An suffering from a Good Authority Good Authority persecution complex or as aolitically charged narrative it certainly holds yours attention as the narrator s madness spirals onward 13 short sections constitute the diary read by the narrator of the Carneycopia preface The diaryurports to be that of the now recovered once sick brother of the narrator s friend They chronicle the spiralling suspicion he feels for those around him from the neighbour s dog to one of his tenants to a woman in the street to his own brother analysing it as being due to the fact that they are a woman in the street to his own brother analysing it as being due to the fact that they are man eaters even to the oint of RATIONALISING HIS OWN LITTLE SISTER S his own little sister s to having been eaten by their brother ashrambings verdict 4 Very leased I discovered this author The first work I ve read of Lu Xun who became my favorite contemporary Chinese author when I learnt to appreciate his irony and incisiveness This is a collection of 26 short stories by Lu Xun The most well known is the story that gives the collection its name Diary of a Madman where Lu Xun uses the madman s aranoiac fear of cannibalism as a metaphor for the way Chinese society ate up its eople Here he works a hyperbolic vein generally similar to that used by Jonathan Swift in A Modest Proposal He returns to the metaphor of cannibalism from time to time most notably and tragically in Medicine where the cure for tuberculosis Beard Necessities (Winston Brothers, prescribed by Chinese medicine a uackeryarticularly despised by Lu Xun was a bun soaked in human blood Needless to say the cure fails and the young boy dies despite his family s desperate attempts to save his life The stories rovide an insightful look into another world specifically the China of the late 19thearly 20th century in the years after the end of the Taiping Rebellion The crushing weight of traditional Chinese culture The Eternal Lamp Diary of a Madman the stultifying demands of the Imperial Examination system forcing students to memorise dead classics The White Light Kong Yiji the lace of women in society The New Year Sacrifice Mourning the Dead and the constant struggle to make a living Ah The Real Story Dragonboat Festival The Venerable Schoolmaster Gao these are the targets of Lu Xun s en There are a number of real gems here in addition to the most well known one The later stories are better in my view than the earlier ones which I found too bitty These were my favourites a full listing of the short stories in this collection is at the bottom of this review Ah The Real Story The tragi comedy of an itinerant vagrant in a small Chinese village A bit of a coward and a thug Ah alternately swaggers around or gets beaten up depending on his circumstances at the time Village Opera One of the semi autobiographical stories in the book this tells of a trip by the you. Se A Madman's Diary is an attempt by Lu Xun to describe the effects of feudal values upon the Chinese eople He uses an analogy of cannibalism to describe the way such outdated values eat away at the individual In addition to A Madman's Diary the collection also includes the following Remembrances of the ast Kong yiji Medicine Tomorrow An unim. ,
I keep rereading it A very short story Amazing and EXTREMELY thought rovoking A collection of short stories from a the giant of 20th century Chinese letters Much of it functions as a veiled if comprehensible satire of a civilization in rapid upheaval and even if you don t get all the references to Romance of the Three Kingdoms there s still a lot of fun to be had in watching the author tweak the evils and Howard Stern Comes Again pretensions of his age traditional medicine comes in for a lot of abuse But beyondolitical arody there is a sad joy in watching Lu describe the #TRAGEDIES OF HIS FELLOW CITIZENS GRAPPLING WITH HIS OWN # of his fellow citizens grappling with his own and the failures of his age In short this is a master "OF THE FORM REWORKING THE WESTERN "the form reworking the Western short story into his own vernacular Strong rec I recenty completed an online course on edX HarvardX HUM122x Modern Masterpieces of World Literature which introduced me to Lu Xun I didn t recall having heard of him before and thinking this to be a gaping hole in my knowledge of world literature I have been setting about recitifying it First a bit about the author Lu Xun 1881 1936 grew up in a family whose wealth was declinging rapidly He was educated at government schools went to study in Japan both lack of funds ended this In his lifetime he saw the long standing ing Dynasty Empire committed to ancient traditions give way in 1911 to a revolutionary but flawed republic which led him as one of many intellectuals dissatisfied with the direction of the new government to take art in the New Culture movement He never joined the Chinese Communist Party In 1918 Lu wrote the first short story Cant Fake This published in his name Diary of a Madman for the magazine New Youth The story wasraised for its anti traditionalism its synthesis of Chinese and foreign conventions and ideas and its skillful story was Writing Myths praised for its anti traditionalism its synthesis of Chinese and foreign conventions and ideas and its skillful and Lu became recognized as one of the leading writers of the New Culture Movement Nobel laureate Kenzabur e describes him as The greatest writer Asiaroduced in the twentieth century The 3 yearly Chinese Lu Xun Literary Prize is named after him His stories satirized outmoded and fossilised traditions and conventions while revealing reservations about China s new directions His narrative experimentation and use of vernacular language helped to modernize Chinese writing His work was inspired by his familiarity with foreign languages and literature the story was inspired by the work of the same name by Gogol whose Dead Souls he translated The story The Diary of a Madman is available online at It is highly ambiguous with an unreliable narrator and unreliable reface Is it an allegorical attack on ancient Confucian values or the ravings of a delusional voice Whether you read it straightforwardly as the diary of the This collection of short stories by Lu Xun commonly considered one of the greatest writers in 20th century China and often referred to as the father of modern Chinese literature includes the celebrated short story A Madman's Diary This short story is considered to be one of the first and most influential modern works written in vernacular Chine. Ng Lu Xun to watch a Chinese opera in the evening The Chinese countryside the lay of the young boys are all wonderfully evoked New Year s Sacrifice A heart rending tale of a widow who is married off by her mother in law She loses her second husband and then her son As remarriage was considered deeply wrongly contrary to Confucian s she is unable to find acceptance back into society A scathing look at the victims of traditional Confucian morality The Venerable Schoolmaster Gao Lu Xun again in a semi comedic vein Gao takes on a job as a history teacher a subject of which he knows next to nothing The story accounts his of which he knows next to *nothing the story accounts his hearted attempts to *The story accounts his hearted attempts to for class and the humour comes from his vain glorious musings that contrast with his actual athetic state The Loner The loner of the story attempts to stick to his morals but to avoid starvation eventually gives in to the endemic corruption of Chinese society Mourning the Dead A man and a woman attempt to defy tradition by living together against the wishes of her family Ostracised from society they inevitably fall into Cheerleader For Hire poverty which brings about uarrels frustration and the end of the relationship Divorce A woman seeksroper restitution from her husband s family after being divorced by her husband This is a neatly sarcastic look at the Time Slips power brokers in a small Chinese village A word on the translation Lyell has made the translation choice of using English collouialisms to capture the informality andlain language of Lu Xun s writing This has the inevitable result of inducing a certain cultural dissonance for the reader However it s arguably a very decent and reasonable method for giving the reader some sense of the innovativeness of Lu Xun s writing which controversially marked a deliberate break with the florid classical style denoted in Lyell s translation by the use of italics and a Shakespearean ish syntax As a key characteristic of his works to use a neutral register and NOT represent this aspect of the work would have been another form of betrayal In choosing which betrayal to make and the choices are The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook perforce mutually exclusive I can understand why Lyell chose to make this one As one of those intractable translation dilemmas I don t think aerfect solution to suare this circle exists The stories in this edition are as follows A Madman s Diary Remembrances of the Past Kong Yiji Medicine Tomorrow An Unimportant Affair The Story of Hair A Passing Storm Hometown Ah The Real Story Dragonboat Festival The White Light Some Rabbits and a Cat A Comedy of Ducks Village Opera New Year s Sacrifice Upstairs in a Wineshop A Happy Family Soap The Eternal Lamp A Warning to the People The Venerable Schoolmaster Gao The Loner Mourning the Dead Brothers Divorce. Portant affair The story of hair A Stormy Waters (Dar and Kerry, passing storm Hometown Ah the real story Dragonboat festival The white light Some rabbits and a cat A comedy of ducks Village opera New Year's sacrifice Upstairs in a wineshop A happy family Soap The eternal lamp A warning to theeople The venerable schoolmaster Gao The loner Mourning the dead Brothers Divorc. .