The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales of China: The Complete Fiction of Lu Xun (Penguin Classics)
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The acclaimed translation of the complete fiction of the father of modern Chinese literature
Lu Xun is one of the founding figures of modern Chiense literature. In the early twentieth century, as China came up against the realities of the modern world, Lu Xun effected a shift in Chinese letters away from the ornate, obsequious literature of the aristocrats to the plain, expressive literature of the masses. His celebrated short stories assemble a powerfully unsettling portrait of the superstition, poverty, and complacency that he perceived in late imperial China and in the revolutionary republic that toppled the last dynasty in 1911. This volume presents Lu Xun's complete fiction in bracing new translations and includes such famous works as "The Real Story of Ah-q," "Diary of a Madman," and "The Divorce." Together they expose a contradictory legacy of cosmopolitan independence, polemical fractiousness, and anxious patriotism that continues to resonate in Chinese intellectual life today.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
used to see her. But I was wrong. Because, now I think back over things, it was me who allowed myself to become estranged from her, as I saw more of the world…’ He bowed his head, a cigarette hanging between his fingers. There was a slight flicker to the lamplight. ‘It’s a hard thing to have no one to mourn you,’ he muttered, as if to himself. After another pause, he looked back up at me. ‘But you’ve problems of your own. I’ve got to find myself a job – and quickly.’ ‘Haven’t you any other
drought to the earth. In the conventional telling of his legend, he heroically rids the mortal world of terrifying monsters and scourges. In the course of this, however, his wife, Chang’e (another fallen immortal), is left so long alone at home that, in boredom, she takes the elixirs of eternal life that Yi has begged from the Queen Mother of the West, and ascends to heaven alone. 2 Feng Meng: Here, the reference to Feng Meng (an archer pupil of the legendary Yi) is a veiled stab at Gao
mansions of provincial grandees. One of the better families of the humid south-eastern town of Shaoxing, his clan had for centuries prospered on the profits of landowning, pawnbroking and government; and through Lu Xun’s early years he and his elders staunchly upheld the social and intellectual orthodoxies of the empire. In 1871 his grandfather Zhou Fuqing had – to the beating of six gongs – received the honour of appointment by the ruling Qing dynasty to the Imperial Academy in Beijing, the
terrible dizziness seized hold of Mrs Shan. A rest left her feeling steadier, but she couldn’t shake off a sense of the utter strangeness of it all. Something had happened to her that had never happened before, that should never have happened – and yet still had. The longer she thought, the more she noticed the curiously excessive silence of the room. Getting up, she turned on the lamp. Now the room seemed even quieter. She closed the door and returned to the edge of the bed, as if in a trance,
hurried him resolutely on. Reading vexation on his face at her vulgar superstition, Mrs Fang quickly retreated, leaving her sentence hanging in mid-air. Stretching out, Fang Xuanchuo decided to leave his response equally unfinished, and went back to mumbling his experimental poetry. June 1922 THE WHITE LIGHT It was well past noon by the time Chen Shicheng was back from seeing the results for the county-level civil service examinations. He had set out early and begun searching for the