Beyond the Iron House

For those list members who might be interested in my book Beyond the Iron House: Lu Xun and the Modern Chinese Literary Field, originally published by Tsinghua University Press in 2014, I’d like to share with you the news that it has been republished by Routledge (2017). See details below.

Sun Saiyin, Tsinghua University, Beijing.


Beyond the Iron House is a critical study of a crucial period of life and work of the modern Chinese writer Lu Xun. Through thorough research into historical materials and archives, the author demonstrates that Lu Xun was recognized in the literary field much later than has hitherto been argued. Neither the appearance of “Kuangren riji” (Diary of a madman) in 1918 nor the publication of Nahan (Outcry) in 1923 had catapulted the author into nationwide prominence; in comparison with his contemporaries, neither was his literary work as original and unique as many have claimed, nor were his thoughts and ideas as popular and influential as many have believed; like many other agents in the literary field, Lu Xun was actively involved in power struggles over what was at stake in the field; Lu Xun was later built into an iconic figure and the blind worship of him hindered a better and more authentic understanding of many other modern writers and intellectuals such as Gao Changhong and Zhou Zuoren, whose complex relationships with Lu Xun are fully explored and analysed in the book.

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