review Moment in Peking 103


10 thoughts on “Moment in Peking

  1. says:

    Lin Yutang was then considering introducing “Dream of the red chamber” to the Western world but he wrote this novel “Moment in Peking” instead due to following reasons The delicate beauty of ancient languages and poems is certainly beyond the capability of any translator even this could be done westerners would not be able to appreciate its glamour China was then undergoing the most dramatic changes in her recent millennium transforming from an old dynasty to a new republic and also in her darkest period humiliated by warlords and foreign invaders However there is hope of a new China coming into place with the young revolutionary generation firmly holding their modern beliefs and ideas Yes China shall survive as long as babies were still being born on this land and old fashioned family women like Mania were in support of the warfare The last century has been a marvelous one and no other would serve a better era for the novel Lin Yutang not only advocated Chinese culture history and philosophy to Occidentals but also claimed justice and respect for this old nation and her courageous people who would never give in to adversity      This is a long novel a thousand pages took me about a week but as reading proceeds time ceases to be a concern with the ever growing fascination The first part is less interesting—depicting Yao’s early life in the royal capital of Peking However it is through reading trivial stories that we become familiar with the characters like someone we know for life Once we withdraw from our own story into theirs pity and regret joy and merry follow with tears and laughter      Among all characters in this novel I like Old Yao the best then his daughter Mulan and the second son in law Lifu Old Yao is a ferryman with wisdom a liberal Taoist seeking harmony and all of a sudden left home for ten years in the wild universe and a Zen Buddhist who discards articulation and always remains open minded He resembles Lin Yutang or at least acts as Lin Yutang’s ideal figure Lin Yutang certainly has the wisdom the poetic temperament and great tolerance for life He has three daughters as well one committed suicide for love which would have caused him extreme sorrow but clearer understanding of life and death He worked hard but eually enjoyed leisure and nature Although Lin spent many years abroad writing in English he nonetheless had deepest concerns for his country and used his pen as weapon It is hard to reach a balance in life between seriousness and playfulness internal and external reality and dream One needs than determination and wellbeing but right circumstances and an awakened soul Lin did it so did Old Yao and how I wish I could be one of them After my children have all settled I would leave and perhaps never come back wandering between the heaven and earth No one knows me and I care about no one Being free is all what I desire      Mulan is my favorite woman in this novel and the whole story seems to be told in her perspective She is well educated in both Chinese literature and modern subjects Born with a whimsical but easygoing temperament she is like her father longs for simplicity of life and security of family but time won’t allow it—her daughter died in the student demonstration and her only son joined the army swearing not coming back until they drive Japan into the sea In the first few chapters Mulan got lost as a kid on Yao’s fleet from boxers and she was staring a fleet again at the end of the book escaping Japanese invasion But the second fleet was not only for safety but to preserve the nation’s power and fight back when possible She is poetic which makes her lovely but she also has the great wisdom like her father does Mulan is admirable she is always a girl and at the same time a mother      Lifu represents the image of a new China being righteous and determined who never yields to his enemies or euivalently new China’s He is easily agitated and he cares about the nation’s future despite being a scientist in biology He was not born into a rich family like Yaos and Tsengs but he is a man of principle and morality as well as talents and he never gives up fighting for what he thinks is right No wonder Old Yao would marry Mochow to Lifu and he does need a realistic woman to put him in constraints for his own safety      The tragedy is Mulan loved Lifu Mulan’s husband Sunya and Mochow Lifu’s wife both knew it but they kept it silent It is the tragedy that makes a story enchanting and it is perhaps Lin Yutang’s own story—he fell in love with the daughter of a rich Gulangyu merchant but he had to marry another They are still in a close relationship but not ideal who says life should be ideal then? Even marriage and love are subject to fate better be contented with what we have      Of course this novel cannot be compared to “Dream of the red chamber” but this is as good as you could expect from a Chinese writer commanding English Lin Yutang was a poor southerner from Amoy but he demonstrated a supreme understanding of Beijing Shanghai Hangzhou and life of big families there Moment in Peking is far beyond being a novel it is a lively record of what China has gone through in the last century and what we descendants should remember But Lin at that time failed to foresee what would be waiting for the new China after wining her victory against Japanese


  2. says:

    Humane informative reflective funAfter being interested in reading a novel about China for the first time I came across a Canadian art teacher who has been living in China for the last 10 years He recommended Lin Yutang's Moment in Peking He told me Hector this is one of the most beautiful novels I've ever read Convinced to buy it I checked the length of the novel Wow 950 pages This was going to be the biggest novel I have ever read I'm an amateur reader So I finally bought it and had it in my hands and I start reading motivated After almost a month I was 650 pages through it and decided to take some time to reflect on it and one month later I took it again and devoured the 300 last pages Here my thoughts about the novel divide in 3 parts The daughters of a Taoist In the first part of this novel we are introduced to Mulan and Mochow the daughters of Mr and Mrs Yao We venture through their childhood and adolescence and watch them experience love tradition and the meaning of being a woman in Chinese traditional culture It was a very entertaining section except for the abuse of romance that I found exaggerated It's crazy to think that holding a hand or an arm could be such a big deal between man and woman The culture was a very big part of this first section and I learned many things that are not so easy to find out in a museum in actual times Tragedy in the Garden This was my least favorite section of the novel It was hard to keep up with the many characters involved in the first section of the book and in the second we are introduced to even that now are an important part of the novel This section is about the maturity of Mulan and the girls and is full of weddings and soap opera kind of romantic drama The most interesting of this section was the historical changes occurring in the background the Manchurian government the foreign influence the changes that were happening around or characters and how these started to affect them ; their culture and believes The politics were slightly touched only to be exploded in the last section of the novel The Song of Autumn This was the best part of the novel Three hundred pages of amazing storytelling This period of time when China was fighting with itself changing governments on a daily basis and then uniting agains a common enemy Being a mother now Mulan sees the world in a different way and after some mayor changes in her life she finally discovers unity and simplicity This novel is charged with history about the war of resistance and it's a very powerful human story about power of will and patriotism The last 50 pages are very emotional and full of great moments left with an ending that leaves you wanting for Overall this novel was very good with its down moments to its spectacular ones A great story about a family in Peking and how life is just like a passing cloud in the infinite sky


  3. says:

    I saw bits and pieces of the series for this novel with Vicki Zhao and when I looked it up I found that it was serialized from a novel I got a hold of a copy of the book and read it I liked the book a lot better than the series While the characters seem to hold love in a different light and were very traditional it was compliant with the people of that time and the way they dealt with love My favorite character was the protagonist Mulan And while it saddened me that she was not able to marry the one she loved I was still happy that she did not have a sad ending The novel spans a long time period where the children of the characters have already grown up The families in the novel goes through a lot of hardships and wartimes For me it was an enjoyable read something I wouldn't mind rereading and I was especially surprised to find that the novel was originally in English A Chinese author a Chinese setting Why is it in English? But I usually try to read a novel in its original language so I was glad it was in English as reading Chinese seems to take me much time Read it if you have the chance you won't regret it Hopefully haha


  4. says:

    Lin Yutang is a brilliant Chinese writer who wrote countless good books in Chinese and in English He was even nominated for Nobel prize in literature in 40s He wrote moments in Peking first in English then it was translated into Chinese I first read it in Chinese in the 1980s I re read it in English two years ago It is a great book for people who want to learn a little about China's past The book described the life of a few ordinary but well educated Chinese upper middle class familys' life from late 1800s to 1930s


  5. says:

    I read this while living in Beijing in 2001 It was one of the few books in English that I could get my hands on and I was transported I really felt like it added to my understanding of the place I was living in and it certainly filled in a few gaps in my knowledge of historyI tried reading it again later when I was home but found it hard to get into


  6. says:

    Why read this bookMoment in Peking has been described as an historical novel originally written in English by Chinese scholar and writer Lin Yutang The novel covers the turbulent events in China from 1900 to the mid 1930s and includes the Boxer Uprising of 1900 the Revolution of 1911 that kicked out the emperor the ensuing Warlord Era and the start of the brutal Japanese invasion in the mid 1930sWhen I left secondary school in 1967 jobs were hard to find in Singapore In the day I worked as a factory odd job labourer and at night I gave tuition to two primary school brothers One day their father a wealthy man working as general manager of a supermarket chain gave me an old dust covered book Moment in Peking That was my first sight of this novelI’d already read some of Lin Yutang’s anthologies in school and was mesmerised by his expressive language and elegant diction which I imitated in my composition lessons thus earning me the reputation of possessing the most “powerful” English among the secondary students in Singapore in the mid 1960s So an English text novel by Lin was a treasure to me I’ve since re read and dip into this book countless times The book has since been translated into Chinese as 京華煙雲Although the novel is “historical” and the chaos of old China is now only a fading memory the events Lin recounts has an immediacy for me Lin begins his story in 1900 in Peking when the Yao family is making preparation to flee the city because of the Boxer Rebellion My own father was born in 1911 the year the Emperor abdicated and the Republic established My father left his village in Mei Hsien county in Guangdong province when he was 20 to seek his fortune in British Malaya and in Java the Dutch East Indies then He met my mother in Singapore they married and then moved to neighbouring Riau island where he managed a sundry goods shop I was born in 1951 two years after Mao’s Red Army drove out the Koumintang and closed the country’s bordersAlthough I grew up in Singapore I find the customs practices and values of the people in the novel familiar to me Reading Moment in Peking is to have a glimpse of life in the pre communist world of my father and his migrant generation before they left the old countryOn writing this novel Dr Lin Yutang says What is a novel but “a little talk” as the name hsiaoshuo implies? So reader listen to this little talk awhile when you have nothing better to do This novel is neither an apology for contemporary Chinese life nor an exposé of it as so many recent Chinese “dark curtain” novels purport to be It is neither a glorification of the old way of life nor a defence of the new It is merely a story of how men and women in the contemporary era grow up and learn to live with one another how they love and hate and uarrel and forgive and suffer and enjoy how certain habits of living and ways of thinking are formed and how above all they adjust themselves to the circumstances in this earthly life where men strive but the gods ruleCheck out this link for on the book


  7. says:

    This was my Grandfather's favorite book of all time and for that reason I felt a great appreciation for the literature It is a long book which sometimes to me felt like it was dragging and the language of the book reuires extra effort to absorb But it is a lovely story of humanity and devotion I will likely not read it again but I'm glad I finished the book


  8. says:

    This was just wonderful Somuch detail about the History of the last 150 years in China but told through the story of a great and i teresting family


  9. says:

    210 Moment in Peking Lin Yutang Novel 1939Barack2019030420200619 —— Writing it all without tears and dedicated it to the fighters who resisted Japan It is not a hero who shed blood who is a free citizen in China Moment in Peking Moment in Peking first edition in France in 1939 The original version was written in English and later translated into Chinese It tells the joys and sorrows and grievances of the three families of Zeng Yao and Niu in Peking from the Boxer Movement in 1901 to the War of Resistance Against Japan for than 30 years Lin Yutang Lin Yutang was born in 1895 in Banzi Town Pinghe County Zhangzhou Fujian and died in 1976 He was born into a Christian family and his father was a church pastor He received a Master of Arts degree from Harvard University and a PhD in Linguistics from Leipzig University He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature twice in 1940 and 1950 In 1966 he settled in Taiwan Representative works Mom in Peking Su Dongpo The Art of Life My Country and My People etc Part of the catalog1 Taoist daughter11 The owner of the back garden bury jewels and Beijing city residents avoided the disaster12 In case of rebellious soldiers being separated post a confession and find someone on the road13 Tomo worry about getting engaged for life parents and children hanged by the screen14 Mulan gave her dowry and piled up jewels Suyun was jealous of her lips and tongue2 Courtyard tragedy21 Shi Caiian Yao Mulan as the steward of the housekeeper was guilty of retribution to the God of Wealth and ransacked the house22 Niu's family loses power and is stretched Zeng's house is suitable for entertainment23 On the Chinese and Western Gu Lao's singularity on the enlightenment of the signed text and the jade girl drowning in the lotus24 The duty of treasure hunting in the Royal Palace has been fulfilled3 Autumn singing31 The degenerate shameless Suyun was abandoned drill camp possess skill and rise high32 Waving a pen for Wen Konglifu to complain about the patriotic parade the youth suffered33 The Japanese invaders slaughtered Manniang and hanged herself Jinghua on the escape from Yanan34 Following the government and bringing young Mulan into Shu the nation's anti Japanese war converged and the national power moved westward It is said that Lin Yutang originally wanted to translate A Dream of Red Mansions but China was in a national crisis at that time and the era depicted in A Dream of Red Mansions was a bit far away so Lin Yutang simply rewritten a novel that is Mom in Beijing The shadow of the Red Mansion can be seen everywhere in this work The mansion of the prince Yao Si'an bought is like the Grand View Garden I didn't count the scenic spots in it I guess it contains 24 sceneries The couplet of ushui embraces mountains and mountains and rivers idlers watch actors and actresses watch people is also very interesting The first time I read A Dream of Red Mansions was in junior high school I really couldn't bear the trivial life described in it and gave up halfway through it But when I read Water Margin it was a waste of sleep and food Now I can read such excellent works that describe daily life with fascination Perhaps because children have too little experience they lack perception of the fun of world insight and human feelings; and when a person gets older he often sees himself and what he has encountered from the characters in the novel All kinds of people Looking at the words deeds and psychology of the characters from the perspective of God is really interesting When I see that the characters in the novel have committed some problems but don't know it I often sigh then think of my own history and take the initiative to reflect Lin Yutang has poured a lot of emotion into the two characters Mulan and Mo Chou and his writing is so vivid and delicate The older sister is lively and alert and the younger sister is calm and meticulous I suspect that such a woman should be extremely rare Li Fu is really a lucky guy and he can get the favor of these two women If Mulan was born today according to her temperament she would probably pursue her love and marry Lifu instead of Sunya It's just that if both husband and wife are too romantic it might be detrimental to reality and probably only a realistic wife like Mo Chou can pull Lifu back rather than push it forward Some people say that if you find something you like you will be happy every morning from 8 am to 8 pm; if you find someone you like then you will be happy every night from 8 pm to 8 am From the novel fortunate and unfortunate in marriage the reader can easily feel it The four characters of being unsuccessful in meeting people are both men and women Mulan said when persuading Hongyu that when a woman loves others she feels that she has lost something Not only women but also men When I find myself in love with someone I always feel that I feel empty when I am alone Sexual temptation is the natural temptation for women to attract the opposite sex Yingying chooses to use it as a means to master her husband; while Mulan Moshou uses love and wisdom I think the latter is permanent The Han Wu Emperor's beloved concubine Mrs Li once said “Everyone who cares about people in Israel and sex will be fascinated by color and love for relaxation” It can be said to be very good Sober The young muleman rushed forward and said Miss please take my car Their mules are not good Miss Mulan thought for a while and secretly compared it The mule in the other car was a little thinner but the mule man was kind; and the young mule man had sores on his head Its solid wood orchid When choosing a vehicle it is not the uality of the mule but the appearance of the mule In a person's life there are some subtle things that are meaningless in themselves but they are of great importance After the situation has passed look back The causal relationship but found that its impact is amazing If this young coachman does not have boils on his head and if Mulan does not ride in another car with a small mule things will be different on the way while wood blue lifetime is also different There are often not many decisive things in life These are important things if we look back at them It is often found that life is disagreement at a small node Like I was left to go out today or go to the right it is a trifle But the different paths you choose to walk may lead to different people you meet Meeting or not meeting this person may affect our life Little things become big things Such reasoning together life is actually not trivial at all Because we never know a little thing Some major events will be affected in the future Therefore the results encountered now have the foreshadowing reasons that were laid a long time ago Mulan once heard her father say Furgitation is harmful to the mind His other reason is If you are upright and self sufficient evil spirits cannot invade In Mulan's future life there were many times when she remembered her father's words this truth became her life guide she gained life's optimism and courage from it A world that all evil cannot invade is naturally a A beautiful world that makes people optimistic and striving naturally people who live in such a world will have courage can fight and can endure it The imperial court sent military attachés to suppress the Boxer Rebellion They were killed in ambush by the Boxer Rebellion The defeated soldiers surrendered to the Boxer Rebellion The Boxer Rebellion had won the hearts of the people and was proud of it It simply occupied Beijing killed foreigners killed religious people and burned churches Foreign envoys protested The minister resolutely sent people to investigate the situation of the Boxer The result reported that the Boxer was “sent from heaven to expel foreigners and wash the country’s shame” Instead he secretly put tens of thousands of boxers into Beijing Once the Boxers entered the city they were in Cixi Under the protection of the ueen Mother and King Duan they committed crimes and made everyone tremble and shocked the whole city They wandered around looking for Da Maozi Er Maozi and San Maozi and they all killed them Refers to foreigners ermaozi and sanmaozi refer to religious believers those who work in foreign companies and English speaking Chinese They burned churches and foreign houses everywhere destroyed foreign mirrors umbrellas foreign clocks and foreign paintings More Chinese were killed than foreigners Their method of proving whether the Chinese are Er Maozi is very simple ask the suspect to kneel in front of the altar of the Boxer on the street burn a yellow form to their god and if the person is guilty or innocent the paper ashes will fly upward It depends on whereabouts The altar is located on the street facing the direction of the setting sun People who want to express Xinyi and Tuan must burn incense and those Tuan Yong will fist and worship the Monkey King the Monkey King in this novel is the god they worship As a result the streets are filled with cigarettes and the smell is tangy and people feel as if they have entered a foreign land and a fairyland Even the court officials set up altars at home inviting the leaders to do the work at home and the servants of the family also joined the Boxers to take advantage of the situation to threaten the master The Boxer ’s starting point may be good hoping to achieve national self improvement But the method they used is ignorant The wrong method is used and many people with ulterior motives will get involved in fishing in troubled waters Boxer such a radical approach probably conductivity caused by Allied Forces invaded Beijing one of the factors The head of this wealthy family is indifferent to everything except books antiues and children He has two reasons for not marrying a concubine First his wife is not allowed Second in his 30s When he married Mulan’s mother at the age of 20 there was a sudden change in his life Under that sudden change he changed from a prodigal son who was greedy and lustful into a real Taoist sage Before that period of time he For his family his life was a smoky dark day He drank gambled rode horses fencing punched played with women raised singers kept prostitutes wandered about the rivers and lakes and made friends with officials However he suddenly changed One year after his marriage his father died Among the wealth left to him there are pharmacies and tea shops in Hangzhou Suzhou Yangzhou and Beiping They often sell medicinal materials from Sichuan tea from Fujian and Anhui and some Pawnshop In those years the development and change of his inner spirit was really mysterious and unpredictable Before marriage and after marriage even his wife does not know whether he has truly become a new man He uit gambling his famous alcoholism suddenly stopped lust and indulgence and other things that damaged his steel like body were also completely stopped; he even abandoned business and business because his brother in law Feng was uncle Feng A veteran business man he was completely in charge of him Probably only those who have been caught up in temptation can escape from temptation easily I think that if you want to be born you must first enter the world Without first experienced the color is the color space is empty stage jump directly to sex is zero Kongjishise stage I think that is the foundation of a house of cards easy to collapse Mulan replied They are all up but Tiren and his sister are not up So he asked again Why did you say last night that all those antiues are worthless rubbish? If you treat those things as waste they are waste Father's words are too profound for Mulan too difficult to understand Do you really want to leave those things? At least hide those jade and amber animals I need to The father said Good boy I'm already hiding So she told her in detail what was buried like a big secret Mulan remembered the name of each item She asked her father What if someone finds those things and digs them up? The father said Listen child You know everything has its own master In the past three thousand years those Zhou Dynasty bronzes have had hundreds of owners In this world no one can hold an item forever Take it now and say I am the master One hundred years later who will be the master again? Chinese thinking emphasizes from the inside out The changes in the outside world are complicated and messy so you must set your own mind before you can rationally look at gains and losses Mulan's father saw it thoroughly so he could afford it and put it down Fights occur from time to time between boxers and the army because boxers only fight with swords and guns and suffer a lot As soon as they hear the sound of guns the boxers flee in all directions What is the nature of boxers? Clear In the army half said that the boxers should be eliminated and half said no The boxers won the hearts of the people because they burned churches and killed foreigners hated by thousands of people The imperial court ordered the incorporation of boxers in the spring and now let the army again To suppress boxers the recent court seems to favor them again and adopt their xenophobic policy Some superstitious mobs gathered together to scare ordinary people and neither had strict military discipline There is no sophisticated euipment How is it possible to compete with the regular ing army or foreign army? Mrs Yao had already told him about his dream last night In the dream I only remembered that she was walking in the valley A large stream was flowing in the middle of the valley and there was a forest on the other side She was holding Mo Chou's hand at that time She felt that she heard Mulan calling her She suddenly thought that Mulan was not by her side and seemed to have not seen her for several days At first Mulan's voice seemed to come from the top of the tree When she turned and entered the gloomy woods I found that many trails were blocked I didn't know what to do I heard Mulan yelling The voice was clear and audible but weak and weak It seemed to come from across the stream The voice was Where am I Where am I The mother turned around and saw the child's figure picking flowers on the grass across the stream She couldn't see the boat or the bridge She couldn't help but wonder how the child passed? She left Moshou behind shore wading in the shallow rapids themselves in the past


  10. says:

    One of the best books of the than 40 books I have read relating to China Despite being largely a work of fiction the books takes place against a backdrop of very real historical events in the early 20th century in China Lin Yutang is incredibly intelligent and has an impressive grasp of the English language This book was first wrote in English and only years later translated into Chinese Lin Yutang is very well known in modern day China and is highly respected for his intelligence and ability to write beautifully in Chinese and English The story follows the lives of several families who are related by various marriages of their children as they grow up and grow old as the ing Dynasty begins to crumble and along with it a way of life that has been in place for hundreds of years In the wake of the ing Dynasty various factions of warlords begin fighting and seizing power from each other before the Kuomintang and the Communists begin to rise and establish their control of the countryThe story is long and winding with a large number of characters and at times it can be difficult to remember minor characters relations to the other characters but the story is beautifully told In addition one of the best aspects of the books is it's ability to inform the readers of the incredibly complex manner of family life and social relations that disappeared along with the end of China's thousands of years old Dynastic rule This book will entertain both those casually interested in China as well as those who are deeply interested in understanding about China's recent past and how it informs some of today's family practices


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Moment in Peking

download ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB Á Lin Yutang

Life nor a defense of the new It is merely a story of how men and women in the contemporary era grow up and learn to live with one another how they love and hate and uarrel and forgive and su. Lin Yutang is a brilliant Chinese writer who wrote countless good books in Ch

characters Moment in Peking

This novel is neither an apology for contemporary Chinese life nor an expose of it as so many recent Chinese 'dark curtain' novels purport to be It is neither a glorification of the old way of. I saw bits and pieces of the series for this novel with Vicki Zhao and when I

download ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB Á Lin Yutang

Ffer and enjoy how certain habits of living and ways of thinking are formed and how above all they adjust themselves to the circumstances in this earthly life where men strive but the gods rul. This was just wonderful Somuch detail about the History of the last 150 years

  • Hardcover
  • 815
  • Moment in Peking
  • Lin Yutang
  • en
  • 03 September 2019
  • 9789997412577

About the Author: Lin Yutang

Prolific writer of a wide variety of works in Chinese and English; in the 1930s he founded several Chinese magazines specializing in social satire and Western style journalismLin the son of a Chinese Presbyterian minister was educated for the ministry but renounced Christianity in his early 20s and became a professor of English He traveled to the United States and Europe for advanced study; on