|Birth Day:||October 10, 1895|
|Death Date:||March 26, 1976(1976-03-26) (aged 80)|
|Birth Place:||Banzai, Pinghe, Zhangzhou, Fujian, China|
As per our current Database, Lin Yutang died on March 26, 1976(1976-03-26) (aged 80).
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Lin was born in 1895 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 humor magazine Lunyu banyuekan (The Analects Fortnightly, 1932–40, 1945–49) featured essays by prominent writers such as Hu Shih, Lao She, Lu Xun, and Zhou Zuoren and attracted a wide readership. 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 1924 and used The Analects to promote his conception of humor as the expression of a tolerant, cosmopolitan, understanding and civilized philosophy of life. In 1933, Lu Xun attacked the Analects for being apolitical and dismissed Lin's elegant xiaopin wen 小品文, or small essays, as "bric a brac for the bourgeoisie." Lu Xun nevertheless maintained a cordial relationship with Lin and continued to contribute to his journal.
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 (1940). In 1933, 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.
After 1935, Lin lived mainly in the United States, where he became known as a "wise and witty" popularizer of Chinese philosophy and way of life. Lin's first best sellers were My Country and My People (吾國與吾民) (1935) and The Importance of Living (生活的藝術) (1937), written in English in a charming style. Others include Between Tears and Laughter (啼笑皆非) (1943), The Importance of Understanding (1960, a book of translated Chinese literary passages and short pieces), The Chinese Theory of Art (1967). The novels Moment in Peking (1939), A Leaf in the Storm (1940), and The Vermilion Gate (朱門) (1953) were well received epics of China in turmoil while Chinatown Family (1948) presented the lives of Chinese Americans in New York. Partly to avoid controversial contemporary issues, Lin in 1947 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.
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 1940 and 1950.
He continued his work until his death in 1976. 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.
His second daughter Lin Taiyi (林太乙; 1926–2003) was also known as Anor Lin in her earliest writing, and had the Chinese name Yu-ju (玉如). She was an author and the editor-in-chief of Chinese edition of the Reader's Digest from 1965 until her retirement in 1988. She also wrote a biography of her father in Chinese (林語堂傳), which shows some signs of her father's literary flair.
Although his major books have remained in print, Lin was a thinker whose place in modern Chinese intellectual history has been overlooked until recently. Lin themed conventions have been organized in Taiwan and Lin's native Fujian, and in December 2011, the International Conference on the Cross-cultural Legacy of Lin Yutang in China and America was held at City University of Hong Kong, with professional and private scholars from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, the United States, Germany and Slovakia. The organizer of the conference was Dr. Qian Suoqiao, author of the book, Liberal Cosmopolitan: Lin Yutang and Middling Chinese Modernity (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2010).
Currently, Lin Yutang is 127 years, 5 months and 20 days old. Lin Yutang will celebrate 128th birthday on a Tuesday 10th of October 2023.
Find out about Lin Yutang birthday activities in timeline view here.