The Importance Of Living Paperback – Sep 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.
Top Customer Reviews
Throughout Lin`s life, he was exposed to both Western and Chinese culture. He is also a student of various Western and Chinese philosophers. This is the essence of the book; the compariosion of Western and Chinese methods, on how to live well.
This book will appeal to anyone, that has enjoyed the occassional Stoic, Epicurean, orTaoism insight.
The downside of this book is the tendency of the author to be verbose and to use complicated expressions. It is somewhat a vocabulary marathon to understand what he writes, not to mention the chinese expressions oftenly used without clear explanation (even with the explanation summary at the end of the book). The other is the impresssion of somewhat chinese-centric and xenophobic writing style.
In conclusion, this book is valuable in the way it reminds us the importance and enjoyment of living. It is however not an easy reading, and his writing style needs some getting used to.
Most recent customer reviews
Mankind has been laboring under the curse of Adam for so long that we have come to see work as not a painful necessity but as a noble act. Read morePublished on June 27 2000 by Miles Carter
Americans don't know how to relax. They want a one hour course in stress relief when they would be much better served by reading this book and learning about leisure. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2000 by Pierce
I'm Asian(Korean). This book has something in common with me such as Asian. Many westerners think that Asia has simply something like "Chen". But that's not true. Read morePublished on Dec 6 1999 by lee, young seok
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