I wish to express my gratitude to a great Chinese author who died in Shanghai 50 years ago last October. Just as every American will recognize the names of Hemingway or Faulkner, so everyone familiar with 20th-Century Chinese culture will recognize the name of Lu Hsun (Lu Xun). In so much of his writing, there are those sparks of enlightenment that will delight any thinking mind, sometimes with laughter and sometimes with the shock of reality.
When George Bernard Shaw visited China, Lu Hsun was one of those who met him. I do not wish to wrongly suggest that these two writers were alike in temperament or style, but they did share that spirit of wonder and a rich wit that keeps their writing alive to this day. While both could be called leftists, they each were such strong individualists that neither could be "party" men.
Just as in a famous work, Sinclair Lewis gave our language the word "Babbitt," describing a type of character met with in our society, so Lu Hsun gave to the Chinese language the name "Ah Q" as a character type he described in his famous short story. And like Sinclair Lewis, Lu Hsun warns us with humor and sharp satire of the world we live in.