Diaries Magazine

Lu Xun (魯迅)

By Kei Lam (thetravelphilosophy.blogspot.hk)
The man in the last photo of our previous article is one of the China's most influential writer - Lu Xun. 

If one knows a thing or two about Chinese literature, he/she must have heard of Lu Xun. Especially from the May Fourth movement onwards, Lu Xun greatly influenced not only the literature scene but also modern China's political arena. When Lu was young, he studied medicine to become a doctor in Japan; after witnessing the flaws in the mind of Chinese, he turned to literature in the hope of curing the old Chinese mentality such as superstitions.

The works of Lu Xun are of very high literary value, manifested by his mastery of motifs and irony. "Diary of a Madman", "The True Story of Ah Q", "Medicine" and the list goes on - all are still relevant and stunning as it were in 1920s in China. When someone talks about Chinese, one of the words most associated to Chinese culture is "Confucianism". In Lu's works, you will see how confucianism is/was regarded in China and how they will shake your stereotype "Chinese = Confucianism".

There is a museum dedicated to Lu Xun in the northwestern part of Beijing, which is close to his former residence. Visitors are recommended to take the tour of both the museum and Lu's former home in order to get the whole experience of this great writer.

Before going to the museum, one may start with reading Lu's story collections: "Call to Arms", "Wandering", and "Old Tales Retold" to learn more about Lu's thoughts and writings. Without reading anything written by Lu, it would be quite unconvincing for one claiming to have learnt anything  about China.

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