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A Cross-Cultural Aesthetics Of Life: Translating “Xingling” Into “Self-Expression,” “Xianshi” Into “Leisure,” And “Humor” Into “Youmo”

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Chapter Summary

This chapter, interprets Lin Yutang's literary and cultural discourses and practices surrounding his translating "xingling " into "self-expression," "xianshi" into "leisure" and humor into "youmo ," which constitute a distinct aesthetics of life through his cross-cultural mediation and appropriation of traditional Chinese and modern Western aesthetics. Another notion Lin Yutang promoted in his popular journals in the 1930s in close association with "xingling" was called "xianshi," or" leisure&t;. If "xingling" mainly refers to the backbone spirit in literary creation, the best literary form to reveal "xingling" is "xiaopinwen, a genre popular to Yuan Zhonglang which Lin translated as "familiar essays" in reference to the Western literary tradition, in a personal leisurely (xianshi) style. "Youmo" (Humor) is one of hundreds of neologisms that appeared in modern Chinese. It was Lin Yutang who first introduced and coined this term as early as 1924.

Keywords: Lin Yutang; xianshi; xingling; youmo; Yuan Zhonglang



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