Abstract The Chinese term youmo for humor is a translated neologism in modern Chinese. It was Lin Yutang who first coined the term in 1924 and introduced and promoted the idea of humor into Chinese culture. Lin's translating ‘humor’ into youmo was a conscious cross-cultural act that mediates and appropriates cultural meaning between East and West. By way of cross-cultural translation, ‘humor’ as youmo takes on a multicultural meaning which not only enriches the notion of humor but also offers an aesthetic alternative to Chinese modernity through creative transformation of Chinese cultural tradition. After recognizing the Western reference of youmo , especially George Meredith's notion of the “comic spirit,” I will show how youmo intends to find a middle ground for Chinese modernity in which Chinese literature and culture can shake off shackles of moral pomposity while still maintaining a gentlemanly style or taste. The primary means for Lin to achieve that purpose is to re-interpret traditional Chinese culture, both Taoist and Confucianist, along humorous lines. And it is in such cross-cultural interaction that Lin Yutang developed his philosophical notion of youmo as “tolerant irony” based on the Taoist ironical stance towards life as well as the Confucian “Spirit of Reasonableness.”
Humor: International Journal of Humor Research – de Gruyter
Published: Aug 21, 2007
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera