Lu XunFeb 13, 2024
Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk
Translated by Eileen J. Cheng
Harvard University Press 2022
In this captivating translation of the imaginative prose essay collection Wild Grass (1927) and experimental memoir Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk (1928), Eileen J. Cheng expertly showcases the range and imagination of Lu Xun (1881–1936), generally considered to be the father of modern Chinese literature. Combined, these two books include stories and essays that touch on a wide range of topics including fallen leaves, alms seekers, dreams, dead fires, and all the different individuals who inspired Lu Xun’s writing. Through surreal prose and unreliable narrators, the books consider wide-reaching questions: What does it mean to be human? How can we know anything? Is pursuing self-knowledge necessary, even if it is impossible?
Each translation is accompanied by an introduction that effectively situates the story within the life and work of Lu Xun. As a whole, Eileen’s translation Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk (Harvard University Press, 2022) is an intriguing read, and for anyone who is used to Lu Xun’s more straightforward prose, it is entirely eye-opening, showing a radically different side to this canonical writer.
Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a Research Assistant Professor at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org