The Importance of Living


Author: Lin Yutang
ISBN: 9781788420679
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Duckworth

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‘A richly, enjoyably wise and suggestive book.’ New York Times

A tremendous bestseller when it was first published in 1937, The Importance of Living has been a classic for over eighty years. Intended as an antidote to the dizzying pace of the modern world, Lin Yutang’s prescription is the classic distillation of ancient Chinese wisdom: revere inaction as much as action, invoke humour to maintain a healthy attitude, and never forget that there will always be plenty of fools around who are willing – indeed eager – to be busy, to make themselves useful, and to exercise power while you bask in the simple joy of existence.

Now, more than six decades later, with our lives accelerated to unbelievable levels, this wise and timeless book is more pertinent than ever before. In an era when we’re overwhelmed with wake-up calls, it’s an entertaining innovation to savour life’s beauty, its endless fascination and its slow, sure, simple pleasures.

Lin Yutang (1895-1976) was born to a mission family and became one of the best-known Chinese scholars and writers, translating numerous ancient texts for a western audience. He was a linguist and philosopher, and his translations are world renowned.

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Lin Yutang