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Beyond BrushtalkSino-Japanese Literary Exchange in the Interwar Period$
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Christopher T. Keaveney

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099289

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099289.001.0001

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The Allure of the White Birch School to May Fourth Writers

The Allure of the White Birch School to May Fourth Writers

(p.65) 3 The Allure of the White Birch School to May Fourth Writers
Beyond Brushtalk

Christopher T. Keaveney

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses the impact of Japan's White Birch School (Shirakabaha) on the contemporary Chinese literary world. The White Birch School was one of the best organized and ideologically focused of the Taishō period coteries. The idealism and humanism they espoused had an immediate impact on Chinese writers. The brothers, Zhou Zuoren (1885–1967) and Lu Xun, translated and championed the works of various of the School's members, although the writers to whom each of the brothers was attracted too reflect some fundamental aesthetic and ideological differences between the two men. Lu Xun's translation of Mushanokō ji Saneatsu's “A Certain Young Man's Dream” and its appeal is illustrated. Lu Xun's admiration for Arishima Takeo is also described. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the limits of aestheticism and the politicization of the May Fourth literary community.

Keywords:   White Birch School, Japan, Zhou Zuoren, Lu Xun, Mushanokō ji Saneatsu, Chinese writers, Arishima Takeo, May Fourth literary community, aestheticism, politicization

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