This week we would like to introduce A Small Incident. The story is very short and one of Lu Xun's easier stories. If you haven't dived into the stories yet, then start with this one. If you missed the introduction to Lu Xun, then follow this link to An Introduction to Lu Xun.
A Small Incident
Yí Jiàn Xiǎoshì一件小事 was published in November of 1919 in Beijing's Morning Post – Anniversary Commemorative Edition (晨报·周年纪念增刊 Chénbào·Zhōunián Jìniàn Zēngkān). The story is about Lǔ Xùn traveling to work by rickshaw one morning in Beijing. While he has been working in Beijing for six years already, no important official affairs comes readily to mind. Instead he remembers clearly the morning his rickshaw driver hits a pedestrian causing her to fall and hurt herself. Lǔ Xùn doesn't think the woman is seriously hurt and in any case no one saw it happen, so he thinks it best for the rickshaw man to just keep going. Otherwise, Lǔ Xùn might be late. Instead, the rickshaw driver gets out and helps the old woman find help at a police station. Seeing the generosity of the rickshaw driver to a complete stranger, Lǔ Xùn is dumbfounded and waits in the carriage until a police officer tells him he better get going. Lǔ Xùn first moved to Beijing in 1912, during the first year of the republic. Like many people at the time, he held high hopes for the newly established republic founded by Sun Yat-sen (孙中山 Sūn Zhōngshān), but quickly became disillusioned as Yuán Shìkǎi (袁世凯), a man with military authority, usurped power and formed the republic in ways not much different from the Qing dynasty before him. The foreign powers of Japan and western Europe continued to encroach upon China's sovereignty and Yuán Shìkǎi actually declared himself emperor near the end of his life. During this time, Lǔ Xùn served as an official in the Ministry of Education and was rather depressed about the state of affairs. This story takes place in 1917, six years after Lǔ Xùn moved from Nanjing to Beijing. A Small Incident 一件小事
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