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Conclusion Zhang Taiyan, Lu Xun, Wang Hui: The Politics Of Imagining A Better Future

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Chapter Summary

Zhang Taiyan's deeper understanding of Buddhism enabled him to gesture beyond mere nationalist politics and drove him to question the foundations of what we call modernity. We can see the significance of Zhang's Buddhist writings by looking at the work of Lu Xun and Wang Hui, since they are prominent intellectuals, respectively at the beginning and end of the twentieth century, who construct a critique of modernity partially inspired by Zhang Taiyan. Lu Xun continued Zhang's critique of rationalization in capitalism, but unlike Zhang, he countered this trend by affirming popular religion, particularly the idea of ghosts. Wang Hui's recent interpretation of ghosts in Lu Xun's work brings out the contemporary significance of Zhang's works by drawing on the trope of ghosts to point to a future beyond capitalism and adumbrating a different type of revolution.

Keywords: Buddhism; capitalism; ghosts; Lu Xun; modernity; Wang Hui; Zhang Taiyan



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