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Interpretation of the Modernity of Lu Xun’s Literature in Voices from the Iron House: A Study of Lu Xun by Leo Ou-Fan Lee

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DOI: 10.23977/ICEIPI2020030


Yishu Wu

Corresponding Author

Yishu Wu


Leo Ou-fan Lee, the scholar who combined his unique psychological methods with the theories of intellectual history under the joint influence of his teachers E. Erikson and Schwartz, had made artistic and spiritual research of Lu Xun’s different types of works by focusing on the main feature of which is modernity as well as the exploration of Lu Xun’s inherent spirits. By holding on the creative perspective of “modernity is the transformation based on tradition”, Leo broke the idea of “binary opposition” between tradition and modernity in his Voices from the Iron House for interpreting Lu Xun’s works, and organically completed the exploration of modernity features condensed in Lu Xun’s three main literary styles, which are short stories, prose poetry and essays. The fictional irony in short stories, the symbolism and metaphor system in prose poetry, as well as the lyric metaphor tendency and symbolic reversal in essays found by Leo from Lu Xun’s works show in the process of fusing modern elements to the tradition of Chinese literature, modernized skills have had a significant role to make a high degree of integration both in contents and forms. This essay further generalizes and discusses Leo’s interpretation of the modernity contained in Lu Xun’s literature and evaluates his pioneering innovation and guiding role in adding psychological way into research methods and perspectives of the Lu Xun Studies.


Modernity, psychological reading, metaphor trend, symbolism system, symbolic reversal

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