The tours they offer are only in Chinese, so let one of our guides explain it all to you — Lu Xun was a fascinating character
Right until his death in 1936, Lu Xun was a leading figure of modern Chinese literature. Throughout his early life, Lu was scuppered by the fading fortunes of his family. Once a family of landlords and government officials, their resources declined over the course of his youth, preventing him from taking the imperial civil service exam and from studying medicine in Japan. But eventually he found a job at the Ministry of Education, and then he began to write.
His writing career really took off after 1919. Lu was a leftist and a liberal, sympathetic to socialist ideas but never a member of the Communist Party of China. That was something the Party chose to gloss over after his death, when they essentially canonised him, relocating his body to Hongkou Park in Shanghai and renaming it Lu Xun Park. The Party was rather fond of selectively quoting Lu Xun’s writings to suit their own ends, and even Mao Zedong himself was a great admirer of Lu Xun’s work.
Lu Xun spent the last three years of his life living in this residence in Shanghai. The place is modest, a three floor red-brick townhouse that remains mostly the same as the writer left it, with simple decorations and faded sepia photographs. The curators have resisted the urge to doll the place up, which is only a good thing. In fact, you can literally smell the dust and age in the air — at least it’s authentic!
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