Chapter

On <i>A Madman's Diary</i>

Jeremy Tambling

in Madmen and Other Survivors

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098244
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207158 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098244.003.0003
On A Madman's Diary

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This chapter presents a reading of A Madman's Diary, the first, and one of the most influential of Lu Xun's short stories. It seems that two possible sources for A Madman's Diary were personal: the “feverish intensity” of the mental state of the madman “recalls Lu Xun's description of his father on his deathbed,” which Lu Xun wrote about in an essay, “Father's Illness.”. There was another incident, which one of Lu Xun's biographers describes as a real-life paranoia, where everything that happens becomes circumstantial evidence to prove that the person is being persecuted. The diary shows the loneliness involved in madness, in the way the “madman” wanted to write everything down, as if trying to avoid his loneliness that way.

Keywords: paranoia; vernacular Chinese; madness; humanism; Lu Xun; loneliness

Chapter.  5647 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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