Madmen and Other Survivors

Reading Lu Xun’s Fiction


Jeremy Tambling

ISBN : 978-962-209-824-4

Literary Studies

February 2007

136 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$295.00

Also available in Paperback HK$130.00

Madmen and Other Survivors: Reading Lu Xun’s Fiction puts the short stories written by this outstanding Chinese writer between 1918 and 1926 into a broad context of Modernism.

The fiction of Lu Xun (1881–1936) deals with the China moving beyond the 1911 Revolution. He asks about the possibilities of survival, and what that means, even considering the possibility that madness might be a strategy by which that is possible. Such an idea calls identity into question, and Lu Xun is read here as a writer for whom that is a wholly problematic concept.

The book makes use of critical and cultural theory to consider these short stories in the context of not only Chinese fiction, but in terms of the art of the short story, and in relation to literary modernism. It attempts to put Lu Xun into as wide a perspective as possible for contemporary reading. To make his work widely accessible, he is treated here in English translation.

Jeremy Tambling is Professor of Literature at Manchester University, and before that, Professor of Comparative Literature in the University of Hong Kong. He is author of several books and articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and cultural texts, including Becoming Posthumous (2001), Wong Kar Wai’s Happy Together (Hong Kong University Press 2002), and Lost in the American City: Dickens, James, Kafka (2001) and Blake’s Night Thoughts (2004).

“Most Lu Xun scholars simply cannot jettison the traditional baggage of ‘LuXunography’ which over the years has grown stale. Thus Madmen and Other Survivors comes like a whiff of fresh air. It will certainly be a challenge, and I for one would like to use it in my courses and recommend it to other scholars and students.” —Leo Ou-fan Lee