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I Ching (Classics of Ancient China) Paperback – January 20, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

What are the most widely read and commented upon works in history? The Bible? The Vedas? The Quran? How about the I Ching? Every major thinker in Chinese history has had something to say about it. Passed down from generation to generation, it has been admired, studied, and put into practice. In 1973, archaeologists unearthed a number of silk manuscripts dating back to 168 B.C. Included in the find was a version of the I Ching and four commentaries previously lost. The text itself differed in places from the accepted version, especially in the arrangement of the hexagrams. Scholar Edward Shaughnessy has translated the entire text, along with the four commentaries and an additional commentary (the Appended Statements) that traditionally accompanies the text. The newly discovered commentaries offer a variety of interesting opinions, one of which appears to be Taoist, while another has Confucius explaining what the I Ching means to him. Shaughnessy includes the Chinese text of both the received version and the excavated version, although, unfortunately, the notes are buried in the back, making it difficult to follow the subtle differences. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese
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Product Details

  • Series: Classics of Ancient China
  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 20, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345421124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345421128
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #771,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you're interested in a translation of the MWD-text, and a comparison with the traditional received text, then you will like this book. From a sinological point of view it is interesting material, however, the book isn't written for diviners. It has no explanations of the symbols of the I Ching, not of the trigrams nor of the text. Shaughnessy told me he has never used the I Ching himself, but is purely interested in the old text and history of the book. And this translation shows this interest well.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A lot has happened in Chinese language scholarship in recent decades. (Would that I had more than a poor layman's appreciation of such endeavors!) Obvious are the changes in the transliterations into English. Gone is "Tao te Ching" for the now correct "Dao De Ching." (How I loved those t's pronounced like d's and their exotic appearance in print, now reduced to quaint nostalgia.)
Also changed is the I Ching, now properly known as Yijing, the "Classic of Changes" (formerly the "Book of Changes"). Note however that the publishers of this very fine volume have insisted on "I Ching" being in the title lest the uninitiated not realize that this book is about that enormously popular work of divination now at least 3,000 years old. As such the Yijing is one of the most venerable of all human writings and is of inestimable value for that reason alone.
The occasion for this book and for Professor Shaughnessy's translation and commentary is the discovery in 1973 of the Mawangdui manuscript which shed new light on the text of the Yijing. That manuscript dates from the second century B.C. However the original of the Yijing goes back to the days before works were written down. Ni, Hua Ching in his book The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth (1983) notes that "an ancient by the name of Fu Shi developed a line system to express the principle of appropriateness." Some time later around 1181 B.C. "the feudal lord, King Wen of the Shang Dynasty...provided a written explanation of these lines and hexagrams." (p. iii in the work cited)
Note well the use of the word "appropriateness.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Read this if you have a pHD in Chinese studies. Then it might be interesting. Especially because the chinese text is printed along side the translation for those who want to do their own translating. The text comes from a dig in China, and is much younger than the traditional I Ching, with hexagrams in different order, etc. There is some new material not seen before, so there is value.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful book. Seller very attentive. The order arrived quickly. The book is a beautiful one and contrary to my expectations it was a dual language book. I love it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the first translation of Mawangdui maniscript
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