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Lao-tzu's Taoteching Paperback – November 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
As many know, Classical Chinese is an extremely concise and powerful language, a language of great masculine vigor, and one of the first things to look for in any translation from Classical Chinese is a comparable economy and energy. Some people don't seem to understand this, and I think it's because they fail to realize that words, besides expressing meaning, can also serve to limit meaning, especially in grammatically fussy Indo-European languages such as English where sentences are intended to convey as precise a meaning as possible and in doing so can become (as mine are here) rather wordy.
But ancient Chinese writing isn't like this. Rather than attempting to narrow and delimit meaning, and to pin us down to something particular and explicit, it aims instead to open and expand our understanding. In other words, although it can look deceptively simple, it is in fact richly suggestive, rich in implications. And this rich suggestiveness will suggest many things to different readers. That is why no Chinese reader would even think of approaching an ancient classic without a commentary. For no matter what a text may suggest to a given reader, we may be sure that it has suggested many more things to earlier and possibly more acute readers.Read more ›
A number of other features make this volume unique and particularly valuable. Pine's extensive introduction covers an intriguing linguistic insight into the Chinese written character for Tao, Lao Tzu's historical background, the usual issues of authorship, etc., and some of the deeper understandings of the important themes of philosophical Taoism. Also, he has provided black and white photos of the famed Hanku Pass and the Loukuantai where tradition holds that Lao-tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching. The Chinese text is provided along side Pine's clear and unadorned translation. He utilizes the earlier but more recently discovered Mawangtui texts, and explains his preferences in choosing among textual variants. But most important for me, and for any student of the Tao Te Ching are his carefully selected commentaries which follow each verse. These show how the Chinese have traditionally understood the passages of the TTC in selected commentaries from the last 2000 years. Also, the book provides an extensive glossary of the Chinese terms and the commentators. Highly recommended!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Red Pine is the best translator I've read. He does a great job with this work. There are also many commentaries by different people after each verse so you'll have many... Read morePublished 8 months ago by robert p.
I don't know who "Red Pine" is, but this book explains more about the "Tao Te Ching" thna anything I've ever come across - and I am an "Eastern Philosophy"... Read morePublished 12 months ago by John J. Gibbs
I study Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as Qigong and my Qigong master quotes Lao Tzu often so this book is really awesome.Published 13 months ago by Nicki Kelly
If you are looking for a deeper understanding of the Tao te ching this is a great book.Published 13 months ago by George E. McCandless
One of the strengths of this edition of the Tao Te Ching is the inclusion of selected commentaries from various centuries. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Charles
If you find yourself collecting translations of the Taoteching, this is a good one. The glossary alone is a gem.Published 20 months ago by T. Coonen
I got the book on time, it was in good condition. That is all I look for so there you go.Published 22 months ago by J. Schneider