In accordance with our meta agreement to have topic challenges and a later meta agreement to have topic challenges lasting for two months that overlap by one month, it is time to announce the January–February 2020 topic challenge.

Based on the number of votes, the first topic challenge of the year 2020 will be

Lin Yutang (林语堂)

What's a topic challenge?

See the meta posts linked above, and also this main meta post. In short, during January–February 2020 we should all try to read one or more works by Lin Yutang.

Participation is not obligatory in any sense, but those who participate will be forever remembered in the annals of our history. And of course it goes without saying that questions on other works are more than welcome during June too; they just won't count as part of this topic challenge.

How can I take part?

By getting hold of one of the works of Lin Yutang and asking good questions about these works. These questions should be tagged with ; if the book discussed in the question was written in Chinese, the question should also be tagged with . We'll keep a list of all such questions in an answer to this meta post.

Below is the original presentation of this topic challenge, which contains several reading suggestions:

Lin Yutang (1895 – 1976) was born in China but after 1935 he lived mostly in the United States. He died in Taiwan, where his home was turned into a museum: the Lin Yutang house. After his death, The New York Times wrote wrote:

Lin Yutang, poet, novelist, historian and philosopher, had no peer as an interpreter to Western minds of the customs, aspirations, fears and thoughts of his people and their country, China, the great and tragic land.

After leaving China, he published many books in English, including the following:

What's next?

  • Vote here for the next topic challenge (February–March), or propose your own!

1 Answer 1


The highest-voted of these is What is the source of Irving Babbitt's disctinction between supernaturalism, humanism and naturalism, with a score of 4 at the end of February.

The most viewed is In Yuan Zhen's story ‘ Passion’, what does 14 February refer to?, with approximately 24 views during the months of January and February.

Neither question had received an answer by the end of the reading challenge.

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