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The Record of Linji (Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture) Paperback – April 22, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Readers of the 1975 edition of the Ruth Fuller Sasaki's translation will see much new material here, not only fresh renderings of passages taking into account modern Japanese scholarship, but also an extensive amount of footnotes clarifying passages in the text. While these footnotes do not "explain" the passages from a Zen (Chan) student's viewpoint (and indeed, the meaning of many passages like the famous "formulas" defy definite clarification even by experts), the extensive collection of notes are very helpful for wading through some occasionally rather difficult T'ang/Song vernacular.
Kirchner himself deserves huge praise for wading into such a time-consuming project in making this edition available for publication, a truly imposing task. It indeed must have been a labor of love. Needless to say, anyone interested in world religious literature in general, much less zen scholars and practitioners specifically, should consider the Linji Lu required reading. And this rendition, along with the commentary, will not likely be superseded for quite some time. Buy it, study it, and try to see eye-to-eye with a towering chan master (or at least a Song Period version of him), if you can :-).
The wealth of supplemental material included in this new edition is itself worth the price of the book!
While there are a couple of quality English translations available, this new edition goes way above and beyond anything else previously available.
This work on the vastly influential Record of Linji (aka. Lin-chi, Jap. Rinzai) is the result of decades of work by a veritable multitude of preeminent Zen scholars. This translation was first conceived and begun by Sasaki Shigetsu (1882-1945). Unfinished at the time of his death, the project was continued by Sasaki Shigetsu's wife, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who revisioned the project, and wanted to greatly expand the amount of supplemental material included.
With the assistance of a small army of Japanese and Western scholars, she managed to compile a wealth of notes and research material and was well on the way to what would certainly have been a definitive edition when she died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1967. An abridged version of the book was released in 1975. Although it was a quality publication, it fell way short of Ruth Fuller Sasaki's original intention.
Then, in recent years a team of scholars brought the many discoveries and advances of modern Zen scholarship to bear and completely revised and updated the wealth of material compiled by Sasaki and her team. The result of their efforts is, "The Record of Linji."
To give you an idea of the vast amount of supplemental material included in this massive volume of Zen wisdom, consider that the translation itself runs for only about 50 pages. The book contains 500 pages!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a snowstorm in the tropics
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words in an empty sky! Read more
Serious reading, to step out of words and concepts. Areal challenge but worth while if you have a practice and want to be rally alive. NOT EASY.Published on December 12, 2012 by Sasa