林語堂 (1895 - 1976)
Lin Yutang (1895 - 1976)
Born in Longxi, Fujian province; originally named Lin Hele, later renamed a few times and finally settled with Lin Yutang. In 1912, Lin Yutang was admitted into St. John’s University in Shanghai. Upon graduation, he took up a teaching post in Tsinghua University. In 1919, he went to the United States and studied at the Department of Literature in Harvard University. In 1922, he was awarded an M.A. degree, and in the same year he went to Leipzig University in Germany and studied linguistics. After obtaining a doctorate degree in 1923, he returned to China, where he took up positions including professor at Peking University, and academic registrar and head of Department of English at Beijing Women’s Normal University. In 1924, he became one of the major writers of Tatler Weekly. In 1926, he became dean of School of Arts in Xiamen University. In 1927, he served as secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1932, he became editor-in-chief of Analects, a biweekly journal. In 1934 Lin launched the periodical Human World, and in 1935 Cosmic Wind, with the aim of promoting the writing of informal essays on self-centred themes and in a leisurely style.
After 1935, Lin went to the United States and wrote a series of novels and books introducing Chinese culture, including My Country and My People, Moment in Peking, and Between Tears and Laughter. On one occasion in 1944, he returned to China to give lectures in Chongqing. In 1952, Lin and his associates launched the magazine Tian Feng in the United States. In 1954, he went to Singapore to make preparations for the setting up of Nanyang University, later becoming its president. In 1966, he settled in Taiwan. In 1967, he was hired as the research professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 1975, he was elected vice-president of International PEN. He passed away in Hong Kong in 1976.