fortunate enough to find some kindred spirits. We gathered the few others we needed and after discussion our first step of course was to publish a magazine, the title of which denoted that this was a new birth. As we were then rather classically inclined, we called it Xin Sheng: ‘new life’.

Right, so we have New Life. Lu Xun wrote in that for a while but eventually he felt it was going nowhere. He got totally demoralized, and then his friend finally approached him, and they had that chat about the iron house and that's what's what spurred Lu Xun back into action. So when he returned to China, he was a literati and he wrote stories with success. People read him. So one of those really famous stories is the one we're talking about, or I'm talking about.

So to give you a brief plot summary - it's about a man in a village who has a rather swift decline into madness. He has what gets described as a persecution complex. It gets turned into a belief that the entire village is cannibalistic. They're all feeding upon each other. Eating each other. The doctor is in on it. His brother is in on it. Even the village mutt is in on it, and characters give justifications from history with precedents of cannibalism. The mad man finally reaches the discovery or the conclusion - whatever you want to call it - that his own family and even himself ate his younger sister piece by piece when she was five years old, and a lot of the eating of people has medical and traditional connotations.

So there's a prescript at the start of this story which is, from a literary perspective, very interesting. First of all it's written in classical Chinese whereas what follows after is vernacular and basically the pre script is kind of a…it's a different narrator saying, oh, I met my old friend. My old friend gave me this diary that his brother had written. His brother temporarily went mad, um, but then went off to take a government post.

It's been taken as very significant by literary critics that this madman goes off to take a government post. I'll explain why. Now so if you're not of the time or if you're not Chinese or if you've not heard much about Lu Xun you kind of need secondary material to get the metaphor here, certainly when I read the story for the first time I had an idea about what the metaphor was about but I didn't quite get its full richness. So the cannibalism is the key metaphor here, along with the madness. ‘Cannibalism’ here in the story is just rendered as ‘chi ren’. ‘Eat people’. And it's kind of a metaphor for the anti-human crushing and frightening aspects of Confucianism and its attendant traditions.

The madness that the guy is experiencing appears to be something that's giving him a clearer picture. He's kind of seeing through to the real reality. He's seeing through these traditions for what they really are, which is murder. Murderous, you might say.

I'm going to read some excerpts from the story now and I'll kind of tease out this madness. Reality and cannibalism equals confusion is the Confucianism metaphor. So here we go. Here's the very first entry from the diary. It's quite short.

Tonight the moon is very bright. I've not seen it for over 30 years. So today when I saw it, I felt in unusually high spirits. I begin to realize that during the past 30 odd years I have been in the dark, but now I must be extremely careful. Otherwise why should that dog in the child’s house have looked at me twice. I have reason for my fear.

So I think it's a very an example very good writing. It's quite foreboding. It's quite atmospheric. So it's a good translation, I suppose, as well as good writing. And interestingly the moon could be interpreted as kind of the trigger for this guy's lunacy. He says that for 30 years he's been in the dark and this moon prompts something that makes him believe see the reality, but of course in Western culture the moon is a trigger for madness. In Chinese culture it's…it's…I think it's considered a good thing, so it possibly is some evidence of Western influences and Lu Xun's writing if you choose to read it that way. Anyway here's an excerpt from the third entry in the diary. The first sentence is a line that gets repeated multiple times within the story.

Everything requires careful consideration if one is to understand it. In ancient times as I recollect people often ate human beings, but I'm rather hazy about it. I tried to look this up but my history has no chronology and scrawled over each page are the words ‘virtue’ and ‘morality’. Since I could not sleep anyway I read intently half the night until I began to see words between the lines. The whole book being filled with the two words: ‘eat people’. All these words written in the book, all the words spoken by our tenants gaze at me strangely with an enigmatic smile.

I just love this. This is great. So it's also considered a significant part of the metaphor here because this is an old, old text. Almost certainly a Confucian text. The words ‘virtue’ and ‘morality’ line up with Confucianism. It's what it's all about. The gentleman should do this, the gentleman should do that, and yet between the lines ‘eat people’. So it's what the madman seems to see is really going on in these texts, and I love the idea that the words are giving weird looks at the narrator the same way all the people in the village are. Just very, very into this part of the story.

Okay, an excerpt from the ninth diary entry. It's not the entire entry.

Wanting to eat men at the same time afraid of being eaten themselves, they all look at each other with the deepest suspicion. How comfortable life would be for them if they could rid themselves of such obsessions and go to work, walk, eat, and sleep at ease. They only have to they only have this one step to take, yet fathers and sons, husbands and wives, brothers, friends, teachers and students, sworn enemies and even strangers have all joined in this conspiracy, discouraging and preventing each other from taking this step.

So there you go. I mean, it's almost as if Lu Xun is talking into us directly, saying all these people need to do is cast off their traditions, and, you know, everybody wins. I feel that the metaphor here is maybe a bit thinner than it is other points, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Okay, from the tenth entry. The mad man cries out to the villagers, and we're getting near the end of the short story here.

“You should change! Change from the bottom of your hearts!” I said. “You must know that in future there will be no place for man-eaters in the world if you don't change! You may be eaten by it, you may all be eaten by each other, although so many are born they'll be wiped out by the real men just like wolves, killed by hunters just like the reptiles!”

So this I think is interesting because it matches up with some of Lu Xun's other thoughts and writings, about especially the Chinese peasantry and the Chinese nation. He certainly wasn't very…he didn't think there was anything very awesome about the traditions he was fighting against. He could see that the modern China of the time was not a powerful country. The Qing and the Republican government that overthrew it were constantly giving in to the demands of Western powers and they were failing to stop the Japanese from chipping away at their territory. The European countries were also chipping away at their territory, but yeah…so the idea that he's telling these villagers if you don't change, you know, you're going to get eaten yourselves, it matches up quite nicely with the reality that this metaphor is trying to describe.

So here's excerpts from the 12th, oh no these are the entire 12th and 13th entries of the diary. The very last two they were both nice and short and sweet.

I can't bear to think of it. I've only just realized that I've been living all these years in a place where for four thousand years they have been eating human flesh. My brother had just taken over the charge of the house when our sister died and he may well have used her flesh and our rice and dishes, making us eat it unwittingly. Is it possible that I ate several pieces of my sister's flesh unwittingly, and now it's my turn. How can a man like myself after four thousand years of man-caring history (I wonder if that's a misuse of the word ‘caring’, anyway…) four thousand years of man-caring history ever hope to face real men?

Entry thirteen. It's very short.

Perhaps there are still children who have not eaten men. Save the children!

There you go last three words: ‘save the children’. I should mention here something I forgot to mention: some of the inspiration for this story seems to have come from Nikolai Gogol's story which is also called Diary of a Madman. It's a similar tale but not the same. It's aiming to highlight, em, kind of the absurdities of the Russian feudal system but I think it goes from more of a comic effect and I believe it comes down much less on the side of the madman. But a reason we know this is almost certainly influenced Lu Xun and it's not just a coincidence is that he was a translator of Gogol’s stories from Russian into Chinese.

So plot summary over, em, I'm gonna rate this story. How would I rate it on my first reading, during which perhaps I was a bit distracted. I wasn't thrilled, I also maybe didn't have as much of a sense of the feeling at the times. I didn't have much of a sense of what Lu Xun kind of stood for in the China of the time, and also modern China. Upon the second reading I've done for the show, yeah I thought this story and this translation were really nice and it's pretty lovely prose. Well, there are moments that are quite quite lovely prose, but I should point out because Lu Xun was going for this vernacular style and the translators emulated that it's not fiery or descriptive English. It's mostly to the point, but you know efficient prose can have its beauties - I would say. Yeah, nice little piece of writing, quite eerie at points, gothic, not really gothic, but certainly there's, I feel, there's a little bit of horror creeping into this story.

I'd rate it four out of five shifty village mutts or four out of five sister eating brothers four out of five useless doctors. There you go, pick one the one you like.

Okay, so let's go into the relationship of Lu Xun with the Communist Party. This is a fun one. So initially Lu Xun’s sympathies were with the first Chinese Revolution and the Republic of China it had created, but as we've already said,  he perceived its shortcomings pretty quickly and he gradually became more pessimistic and fell out of love with the Republic of China and the change it had promised and failed to deliver on. Towards the end of his life the civil war was beginning between the Nationalists who ran the Republic of China and the Communists who were trying to overthrow it, basically. He never joined the Communist Party in his life but towards the end I think he did write a letter congratulating the Communist Party on its Long March, which long story short was an evasive manoeuvre they took to avoid being destroyed by the Nationalist army and eventually ensured their final victory and the Chinese Revolution. But Lu Xun never lived to see that and after his death he was made an honorary member of the Communist Party.

That seems a bit dodgy if you ask me, but yeah he was enshrined by Mao. Mao thought Lu Xun was pretty ace which is a bit ironic because Lu Xun was a rebel. He spoke freely and of course that wouldn't have really worked for him very well in revolutionary China, certainly not later into the 50s and then the Cultural Revolution that followed. Mao even admitted himself that by the 50s if Lu Xun were still alive he would have been put in jail or gone silent.

Ominous…ominous phrasing there. So I'll tell you a wee story about Lu Xun from when I was teaching in the training school called Web English, teaching adults, and I learned a little bit about the impression this guy has among modern Chinese people, because he's a part of the education system. The equivalent in Scotland would be Robert Burns. Everybody learns about him if you go to a state school, I don't know if England has an equivalent. Everyone learns about Shakespeare, I suppose, although Shakespeare is from far older times anyway.

So I had an English corner where I was basically free to teach whatever I liked and one day I thought I would just present some different English language authors and we would talk and use vocabulary to describe their differences. One of the guys I popped up was Dickens, and you know Dickens was also a guy somewhat perturbed by the society he lived in and chose to write about it. Some of my more advanced English-speaking students – remember, they're all adults - were like ‘yeah, this is like Lu Xun, he must have been fighting against the society’ and I was like ‘fighting’ is maybe not the right word for Dickens but probably the right word for Lu Xun’.

So yeah, that's that tale. I have some other Lu Xun anecdotes. I've been to quite a few sites devoted to him. There's quite a lot of Lu Xun places you can visit if you are visiting China or if you live there. So here's some of them, and if you're in Shanghai or if you're visiting Shanghai you can go up to Hongkou Districts where they have a specially preserved writers’ street where a lot of the intelligence or the, yep, Chinese literati and Intelligencia chose to live, in Hongkou, which was ironically the district that was controlled by Japan, but anyway there's a street that has kind of stone or whatever you you call them carvings or inscriptions that kind of have little pictures of all these various writers. Lu Xun is among them. Not so far away from the street there's a former residence of his you can visit. It was actually the house that he spent his final years, and I think maybe that's where he died, so if you're mad…if you don't like stuff like that…maybe stay away, but you can you can check out the house. It's a cheap entry fee, and just not so far off from that there's a really nice quite large park, the Lu Xun Park, which inside it has a museum devoted to him. I have not checked out the museum but I do recommend the park, there's nothing very Lu Xun-ish about the park, just a very nice park full of, you know, Chinese old people playing instruments, playing games, smoking, all that fun stuff.

He has a former residence in Shaoxing, his hometown. I've been there. I recall it had a bit of a museum as well as the residence itself. So it's not just a generic… one of these generic former residences that you can find all over China. There's also a Lu Xun former residence and I think Museum in Beijing I've not been to. But it exists. He did live there and I believe there are quite a lot of Lu Xun parks in other Chinese cities. I know there's one in Qingdao. I don't think I've been inside that one. There's probably others. But yeah those are the places to go make a pilgrimage, if you wish.

I think it's a little strange that we don't know Lu Xun so well in the West but then how many classic or even modern Chinese writers do we know in the West? Not an awful lot. I feel that's why one reason I've made this podcast, and something later shows are gonna look at is what Western tastes are for Chinese writing. I certainly believe we like rebels but I wonder if Lu Xun is the right kind of rebel that would scratch the itches of the Western market because, you know, he's quite Orthodox. He's been adopted by the Communist Party in their education system. Now I'm not saying that's any reason to disregard him or not try to understand him better in the West. In fact, exactly the opposite.

I think that's exactly the kind of…if he's known all across China admired by the Chinese people, and he's part of the education system, if you want to understand the country and its history this is exactly the kind of guy that people ought to know about…so yeah, um, I've got other things about his legacy that I found after a little bit of Googling online.

So, interesting fact: Lu Xun's writings were banned in Taiwan until the late 80s. I think something I certainly didn't realize about Taiwan was that it was a little bit like Korea. South Korea, that is. Although it was a Western ally during the Cold War it was a dictatorship, for, you know, until not very long ago, and Lu Xun was considered a leftist, it was, I suppose, a right-wing dictatorship, so he was banned. There you go.

Next interesting fact: the Japanese Nobel laureate (sorry if I slaughter this pronunciation) Kenzaburō Ōe called Lu Xun the greatest writer Asia produced in the 20th century. So there you go. The country that gave Lu Xun the medical education he never used showing some appreciation back.

And last of all, Wikipedia told me that Fredric Jameson the postmodern literary critic wrote an essay where he describes Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Lu Xun as an excellent example of third world writing. I went and looked online, read the PDF, really wasn't thrilled. So if you're looking for some generic post-modern Western babble - you know, lots of mentions of the oral stage, Freud, some…I don't know, I didn't read it that closely…didn't look great anyway…if that's the kind of thing you like, look up ‘Frederic Jameson Lu Xun’. The PDF’s out there for free. Also, YouTube has quite a lot of lectures on Lu Xun. I didn't watch any of them but looks like there's resources out there if you want to study this guy.

So that's the full extent of everything I have to say about the Diary of a Madman. If I have messed anything up, if I misrepresented the facts, mispronounced the words, then just swing me a message on the links provided in the show notes. I'll also throw in a link to that Fredric Jameson essay if you really must do that to yourself, but yeah anything at all you'd like to see, just reach out. If you'd like to contribute and talk about something written in translated Chinese you've read. if you'd like to suggest a topic for the show. if you've got a question, just swing it my way. I'd love to hear from you and I'd also love for you to tune in to the next episode. It's gonna be about Wang Shuo’s Please Don't Call Me Human. So, fast forwarding to the 90s and keeping up the critical angle on society, although we're not going to be keeping that up every episode. Anyway, until next time, zai jian!


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