Celebrating Life and Legacy of Lu Xun

Saurav Singh
4 Min Read
Celebrating Life and Legacy of Lu Xun

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Lu Xun (25 September 1881 – 19 October 1936) was a seminal Chinese writer, essayist, and literary critic who left an indelible mark on modern Chinese literature. His works, marked by a sharp critique of traditional Chinese society and a commitment to reform, played a pivotal role in reshaping the course of Chinese literature during a tumultuous period in China’s history.

Early Life

Lu Xun was born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on September 25, 1881. Raised in a family with a strong literary background, his early exposure to classical Chinese literature had a profound influence on his writing style. After earning a medical degree from Sendai Medical School in Japan, Lu Xun’s passion for literature led him to become a writer and advocate for societal change.


Lu Xun’s literary career can be divided into several distinct phases:

Early Writings: Lu Xun’s literary journey began with essays and short stories that exposed the social and political issues of his era. Works such as “A Madman’s Diary” and “Kong Yiji” are considered groundbreaking examples of modern Chinese fiction. In these pieces, he employed a distinctive narrative style to critique traditional Chinese society.

Advocacy for Reform: Throughout his career, Lu Xun championed intellectual and cultural reform in China. His writings called for a modernization of Chinese society, emphasizing the need to break free from outdated traditions.

May Fourth Movement: Lu Xun played a pivotal role in the May Fourth Movement of 1919, a significant cultural and intellectual awakening in China. During this period, his essays and literary critiques were instrumental in shaping the direction of Chinese literature, advocating for a literature that would reflect contemporary society.

Fiction and Satire: Lu Xun’s body of work includes powerful fiction and satirical writings that criticized various aspects of Chinese society. His stories, like “The True Story of Ah Q” and “Diary of a Madman,” revealed deep-seated issues and societal flaws.


Lu Xun’s legacy in Chinese literature and culture remains profound:

Cultural Icon: He is celebrated as one of the most influential figures in modern Chinese literature, with his writings deeply embedded in the nation’s cultural fabric.

Literary Influence: Lu Xun’s literary techniques and social commentary continue to inspire contemporary Chinese writers, ensuring the relevance and endurance of his work.

Intellectual Awakening: His dedication to intellectual and cultural reform remains an enduring legacy, shaping China’s path toward modernity.

Lu Xun, born into a China undergoing profound transformations, dedicated his life to literature and the pursuit of societal change. Through his writings, he dissected the issues plaguing traditional Chinese society and advocated for reform, leaving an indelible mark on Chinese literature and culture. Lu Xun’s commitment to modernization and his influential literary works make him an icon of China’s cultural renaissance during a critical period of its history.

On 25 September 2011, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate Lu Xun’s 130th Birthday.

Share This Article