I am Mad, Therefore I think Cover Image

I am Mad, Therefore I think
I am Mad, Therefore I think

Lu Xun's "Diary of a Madman" as a Reversal of the Cartesian Cogito

Author(s): Rumyana Cholakova
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Literary Texts, Fiction, Studies of Literature, Short Story, Other Language Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Пловдивски университет »Паисий Хилендарски«
Keywords: modern Chinese short story; persecution mania; the voice of madness; Foucauldian analysis of madness; Confucianism; Lu Xun’s criticism of Chinese tradition
Summary/Abstract: This paper analyzes the first modern Chinese short story, Lu Xun’s “Diary of a Madman” with the help of some ideas from modern psychology and literary theory. My theoretical frame of reference is Foucault’s idea that madness is a particular lack of language (voice). Both Foucault and the American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz see psychiatry as a discipline for the scientific protection of society and an instrument of oppression. In Lu Xun’s short story “madness” is also related to the castigation of society, not to health and reason. Descartes divides reason and madness, Foucault tries to restore the voice of madness and its right to speak. Lu Xun, however, goes a step further than Foucault. He equates thinking with “madness.”

  • Page Range: 132-140
  • Page Count: 9
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: English