- Paperback: 462 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; unknown edition (September 16, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780688163525
- ISBN-13: 978-0688163525
- ASIN: 0688163521
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Importance Of Living Paperback – September 16, 1998
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Is it really a philosophy book if it has a section entitled "The Importance of Loafing"? Harvard scholar, Taoist, and modernist Lin Yutang wrote The Importance of Living to express his highly subjective, personal feelings after years of studying ancient Chinese texts, and created a wonderfully slow-going yet radiantly clear guide to the simple life. Taking walks, drinking tea, long talks with friends are all important to Lin, whose stories and retellings of Taoist classics meander away from his points, find new ones, and remind us to enjoy the life that's all around us without needless worry.
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
About the Author
LIN YUTANG was born in 1895 to a mission family and became one of the best-known Chinese scholars and writers.
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of book you'll want to revisit again and again; just open and read anything and you'll say 'yesss'. . .
If you like what's written, learn about 'Wabi-Sabi' too, the Japanese equivalent to the Chinese philosophic values of simplicity and essential living. This Japanese rendition orients (untended pun) Wabi-Sabi to graphics... then carries it through to life.Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers. Their famous tea ceremony exemplifies the beauty of purity and simplicity, as does Yutang in this fine book.
Amazon offers three pages of books regarding Wabi-Sabi; some are 'decorative'
coffee-table books and most of those are rather superficial. Shop carefully.
Another Wabi-Sabi book I much appreciate is In Praise of Shadows. Delving into both Chinese and Japanese perspectives is not redundant; the differences just go to give further depth and understanding. Oh: The only Western take on 'less is more' thinking which occurs to me is via Mies Van Der Rohe, a noted architect; that 'less is more' line is his.
Americans especially, with their yen (another pun, intended) for embellishment/ego-centric fashions
aimed at impre$$ing others would benefit greatly by the concepts of Lin Yutang and Wabi-Sabi.
Another point: Elsewhere at Amazon, the author credited is 'John Day'; actually, the reference is the John Day Company; publishers (maybe of this fine book in the 1930s; hope that misinformation will be straightened out... LIN YUTANG should be credited with this masterpiece.