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“Little Critic:” “Returned” Professionals And The Cosmopolitan Modern

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author engages in a socio-(cross-) cultural reading of the &t;Lunyu phenomenon,&t; focusing on Lin Yutang's literary and cultural practices in 1930s Shanghai with reference to similar echoes by members of the core group. The chapter shows that the emergence of the "Lunyu phenomenon" in the 1930s owes to the fact that Lin Yutang and his friends identified with themselves and promoted through their journal writings a distinctive cosmopolitan attitude or sensibility that was suggestive of a certain middling alternative modernity, attractive and desirable for a readership that was experiencing the anxieties of rapid social modernization. Such an attitude can be approached and analyzed from many perspectives. The chapter examines the social, cultural and linguistic/literary implications of this attitude. The Lunyu style was first cultivated by Lin Yutang in the "Little Critic" column for The China Critic.

Keywords: China; cosmopolitan attitude; Lin Yutang; Little Critic; Lunyu phenomenon; The China Critic



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