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The Importance Of Living Paperback – September 16, 1998
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Lin's prose is gentle, like the conversation of a favorite lazy uncle who is more at home sipping lemonade on the back porch than gulping lattes between meetings. The sincerity of his humility is surprising to a reader used to postmodern writers who seem to pride themselves on their self-abasement. Though Lin deliberately avoided fame and notoriety, correctly observing that it only leads to troubles, one can only hope that his wisdom, timelier than ever, finds a wider audience among today's too-busy-to-breathe global culture. His philosophy, more practical and enjoyable than the usual Western writings on the subject, reminds us all of the vital importance of simply living. --Rob Lightner
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Top Customer Reviews
But the Little, Brown "reprint" edition is a travesty of cheapness....a white cover and no running heads. Why do American publishers cut corners? It's an insult to the author and the reader. I recommend you avoid the Little Brown edition and buy the original 1937 edition, published by John Day Co., or if you want a new alternative edition in quality paperback, buy the recently published edition in Singapore by Cultured Lotus, available from [...] The original and the Singapore copies have beautiful Chinese paintings on the cover and delightful running heads.
Remember, "The busy man is never wise, and the wise man is never busy." -- Lin Yutang
steeped in the ancient wisdom of his motherland. Lin-yutang was also a cosmopolitan. Educated at Saint Johns University in Shanghai, he went on to take his Master's degree at Harvard, then his doctorate at the University of Leipzig. His two most well known writings 'My Country and My People' (1935) and 'The Importance of Living' (1937) brought him international fame, the latter a perennial classic and best seller for decades. A decent reprint of this remarkable book has long been overdue. Happily, the Singapore based publisher, Cultured Lotus, has made a new edition available. The positive reviews were gratifying to see.
This isn't a book to read in a hurry. As the cover-blurb puts it: "offered as a remedy to modern day living, is the classic distillation of Chinese wisdom, revere inaction as much as action , observe the place of humour to ensure healthy living, and simply celebrate existence. Gaily serious, cynicaly kind, shot through with a sense of comedy and backed by sages of many centuries, it brings forth the salt and tang of life.
Lin Yutang observes: " a man who loves life intensely must be always jealous of the few exquisite moments of leisure that he has. And he must retain the dignity and pride of the vagabond. His hours of fishing must be as sacred as his hours of business, erected into a kind of religion as the English have done with sport. "
Superficially, one might see such a philosophy as a refusal to take life seriously - but, Lin Yutang's perspective here is summed up by the quotation from Chang chao:
"Only those who take leisurely what the people of
the world are busy about can be busy about what
the people of the world take leisurely.Read more ›
Perhaps it was partly in response to this book, that I developed an interest in Chinese culture which has now spanned over 40 years.
This book gets the reader back to the very basics of human life--food, friendship, tea, smoking (a bit controversial nowadays), growing old. It is all about CHERISHING EACH PASSING MOMENT and learning to instill each moment of life with quality and to live it artfully.
I was so happy to find this book reprinted. It is not necessarily the kind of book one must read all at once, but a book to pick up on a rainy day, and just savor a few pages--while drinking a fine cup of tea and awaiting a visit from a special friend.
It's one of thoe rare books that may well become a part of you and of each moment of your life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not a quick read. It is something like the Bible in that you can read a few pages and chew on the yummy substance of it for a day or so. Read morePublished 9 months ago by artsy4artsy
Lin Yutang lived from 1895-1976. This book was published in 1937. In today's technology the book could be described as a sort of blog about the writer's philosophical observations... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jasmine
This book is a miracle. Somewhat dated, it provides the most comprehensive history, philosophy, and understanding of pre-Mao China. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dr.G.