- Series: Translations from the Asian Classics
- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Columbia University Press (April 20, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0231118171
- ISBN-13: 978-0231118170
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,630,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching: A Translation of the Startling New Documents Found at Guodian (Translations from the Asian Classics)
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Meticulously researched...Very readable and enjoyable. (Library Journal)
About the Author
Robert G. Henricks is a professor of religion at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he has taught since 1976. One of the most acclaimed authorities on classic Asian literature today, he has translated the highly regarded Lao-Tzu Te-Tao Ching and is the author of other books, including Philosophy and Argumentation in Third Century China and The Poetry of Han-Shan.
Top customer reviews
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It also has a few lines not known to later versions of the tao. that was the reason i bought it. and has different wording some lines moved around its interesting to say the least . I am grateful the author has made this available.
my problem was the commentary was so utterly boring and only interesting to someone who's doing some kind of in depth almost obsessive analysis of the history of the writing of the tao and also to much speculation on who the author / author's were/ was?. it was rather moot .
The main point i got out of this was that scholars have argued over the date of the tao te ching. most saying its a more recent invention younger than we thought.
BUT with the discovery of the goudian copy of the tao we know all the scholars were wrong about it. its much much older.
whats with all scholars always saying ancient historians are all liars/wrong/fake/ ? And to just assume they are inherently mistaken? well here we have the tao te ching is 3rd or 4th century ! just like the official histories say it was.
Also most scholars thought the Tao te ching was written over time in parts ( see D.C Lau's ritigns on this )
Well again they are wrong here is an almost complete tao and its basically the same as much later version in fact if anything things have been taken away over time not added !
Although the finding appears to be complete, the verse count is only 31 rather than the 81 verses commonly expected. The characters are painted on strips of bamboo rather than upon silk.
It uses more archaic characters than later versions and even the character for Dao is sometimes different.
All of this brings up many questions with few answers . . . but, like the message itself, answers aren't the point, the process is.
It doesn't need explanation, to say that Mr Henricks is an extraordinary skilled and profound scholar in the Laozi realm of work. After translating and publishing his work on the Ma-Wang-Tui text of the Lao-Tzu - which proves over and over again to be a high-quality translation and commentary - it was but logical to find the 1st translation of the Guodian treasure to be translated and commented upon by him.
The Guodian version, named the Laozi, consists only of 31 chapters out of the 81 chapters we know today as being the complete Lao-Tzu work called the Tao Te Ching. It should be seen as an indepth study on the new Guodian version and I would not recommend this book to someone who has not studied the 'complete' Tao Te Ching prior to reading this book.
The Laozi is organized as it was written down on the bamboo slips; In three different Themes. For simplicity, Mr Henricks named these A, B and C. This division has a similar approach in Chuang-Tzu's work: three Sections making up his work: Inner section, Outer section and Miscellaneous. If this was intented is a thesis, but not a fact. It is opted this version to be one that's connected with the Guan-Dao school of Daoism. A great explanation is included on the completeness of the Guodian version compared to the philospical elements that are known in the later versions of the Lao-Tzu (Tao Te Ching).
For those who study and want to have new revelation upon the philosophy and Meaning of the Lao-Tzu, this book is a MUST read.