In personal communication Moss Roberts mentioned that in traditional Chinese cosmogony and conceptions of yin yang the female was represented by the earth 地 and darkness 阴, while the male was represented by the sky/heaven 天and the sun/light 阳; thus, he believes it is possible that in Xiao Hong the exploitation of the individual female body in the first section of the novel was analogically extended to the body of the nation through into the Japanese exploitation/rape of the Chinese land. For Xiao Hong the Japanese invaders are not China’s ultimate problem, and the individual female body is by no means sublimated through allegorical extension from the individual female body to the “female” body of the nation.
Xiao Hong, The Dyer’s Daughter: Selected Stories of Xiao Hong. Traditional Chinese-English Version. trans. Howard Goldblatt (Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2005), p. 8.
Xiao Hong’s literary mentor Lu Xun was fascinated by Edgar Allen Poe’s writing and he and his brother Zhou Zuoren both translated some of Poe’s short stories into Chinese, as did Mao Dun (Sheng 149). Lu Xun also shared an attraction to the grotesque and especially admired the woodcuts of German Socialist artist Käthe Kollwitz, in whose works death, poverty, sickness, and oppression were prominent themes. Hence, there may be more underlying historical connections than mere literary similarities between Xiao Hong and Poe.
"When two butterflies wondrously alighted o...
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...lutionary Army” is a bit more explicit in that the soldiers wear red bands with yellow writing and their flag is red with yellow stars. Moreover, while the “Revolutionary” soldiers do not directly reveal who they are to the peasants, they are adamant that they are not government (i.e. nationalist) soldiers or bandits (Xiao Jun 34).
Orig. “这些蚊子一样的愚夫愚妇就悲壮地站上了神圣的民族战争底前线。蚊子似地为死而生的他们现在是巨人似地为生而死了”(Xiao, Quanji 146)
Whether Hu Feng is merely drawing from the religion of nationalism in the 1920s or from Christianity via Hegel and/or Lukacs is a topic worth pursuing but cannot be done within the confines of this article.
In regard to the animal-like descriptions of some of Lu Xun’s protagonists, cf. Todd Foley, “Between Human and Animal: A study of New Year’s Sacrifice, Kong Yiji, and Diary of a Madman.” Frontiers of Literary Studies in China; Sept. 2012, Vol. 6, Is
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