What does literature do anyway? Provocative reality from China

HT: Deb Garvey.

Much like Chinese authorities today, Lu Xun himself was conflicted about the effect his voice might have on future generations. Reflecting on whether or not to speak out, he posed an analogy:

Imagine an iron house without windows, absolutely indestructible, with many people fast asleep inside who will soon die of suffocation. But you know since they will die in their sleep, they will not feel the pain of death. Now if you cry aloud to wake a few of the lighter sleepers, making those unfortunate few suffer the agony of irrevocable death, do you think you are doing them a good turn?

Perhaps in the spirit of an early Lu Xun, Sina Weibo user @lvyiyao voiced a sarcastic support for the removal of his works from children’s textbooks: “It’s actually better for the children. Ignorant swine are far happier than humans who know what’s going on.”

via Chinese Literature Textbooks Modified to Curb ‘Deep Thinking’ | TLN.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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