Lu Xun (1881-1936) is one of the paradigmatic figures of twentieth-century Chinese literature. Despite his public commitment to Marxist literary ideals, Lu Xun's final years were spent mired in squabbles with the Chinese Communist Party's representatives of ideological orthodoxy. When he died he bequeathed to modern Chinese letters a contradictory legacy of cosmopolitan independence, polemical fractiousness and anxious patriotism that continues to resonate in Chinese intellectual life today. Julia Lovell is Queen's College Research Fellow in Modern Chinese Literature and Cultural History. She has translated the novels I Love Dollars by Zhu wen, Serve the People by Yan Lianke, and A Dictionary of Maqiao by Han Shaogong. She has also edited and translated in part Lust, Caution, a collection of short stories by Eileen Chang. Dr Lovell is author of The Great Wall: China against the World, 1000 BC-AD 2000 and The Politics of Cultural Capital: China's Quest for a Nobel Prize in Literature.
The book could be considered the most significant Penguin Classic ever published...Lu Xun is critically regarded as the most accomplished modern writer of the most populous nation on earth, and a grasp of his work is thus extremely useful in forming an understanding of much of humanity...Julia Lovell's are arguably the most accessible translations yet Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Time magazine