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PENGUIN CLASSICS ON AIR

More than Half the World Has Read Lu Xun. Have you?

In China you can find Lu Xun museums, plays, TV adaptations, wine brands, a Lu Xun Day on the national calendar, and a theme park offering tourists the "Lu Xun experience"…

In China you can find Lu Xun museums, plays, TV adaptations, wine brands, a Lu Xun Day on the national calendar, and a theme park offering tourists the "Lu Xun experience." But few in the West have heard of Lu Xun. Who is he? This episode of Penguin Classics On Air introduces the iconoclastic early-twentieth-century Chinese writer who helped to usher China into the modern world.

Lu Xun initially studied to be a doctor and then had a famous conversion: It wasn't the bodies of his fellow countrymen that needed curing, he realized, but their minds and spirits, and so he became the self-appointed literary physician of China's spiritual ills, effecting a shift in Chinese letters away from the ornate, obsequious literature of the aristocrats to the plain, expressive literature of the masses. His complete fiction, The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China, is the first modern Chinese classic to be published in the Penguin Classics, and it's been called by Time magazine "the most significant Penguin Classic ever published." Translator Julia Lovell and Penguin Classics Senior Editor John Siciliano discuss Lu Xun's writing, his life, and his influence on modern Chinese literature.

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