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Love-Letters and Privacy in Modern ChinaThe Intimate Lives of Lu Xun and Xu Guangping$
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Bonnie S. McDougall

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256792

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256792.001.0001

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LuXun’s ‘Life without Love’: 1881–1925

LuXun’s ‘Life without Love’: 1881–1925

(p.18) 3 LuXun’s ‘Life without Love’: 1881–1925
Love-Letters and Privacy in Modern China


Oxford University Press

Lu Xun, first named Zhou Zhangshou, was the eldest of three brothers to survive childhood. The Zhou family was from Shaoxing, Chekiang. Although not as prosperous as the Xu family in Canton, they lived in a large compound and drew income from rents and official salaries. After an early education in the family school, he went on to the Jiangnan Naval Academy at Nanking, where he registered under the name Zhou Shuren. After his arranged marriage with Zhu An, Shuren apparently had no romantic or sexual encounters in Japan, unlike many other Chinese students, who formed relationships that led to marriage or visited brothels. The absence of references to sex, love, or marriage in Shuren's own writings of the period is not conclusive proof of asceticism. The prospect of a loveless future as a married man may have been a spur in his ambition to achieve eminence in public life.

Keywords:   Lu Xun, Zhou family, Shuren, Zhou Zhangshou, Zhu An, Zuoren, Yu sisters

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