Lu Xun was a major Chinese writer of the 20th century and is often considered to be the founder of modern Chinese literature. His works are known for their politically-rooted angst and bleak depictions of post-Xinhai-Revolution China.
This author's works provide examples of:
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Ah Q gets caught virtually every time he commits a crime, whether it's pretending to be related to a prominent family, stealing, fighting, or participating in a riot.
- Crapsack World: Almost all of his stories take place in settings filled with poverty, injustice, characters who are Too Dumb to Live, opportunists, criminals, vagrants, and other scumbags.
- Dirty Coward: Ah-Q, a vagabond who Lu intended to serve as a representation of China at the time.
- Downer Ending: Occurs frequently, notably in stories like "The True Story of Ah Q", "Diary of a Madman", and "Kong Yiji".
- Failure Is the Only Option: The titular protagonist of the short story "Kong Yiji" is always trying to pass the government exams to become a scholar, but never succeeds.
- Humans Are Bastards: Characters in his stories are frequently heartless and greedy. Even protagonists are not very likable.
- Insane Troll Logic: Ah Q manufactures all sorts of crazy excuses to make himself feel better and win "spiritual victories". In one instance, when he gets robbed of his silver, he slaps himself on the face and declares that if he's doing the slapping, he must be winning.
- School Study Media: Lu's stories and essays are widely taught in schools across China; it is virtually guaranteed that if you go to school in China, you will read many of his works, as he is considered a fundamental writer of modern Chinese literature.
- Write What You Know: Many of his stories are autobiographical and are accounts of events that he witnessed. Lu also included depictions of medicine and science in some of his stories, which is not surprising given that he had studied medicine in Japan, but quit before finishing his education to deliver "spiritual medicine" to the Chinese people through literature.