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Tao Te Ching Paperback – November 12, 2007


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--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 60 pages
  • Publisher: BN Publishing (November 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9562910288
  • ISBN-13: 978-9562910286
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,403,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Sage and philosopher Lao Tzu was a recordkeeper in the Zhou dynasty court during the 6th century bc. In the religious form of Chinese Taoism, he is regarded as one of the three highest deities. James Legge (1815-1897) was the first professor of Chinese at Oxford University. The Cleveland Museum of Art, established in 1913, holds one of the most comprehensive collections of Chinese art in the United States
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It's not worth 99 cents.
Kimberly Truitt
This is a long interpretation of the Tao Te Ching, not a simple straightforward translation.
Kevin Hutchinson
Just not what I was expecting but still a good read.
S. chad Zellner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Webster Forrest on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This edition reproduces in facimile form the James Legge translation of the Tao Te Ching, as published in the series "The Sacred Books of the East". This series was published by Oxford in the 1870's and 1880's. The present edition contains more in the form of annotations than it does translated text, as was not unusual in Victorian times. This translation certainly deserves a great deal of credit. Apparantly it does contain minor errors, though I can say that I have found nothing by way of a concrete inconsistency in the ideas as expressed in this translatin in comparison with the same chapters in other translations. Many people enjoy, and find meaning in this translation. If I could only have one translation of the Tao Te Ching, this would be the one. I have removed one star, because the author occasionally expresses (in the notes) a disbelief of the material he is translating, which I find irrelevant but not obstructive to understanding and enjoying the work itself.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Pu Tai on March 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed most of this translation, but I noticed some sections that I found to be incorrect. The strongly disagree with the translation from ,I believe, the Fourth Chapter- "I do not know whose son it is. It might appear to have been before God." I feel this to be incorrect because the Chinese tradition does not have an idea of a capital G god who is the ruler of the universe. I suppose from a pantheistic standpoint this translation could be more accurate, but to most first time readers this will sound as if it is talking about the Judeo-Christian god. I hope those who get this translation because of its low price will read on the internet or download audio files to supplement this reading to get a better understanding of the original work.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
You get what you pay for. This version is a modern update of an 1891 translation of the Tao Te Ching. It suffers from the same defects that ails the King James Version of the Bible. Only purists will go through the linguistic contortions to read it. This version does include a commentary to explain each chapter, but it does little to bring the text alive for modern readers. The Tao Te Ching doesn't need to be dissected, it needs to be experienced. Part of its magic comes from its rare combination of profound simplicity. In this translation, the magic is gone.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Maxwell on March 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Could this translation be any worse? Reading through this version of the Tao was like wading through chin-high mud. For a much more enjoyable read, pick up John C.H. Wu's translation.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Truitt on August 31, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read the Tao Te Ching before and this translation is cumbersome and awkward. For example, other translations of verse 2 read "Being and non being create each other." This translation reads "So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to (the idea of) the other." Who wants to memorize that mantra? The Tao Te Ching is, if anything, about simplicity. This translation is anything but simple. It's not worth 99 cents. Spend your money on a version that you can connect with and imbibe. Skip this wordy piece of junk.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Magic Lemur on February 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
Of all the version's of the Tao I've encountered, this one was one of the most difficult to get into but also the most rewarding when I'd done so. Filled with comments on the meaning & translation issues of each verse, this book is the equivilent of the Life Application Study Bible, although with more of an academic twist.

I wouldn't recommend this translation for beginners as it is quite in-depth & is a thorough explanation of the structures & nuances of the text. The translation is one of the odder one that I've encountered, requiring you to immerse yourself in the book in order to understand it.

These complexities aside, there is one thing about this translation that makes it stranger & more compelling than most others: rhyming.
I don't read Chinese, but the translators suggest that the original text has rhyming structure & so they have rhymed the poetic sections of it. This rhyming brings out odd emphases in the Tao & make for some interesting quatrains, such as:

Verse 44
"Who is content
Needs fear no shame.
Who knows to stop
Incurs no blame.
From danger free
Long live shall he"

&

Verse 58
"The government that seems the most unwise,
Oft goodness to the people best supplies;
That which is meddling, touching everything,
Will work but ill, and disappointment bring"

It's hard to describe the effect of this rhyming, but one thing that comes to mind is a Steven Wright joke: "I played Poker with Tarot cards. I got a Full House & four people died.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William on March 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This a beautiful little book with the emphasis on little. The illustrations are old oriental paintings and are beautiful. The translation is poetical without giving much additional insight into the Tao Tai Ching. My primary problem with the book is that I cannot read it without aid of a magnifying glass. Though of a certain age, I generally do not have problems reading anything (except the finer print on contracts). For those computer literati, imagine a font size of 6, maybe less. It is a pretty coffee table book for those with better eyes.
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