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One Divides into Two: Philosophical Archeology of Modern Chinese Political Thought


【Publication】The Snail on the Brier: A Study of Lu Ling and His Works


Publication Date|2020-01-00

Authors|SUNG Yu-Wen

Press|National Chiao Tung University Press (January 22, 2020)




LU Ling (1923-1994), representative of the writers closely associated with July Magazine, had been active in literary circles in the 1930s and 1940s China. Circumscribed by systems of critiques of literary/political institutions, his early works have not been fully attended to while the connotations not expressed.  Imprisoned and forced to suspend his writing for years, Lu’s works produced after the 1980s resemble the tip of an iceberg, under which a sea of meanings awaits our exploration. To reassess Lu’s literature, this book focuses on Lu’s theses on reality, walking along the route of Lu’s life and creations, in order to explore the artistic characteristics of his language, narrative, and structure, while tracing the connections between his personal journey of life and trajectory of creation. 

This book suggests that the affirmation and negation of Lu’s works fluctuate along with the systems of critiques of literary/political institutions, with the extremes of resistance and non-resistance.  Precisely because of such a fluctuation, the critique of Lu’s works exposes the conservativeness of the seemingly critical literary-political rhetoric of “progressive/backward.” In the view of the left progressive politics, Lu’s writing is akin to a shade of carmine that lacks the color of realistic blood; however, if we read Lu’s works with Zhang Zhongxiao’s thinking on realism, replacing “exposure” and “praise” with “pain,” “joy,” “pursuit,” and “dream,” we would realize that Lu’s creation has never “turned.” The carmine is not a sham, while the blood is hardly truer. Lu Ling’s writing has not been circumscribed by the binary oppositions such as “progress/backward,” “realism/modernism,” “the collective/the individual.” The borderland between the boundaries may be where Lu’s creation situates.



Preface to Sung Yu-Wen’s The Snail on the Brier: A Study of Lu Ling and His Works 
By HUANG Ziping
Introduction: The Insights and Opportunities of “Backward Writing”
1. PASSION: The Affect Structure of Sufferings/Fervors
2. The Big Road and Winding Paths for Youth: Caizhu De Erniimen
3. On the Eve: Lu’s Works in the 1940s
4. After the Eve: Lu’s Works in 1950s
5. “I Am Not Anti-Revolution”: Lu’s Works after 1955
Conclusion: And Yet the Dust Does not Speak
Chronology of Lu Ling’s Works

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