Beyond Redemption: Re-membering Loss in Lu Xun’s Morning Blossoms Plucked at Dusk
On March 6, 2018, Professor Eileen J. Cheng of Pomona College spoke at the UBC Department of Asian Studies about Lu Xun’s views on memory and his attempts to re-member the past in his personal memoir, Morning Blossoms Plucked at Dusk. Professor Cheng, who is currently translating Lu Xun’s memoir, pointed out that even as he wrote about the need to pay homage to the past, Lu Xun repeatedly expressed the agony and pain that comes with reliving it. He was also keenly aware of the fallibility of memories and the human capacity not only to forget, but to recreate and manipulate the past in the name of justifying one's present. Professor Cheng’s talk focused on how Lu Xun’s essays in Morning Blossoms defy conventional strategies of memoir-writing, re-animating the seemingly irrelevant, forgotten, and unspoken, as a way of recovering the redemptive meaning of loss and coming to terms with the fallibility of memory.