Selected Stories of Lu Hsun
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Selected Stories of Lu Hsun

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  280 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Living during a time of dramatic change in China, Lu Hsun had a career that was as varied as his writing. As a young man he studied medicine in Japan but left it for the life of an activist intellectual, eventually returning to China to teach. Though he supported the aims of the Communist revolution, he did not become a member of the party nor did he live to see the Commun...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published 1978 by Foreign Languages Press (first published January 1st 1972)
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Sophie
Great collection. The last story, "Forging the Swords" was totally amazing.

"A summer night is short."

"At such times even every inch of yearn she spun seemed worthwhile and alive."

"Old Mrs. Ninepounder, who was in a towering temper, whacked the legs of her stool with a tattered plantain fan."

"You know how it was in the time of the Long Hairs: keep your hair and lose your head; keep your head and lose your hair..."

"When Mrs. Sevenpounder heard that it was written down in a book, she really gave u...more
Madhav  Sinha
I had come across 'the true story of Ah Q' way back in 1980s when I was privileged to see the Bengali theatre adaptation "Jagannath".
Almost immediately I borrowed a selection of his stories in Bengali "LU HSUNer nirvachit galpo" edited and translated by Sandip Sengupta (Katha o Kahini) and read all the stories. The very first story in the book was 'dairy of a madman' and the seventh story was 'the true storey of Ah Q'.
Thereafter I bought every LU XUN (or LU HSUN as he was known then) books I cou...more
David
A laudable collection of short stories. As with any collection, there are some standouts. Lu Xun's most famous works are "A Madman's Diary" and "The True Story of Ah-Q," and for good reason. Both had me cackling with delight. "Forging the Swords" was delightful as well - the climactic scene will stay with you for a very long time. I was also quite moved by "The New Year's Sacrifice."
Eric
A collection of mostly-brilliant stories from this legend (said to be the most famous Chinese author of the modern age). It's interesting that aside from this collection, he doesn't have many more fictional works of note. He was mainly an essayist, and it's remarkable that these stories really don't give the impression of being written by such an author. It's a testament to his (underused) creative powers that his few stories have had such a lasting impact.

"Regret of the Past" is one of the mor...more
Lauren
This collection of short stories is Lu Xun’s way of expressing his frustration and criticism of Chinese society. He comments on multiple aspects of Chinese society, many of which I can’t even guess. ;) But I do know some, but frankly, it’s boring to write so I’ll share only my favorite (the one I wrote an essay on!) of Lu Xun’s many purposes. Lu Xun divides the Chinese people of his time into three distinct groups—all of which he criticizes. The first division –and the group he hates the most--...more
Alicia
As with all of Lu Hsun's work, he uses the short stories in this collection to criticize the society he lives in. I haven't read all of the short stories. The stories I read are "Kung-I-Chi", "Medicine", "Storm in a Teacup" and "Soap". In "Kung-I-Chi", the title character clearly seems to have been a member of the elite until he failed his exams; causing him to become unemployable and someone to be mocked and laughed at by the rest of society. "Medicine" is the story of a family with a sick chil...more
Patrick Wallace

Lu Xun (1881-1936) was the first modern Chinese writer, and perhaps the greatest Chinese writer of the 20th century. Unlike Chinese writers before him, he rejected traditional, formal literary styles and used the modern Chinese dialect to write his stories. As a writer, he was also an insightful and sometimes scathing social critic. He sought to use literature to bring to light the problems in China, and bring social change.


Like many in the pre-War Chinese intelligentsia, Lu was a revolutionary,

...more
David
Nov 22, 2009 David rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tyler, Heath
Lu Hsun's stories provide a brilliant insight into two parts of pre-communist society in China that are rarely considered elsewhere. The first is the isolation of the intellectual class and its conflict between both the ruling and common classes. The storied "Regret for the Past," "Kong Yiji," and "My Old Home" are excellent examples of this.

The second theme is a consideration, often a critical one, of traditional customs and practices prevalent in, primarily rural, Chinese communities. "Village...more
Ethan Cramer-Flood
Lu Hsun is a mammoth figure in Chinse literature. He mostly wrote in the 1910s and 1920s and he was as much a giant in his time as he is today. A notorious reformer who advocated for an end to imperial governance, Hsun generally sided with the communists over the nationalists during China's turbulent transitional period. More importantly, he revolutionized prose in the Middle Kingdom. Hsun was the first author to write in and popularize the vernacular form in fiction. Before Hsun, average Chines...more
Molly
I think, if I read these stories individually, scattered--an anthology, The New Yorker--I would have enjoyed the little slivers of Lu Hsun, but in a collection, there was something relentless, as if I was starting over with each story, one about a child lost to illness, then another, about adults failing to conform and coppers and dirt roads. Perhaps it was my approach; I should have saved these as one story every few weeks, but I cannot read this way--if a book lingers at my bedside table, it i...more
Arturo
A good book if you were ever interested in foreign authors, the fact that it is a collection of short stories is great for those of you who don't want to jump in with two feet into an entire book. some of the stories read a bit like fables--were the characters are not as fully developed as characters are as today. i imagine certain things get lost in translation but, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it is just a different style of writing [which i found refreshing after reading herman melvill...more
Caitlin Schultz
My favorite stories are My Old Home, Village Opera, In the Wine Shop, and A Happy Family.
Al Maki
I think Lu Hsun belongs on the small shelf that holds Chekhov and Kafka.
Wolf
I enjoyed a few of the stories, and they were written well. They just didn't interest me as a whole. Madman's Diary and Forging of the Swords were my favorite pieces. The others were fine, too, but not particularly moving. Lu Hsun's undertone of nostalgia throughout all the stories was good, but somewhat mind-numbing after an hour of reading him.

I'm also not a fan of horror, and although his writing isn't really that genre, a few of his stories were fairly creepy. And I mean really creepy.
Rahul
It is very good book..it introduced me with the china of 20th century..stories are interesting..I liked regret of the past most...it is the best story.
Sarah
Had a greater impact on me, I think, since I currently live in the town of Lu Xun's tales, and live on the college campus that boasts a large bronze statue of the author at its front gate. These mostly tragic short stories cast murky light onto a past China whose inhabitants share the same worries, fears, and delights of modern day residents. A powerful translation.
Aaron Crossen
Great firsthand introduction to Chinese culture. Lots of allegories explain the roots of China's cultural conservatism – with plenty of Confucian influence – and the legacies 6000+ years of history leaves. An easy, often entertaining read. East Asia buffs, read this. Should take a day or so.
Sherry
I love Hsun's writings. It's several short stories, but they are very involved and complete. He just gives wonderful insight into various lifes. My particular favorite is the Madman. It's told from the mad man's story and is very engaging and interesting.
Sam Gammons
Honestly, I wasn't crazy about this translation. Lu Xun penned some of the greatest works in Chinese fiction, and much of the "baihua" in Lu Xun's own writing is missed in this technical translation.
Jerjonji
A series of earth shattering short stories, I found them frustrating at times because I couldn't put them into their appropriate cultural perspective. I need an annotated copy!
!
Ned
Not particularly sophisticated, but clear in his points - it's not a surprise, then, that he's one of China's most popular authors today
Dave
The Crossroads Infoshop in the thrift store on 63rd off Troost are the best places to get books in Kansas City, no lie.
Tida Wilson
"Diary of a Madman", "The True Story of Ah Q", and "Kung I-Chi" has (figuratively) grabbed me by the balls.
Jimmy dodder
More of a 3 & half really.
Easy short stories that occasionally strike up pretty bits of gold.
Robin
Captures the apparently universal feeling of being depressed.
Todd
Lots of gems in this one.
Tony
Goddamn amazing.
Michaela Macháčková
Michaela Macháčková marked it as to-read
Aug 11, 2014
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197662
Lu Hsün, was the pen name of Zhou Shuren is one of the major Chinese writers of the 20th century. Considered by many to be the founder of modern Chinese literature, he wrote in baihua (白話) (the vernacular) as well as classical Chinese. Lu Xun was a short story writer, editor, translator, critic, essayist and poet. In the 1930s he became the titular head of the Chinese League of Left-Wing Writers i...more
More about Lu Xun...
Diary of a Madman and Other Stories The True Story of Ah Q The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China: The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun Call to Arms Wild Grass

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“I felt that if a man's proposals met with approval, it should encourage him; if they met with opposition, it should make him fight back; but the real tragedy for him was to lift up his voice among the living and meet with no response neither approval nor opposition just as if he were left helpless in a boundless desert.” 7 likes
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