The Nanfang / Blog


Lu Xun’s best quotes revived to celebrate his 132nd birthday

Posted: 09/26/2013 7:00 am

Yesterday was the 132nd anniversary of Lu Xun‘s birth. The author of “Diary of a Madman” and “The True Story of Ah Q” has, for most of the past century been considered China’s greatest modern author.

He was described by Mao Zedong as “The commander of China’s cultural revolution” and he has long been a mainstay in school textbooks.

Lu Xun’s legacy could be facing a low ebb after one of his essays “The Kite” was removed from middle school textbooks by People’s Education Press for being insufficiently “age appropriate.” It is not the only one of his works to have disappeared from the curriculum in recent years, sparking concern among parents.

However, he is far from becoming irrelevant. And yesterday, to mark the anniversary, local newspaper Nanfang Daily posted three of his most inspiring quotes on Sina Weibo with the title: “When You’re Losing Motivation, Remember Lu Xun.”

Although he is not known as a cheery author, average temperatures across the province decreased by 10 degrees Celsius compared to the day before and are set to continue to decrease so most of us could do with some inspiration. Therefore The Nanfang Daily quoted the following gems:

1. There’s no such thing as natural genius. I put my effort into work while others put theirs into drinking coffee.

2. Great buildings are built one brick and one piece of wood at a time. Whenever I engage in a seemingly trivial act, I remind myself of this.

3. Even if something’s tough, you still have to do it. The more tough something is, the more worthwhile it’s likely to be. Reform is never easy, you only start to succeed when those who mocked you approve of you.

Lu Xun, via Sina Weibo

And here are 5 more inspiring quotes as selected by The Nanfang:

4. Discontent is the wheel that moves people forward.

5. Trust only him who doubts.

6. Creation, even when it is a mere outpouring from the heart, wishes to find a public. By definition, creation is sociable. Yet it can be satisfied with merely one single reader: an old friend, a lover.

7. “I thought: hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is just like roads across the earth. For actually the earth had no roads to begin with, but when many men pass one way, a road is made.”

8. I naturally believe there will be a future, but I do not waste my time imagining its radiant beauty. … It seems to me that we ought to think first about the present. Even if the present is desperately dark, I do not wish to leave it. Will tomorrow be free from darkness? We’ll talk about that tomorrow.

All of his essays and fiction are available in translation. You can learn more about Lu Xun through these and several biographies.

comments powered by Disqus
Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV