Qian Liqun

Qian Liqun
b. 1939, Chongqing
Literary historian
Qian Liqun is a leading proponent of May Fourth humanism in post-Mao literary and cultural criticism. After graduating from the People’s University in 1960, Qian worked in Guizhou. He returned to Beijing in 1978 when he was accepted as a graduate student at Peking University. As he himself explains it, the political discrimination and social exclusion that he suffered during the Cultural Revolution motivated his interest in Lu Xun’s form of criticism.
Qian has made a signal contribution to the study of modern Chinese literature through his comprehensive studies of Lu Xun and his brother, Zhou Zuoren.
Because Zhou, in particular, had served as the Minister of Education during the Japanese occupation, he had been a taboo subject for literary historians for decades. Zhou’s involvement in establishing the disciplines of literary and cultural criticism and his efforts at cultural reconstruction were deliberately ignored. Qian’s comparative studies of Zhou Zuoren and Lu Xun have provided the cultural/historical context that had been missing for years. Qian’s interest in these figures, moreover, is not restricted to literary history. There are connections between what Qian has written about Lu Xun and his own commitment to, and views about, the place of literature in the education of the whole person. In the 1990s, therefore, Qian increasingly turned his attention to lay audiences in a series of lectures on Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren, as well as editing anthologies of modern Chinese literature for middle-school students.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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