We think of ourselves as reading Lu Xun rather than hearing the words he wrote as a form of inner speech. Our focus on what the text means prevents us from hearing its aural effects: on how the words sound in our heads as we read. Yet, Lu Xun is a writer who has consistently drawn attention to the importance of voice in writing. In this lecture, I invite you to reflect with me on the primacy of voice in Lu Xun’s writings, the different voices he sought to project, and the value of listening in intellectual inquiry and translation.
Gloria Davies is a professor of Chinese Studies at Monash University and an adjunct director of the Australian Centre on China in the World at the ANU. She is a literary scholar, historian and translator whose research covers a range of areas: Chinese intellectual and literary history from the 1890s to the present; contemporary Chinese thought; comparative literature and critical theory; and studies of cultural flows in the digital age. Her books include Lu Xun’s Revolution: Writing in a Time of Violence (2013) and Worrying about China: The Language of Chinese Critical Inquiry (2007). She is a regular contributor to the China Story Yearbook and co-editor of China Story Yearbook 2015: Pollution.