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Lu Xun

Birthdate: 25. September 1881
Date of death: 19. October 1936

Lu Xun was the pen name of Zhou Shuren , a Chinese writer, essayist, poet, and literary critic. He was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writing in Vernacular Chinese and Classical Chinese, he was a short story writer, editor, translator, literary critic, essayist, poet, and designer. In the 1930s, he became the titular head of the League of Left-Wing Writers in Shanghai.

Lu Xun was born into a family of landlords and government officials in Shaoxing, Zhejiang; the family's financial resources declined over the course of his youth. Lu aspired to take the imperial civil service exam, but due to his family's relative poverty he was forced to attend government-funded schools teaching "Western education." Upon graduation, Lu went to medical school in Japan but later dropped out. He became interested in studying literature but was eventually forced to return to China because of his family's lack of funds. After returning to China, Lu worked for several years teaching at local secondary schools and colleges before finally finding a job at the Republic of China Ministry of Education.

After the 1919 May Fourth Movement, Lu Xun's writing began to exert a substantial influence on Chinese literature and popular culture. Like many leaders of the May Fourth Movement, he was primarily a leftist. He was highly acclaimed by the Chinese government after 1949, when the People's Republic of China was founded, and Mao Zedong himself was a lifelong admirer of Lu Xun's writing. Though sympathetic to socialist ideas, Lu Xun never joined the Communist Party of China.

Works

„Verbal abuse and intimidation are not fighting.“

—  Lu Xun

Source:
Original: (zh_Hant) 辱駡與恐嚇不是戰鬥。

„Translation: For all of ignorant people of a nation, even if their body is somehow strong, somehow grand, even then they can only make meaningless displays [of this "strength"]. [As for] the multitude of constituents and observers, however many may die from [this] sickness, this is [still] not to be considered as unfortunate.“

—  Lu Xun, book Call to Arms

Lu Xun studied medicine before he became a writer. Once he saw on a film a Chinese being executed by Japanese while many other Chinese were watching this "spectacular event". This made him feel that saving the "souls" of people is more important than saving their bodies.
Original: (zh_Hant) 凡是愚弱的國民,即使體格如何健全,如何茁壯,也只能做毫無意義的示眾的材料和看客,病死多少是不必以為不幸的。
Source: From the preface of his work Na Han (Call to Arms) (1922)

„Translation: Chinese medicine lies, whether purposefully or not.“

—  Lu Xun, book Call to Arms

Original: (zh_Hant) 中醫不過是一種有意的或無意的騙子。
Source: From the preface of his work Na Han (Call to Arms) (1922)

„Translation: "Soviet Union is under dictatorship of the proletariat, the intelligentsia class is going to be starved to death."…a well known reporter had so warned me. Yes, I am afraid I might lost some sleep. But then, dictatorship of the proletariat(at present), isn't it for the forth coming of the classless society? As long as you do not murder it, naturally it's success will arrive soon, the elimination of classes will arrive soon, then no one will be "starved to death"…But now, the imperialists and their running dogs, still trying to tell us the Soviet Union's shortcomings, as if they really wish that Soviet Union would become heaven overnight, and all of it's people would enjoy life. Now, it turns out to be like that, it (imperialist) is disappointed, and feel uneasy…This is really the tears of the devil.“

—  Lu Xun

Original: (zh_Hant) “蘇聯是無產階級專政的,智識階級就要餓死。”……位有名的記者曾經這樣警告我。是的,這倒恐怕要使我也有些睡不著了。但無產階級專政,不是為了將來的無階級社會麼?只要你不去謀害它,自然成功就早,階級的消滅也就早,那時就誰也不會“餓死”了……然而帝國主義及其奴才們,還來對我們說蘇聯怎麼不好,好像它倒願意蘇聯一下子就變成天堂,人們個個享福。現在竟這樣子,它失望了,不舒服了。——這真是惡鬼的眼淚。……
Source: 1932年《我們不再受騙了》

„Translation: The Revolution is so that people can live, not so that they can die!“

—  Lu Xun

Original: (zh-CN) 革命是要人生,不是要人死!
Source: [citation needed]

„Translation: Chinese tend to love moderation because of their temperament. If you said, for example, the room is so dim that there is an window to be installed here, no one would agree. But if you intended to dismantle the roof, they would come to mediate and therefore would agree to install a window.“

—  Lu Xun

Original: (zh_Hant) 中國人的性情是總喜歡調和折中的,譬如你說,這屋子太暗,須在這裏開一個窗,大家一定不允許的。但如果你主張拆掉屋頂他們就來調和,願意開窗了。
Source: From Wu Sheng de Zhong Guo (Silent China) (1927)

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