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Lao Tzu : Tao Te Ching : A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way Paperback – October 20, 1998
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"A student of the Tao for several decades, Le Guin has created an English text that will speak to modern readers in a fresh and lively way, while conveying the humor, insight and beauty of the original."—Shambhala Sun
"Ursula K. Le Guin's translation of the Tao Te Ching is a personal and poetic meditation. Through her own careful study of these ancient teachings, she brings the Way into contemporary life. Each day, I open this book at random and receive a contemplative gift. These words are akin to water in the desert."—Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge
"Among the many translations of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching , Ursula K. Le Guin's new version is a special treasure—a delight. There is something startlingly fresh and creatively alive here, brought forth by Ms. Le Guin's intuitive and personal ingenuity. Her rendering has moved me to return to the original Chinese text with rejuvenated fervor, rejoicing in the ineffable sageness that lies in and between Lao Tzu's lines."—Chuangliang Al Huang, founder of the Living Tao Foundation, coauthor (with Alan Watts) of Tao: The Watercourse Way
Top Customer Reviews
Ching (Daodejing) and looked at many others. Like Mrs. Le Guin points
out in her note at the end of the book, I also believe that the one by
Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English is the most satisfactory in a literary
sense. However, sometimes it lacks the simplicity and immediacy which
this rendition gives to Lao Tzu's "very easy to understand"
words. Also, Mrs. Le Guin stayed with me throughout the book, and what
she had to say amounted to a fantastic commentary to the wisdom of the
Tao. Take for example Chapter 11 in page 14. At the bottom is a note
that says: "One of the things I love about Lao Tzu is he is so
funny. He's explaining a profound and difficult truth here, ....[and]
goes about it with this deadpan simplicity, talking about pots."
This kind of comment conveys, in my opinion, exactly the essence of
Taoism as predicated by Lao Tzu. There's nothing complicated, nothing
intrincate about Taoist wisdom. And Mrs. LeGuin sticks to this
(taoist) simplicity throughout the book. Being a translator myself, I
dare say that some of Lao Tzu's translators became obsessed with
"extracting" deep meaning from the Tao Te Ching, trying to
retain the tone, now looking for complicated words to convey
"exact" meaning, now glossing over a passage, losing the
reader along the way. As Mrs. LeGuin points out in the introduction to
this book "Scholarly translations of the Tao Te Ching as a manual
for rulers use a vocabulary that emphasizes the uniqueness of the
Taoist "sage", his masculinity, his authority." The
result is dry, unsatisfactory, nihilistic, detached.Read more ›
Le Guin's rendition of Lao Tzu's 'Tao te Ching' was, for me, a good addition to my understanding. I have many copies. I almost always compare one with another when I sit down to think. Some 'translations' are better than others for different passages, or moods. With more than 15 years of experience in Asian cultures, primarily Japanese, and many years of contemplating Lao Tzu's writings, I recognize that some translations rely more heavily on a broader asian perspective than others. What seems natural or obvious to one steeped in asian culture may be contradictory or even 'silly' to a westerner This doesn't mean the message is wrong, but that the wording is not suited for that reader. One interpretation alone was insufficient to help me comprehend the simple nature of the Tao.
Once I began to see my world from within the understanding of the Tao, rather than see the Tao from the outside through others' words, I found a new enjoyment in seeing how others perceive the Tao. This is why I enjoyed Ursula K. Le Guin's approach immensely. Clearly, Ms. Le Guin feels the awe and wonder of the simple way, as I am beginning to enjoy it.
Hers is not as literal or as historically steeped as some, and not as contemporary as others (Stephen Mitchell). Not a hard-hitting philosophical analysis (Wing-Tsit Chan), nor an obscure or remote work [Asian feeling] (Gai-Fu Fen/Jane English).Read more ›
This is one book that would bring harmony to anyone, when taken into the depths of consciousness. It will show you the way of being. It will help you live with what IS, and that alone will help free you from pain.
Highly recommended for its profound truth, and the extraordinary difference this truth can make in your life. Deserves 10 Stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My girlfriend likes to read about different religions / spiritualities. This work really resonated with her.Published 7 days ago by J.J.
Stunning as is anything associated with Ursula K. Leslie Guin
and a book to delve into as often as possible.
A treasure and a gem - loved the translation. It seemed to be spot on. I just keep reading it over and over.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I am now reading, concurrently, chapter by chapter, three versions of the Tao Te Ching: Feng/English's, Stephen Mitchell's, and Ursula Le Guin's, which is my hands down favorite. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Wally Jasper
A beautiful small book wherein Leguin writes from her heart her understanding of each of the sutras.Published 3 months ago by Sheila Sirey
Ursula K. Le Guin's Tao Te Ching is one of my favorite versions, the other being the one by Lin Yutang. Read morePublished 5 months ago by D N
This seems to be about what Ms. Le Guin would like the Way to be. I like much of her writing; but this book didn't seem consistent with with other translations, and feels... Read morePublished 5 months ago by P. Gorman