Red Pine (a.k.a. Bill Porter) offers a new perspective on the Chinese classic Taoteching. A competent translator and interpreter of Chinese religion, he renders his work with an eye for detail and a spiritualism cultivated during years of Zen monastery living. It's odd that many read translations of Chinese classics as bare-bones texts, whereas no Chinese would tackle such obscurity in the absence of a helping hand from previous pundits. Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to rely on mystical insight in order to understand the Taoteching. Instead, we can look to the 12 or so commentators that Red Pine resurrects from Chinese history. With its clarity and scholarly range, this version of the Taoteching works as both a readable text and a valuable resource of Taoist interpretation.
From Library Journal
Here is a refreshing new translation by an American scholar of Chinese (Guide to Capturing a Plum, Mercury House, 1995) that offers a simple version of this great sixth-century B.C. work. Accompanying each of the 81 verses are brief commentaries by scholars ancient and modern, plus an appended glossary explaining who they are. Many translations appear, in comparison, to be needlessly personalized and poetic. Here, one feels, are the bare bones, shining brightly. There is also an introductory background essay on what is known of this gnomish founder of Taoist philosophy. Chinese characters for each verse are included. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries.?Jeanne S. Bagby, formerly with Tucson P.L., Ariz.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.