Wed, Mar 27, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Lin Yu-tang's residence open again

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lin Tai-yi, daughter of the late historian Dr. Lin Yu-tang, places flowers before his grave at his former residence on Yangmingshan yesterday.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The former residence of respected historian and philosopher Dr. Lin Yu-tang (林語堂) was reopened to the public yesterday following a NT$10 million renovation.

"Lin was a highly respected writer. By opening his residence to the public, we hope that city residents and international tourists alike will come and get a taste of his wisdom and inner world," said Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) at the opening ceremony yesterday.

Yesterday also marked the 26th anniversary of Lin's death.

"We purposely choose this date to open Lin's residence as a way to mark its meaningfulness," said Lung Ying-tai (龍應台), director of the city's Bureau of Cultural Affairs.

More than a hundred people attended the ceremony, including Lin's two daughters, Lin Tai-yi (林太乙) and Lin Hsiang-ju (林相如), who came back from the US especially for the event. Also at the ceremony yesterday was Lao Wang (老王), the residence's gardener for more than 30 years.

"My father lived here for about 10 years before he passed away in 1976," said Lin Tai-yi. "He considered this residence his favorite a strong attachment to it."

The Spanish-style residence is on the upscale Yangte Boulevard in the Yangmingshan area.

Lin moved to the house with his family from Hong Kong in 1967.

Lin, better known as the Chinese Master of Satire, was a prose writer, historian, philosopher and linguist who was intimately acquainted with the Western tradition. He wrote informal English essays in the style of Montaigne and Lamb.

Distinguished works include My Country and My People (吾國與吾民), Moment in Peking (京華煙雲), The Red Peony (紅牡丹), With Love & Irony (諷頌集) and Leaf in the Storm (風聲鶴唳).

"This residence is so full of rich history and culture that we cannot afford to see it neglected," Lung said. "And we are really fortunate to get the approval of Lin's family to open this place to the public."

Lung said that the residence has been renovated to resemble the way it was when Lin lived there.

"Lin's personal items, such as his books, notebooks, picture albums, letters, typewriter, eyeglasses, clothes and pipe, are all on show for visitors to see as they walk around Lin's residence and relive Lin's inner thoughts," Lung said.

"We strongly hope that this will become a popular weekend getaway for everyone."

Fo Guang University (佛光人文社會學院) has been entrusted by the Bureau of Cultural Affairs to maintain the residence.

Chao Hsiao-hsuan (趙孝萱), an associate professor in the literature department of Fo Guang University, said the school is planning on organizing cultural events at the residence, such as literary forums, afternoon tea with authors and small-scale dance performances.

"Well-known authors, including Chang Ta-chun (張大春), Huang Chun-ming (黃春明) and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature Gao Xingjian (高行健) are among those invited to these events," Chao said.

The Lin Yu-tang Memorial Library is open from 9am to 11pm every day and admission is free.

The address is No. 141, Lane 2, Yangte Boulevard (仰德大道2141). For more information, call (02) 2345-1556.

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