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The Lyrical Lu Xun

The influence of Lu Xun (1881-1936) in China’s cultural, literary, and artistic life over the last sixty years has been inestimable.

Hailed at death as “the Soul of the Nation”, he wore in life the laurels of “Father of Modern Chinese Literature”, “Leader of the New Culture Movement”, and “Founder of the Woodcut-Engraving School”.

A poet from a backwater town. Lu Xun was propelled by the times into the various careers of educator, writer, publicist, professor, and polemicist.

He was, however, first and foremost a classical scholar, writing some of his best works in classical form.

The Lyrical Lu Xun is the most complete treatment of his classical-style poetry in any foreign language, containing translations and extensive discussions of sixty-four poems in the highly stylized forms of jueju (quatrains) and lushi (full-length regulated verse) – forms with detailed, strict rules for rhyme and tonal prosody that evolved according to pronunciations and standards set up more than a thousand years ago.

In the absence of a contextualizing framework, Lu Xun’s poems can be extremely demanding for the reader.

Kowallis skillfully bridges the distance between reader and text by providing a rich biography as well as extensive introductions and notes to each of the poems.

This comprehensive volume will enable students and scholars of Chinese and comparative literature to explore the more profound and literary side of China’s foremost writer.

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