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His informal but polished style in both Chinese and English made him one of the most influential writers of his generation, and his compilations and translations of classic Chinese texts into English were bestsellers in the West.
Lin was born in in the town of Banzai , Pinghe , Zhangzhou , Fujian. The mountainous region made a deep impression on his consciousness, and thereafter, he would constantly consider himself a child of the mountains in one of his books he commented that his idea of hell was a city apartment.
His father was a Christian minister. His journey of faith from Christianity to Taoism and Buddhism , and back to Christianity in his later life was recorded in his book From Pagan to Christian Lin studied for his bachelor's degree at Saint John's University in Shanghai , then received a half-scholarship to continue study for a doctoral degree at Harvard University.
He later wrote that in the Widener Library he first found himself and first came alive, but he never saw a Harvard-Yale game. From to , he taught English literature at Peking University. Enthusiastic about the success of the Northern Expedition , he briefly served in the new Nationalist government , but soon turned to teaching and writing. He found himself in the wake of the New Culture Movement which criticized China's tradition as feudal and harmful.
Instead of accepting this charge, however, Lin immersed himself in the Confucian texts and literary culture which his Christian upbringing and English language education had denied him.
He was a key figure in introducing the Western concept of humor , which he felt China had lacked. Lin coined the term youmo humor in and used The Analects to promote his conception of humor as the expression of a tolerant, cosmopolitan, understanding and civilized philosophy of life. Lin's writings in Chinese were critical of the Nationalist government to the point that he feared for his life.
Many of his essays from this time were later collected in With Love and Irony In , he met Pearl Buck in Shanghai, who introduced him and his writings to her publisher, Richard Walsh , head of John Day publishers , who published Lin's works for many years. Lin's relation with Christianity changed over the years. His father was a second-generation Christian, but at Tsinghua, Lin asked himself what it meant to be a Christian in China. Being a Christian meant acceptance of Western science and progress, but Lin became angry that being a Christian also meant losing touch with China's culture and his own personal identity.
On his return from study abroad, Lin renewed his respect for his father, yet he plunged into study of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism and did not identify himself as Christian until the late s.
After , Lin lived mainly in the United States, where he became known as a "wise and witty" popularizer of Chinese philosophy and way of life. Partly to avoid controversial contemporary issues, Lin in published The Gay Genius: The Life and Times of Su Tungpo , which presented the struggle between Su Dongpo and Wang Anshi as parallel to the struggle between Chinese liberals and totalitarian communists.
Lin's political writings in English sold fewer copies than his cultural works and were more controversial. Between Tears and Laughter broke with the genial tone of his earlier English writings to criticize Western racism and imperialism. American China Hands such as Edgar Snow criticized the works. Mechanics had been a long time avocation. Since Chinese is a character-based rather than an alphabet-based language, with many thousands of separate characters, it was difficult to employ modern printing technologies.
Many doubted that a Chinese typewriter could be invented. Lin, however, worked on this problem for decades and eventually came up with a workable typewriter, brought to market in the middle of the war with Japan.
The Mingkwai "Clear and Quick" Chinese-language typewriter played a pivotal role in the Cold War machine translation research. In the mids, he served briefly and unhappily as president or chancellor of the Nanyang University , which was newly created in Singapore specifically for Chinese studies as parallel to the English-oriented University of Singapore. He did not, however, choose to continue in that role when the faculty resisted his plans to demolish and rebuild the new school building which though grand, was not "Western" enough , his demands to have sole control over finances, and a budget clearly beyond its means.
He would later claim that Nanyang University became a focus of the struggle for control of Singapore between the Communist-directed left and the liberal, social democratic right and that he was too old for the conflict. The episode left a bad taste in the Malayan Chinese community, who felt betrayed by his actions during and after the fiasco. After he returned to New York in the late s, Lin renewed his interest in Christianity.
His wife was a devout believer, and Lin admired her serenity and humility. After attending services with her at the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church for several months, he joined the church and announced his return to the faith. With his facility for both Chinese and English idiom, Lin presided over the compilation of a Chinese-English dictionary, Lin Yutang's Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Usage , which contains a massive English index to definitions of Chinese terms.
The work was undertaken at the newly founded Chinese University of Hong Kong. His many works represent an attempt to bridge the cultural gap between the East and the West. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in and He continued his work until his death in Lin was buried at his home in Yangmingshan , Taipei , Taiwan.
His home has been turned into a museum, which is operated by Taipei-based Soochow University. The town of Lin's birth, Banzai, has also preserved the original Lin home and turned it into a museum. Although his major books have remained in print, Lin was a thinker whose place in modern Chinese intellectual history has been overlooked until recently.
The organizer of the conference was Dr. Jing Tsu's Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, gives a detailed account of Lin Yutang's typewriter and its role in the context of late 19th century script reform, Chinese national language reform in the early twentieth century and the fascinating story of his typewriting keyboard and machine translation research during the Cold War.
Lin wrote introductions which explained the historical background and relevance for American life. She was an author and the general editor of Chinese Reader's Digest from until her retirement in She was co-author of cookbooks with her mother, and was a biochemist at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong.
Works by Lin in Chinese or published in China to include: . Works by Lin in English include: . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Lin Yutang, photographed by Carl Van Vechten , Banzai , Pinghe , Zhangzhou , Fujian.
Hong Kong. Archived from the original on Qian, Suoqiao ed. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. Leiden: Brill. Reading Eagle. Retrieved 9 December American "China Hands" in the s". Journal of American-East Asian Relations. Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora. Cambridge, Mass. Nobel Media AB. Retrieved 21 December Retrieved The Lin Yutang House. Archived from the original on 14 March Retrieved 4 March Works by Lin Yutang. Categories : births deaths 20th-century inventors 20th-century Taiwanese writers 20th-century translators Chinese Christians Taiwanese people from Fujian Chinese inventors Chinese lexicographers Chinese male novelists Harvard University alumni Leipzig University alumni Peking University faculty People from Zhangzhou Philosophers from Fujian Republic of China novelists Republic of China philosophers Republic of China translators St.
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Importancia Vivir by Lin Yutang
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La Importancia de Vivir