Primarily thought of as a critic of Chinese tradition, Lu Xun is less understood as a critic of technoscientific rationality. Walter Benjamin invoked the utopian reconciliation of humans and nature from premodern culture in critiques of modernity. In the same vein, Lu Xun recovered images of the ancient world where rural folks lived in intimacy with nature, worshiped supernatural beings, and observed time-honored rituals. Linking the myth of progress and technology to a chorus of “malevolent voices” by a “hypocrite gentry,” Lu Xun urged that we should rid of ourselves of this hypocrite gentry and retain mytho-ecological beliefs. Examining Lu Xun's stories from Old Tales Retold, this chapter explores the Chinese writer's recovery of the mythical and ecological images from the past in his critique of technocratic modernity. Confronted with the myth of progress, technological fetishism, and the rise of a technocratic elite, Lu Xun sought to uncover and redeem primordial images from archaic traditions.

You do not currently have access to this content.