Video on Kong Yiji

This month’s story of the month at Chinese-forums is one of my favorite short stories from Lu Xun’s Nahan.  That would be Kong Yiji.  Please join our discussion at

Below I have embedded a movie of Kong Yiji.  While I would say the movie was probably done on a shoestring budget, and the scenes are not necessarily recreated with the best accuracy, it is still good practice.

As you read the story here are some thoughts to keep in mind:

From Lu Xun’s Preface:
这一学年没有完毕,我已经到了东京了,因为从那一回以后,我便觉得医学并非一件紧要事,凡是愚弱的国民,即使体格如何健全,如何茁壮,也只能做毫无意义的 示众的材料和看客,病死多少是不必以为不幸的。所以我们的第一要著,是在改变他们的精神,而善于改变精神的是,我那时以为当然要推文艺,于是想提倡文艺运动

Lu Xun wrote because he wanted to create a literary movement and to change the spirit of the Chinese people as you can see from his preface to Nahan.

I think Kong Yiji is interesting because he is a thief, yet I still like him as a character. He seems to have a good heart as seen when he talks with the children. Yet people continually laugh at him. Those people then eventually break both of his legs for stealing from a rich man. Obviously, when he gets his last drink at the tavern he is about to die since he can no longer steal for food yet people still laugh at him.

In China today, do you think Lu Xun was successful in creating a new spirit for the Chinese people?

And in the context of Kong Yiji, do you think there are plenty of Kong Yiji alive in China today and being tormented by those better off?

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