Lao She

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Lao She

(lou shŭ), pseud. of

Shu She-yü

(sho͞o shŭ-yü) or

Shu Ch'ing-ch'un,

(chĭng-cho͝on), 1899–1966, Chinese writer. He wrote his first novels while teaching Chinese at the Univ. of London's School of Oriental Studies (1924–30). He continued to teach and write in China during the 1930s, receiving high praise for his novel Camel Xiangzi (1939, tr. 1981). In the 1950s he wrote a number of popular plays with Marxist themes, including The Teahouse (1958), but fell victim to the Red Guards at the outset of the Cultural RevolutionCultural Revolution,
1966–76, mass mobilization of urban Chinese youth inaugurated by Mao Zedong in an attempt to prevent the development of a bureaucratized Soviet style of Communism.
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 and was either murdered or driven to suicide. His fiction was noted for its farcical tone. Translations of his work include The Crescent Moon and Other Stories (1985) and The Two Mas (1984).


See studies by G. Kao (1980) and D. D. Wang (1992).

Lao She


(pseudonym of Shu she-yu, also called Shu ch’ing-ch’un). Born February 1899, in Peking; died 1966. Chinese writer. Manchurian by nationality. Son of a soldier.

Lao She graduated from a teachers’ seminary in 1918. A professor, he was a deputy to the All-China National People’s Congress from 1954. From 1924 to 1929 he taught Chinese at the University of London. It was in Great Britain that he wrote his first social novels, which reflected the development of bourgeois society in feudal China. These novels include Lao Chang’s Philosophy (1926), Chao Tzu-yueh (1927), and The Two Ma’s (1928). After returning to his homeland, Lao She wrote the satirical novel The City of Cats (1933; Russian translation, 1969). The fate of the ordinary man is the subject of some of his novels, including Divorce (1933; Russian translation, 1967) and Rickshaw Boy (1935; Russian translation, 1956).

During the Japanese occupation (1937–45) Lao She headed the All-China Anti-Japanese Writers Federation. In works that included the novel Cremation (1940) and the plays Wisps of Fog (1940) and The State Above All (1943), he condemned traitors to the homeland and glorified the people’s courage and friendship between peoples of different nationalities. From 1946 to 1949, while in the USA, he worked on the trilogy Four Generations Under One Roof, which deals with the Japanese occupation of China. Upon returning to his homeland, he wrote several dramas reflecting the development of socialist ideology in the consciousness of the Chinese people. He also wrote the historical drama A Fist in the Name of Justice (1961), dealing with the Boxer Rebellion of 1899–1901.


In Russian translation:
Sochineniia, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1957.
Den’ rozhdeniia Siao-po. Moscow, 1966.


Antipovskii, A. A. Rannee tvorchestvo Lao She: Temy, geroi, obrazy. Moscow, 1967.


References in periodicals archive ?
Huang describes Lao She as a Rushdie-like figure: a problematizer of the foreign, a cultural go-between, "history's bastard" (97).
Ma and Son, I explore how humor was a particularly enabling mode through which Lao She could explore with such emerging cosmopolitan notions.
Lao She himself wrote on the topic in his 1935 essay "[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]" ("On Humor"), wherein he makes a distinction between humor and satire: "[Satire] must be said in an extremely sharp tongue, giving out a very strong freezing irony .
TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [132] While acknowledging that humor and satire are often hard to distinguish from each other, Lao She attempted to define broadly the humorist as both cosmopolitan in temperament and capable of self-scrutiny: "A humorous attitude .
Early in his career Lao She explored these different comic modes.
In his study Lao She and the Chinese Revolution (1974) Ranbir Vohra argued that the idea of youmo expressed by Lao She and Lin Yutang was a direct challenge to the tenets of social realism expressed by Lu Xun and others: "Unlike Lu Xun who thinks humor is foreign to China .
Ma and Son was written while Lao She worked as a lecturer of Chinese language at the School of Oriental Studies (later to become the School of Oriental and African Studies) at the University of London.
Yet while mocking the so-called Western experts on China, Lao She was also interested in deriding the popular conceptions of China in Western countries and especially in Britain during this period.
Huashan Tourism Promotion Campaign at the Lao She Teahouse in Qianmen, Beijing on August 2.
He discusses the characteristics of works, models, and concepts, and the development of literary forms in works by Lao She, Hao Ran, Mu Dan, Hu Feng, and Zhou Yang, among many others, including Mao Zedong, with a separate chapter on women writers.
For Lu Xun alone Fang has chosen three stories, while contemporary with Lu were many other effective writers such as Lao She, Ba Jin, and Xiao Hong.
With the rounding of Short Story Magazine (1932), Ding Ling, Ba Jin, Lao She, et alia earned a reputation.