Good news from the Ministry of Education

Tsinghua summer book list cited controversy

On July 26, Tsinghua University released 10 “Tsinghua recommended summer vacation books” on its official microblog. Among them, there are not only the Yellow River and Chinese civilization with strong humanistic background, but also the beauty of formula which transmits rational scientific thought. The author background of 10 books is different, but they are all masters and experts in relevant fields at home and abroad. Not long ago, Tsinghua, like in previous years, sent a classic book to freshmen with the letter of acceptance. This year’s new year’s recommended reading was Hemingway’s “the old man and the sea”.

The classic book that Tsinghua sent to the freshmen with the letter of admission this year is Hemingway’s “the old man and the sea”. Source: Tsinghua University

Many people can’t imagine that Tsinghua recommended the old man and the sea, but it has brought some controversy and misunderstanding. Some people don’t think of the nationality of the author, and some people label the old man and the sea as “promoting individualism”. For a while, the Internet public opinion is bustling, which leads to the discussion about what books should be recommended by universities and how students should carry out extracurricular reading.

Hemingway is recognized for his literary achievements in the world. He is not only the Nobel Prize winner of literature, but also one of the greatest writers in the 20th century. In addition to the old man and the sea, he left behind classic works such as “the sun rises as usual”, “farewell, weapons” and so on. Hemingway always insisted on the anti fascist position during World War II, and also participated in the war of liberating Paris as a journalist. Whether it is about literary value or with its expressed ideas, the old man and the sea are a work worth recommending to freshmen.

In recent years, the list recommended by Tsinghua University to freshmen also reflects the idea of combining China and foreign countries and collecting the advantages of all. According to the media statistics, the old man and the sea were presented to the freshmen by Tsinghua for seven years. The previous six books were ordinary world, Walden lake, art story, from one to infinity, Wangu River and local China. Among them, except that “from one to infinity” is a book on science and humanities, most of the works on the list belong to the fields of history, literature and art. In connection with the traditional characteristics of science and Engineering in Tsinghua University, these readings clearly express the idea of strengthening the humanistic education of Tsinghua University.

Humanistic education has always been open and inclusive. In the long history of human civilization, the writers, artists and philosophers at all times and abroad have left a bright mark. To understand China, we need to understand the history and culture and the cultural traditions of China; To understand the world, we must study and understand the world classic works. In fact, whether it is a book presented to freshmen or a list of recommended books in summer vacation, Tsinghua University is transmitting the reading concept of Dabo to students, hoping that students will take reading as a life attitude and take books as their own endless spiritual source.

“People are not spiritual and stand,” Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University, said in a recommendation for the old man and the sea By recommending the old man and the sea, he hopes that the new students will face all the difficult challenges in the new life stage, pay attention to shaping the tenacity spirit, constantly sharpen the brave and resolute quality, and believe that this spirit and quality will become the wealth of the new students who benefit from life. The tenacity of human beings is across the border, not the narrow individualism that some netizens think. Classic works always have the power to cross time and space and across civilization. There is no conflict among civilizations, but only the eyes to appreciate the beauty of all civilizations.

From this point of view, what books are recommended and what books are allowed to be read by the University reflect the pattern and spirit of the University. From the new cultural movement of advocating Mr. de and Mr. Sai, to the progress of China’s high-level university to the construction of the world-class university, the development history of China’s higher education is also a history of opening up and absorbing advanced experience from the outside world. At present, some people feel that the reading face of college students is narrow and the trend of “utilitarian” reading appears. It is undoubtedly the only way to cultivate students’ sound personality and create innovative and open thinking.