Billet d'Olympia Lui
Chen Duxiu’s “法蘭西人與近代文” / The French and Modern Civilization was published in the September issue of “青年杂志” in 1915, later reprinted in ”陈独秀文章选编” (Selected Essays by Chen Duxiu) 3 vols. Beijing, Sanlian Press, 1984, pp. 79-81. It was translated and published in the Contemporary Chinese Thought, vol. 1, no. 1, Fall 1999, pp. 54-57, by M.E. Sharpe Inc.
Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) was a reformist, teacher and political leader, and was one of the co-founders of China’s Communist Party. He took the traditional path of studying for the civil service exams and passed the first one with the highest distinction. However, he wasn’t persuaded by China’s traditional education system. He spent a few years abroad studying in Japan. Upon returning to China, he published a journals, one of which was called “青年杂志” which included contributing writers who later became important political figures, such as Lu Xun, Hu Shi, Lu Dazhao and Mao Zedong. As Dean of the School of Letters at Beijing University, he played a big role in the May 4th Movement and lost his job following the protests. Upon converting to Marxism, he cofounded the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 and was elected secretary general. However, due to the failure of being able to collaborate with the Nationalists, he lost his position in 1927, then was expelled from the CPP in 1929.
“法蘭西人與近代文” / The French and Modern Civilization, he proposes that “the youth of China undertake a vast intellectual, literary, and cultural revolution to rejuvenate the nation”, in the worlds of Tse-Tsung Chow, Professor of East Asian Languages, Literature, and History at University of Wisconsin.