Lu Xun's name change and marriage - a theory

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Lu Xun's name change and marriage - a theory

Unread postby Sun Gongli » Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:50 am

Some time ago, there was a discussion on Lu Xun's unique ming, 遜 (Xun). That thread is long since gone (at least as far as Search is concerned - searching for three-letter search queries can be quite a pain!), but I'd like to raise the discussion a bit.

The Lu clan and the Sun clan had a rather tumultuous past. Even though Sun Jian had once helped a member of the Lu clan secure his territory from bandits, Sun Ce badly defeated Lu Kang. Some time after Sun Ce's death, a certain Lu Yi entered the employ of Sun Quan and was noted for his talent.

When Sun Ce's daughter was wed to Lu Yi/Xun, it was to help bury the hatchet between the two clans. For reasons I'm about to detail below, I believe that the decision to wed the daughter of the man who'd soundly defeated the man that raised him was made by Lu Xun himself.

Let's take a look at Lu Xun's given name.



This is a rather unusual name - xun means modest or to abdicate. However, as modest as Lu Xun is, I believe that the reason he chose this inauspicious name was not for the meaning of the character, but for the symbolism behind the character.

The main component of 遜 is 孫... Sun. As in Sun Ce, Sun Quan, Sun Jian, et cetera. The radical of 遜 is 辶, which is the "walking/traveling" radical.

The symbolism behind this character could be:

:arrow: Lu Xun wished to express his desire to "walk" with the Sun family through all of its ordeals;
:arrow: As the radical 辶 appears to be holding up the character 孫, Lu Xun desired to support the Sun family as well; or
:arrow: Lu Xun desired to signify his loyalty to the Sun family in some general way while also maintaining his modest and self-deprecating demeanor.

Given that Lu Xun, in my opinion, changed his name to signify that there were no hard feelings between his clan and the Sun clan, it may be that he petitioned Sun Quan to marry him to a woman of the Sun family to further signify the end of hostilities between the two clans.

Your thoughts?
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Unread postby Ricky » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:14 am

Given that Lu Xun, in my opinion, changed his name to signify that there were no hard feelings between his clan and the Sun clan, it may be that he petitioned Sun Quan to marry him to a woman of the Sun family to further signify the end of hostilities between the two clans.


Same reason here. At a point I thought of making this topic too great work Gongli. :wink:
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Unread postby Cao Chao » Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:37 pm

If I recall correctly, Lu Xun married into the Sun family when Sun Ce was still alive and was a result of Sun Ce trying to ensure the support of the prominent and wealthy families of Jiangdong.
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:55 pm

I believe GoS states that it was during Sun Quan's early period of rule that Lu Xun married into the Sun family - around the same time as his participation in He Qi's campaign of subjugation against the Shanyue.
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Unread postby FuguNabe » Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:26 am

That's quite an interesting read.
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Unread postby Kittn » Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:31 am

I never realized that. It's pretty neat though, whether it happened during Quan or Ce's reign.

Too bad all of it didn't do any good. From what I read Quan treated him really badly later on in life when dealing with Quan's heirs. Yet another reason I don't like Zhongmou. Seems like the man had a hard time listening to sound advice sometimes.
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:44 am

To be fair to Quan, he was plenty kind to Lu Xun until the Crown Prince fiasco - which was, of course, Quan's fault. And after Lu Xun died, he did realize his errors and posthumously pardoned him (after speaking with Lu Kang).
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Unread postby Kittn » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:05 am

This is true. But I can just imagine that all that good treatment by Quan made it hurt all the worse when that stuff came about. Kinda too late to say sorry after the man is dead. :( I have a little soft spot for Boyan. Maybe just because he looks so sweet and innocent in all his portraits XD but still... what was Quan thinking? ><

Anyway back on topic of names, I don't know enough chinese, but are you saying that Lu Xun's particular "Xun" was unique or that the name Xun itself is unique? I read (it was on a wiki so I dunno how true it is!) that Zhou Yu's elder son was named Xun as well. I kinda toyed with the idea that he named his son that because he was impressed with Lu Xun. :3 But this is a much better theory, if it can be applied to Zhou Xun as well.

That is, if his son was really named that. ^^;
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Unread postby CaTigeReptile » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:31 am

Kittn: The "Xun" in Lu Xun's name usually isn't a name. The chinese character. Everything you seen in pinyin (i.e. Xun, Hu, etc) actually has about a million different meanings in Chinese.

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Unread postby Kittn » Thu Jun 07, 2007 4:18 am

I see. I wonder if Zhou Xun used the same character then? That would be neat, because I like this theory :) The wiki doesn't have the chinese character for his name listed though.
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