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5 An Exile of Self-Disinheritance: Revisiting Qu Qiubai

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Chapter Summary

In his last words before his execution by the Chinese nationalist troops, Qu Qiubai confessed that for him to have crossed the threshold of Marxism from his earlier life as an aspiring literati is Li shi de wu hui. The subsequent decades saw surging tides of more pointed and insightful reflections and critique on Qu's writing and Qu scholarship, and they have helped us reclaim fresh grounds to make a still stronger case about the vitalist thinking as an alternative mode of modernism as well as Qu's singular contribution to it. According to Communist ideology, the exemplary life of an individual, when inspired by the télos of historical progress, should be allegorical in the sense that it is to embody a working-through of history's lock-step march towards its ultimate realization. Qu's disinheritance of the ego entails distancing himself from his Confucian roots and their moribund remnants.

Keywords: Chinese nationalist troops; communist ideology; Confucian roots; Li shi de wu hui; Marxism; Qu Qiubai; Qu scholarship; Qu's disinheritance



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