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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lu Xun Park, Hong Kuo, Shanghai

 I loved this park, which is in my favorite Shanghai neighborhood, Hong Kuo.  On the one hand it is in honor of a noted modern Chinese author, and on the other it pays homage to the great writers of the West.  They are really engaging statues that invite you to go up and talk with them, or sit on the bench and chat.  They are both serious and whimsical at the same time.
This is the tribute to Lu Xun.  He is considered to be one China's greatest modern writer for most of the 20th century. Many of the other authors of fictional works of social criticism popular during the 1920s and 1930s have been at least partially discredited or criticized during the various political movements in China since 1949, but Lu Xun's reputation has remained consistently distinguished, perhaps because he died young. Mao Zedong called him "commander of China's cultural revolution."
H wrote int he 1920's, a much romanticized time in Shanghai.  He did not feel optimistic that radical social change would occur in China, and he did not project idealized revolutionary heroes or situations in his fiction. Yet he also did not offer  descriptions of the sufferings of the Chinese people. Instead, through vivid analogies and exaggerated characters, he presented his personal vision of Chinese society. The intensity and darkness of this vision makes reading a Lu Xun story a moving and disturbing experience.

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