Modern China’s most prominent and influential writer, Lu Xun: His life, literary works and quotes with Chinese text, pinyin, English translation and audio recording. Full length movie of the true story of Ah Q

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鲁迅名言警句
Lǔ Xùn míngyán jǐngjù
Lu Xun’s famous quotes (sayings) and aphorisms

1、时间就像海绵里的水,只要愿挤,总还是有的。
shíjiān jiù xiàng hǎimián lǐ de shuǐ , zhǐyào yuàn jǐ , zǒng hái shì yǒu de .
Time is like the water in a sponge; as long as you are willing to squeeze it, it always will have some (come out).

2、有存在,便有希望,有希望,便是光明。
yǒu cúnzài , biàn yǒuxīwàng , yǒuxīwàng , biàn shì guāngmíng .
When there is an existence, there is a hope; when there is a hope, there will be bright.

3、悲剧将人生的有价值的东西毁灭给人看,喜剧将那无价值的撕破给人看。
bēijù jiāng rénshēng de yǒu jiàzhí de dōngxi huǐmiè gěi rén kàn , xǐjù jiāng nà wú jiàzhí de sīpò gěi rén kàn .
Tragedies show people by destructing the valuable things of life while comedies by tearing those worthless things.

4、伟大的心胸,应该表现出这样的气概——用笑脸来迎接悲惨的厄运,用百倍的勇气来应付一切的不幸。
wěidà de xīnxiōng , yīnggāi biǎoxiàn chū zhèyàng de qìgài ——yòng xiàoliǎn lái yíngjiē bēicǎn de èyùn, yòng bǎibèi de yǒngqì lái yìngfu yīqiè de bùxìng .
(A person who has) great mind, should demonstrate this kind of spirit – greeting tragic misfortune with a smiling face, and coping with all the misfortunes with the hundredfold courage.

5、不满足是向上的齿轮。
bù mǎnzú shì xiàngshàng de chǐlūn .
Discontent is the gear wheel that moves people upward.

6、渡尽劫波兄弟在,相逢一笑泯恩仇。
dù jǐn jié bō xiōngdi zài , xiāngféng yī xiào mǐn ēn chóu .
Passed through kalpa waves ( here refers to fated misfortune events), brothers remain; met by chances and smiled, debt of gratitude and animosity all vanish.
(Kalpa in Hindu cosmology refers to a period in which the universe experiences a cycle of creation and destruction.)

7、只看一个人的着作,结果是不大好的:你就得不到多方面的优点。必须如蜜蜂一样,采过许多花,这才能酿出蜜来。倘若叮在一处,所得就非常有限,枯燥了。
zhǐ kàn yī ge rén de zhùzuò , jiéguǒ shì bù dà hǎo de : nǐ jiù dé bù dào duō fāng miàn de yōudiǎn . bìxū rú mìfēng yīyàng , cǎiguò xǔduō huā , zhè cáinéng niàng chū mì lái . tǎngruò dīng zài yī chù , suǒ dé jiù fēicháng yǒuxiàn , kūzào le .
If a reader only read a person’s work, then the result won’t be too good; you won’t obtain advantages of many sides. Readers must be like bees — gathering nectar from many flowers then they will be able to make honey. If a bee only stings on one spot, then what the bee gets will be very limited and boring.

8、游戏是儿童最正当的行为,玩具是儿童的天使。
yóuxì shì értóng zuì zhèngdāng de xíngwéi , wánjù shì értóng de tiānshǐ .
Playing games is the most proper behavior of a child; toys are the angels of children.

9、真正的勇士,敢于直面惨淡的人生,敢于正视淋漓的鲜血。
zhēn zhèng de yǒngshì , gǎn yú zhí miàn cǎndàn de rénshēng , gǎn yú zhèng shì lín lí de xiānxuè.
True warriors have the courage to face gloomy life squarely and dare to watch dripping blood directly.

10、改造自己,总比禁止别人来得难。
gǎizào zìjǐ , zǒng bǐ jìnzhǐ biérén lái děi nán .
To transform ourselves is more difficult than to prohibit others.

11、单是说不行,要紧的是做。
dān shì shuō bù xíng , yàojǐn de shì zuò .
Just saying is not O.K.; the most important thing is to do.

12、友谊是两颗心的真诚相待,而不是一颗心对另一颗心的敲打。
yǒuyì shì liǎng kē xīn de zhēnchéng xiāng dāi, ér bu shì yī kē xīn duì lìng yī kē xīn de qiāo dǎ.
Friendship is two hearts that mutually treat each other sincerely, rather than one heart knocks and beats the other heart.

13、以人为鉴,明白非常,是使人能够反省的妙法。
yǐ rén wèi jiàn , míngbai fēicháng , shì shǐ rén nénggòu fǎnxǐng de miào fǎ .
Using a person as a mirror will make one understand unusual matters. It is a wonderful way to let him or her be able to examine his or her conscience.

14、倘只看书,便变成书橱。
táng zhǐ kànshū , biàn biànchéng shū chú .
If one only reads books (without thinking and applying the content into life), then one will become a bookshelf.

15、其实地上本没有路,走的人多了,便成了路。
qíshí dì shàng běn méi yǒu lù , zǒu de rén duō le , biàn chéng le lù .
In fact, on the earth there were no roads, however, more and more people walked on it, then roads were created.

16、哪里有天才,我只是把别人喝咖啡的工夫都用在了工作上了。
nǎlǐ yǒu tiāncái , Wǒ zhǐ shì bǎ bié rén hē kāfēi de gōngfu dōu yòng zài le gōngzuò shàng le .
Where is a genius? (It means there is no naturally born genius.) I just put all my effort on work while others use theirs on drinking coffee.

17、愈艰难,就愈要做。改革,是向来没有一帆风顺的。
yù jiānnán , jiù yùe yào zuò . gǎigé , shì xiànglái méiyǒu yī fán fēng shùn de .
The more difficult it is, the more necessary it needs to be done. Reform has never been a smooth sailing thing.
(一帆风顺 yi fan feng shun is an idiom which means propitious wind throughout the journey / have a nice trip / plain sailing. )

18、假使做事要面面顾到,那就什么事都不能做了。
jiǎshǐ zuòshì yào miàn miàn gù dào , nà jiù shénme shì dōu bù néng zuòle.
If you have to take care of every aspects of a thing, then you won’t be able to do anything.

19、做一件事,无论大小,倘无恒心,是很不好的。
zuò yī jiàn shì , wúlùn dàxiǎo , táng wú héng xīn , shì hěn bù hǎo de .
Doing a thing, no matter it is big or small, if you don’t have persistence, then it is not good.

20、死者倘不埋在活人心中,那就真真死掉了。
sǐzhě táng bù máizài huó rénxīn zhōng , nà jiù zhēnzhēn sǐ diàole.
If the dead is not buried in the hearts of living people, then he or she truly, truly did die.

21、只要能培一朵花,就不妨做做会朽的腐草。
zhǐyào néng péi yī duǒ huā , jiù bùfáng zuòzuo huì xiǔ de fǔ cǎo .
As long as you will be able to cultivate a flower, it is O.K. (to sacrifice yourself) to be a rottenable decaying grass.

22、当我沉默的时候,我觉得充实;我将开口,同时感到空虚。
dàng wǒ chén mò de shíhou , Wǒ juéde chōngshí ;Wǒ jiāng kāi kǒu , tóngshí gǎndào kōngxū .
When I was silent, I felt very full and substantial; when I am able to open mouth, at the same time, I feel empty.

23、待我成尘时,你将见我的微笑!
dāi wǒ chéng chén shí , nǐ jiāng jiàn Wǒ de wēixiào !
When I become ashes, you will see my smiles!

24、不在沉默中爆发,就在沉默中灭亡。
bù zài chén mò zhōng bàofā , jiù zài chén mò zhōng mièwáng .
If not explode in silence, then will be extinguished in silence.

25、使一个人的有限的生命,更加有效,也即等于延长了人的生命。
shǐ yī ge rén de yǒuxiàn de shēngmìng , gèngjiā yǒu xiào , yě jí děngyú yáncháng le rén de shēngmìng .
To make a person’s limited life become more effective is equal to extend a person’s life.

26、走上人生的路途吧。前途很远,也很暗。然而不要怕,不怕的人面前才有路。
zǒu shàng rénshēng de lùtúba . qiántú hěn yuǎn , yě hěn àn . ránér bùyào pà , bùpà de rén miàn qián cái yǒu lù .
Embark onto the road of life. The future is very far as well as very dark. However, do not be afraid; there are roads, only, in front of those who don’t fear.

27、人生最苦痛的是梦醒了无路可走。
rénshēng zuì kǔtòng de shì mèng xǐng le wú lù kě zǒu .
The most miserable pain in life is after the dream got woken and found out there is no road to walk upon.

Translated by Shu

Modern China’s most prominent and influential writer, Lu Xun:
His life and his literary works

鲁迅 Lu Xun ( Zhou Shuren / 周樹人 /周树人; September 25, 1881 – October 19, 1936) was one of the major Chinese writers of the 20th century. For many, Lu Xun is considered as the leading figure of modern Chinese literature and the greatest modern writer of the 20th century. He wrote his works in baihua (白話) (written vernacular Chinese) as well as classical Chinese. Lu Xun was not only a novelist, but also an editor, translator, critic, essayist as well as a poet.

Lu was born and grew up in Shaoxing 紹興, Zhejiang, and he also came from a family with a strong Confucian background. His grandfather, Zhou Fuqing 周福清 held posts in the Hanlin Academy (翰林院), and his father was also a scholar. Lu Xun’s mother, Lu Rui 魯瑞, was a country woman who taught herself to read. Lu was mainly raised by an elderly servant Ah Chang 阿長, whom he called Chang Ma; according to one of Lu’s reminiscences, Ah chang was a very superstitious woman.

Lu Xun had a difficult childhood. The overall environment was harsh for living, he endured the Sino-Japanese War as well as the Boxer Rebellion (an anti-foreign, proto-nationalist movement by the Righteous Harmony Society in China between 1898 and 1901). The living in his family was challenging too — his father suffered from chronic illness (tuberculosis), and his family had to pawn their belongings to buy medicine for him. When Lu Xun was thirteen, his grandfather in Peking was accused of complicity in a bribery case — in which Zhou Fuqing tried to procure an office for his son, Lu Xun’s father, Zhou Boyi 周伯宜; the scheme got exposed and Zhou Fuqing was arrested for seven years and every fall of these years his family had to send money to the Ministry of Punishment to insure that his grandfather would not be sentenced to death. This misfortune probably triggered Lu Xun’s contempt toward traditional Chinese governmental system.

His father’s chronic illness and eventual death due to tuberculosis gave Lu Xun the motive to study medicine. Later, he became distrusted in traditional Chinese medicine and in 1904 he went abroad to pursue a Western medical degree at Sendai Medical Academy (the present medical school of Tohoku University) in Sendai, Japan; Lu Xun gained a minor reputation there as the first foreign student of the college.

Later, Lu Xun gave up completing of his medical education at Sendai. According to the well-known preface to Nahan (吶喊 / Call to Arms), his first story collection, he mentioned that one day after class, one of his Japanese instructors screened a lantern slide documenting the imminent execution of an alleged Chinese spy during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05). Lu Xun was appalled by the complete apathy of the Chinese onlookers, thus, he decided it was more important to cure his compatriots’ spiritual ills rather their physical diseases.

Encouraged by his fellow friends, years later, Lu Xun accepted some teaching positions at the Peking University and Peking Women’s Teachers College and began his great writing career.

In May 1918, He used Lu Xu 鲁迅 as his pen name for the first time and published his first major baihua short story, Kuangren Riji (狂人日記, A Madman’s Diary). He chose the surname Lu 鲁 for it was his mother’s maiden family name. Partly inspired by Gogol’s short story (Nikolai Gogol, an Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist, novelist and short story writer, 1809-1852), Kuangren Riji is considered to be one of the first and most influential modern works written in vernacular Chinese (baihua). In the story, Lu Xun describes and criticizes the effects of outdated Chinese traditions and Confucian feudalism upon the Chinese people. He uses an analogy of cannibalism to metaphorically imply the way such outdated values ‘gnawing’ at the Chinese individual like cannibalism (Cannibalism – from Caníbales, the Spanish name for the Carib people, a West Indies tribe formerly well known for their practice of cannibalism – is the act or practice of humans eating the flesh or internal organs of other human beings). The publishing of the book, right away established Lu Xun as one of the most influential leading writers of his days.

The True Story of Ah Q (A Q Zhengzhuan, 阿Q正传) which was published in the 1921 became Lu Xun’s most famous work. The True Story of Ah Q describes Ah Q’s life adventures, a man from the rural peasant class with little education and no clear occupation. Even when he faced with extreme defeat or humiliation, Ah Q is still full of his own spiritual victories. Ah Q is a bully to those are less fortunate than himself, but he fears those who are above him in rank, strength, or power. Nonetheless, Ah Q always persuades himself mentally that he is spiritually superior to his oppressors even at the times when he succumbs to their tyranny and suppression. Lu Xun exposes Ah Q’s extreme faults as a symptomatic Chinese national character of that period of time. The story ends with the poignant and satirical scene — Ah Q is carted off to execution for a minor crime.

Lu Xun’s writing style could be described wry and ironic. Through vivid analogies and exaggerated characters, Lu Xun employed sensitive descriptions about the sufferings of the Chinese people at that period and conveyed his personal vision of Chinese society. The intensity and darkness of this vision sometimes makes reading Lu Xun’s stories a disturbing experience.

Beside novels and essays, in 1930 Lu Xun published a comprehensive overview of Chinese fiction up till his time — Zhongguo Xiaoshuo Lueshi (中国小说史略, A Concise History of Chinese Fiction). The material he used was drawn from Lu Xun’s own lectures at Peking University and this book became one of the landmark books of Chinese literary criticism in the twentieth-century.

Lu Xun’s works were highly acclaimed by the Communist regime after 1949. Even 毛泽东 Mao Zedong (the founding father of the People’s Republic of China; December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976) admired Lu Xun’s works; Lu Xun, hailed as “commander of China’s cultural revolution” by Mao Zedong, is typically regarded as the most influential Chinese writer who was associated with the May Fourth Movement (五四运动 Wu si Yun dong; an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919). In the 1930s Lu was regarded as the titular head of the Chinese League of the Left-Wing Writers, however, Lu Xun never actually joined the Chinese Communist Party. Like many leaders of the May Fourth Movement, he was primarily a liberal.

Sadly, like father like son, in 1936 Lu Xun died of tuberculosis. He was survived by a son.

If you are interested in this famous Chinese writer Lu Xun, and would like to learn more about him, then you can read another good article about him with detailed biography and background info:
Lu Xun Biography By Kirk A. Denton at http://mclc.osu.edu/rc/bios/lxbio.htm

About the life and story of Lu Xun’s wife Xu Guangping, see
Xu Guangping – Wife of Lu Xun http://history.cultural-china.com/en/48History8779.html

Movie 阿Q正傳 The true story of Ah Q

Interview with Zhou Lingfei, famous Chinese writer Lu Xun’s grandson

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2 Responses to Modern China’s most prominent and influential writer, Lu Xun: His life, literary works and quotes with Chinese text, pinyin, English translation and audio recording. Full length movie of the true story of Ah Q

  1. Alejandra Dávalos says:

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