Telepathic Corpses, Snow Buddhas, and Flames Encased in Ice: Radical Hope in Lu Xun's Wild Grass

Eileen Cheng, Dept. of Asian Languages and Literatures, Pomona College

This talk examines images of decomposition and disintegration in Lu Xun’s Wild Grass.  Reminders of the ephemeral nature of life, these images also reflect the violence of language and the limits of representation—that is, the inadequacy of texts to fully or accurately capture the past and a present in the midst of disappearing. Yet, Lu Xun’s prose-poems also contain an urgent plea:  Of the necessity for commemoration. In spite of his doubts, Lu Xun harbored a “radical hope”:  that his texts, like epitaph inscriptions, might allow the spirit of the past and the once living to flicker alive, as sources of illumination for the present.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | 12:00 pm — 1:15 pm | RSVP
CISAC Conference Room, Encina Hall Central - 2nd Floor

Center for East Asian Studies