LIN YUTANG (1895—1976)
LIN YUTANG (1895—1976). Novelist, essayist, translator, and editor. Lin was born in Fujian and raised by Christian parents. He was educated at St. Johns University in Shanghai and at Harvard and received his Ph.D. in 1923 from the University of Leipzig. Lin spent many years in the United States, wrote most of his major works in English, and was regarded as a significant interpreter of Chinese culture. His nonfictional books, initially published in English, include My Country and My People, The Importance of Living, and Pleasures of a Nonconformist. Among his novels are Chinatown Family, Moment in Peking, and The Flight of the Innocents. In the 1920s and 1930s, Lin edited and wrote essays (in Chinese) for Yu si (Words and Language) and other journals in which he advocated a philosophy of “loafing,” and a sensual literary style, in complete opposition to the socially engaged literature promoted by mainstream writers such as Lu Xun and Mao Dun. Along with Zhou Zuoren, Lin promoted a personal approach to literature, which had many followers in the 1920s and 1930s.