Lin Yutang citations

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Lin Yutang

Date de naissance: 10. octobre 1895
Date de décès: 26. mars 1976

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Lin Yutang , né le 10 octobre 1895 et mort le 26 mars 1976, est un écrivain et inventeur chinois, dont la traduction de classiques chinois en anglais a aidé à leur diffusion en Occident.

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Citations Lin Yutang

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„The best that we can hope for in this life is that we shall not have sons and grandsons of whom we need to be ashamed.“

—  Lin Yutang
Context: A reasonable naturalist then settles down to this life with a sort of animal satisfaction. As Chinese illiterate women put it, "Others gave birth to us and we give birth to others. What else are we to do?".... Life becomes a biological procession and the very question of immortality is sidetracked. For that is the exact feeling of a Chinese grandfather holding his grandchild by the hand and going to the shops to buy some candy, with the thought that in five or ten years he will be returning to his grave or to his ancestors. The best that we can hope for in this life is that we shall not have sons and grandsons of whom we need to be ashamed. p. 23

„This is a personal testimony, a testimony of my own experience of thought and life. It is not intended to be objective and makes no claim to establish eternal truths. In fact I rather despise claims to objectivity in philosophy; the point of view is the thing.“

—  Lin Yutang
Context: This is a personal testimony, a testimony of my own experience of thought and life. It is not intended to be objective and makes no claim to establish eternal truths. In fact I rather despise claims to objectivity in philosophy; the point of view is the thing. I should have liked to call it "A Lyrical Philosophy," using the word "lyrical" in the sense of being a highly personal and individual outlook... Preface

„That is a final fact of my inner consciousness, and for no religion could I deny its truth.“

—  Lin Yutang
Context: I feel, like all modern Americans, no consciousness of sin and simply do not believe in it. All I know is that if God loves me only half as much as my mother does, he will not send me to Hell. That is a final fact of my inner consciousness, and for no religion could I deny its truth. p. 407

„I am doing my best to glorify the scamp or vagabond.“

—  Lin Yutang
Context: I am doing my best to glorify the scamp or vagabond. I hope I shall succeed. For things are not so simple as they sometimes seem. In this present age of threats to democracy and individual liberty, probably only the scamp and the spirit of the scamp alone will save us from being lost in serially numbered units in the masses of disciplined, obedient, regimented and uniformed coolies. The scamp will be the last and most formidable enemy of dictatorships. He will be the champion of human dignity and individual freedom, and will be the last to be conquered. All modern civilization depends entirely upon him. Ch. I : The Awakening, p. 12

„By association with nature's enormities, a man's heart may truly grow big also.“

—  Lin Yutang
Context: By association with nature's enormities, a man's heart may truly grow big also. There is a way of looking upon a landscape as a moving picture and being satisfied with nothing less big as a moving picture, a way of looking upon tropic clouds over the horizon as the backdrop of a stage and being satisfied with nothing less big as a backdrop, a way of looking upon the mountain forests as a private garden and being satisfied with nothing less as a private garden, a way of listening to the roaring waves as a concert and being satisfied with nothing less as a concert, and a way of looking upon the mountain breeze as an air-cooling system and being satisfied with nothing less as an air-cooling system. So do we become big, even as the earth and firmaments are big. Like the "Big Man" described by Yuan Tsi (A. D. 210-263), one of China's first romanticists, we "live in heaven and earth as our house." p. 282

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„Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.“

—  Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
As quoted in Pearls of Wisdom: A Harvest of Quotations From All Ages (1987) by Jerome Agel and Walter D. Glanze, p. 46. From The Importance of Living: "besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone" (p. 162), "the wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials" (p. 10).

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„When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.“

—  Lin Yutang
As quoted in Hard-to-Solve Cryptograms (2001) by Derrick Niederman, p. 96

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