Li Boyuan (Li Po-yuan) [real name Li Baojai] 1867-1906

A native of Jiangsu who tried unsuccessfully for the more advanced civil service exams and then moved to Shanghai and went into the newspaper business. In 1903 he established a fortnightly magazine called Xiuxiang xiaoshuo [Illustrated Stories], and in it appeared his own novel Wenming xiaoshi [Modern Times], in serial form. His writing attempted to produce a fiction firmly rooted in current life and devoted to the enlightenment of the populace. He is probably best known for his novel Guanchang xianxing ji [The Bureaucrat: A Revelation], in which he sought to expose the failures of the nation's officials.

Works available in English:

  • Modern Times: A Brief History of Enlightenment (Douglas Lancashire). Hong
       Kong: Research Center for Translation, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1996.
  • Officialdom Unmasked (translated and abridged by T.L. Yang). Hong Kong: Hong Kong
       University Press, 2001.