5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2012
As a very new Taoist, I found this Translation of the Tao Te Ching to be easy to read. I searched many English Translations for a Translation that kept a balance between accuracy and poetic nature; Spiritual Context and Practical Context. Some Translations are too wordy in trying to be accurate. Some are so poetic they are not very accurate. Some are too Spiritual and forget the practical. Some are too practical and forget the Spiritual.
I found some Translations that appeared nice and were out of print. I started looking for a Translation that was in print. I found a small number of them Locally; to be honest.
This book is useful as it uses the Ma-Wang-Tui Texts as its base. These are the older texts which show what the Tao Te Ching used to be before its changes over the years that most versions of the book have as the Received Text. The book also does a good job at noting the differences between the Ma-Wang-Tui Texts and the Received Text in its footers. The Book also has the Four Canons of the Yellow Emperor; which I have yet to read but plan to in the future.
The Translation is a good balance, I feel. I am not Chinese nor do I have extensive training in the Language. I would like to learn the Language in the future. As someone new to Taoism; I am not keyed in completely as to what all a Tao Te Ching Translation should be. I based my view off of the criteria that I have listed.
The book also uses a variety of words. The word Tao is not used every time it could be; as in some Translations. I've seen some Translations open saying something similar to the Tao Taoing the Tao. Perhaps this is grammatically possible and even esoterically correct; but very difficult to understand for someone new to Taoism.
"A Tao that can be tao-ed is not lasting Tao." Translated by P.J. Maclagan (1898) What does this mean?
Where, if I can use a brief quote, the version in this book says, "The way given voice is not the true Way." There, I can understand what this means. It means when we tell someone the way we are putting it into our own words. In doing; it is only one perspective of the way. To me, this is a lot more easy to understand.
By differentiating into the word way instead of always using the word Tao the translation becomes more specific and easier to understand; as long was we remember that the Tao is also called the Way.
This is the first book I primarily bought for its Tao Te Ching Translation; I chose it and enjoy it for the reasons I listed.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2011
This whole script was based on the finding of ancient silk manuscripts discovered in 1973 in China. It was much older than any other existing versions already known. The Four Canons of the Yellow Emperor being never seen before....
This title is the first to restore the Four Canons to its rightful place among not only the Book of the Way, but of other great journalistic masterpieces on bookshelves today.
The author, Jean Levi, the renowned scholar that he is, has written a number of books on all kinds of Chineses lifestyles and beliefs.
For those of you who want to learn more of this subject(s), pick up this title. It's good...
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2012
I happen to know some folks from china, and I know that although these few folks that I know have a pretty good grasp on the the English language they don't know too many 'Big Words', I always wonder when reading a book translated from Chinese why they don't try to use the simplest words of the English language so it will be more fluid to read. This book is a good example. Even if you speak English well, keep your dictionary nearby.