W-Th Jan. 16-17
➤ Reading: Excerpts from My Country and My People
(Note: We’re going to refer back to My Country and My People a lot in this class, so at this point I highly recommend you purchase a copy yourself. You can easily order a print copy on Taobao, where you can buy both English and Chinese editions together for about 40 RMB. The Chinese edition is available in electronic form on 微信读书 and probably many other platforms.
Read the five excerpts from My Country and My People. Feel free to read this in Chinese if you wish, then go back and read whichever passages you find most interesting in English. (However, I recommend that everybody read at least section II of the Prologue in English, since this is the part where Lin Yutang directly appeals to his Western readers.)
Questions to consider as you read:
Prologue (闲话开场) (just sections II and III):
Who do you guess Lin Yutang’s intended readers are? What is his purpose in writing this book? What common views (“they say’s”) is he responding to?
“Mellowness” (圆熟), “Old Roguery” (老猾俏皮), “Contentment” (知足), “Intelligence” (智慧) and “Femininity” (女性型)
What generalizations does Lin Yutang make about the way Chinese people think and behave?
Do you think these generalizations are accurate? Are there any you take issue with? What things does Lin “get right,” and what things does he “get wrong”?
If you disagree with Lin about something, what would you add or change to make his generalization more accurate?
Speaker 1: Summarize what Lin Yutang says in the Prologue sections II and III (闲话开场), and feel free to comment on the questions above about the Prologue.
Speaker 2: Summarize Lin Yutang’s main points in “Mellowness” (圆熟), “Old Roguery” (老猾俏皮), and “Contentment” (知足), and feel free to comment on the questions above.
Speaker 3: Summarize Lin Yutang’s main points in “Intelligence” (智慧) and “Femininity” (女性型), and feel free to comment on the questions above.
➤ Writing exercise #2: Respond to a classmate’s essay
▶ View all essays (提取码：hpj8）
Section 1: Read Folder A
Section 2: Read Folder B
Section 3: Read Folder C
Skim through the 12 essays in the folder I’ve assigned to your section. Which of these essays “grabs” you the most? Which of these presents the most compelling vision for our book? (Imagine that you pick up a book in a bookstore and this is the preface. Would you keep reading? Would you want to buy the book?)
Choose the essay that grabs you the most. Write a paragraph (about 100 words) explaining why you chose this essay and why you find it compelling.
In your paragraph, put in bold (黑体) one word or phrase whose usage you’re not confident about. I will give you feedback about whether you’re using it correctly.
Format the assignment according to my Formatting Guidelines, print it, and bring it to next class.