Lu Xun

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Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.

Lu Xun (25 September, 188119 October, 1936) , formerly romanized Lu Hsün, was the pen name of Zhou Shuren, a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Writing in Vernacular Chinese as well as Classical Chinese, Lu Xun 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.


  • 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。
    • 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.
    • Preface of his work Na Han (Call to Arms) (1922)
    • Note: 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.
  • 中醫不過是一種有意的或無意的騙子。
    • Chinese medicine lies, whether purposefully or not.
    • Preface of his work Na Han (Call to Arms) (1922)
  • 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。
    • 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.
    • Wu Sheng de Zhong Guo (Silent China) (1927)
  • “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。……
    • "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.
    • 1932年《我們不再受騙了》
  • 辱駡與恐嚇不是戰鬥。
  • 革命是要人生,不是要人死!
    • Translation: The Revolution is so that people can live, not so that they can die!
    • Source: [citation needed]

A Madman's Diary (1918)[edit]

  • Savage as a lion, timid as a rabbit, crafty as a fox...
    • Sixth entry
  • 救救孩子……
    • Save the children...
    • Kuang Ren Ri Ji (Diary of a Madman), thirteenth entry

"The Epigrams of Lusin"[edit]

From The Wisdom of China and India, ed. and trans. Lin Yutang (New York: Random House, 1942), pp. 1087–1092
  • When you talk with famous scholars, the best thing is to pretend that occasionally you do not quite understand them. If you understand too little, you will be despised; if you understand too much, you will be disliked; if you just fail occasionally to understand them you will suit each other very well.
    • 2
  • Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
    • 8
  • The so-called "peace" is an interval between wars.
    • 9
  • I used to think that a man was sentenced to death or imprisonment because he was guilty; now I know that he is found guilty because he is disliked.
    • 13
  • Chinese people love compromise. If you say to them, "This room is too dark, we must have a window made," they will all oppose you. But if you say, "Let's take off the roof," they will compromise with you and say "Let's have a window."
    • 16
  • We have hereafter only two roads to choose: one is to embrace the ancient literature and die, the other is to forsake the ancient literature and live.
    • 32
  • The literature of former days is like watching a fire from across the water; in present-day literature, the author himself is being scorched by the fire and he is bound to feel it deeply, and when he begins to feel it deeply, he is bound to take part in the social struggle.
    • 35

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