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Tao Te Ching Hardcover – December 11, 2007
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“This is by far the best translation on the market today.”—Livia Kohn, Professor of Religion, Boston University
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This translation is excellent and is a personal favorite of mine. I give it "five stars" for integrity. Addiss and Lombardo explain, in their four page Introduction, the philosophy of how they translated the text and why it might be different from previous English translations. Indeed, they begin the Introduction as follows "There are already more than one hundred translations of the Tao Te Ching into English. Why should this text be translated again?" Then they proceed with a very persuasive case for this translation. For example, they have tried to "recreate much of the terse diction and staccato rhythm of the ancient Chinese" while other translations tend to be verbose. Also, they have specifically avoided any use of the gender specific pronouns, "he" and "she." Thus rendering the text neither politically correct nor politically incorrect.
Beyond the translation itself, this book is beautifully designed, with extensive use of Chinese calligraphy, art, and characters. This almost gives the impression of having an original copy of the Tao Te Ching in your hand.
If you want to read the Tao Te Ching, this is a great version. Three other good translations include those by Victor Mair, D.C. Lau, and John C. H. Wu. Personally I do not like the popular version by Stephen Mitchell, or the Gia-fu Feng & Jane English translation. They try too hard to be modern -- but who can fault them for trying?Read more ›
Give birth and cultivate.
Give birth and do not possess.
Act without dependence.
Excel but do not rule.
This is called dark Te.
The last line is for which the Chinese characters are provided in this chapter. "This is called dark Te." Te is virtue/integrity/energy/force/moral power, why is it describing these guidelines as dark?
The characters are "Shih wei hsüan te." Following the book's glossary you are provided with:
to stay/to call
Translating this line for myself filled me with doubt, what about the other lines that don't provide the characters for you to reference? I was a little upset by this, as it was my first copy of the Tao Te Ching that I had read. Despite this, I don't think it diminishes the work as a whole. It is very difficult to translate Chinese to English, as in.. it doesn't always fit. I would highly recommend this book to introduce yourself to the ideas presented within the Tao Te Ching. For deeper exploration I would recommend getting a version with all of the Chinese characters so you can construct your understanding for yourself.
The layout, the use of few words, the art....all work together perfectly!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not going to comment here about the quality of the actual content of the Tao Te Ching. With hundreds of publications, you can find longer and better written analyses of Lao... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Captain Moscow
The most sparse and seemingly authentic translation I have read. Contains very little, if any, personal interpretation from the author. Buy this version!Published 2 months ago by Alexander Weidlein
Considered one of the better translations. Recommended reading for those who wish to understand the Eastern mindset.Published 11 months ago by A. Naamani
Superb translation. Beautifully poetic while retaining the power and mystery of the Tao.Published 11 months ago by Charles