The political writing – Lu Xun’s Revolution: Writing in a Time of Violence

Lu Xun is recognised as the preeminent man of letters of modern Chinese literature.

Lu Xun is not his real name. He first used this nom de plume in his famous essay ” Diary of a Madman” published in 1918.

Mao proclaimed him as the Sage of modern China. His prolific output has resulted in many books on and of his writings.

If you are a beginner, start with the complete fiction of Lu Xun published by Penguin. Then move on to Jottings under Lamplight which has a curated collection of his best essays.

Then to Revolution as this is a very heavy book. Not in weight but in analysis. Revolution is part biography, part history, and part literary analysis. It is centred on the last phase of his life. {1927-1936} {see p 5 and 13}. His writings here are on the political events in China on the cusp of revolution. So read this book if you are keen on this area as this book is not a biography. On this, Davies states that Lu Xun went to Japan to pursue a career in translation and writing {p 3}. This is contrary to the other 2 books that said that he went to study medicine.

Poser – why did he adopt the surname Lu? Clue – his beloved mom.

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