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Lao Tzu: Te-Tao Ching - A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts (Classics of Ancient China) Paperback – June 30, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (June 30, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345370996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345370990
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Based on contemporaneous texts discovered by archeologists in China in the last 20 years, this new translation of the Te-tao Ching is very readable and enjoyable yet at the same time meticulously researched and accurate. It has a clear introduction, extensive commentary, and complete notes. A library wanting complete holdings on Chinese philosophy should surely consider this first of a five-volume series on Chinese classics that will appear in the next years. Otherwise, it will suffice to have translations of Lao-Tzu, the Tao (The Way), and/or the Tao-Te Ching by some or all of its past translators, including Stephen Mitchell, Wing-Tsit Chan, H.B. Crill, Witter Byner, Feng and English, Arthur Waley, Lin Yutang, and James Legge.
- Kitty Chen Dean, Nassau Coll., Garden City, N.Y.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I highly recomend this book.
Patrick W. Austin
The second contains the translation as well as comments, notes and original Chinese from the two Ma-Wang-Tui texts used.
Richard L. Rankin
This is my very first book I have purchased on the Te Tao Ching and it is a wonderful and simply amazing translation.
Diligent Daoist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
In studying the Chinese language, you find the combination of the characters can bring forth feelings and un-nameable images. This is why there are so many different translations of the Tao-Te Ching in English, each one painting a slightly different picture in one's mind. This translation begins with an introduction to Taoism. A great overview for anyone unfamiliar with Taoism. Also explained is some common misconceptions most people have about Taoism (like the original texts did not have chapter separations, and "virtue" [te] actually came before "the way" [tao]) The actual translation is broken up into two parts. The first is the Te-Tao in it's poetic form, in English, translated from the new texts. (One of the better English translations I've seen). The second translation is very useful and interesting if you don't speak Chinese and would like to better understand the true meaning of the texts. The original texts are on the right of the page, while the English definition is on the left. Underneath, he adds notes regarding inconsistancies, missing characters, or just insight addressing lines some people often have problems understanding. Overall, if I would suggest one translation of the Te-Tao Ching, it would definately have to be this one. Intelligent and insightful, it allows words written over 2,300 years ago to still make people today smile with understanding.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brooks on March 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for technically accurate translation, this is the book to have. Based on the recent Ma-Wang-Tui texts, this is a must have for any serious student of Taoism. Because the Way and Virtue sections(Te-Tao) of the Ma-Wang Tui texts were found inverted from the traditional way (Tao-Te) it sometimes makes comparisons to other texts a little harder. Also, this seems to strive to be more technically accurate than poetic, and I think it loses some 'feeling' in the translation. Any true student of Taoism should have several different copies of the Tao-Te Ching to compare, and this translation should definitly be one of them.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Rankin on June 9, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The reviewer Mr. Forrest couldn't understand why the translator changed the name of the text or re-ordered the two parts. If he had read the book he would know that Ma-Wang-Tui texts had this ordering in the original. He would also know that since the two parts are known as the "Tao" and the "Te" ("the way" and "the virtue"), the naming of the book is perfectly appropriate. Mr. Henricks divides his book into two parts also. The first is a straight-forward translation. The second contains the translation as well as comments, notes and original Chinese from the two Ma-Wang-Tui texts used. If you're not interested in chinese philosophy and history, this probably won't appeal to you. You can always get one of the new age, tao-of-pooh type versions.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By "giovanni77" on June 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book of Lao Tzu - Te-Tao Ching is one of the ancient Chinese classics of Taoist philosophy that has been read by scholars and translated and published in books many times with varying translation results. It describes the philosophy of Virtue and The Way in 81 short Chapters.
This translation is based on two original manuscripts - named Ma-Wang-Tui - that pre-date the manucripts used in the excellent tranlation by D.C. Lau. In Mr Henricks' translation, he presents two choices for the reader; the translation of the text only, or the translation of the text including commentaries plus both original chinese texts. For each of the 81 chapters either text A or B is used - where the commentaries include comparison analysis between Text A and B.
Besides the translation of the 81 Chapters, information is included about the historical background of the texts to enable the reader to put the meaning and thought of the text into context.
Reading each chapter in this book for me is close to reading poetry that has powerful meaning and thought embedded in it. I recommend this book to people who are interested in Taoist 'thought'. Mr Henricks is a well respected and skilled translator that has done extensive research for this translation. Well worth a 5-star recommendation.
One of my favorite chapters: #20.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
A few years ago, I bought this book at a garage sale, read it, loved it, and then promptly had it stolen from me. I would have bought another copy but I could not remember which Lao Tzu book it was. So I tried dozens of other translations and all of them seemed lacking. None had the magic of this book. But now, here at Amazon, this book and I have crossed paths again. And I am happy. And Amazon is eight dollars richer.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
In searching for a good translation of the Tao-Te/Te-Tao Ching, I was delighted to find this book. A translation of the remnants of two early copies of the book, it provides new insight into the classic, as well as a good translation. The text of the original documents are reprinted, and commentary is made on the translation, particles, likely meanings, etc. Commentary is made on popular interpretations and ways of organizing the chapters. For the casual reader, a "comment-free" copy is included in this book.
An excellent resource for scholars, philosophers, and those interested in Chinese history and language.
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Lao Tzu: Te-Tao Ching - A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts (Classics of Ancient China)
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