Tao Te Ching Paperback – January 22, 2018
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The translation itself is somewhat obscure at times, less accessible and direct than some of the others, but at the same time, the openness and ambiguity is the point in many cases. After owning several translations for years—I don't know all the players by name, I'm no expert, I just own several—I like this one the best because it seems less pat.
I don't read or write Chinese, but I appreciate the way that there are shades and variations and multiples of rather profound meanings and analogies in this translation, while in some other translation, a given line or chapter/section will point very clearly to one concrete meaning or another, with little room left for ambiguity or other allusions.
Based on what I do know about Chinese and its structure, the experience of reading this translation is likely closer to the experience of reading the originals.
All in all, a lovely edition of one of humanity's treasures. I've given it away on multiple occasions to people that I thought were in need of the Tao Te Ching for a moment in their lives, and all have appreciated it and commented later on about how it was a pleasure to encounter this book and its simple, unforceful, peaceful, and austere wisdom at that particular time in their life.
Probably one of the best gift books ever, not to mention one of the best to keep on your own coffee table and read often.
Had I known this was Legge's version, which is public domain and FREE, I would not have bought it. The folks who printed the book had the nerve to put a notice about piracy and copyright right in the front of the book too. Shameful...