Book review

Nepali poet writes about Lu Xun, China’s greatest modern writer

Published On: December 27, 2020 10:39 AM NPT By: Hari Har Khanal

The great China had been sinking

In the murky pit of gloom.

Burnt in hookahs many a things:

Hashish, hemp and opium.

These are the opening lines of the epic Lu Xun, originally composed in Nepali language by the well-known poet Rambabu Subedi, and later translated into English by Mahesh Poudel. Subedi is a poet. 

During the Panchayat’s despotism, creative writers were persecuted and as in other parts of the world, Nepali writers and poets also were forced to publish their creations in pseudonyms. Zhou Shuren of China introduced himself as a writer under the name of Lu Xun. Similarly, to save himself from the oppression of the then ruler, Rambabu Subedi used Rajeeb as his pseudonym. 

Subedi has published three books under the pseudonym Rajeeb: Lu Xun, an epic based on the life of Lu Xun, Kamini Aama, a collection of poems, and Jamuniko Chhoro, a book of children's songs. Lu Xun is composed under the metrical verse Sardul Vikridit. 

Lu Xun is a prominent figure in the modern history of Chinese writers. Chairman Mao has addressed him as the commander-in-chief of modern Chinese literature and of the Cultural Revolution.

The whole epic is divided into twelve cantos, each having a sweet title head and with each head containing 20 lines describing Lu Xun's primary and basic events from his birth to death. 

In between and at the end of each canto, there are relevant drawings by renowned artist K. K. Karmacharya, chancellor of Fine Arts Academy of Nepal. 

Lu Xun saw the west blasting the Chinese people as uncivilized barbarians. They were uneducated and suppressed by the colonial west. Lu Xun showed great concern about the psychology of the mass who were suppressed by the colonial and semi-colonial western powers. 

Despite the shocking situation around him, Lu Xun wanted to lead China towards progress. He had clearly seen that there were people around him who did not only try to understand the world but believed in the teaching of the great guru Carl Max.

This is not a biography of Lu Xun. Rambabu Subedi has depicted major ideas of Lu Xun that were imprinted in his mind since he began to study the man  in the late sixties. 

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