Lu Xun Additional Biography

Biography

ph_0111206370-LuXun.jpg Lu Xun Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Lu Xun (lew shewn), also known as Lu Hsün, is commonly regarded as the most influential literary figure in the history of modern Chinese literature. He was the first son of an educated country gentleman, Chou Po-yi, and Lu Jui, his wife. Frustrated in his career, his father appears to have been a somewhat temperamental man, whose behavior often kept his children at a distance. Lu’s mother did not receive any formal education; however, she taught herself how to read. Characteristic of his time, Lu started his education at home with the reading of Confucian classics. Because of his family’s literary collection, he also had the opportunity to read some famous classical Chinese novels, an interest that paved the way for a literary career later in his life. When Lu was twelve, his grandfather, the head of his family clan, was apprehended and soon sentenced to death for attempting to bribe an official. According to the preface to Call to Arms, this incident eventually led to the downfall of Lu’s affluent family, bringing him humiliation and hardship early in his life.{$S[A]Lu Hsün;Lu Xun}{$S[A]Zhou Shuren;Lu Xun}{$S[A]Chou Shu-jên;Lu Xun}

Shortly after his grandfather’s apprehension, his father fell ill and was bedridden for more than three years. The responsibility of the family thus lay heavily on Lu. As a result of his contact with Chinese doctors and the eventual death of his father, he became disillusioned with traditional Chinese medicine. Eventually, Lu decided to study Western medicine so that he could save the lives of those patients like his father and expose the inadequacy of Chinese medicine. Because of poverty, he attended the tuition-free Kiangnan Naval Academy and Kiangnan Military Academy in Nanking. While in school, he continued reading classical Chinese literature and began translating Western literature as well as composing novels and verses in classical Chinese style. In 1902 the Manchu government sent Lu, along with hundreds of other students, to Japan to study. While there, he first attended Kobun Institute and then Sendai Medical School. His determination to study Western medicine was diverted in 1906, when he saw a documentary. The film contained a scene concerning the Japanese execution of a Chinese spy working for the Russian government during the Russo-Japanese War. A large crowd of Chinese spectators appeared on the scene, watching indifferently the execution of their fellow countryman. Lu was so repulsed by this indifferent attitude of...

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Biography

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Lu Xun (the pen name of Zhou Shuren) was born on September 25, 1881, into an upper-middle-class family in the village of Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China. He was the eldest of the four sons of Zhou Fengyi (or Zhou Boyi), an old-style Chinese scholar, and Lu Rui, the daughter of a minor government official. Of Lu Xun’s three younger brothers, Zhou Zuoren became a writer, Zhou Jianren became a scientist, and the youngest died of pneumonia at the age of five.

The Zhou family was prosperous until 1893, when Lu Xun’s grandfather, Zhou Fuquing, a jinshi (entered scholar), was convicted of attempting to bribe a provincial examination official and sentenced to be beheaded. His execution, however, was postponed...

(The entire section is 1048 words.)

Biography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Lu Xun (lew shewn; also known as Lu Hsün), whose real name was Zhou Shuren, was born on September 25, 1881, into a family from the gentry class in Shaoxing, China, a small town south of the Yangtze. In childhood, he received a solid education in the classics, and he loved ghost stories, fantasies, and folk art. When he was thirteen, his grandfather Zhou Jiefu, an editor at the Imperial Academy in Beijing, was charged with receiving bribes at provincial service examinations and was jailed for seven years. Lu Xun’s father, Zhou Boyi, fell ill after his grandfather’s imprisonment, remaining an invalid until his death in 1986. The family decline transplanted Lu Xun to the border world between wealth and poverty, sharpening his...

(The entire section is 662 words.)

Biography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Lu Xun’s moral ethos refuses to ignore either the moral failure of the individual or the moral failure of the group. Lu Xun’s short stories and prose poems demonstrate his unique creative power and rare talent. In spite of his tragic vision and constant wrestling with despair, he was not a pessimistic writer. His works are a call to arms for a brighter future. His achievement in artistic experiment has not been surpassed by any writer of modern Chinese literature.