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Tao Te Ching Paperback – January 2, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
A couple sentences down in the same paragraph, Hinton wrote, "... in perennial being you see appearance". Again, the word that he translated as "apperance" is very tricky in Chinese. It originally means "covering by coiling" (or "winding around to block a view") and has mutated throughout history to refer to fences, alleys, and many other things that would totally obscure the meaning of the text. Most popular translations use the word "manifestation" in this context. This is not necessarily a bad choice because religion is, after all, subject to interpretations. But personally I think the emphasis here should not be on the indication of an existence, but should rather be on the ideal of seeing through the appearance of phenomena in order to attain an understanding that transcends experiences. I think Hinton chose a more appropriate word here.
Yet a few more sentences down, he coined a new word for one of the most fundamental concepts in Taoism `yuan'. Yuan originally means black color with an yellowish undertone. Its also means "dark" and "mysterious" as in the sensation one gets while staring at an abyss.Read more ›
As someone that has pursued mystical states before I find this translation is easy to remember and conducive to a quick recall when observing the natural world or doing some form of physical exercise.
I've read that the TTC in Chinese reads like a telegram with multiple meanings available from the same words. Hinton's translation is like that and he makes a good attempt of rendering the spirit of the text, even if, he's not always literally correct (I'm thinking of the mysterious chapter 50).
Good translation with a few drawbacks but if your looking for a good introductory text read this
I have had experience with a few different translations of the Tao Te Ching, and I feel that this is by far the best--my favorite. To keep it short, the reason that I feel the Hinton translation to be the best is that it retains a closeness to and respect for the original Chinese--it has a rigour to it--while also capturing perfectly a sense of the poetry, the beauty, the ambiguity of the text. It is a translation that only Hinton could do, but it is also a translation that keeps the original at its center.
The importance of this is seen in those unfortunate versions of the Tao Te Ching in which the gaudy mark of the translator is too evident, and too personal--the experience of the text is altered, and not in a good way. Hinton, on the other hand, interprets the text and its poetry, but only insofar as is needed to communicate it to an English-speaking reader, who in turn has the freedom to interpret it for his- or herself. And he does it beautifully.
Also, because it hasn't been noted yet: the introduction gives a brief history of the origins of the concepts and text of the Tao Te Ching; it was concise, clear, and helpful in illuminating the text. The glossary was also useful in quickly clarifying the meaning of certain key terms and different interpretations of their Chinese originals.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like this translation by an author who is both a spiritual practitioner ( although there is really nothing to practice in Taoism) and a poet.Published 7 days ago by Stella
The forward on this book is surprisingly insightful. According to my Eastern Medicine doctor, some things have been translated "correctly," but missed the meaning therefore... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andy Holtz
I have a few different translations of this classic book, but this is by far my favorite. I keep an extra copy specifically for lending out ad I won't risk the one with all my... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mithrandir12508
The introduction alone is worth the trouble of getting the book. The author's insight into Tao in relation to the paleolithic and neolithic times adds great depth to understanding... Read morePublished on February 4, 2014 by Rose
i'm really glad i brought this book, it's a great read. on top of that, it was inexpensive compared to the retail prices in stores, but it's a fairly simple book.Published on October 29, 2010 by electronicresponses
This is the single most important text in Chinese Spirituallity.
The translation successfully show us how current it is to present day writing and thought. Read more
I was touched by not only the wisdom of he text, but also by the beauty of the translation. The text is deep, yet simple. This is very efficient communication. Read morePublished on July 16, 2009 by C. Sawatzky