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.