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The Original Analects

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0231104319
ISBN-10: 0231104316
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Original Analects is a remarkable book that ranks among the most significant and impressive works on Chinese thought ever published in English.

(Journal of Asian Studies)

With the publication of this translation, scholars now have a fully developed interpretation of a single text with which to test the Brooks' hypotheses. Undoubtedly we have not heard the last or even the definitive word on dating texts in early China. But the Brooks should be credited with pushing the field one great step further along in its development.

(Pacific Affairs)

The most exciting study of the Lun yu yet published in a Western language. Its potential implications are monumental, ranging from a rewriting of our understanding of early Confucianism and the nature of intellectual transmission in early China.

(Chinese Review International)

Its insightful readings and interpretive strategies stand to enrich our overall understanding of the Analects and its traditions.

(Lisa Raphals International Studies in Philosophy 1900-01-00)

Review

Meticulously demonstrating a powerful method of textual analysis which has roots in earlier Chinese scholarship, The Original Analects inaugurates a new era. Scholars take note: the study of early China will never be the same. And its richly thoughtful commentaries assure that the general reader will stop to ponder the words of the most influential book in the long history of the Chinese civilization.

(Frederick W. Mote, Princeton University (Emeritus))|

The Original Analects shows the text evolving over 230 years following the Master's death. It identifies and dates each layer of accretion, bringing the text to life and throwing a probing light on shifts and shades of thought in Warring States China, generation by generation. It represents an exciting mode of investigation that will require most post scholarship on ancient Chinese philosophy to be redone.

(David S. Nivison, Stanford University)

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Product Details

  • Series: Translations from the Asian Classics
  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (September 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231104316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231104319
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,112,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tzu-Hsien Sang tzuhsien@engin.umich.edu on July 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This new translation of Analects provides us with a fresh view on Confucius' Way as it was, at least the authors claim so. It is correctly pointed out in the book that the task of reconstructing the "original" Confucius is inevitably interwined with our ever-changing understanding of the pre-Chin Chinese intellectual history. The task is never going to be easy, and is highly influenced by subjective preferences of individual researchers. The authors provide an updated theory of how the Analects was written in the course of several hundred years. One thing I like most is that convincing evidences are given to show that filial piety was NOT central in Confucius' morality. However, there are some other shaky arguments. For example, their effort of establishing this guy or that guy as the leader of the early Confucian disciples is too imaginative.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Analects were always thought to have been written by Confucius' direct disciples during a few decades after the Master's death. Bruce and Taeko Brooks convincingly prove that this was not so. Probably only a part of chapter 4 contains Confucius' exact words. The remaining 19 chapters were gradually written over a period of around 230 years by his disciples and by much later successors who had a different agenda. A key idea of the book is that REN (humanity) was central to Confucius and his early disciples, whereas LI (ritual) became essential to the later successors in the next century. Each saying is followed by the authors' commentary that is scholarly (very "technical" sometimes) but often in a direct and refreshing style. This book is a must for all serious Confucius lovers.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Geenius at Wrok on October 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
An excellent resource for the scholar. Rearranges the passages into a reconstructed chronological order, but retains their numbering, so the reader isn't lost. Exhaustive notes, plus the most penetrating discussion of the exact meaning of _ren_ (though they spell it "_rvn_") available in any translation. Language a teensy bit stilted in places. "Common alphabetic" (modified Yale) romanization.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ian on July 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The good: A wonderfully detailed translation of the Analects, with a fair amount of never-before-seen insights.

The bad: (1) this is a scholarly translation and is not for the casual reader (2) There isn't consistent inclusion of the original Chinese beside the translations and analyses, which I personally think would have greatly enhanced this book's value.
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