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Lu Hsun's “Call to Arms”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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When Party Chairman Hu Yao-bang chose the centennial of China's famous author Lu Hsun (1881-1936) to launch a condemnation of the “bourgeois liberalism” among China's contemporary writers, he acted within an established tradition of the Communist party to claim Lu Hsun as its own. In 1939, three years after Lu Hsun's death, Mao Tse-tung issued a statement praising “Lu Hsun the Communist, the giant of China's cultural Revolution,” ignoring the fact that the writer never joined the Party and never accepted the precepts of Marx and Lenin.

Born Chou Shu-jen, Lu Hsun received a classical education, revealing an early affinity for books and art. He entered the Kiangnan Naval Academy and shortly thereafter transferred to the Army Academy, both in Nanking. Here he was introduced to translations of Western literature, notably the works of Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley.

Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1982

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